Ritual fasting has been part of religious traditions for thousands of years. But a recent growing body of research shows that abstaining from food intermittently may have physical as well as spiritual benefits.
But is fasting a good idea for your health?
Every day, organs such as the liver, kidney, and spleen work to remove and neutralize toxins from the body to keep our cells healthy.
“When you fast, you eliminate input of additional toxins from food,” says Dr. Katz, “and there is a potential biological benefit to that.”
Here’s how your body reacts when you stop feeding it:
However, ketosis also makes your blood will also become more acidic, and can cause bad breath, fatigue, and other unpleasant symptoms; long-term, it can lead to kidney and liver damage.
• Fasting may help your heart - Fasting for a day once a month may prevent heart disease and insulin resistance.
During fasting, your fat cells are being metabolized and used as fuel, . “If fat is being used for fuel, in the long run you have fewer fat cells in your body.” This may mean less insulin resistance and a lower risk of heart disease later in life.
• There’s a chance fasting can cut cancer risk.
• Fasting won’t help you lose — and keep off — weight.
Fasting for weight loss is just another form of yo-yo dieting.
The pounds that come off on a short-term fast are mainly water and stored carbohydrates
• Fasting can’t take the place of a healthy diet.
Eating well every day plays a major role in preventing heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Focusing on consistently eating enough nutrient-rich whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains snowballs into proven powerful benefits over time.
• Talk to your doctor before you start a fasting regimen
While fasting may have the potential to play a role in wellness, it’s definitely not for everyone
Even if your doctor gives the go-ahead, don’t jump head first into fasting — it’s crucial that you understand how to do so safely, and in the context of a healthy lifestyle.