In this article we discuss the health benefits of fasting.
A majority of people are familiar with fasting as a weight loss tool. What many don't realize, however, is that fasting is a potent general health tool as well. In fact, it is believed that fasting can help prevent serious medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, infectious diseases, and some kinds of cancer. As you can easily see fasting benefits are vast and, fortunately, easy to achieve.
What is Fasting
So exactly what is fasting? Fasting is the act of foregoing certain kinds of food, or all food in some cases, for a certain amount of time. The purpose of fasting varies greatly, but the most common reasons are detoxification and weight loss.
There are many different types of fasting diets.
Juice fasting is a common method used for both body cleansing and weight loss. Water fasting offers rapid detoxification and short, intense weight loss.
Other kinds of fasts include air fasts, intermittent fasts, alternate day fasting, and protein sparing modified fasts.
Prevention of Illness
One of the major health benefits of fasting, especially juice fasts, is the sharp boost in immunity that your body receives.
When you fast, your body has the chance to restore maximum organ system function because it doesn't have to focus so hard on digestion, which is an energy-intensive process.
If you are doing a juice fast, your body gets extra assistance through the vast amount of nutrients you're taking in; namely, vitamin C, zinc and vitamin E.
These nutrients are more easily absorbed during a fast.
When your body is functioning at maximum efficacy, it is harder for pathogens to infiltrate it.
This can allow you to escape infection after coming into contact with a sick individual. Some infections, such as meningitis and E. coli, can have devastating consequences so this is a benefit of fasting that you don't want to miss out on.
For many, nothing is more fearsome than cancer, and for good reason. Cancer claims over 10 million lives globally each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Even more frightening, WHO predicted that cancer deaths will increase by 50 percent by the year 2010, partly due to dietary habits.
You can combat these statistics by fasting regularly. One of the more impressive health benefits of fasting is its ability to prevent up to one-third of all cancers.
Juice fasting in particular provides this important benefit by filling your body with anti-oxidants, which protect your cells against cancer-causing free radicals, and by allowing the regular repair and regeneration of healthy cells.
Decreased Risk of Common Conditions
The incidence of conditions like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease has been trending upward for some time now. The health benefits of fasting include the treatment of these potentially fatal conditions.
In fact, in some cases, fasting can actually work more quickly than medication in keeping them under control. A 10 day water fasting protocol, for example, has been used in a medical setting to treat hypertension.
Intermittent fasting can be used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults.
Juice fasting, when done carefully, can help with diabetes as well.
Fasting allows your body's systems to normalize. The lack of processed food keeps your blood pressure and blood sugar from spiking.
After a while, your body gets used to this change and prefers it. If you keep up a healthy lifestyle after your fast, the health benefits of fasting can be permanent.
Fasting also works indirectly in this regard, as it helps you maintain an ideal body weight.
The health benefits of fasting allow you to lose a medically significant amount of weight in a relatively short period of time.
If you maintain a healthy weight, you decrease your chances of developing hypertension and diabetes and reduce the likelihood that you'll suffer from a life-threatening episode of heart attack or stroke.