Benefits Of Fasting

September 20, 2018

Fasting has been practiced long before green smoothies and vegan mac n cheese. It has played a role in numerous ancient cultures and religions where people willingly restrict food and beverages for either a brief amount of time or for an extended cleansing experience.

The idea of restricting yourself from foods and beverages can be daunting, intimidating, and many believe it to be pure insanity. Why would you want to deprive yourself of the basic necessities of life? But looking at this topic more in depth, there are numerous reasons to partake in a fast. Although it may not be for everyone and it is recommended to seek advice and supervision from a practitioner, the benefits clearly outweigh the discomfort of being hungry. Fasting has beneficial affects not only for your body, but also the mind and soul.

Benefits Of Fasting

For The Body

Fasting is like pressing the ‘reset’ button for your internal body. Letting your digestive system rest and your body cleanse from toxins that accumulate are the dominant reasons as to why people choose to fast. But there are many other benefits for your body during a fast- including but not limited to:

  • Fight inflammation
  • Reduce insulin resistance
  • Improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Boost metabolism
  • Increase hormone secretion
  • Repair tissues and heal lingering injuries
  • Extend longevity

Benefits For The Mind

Many people confuse the distinction between hunger and appetite. Our brains are wired from a very young age which instill eating habits that can be both ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ including the way we perceive hunger and appetite.

Hunger is our bodies physiological need for refueling while appetite is our desire to eat. Many times we eat not because we are actually hungry but because we think we should be eating at a particular time, our friends and family want to share a meal with us, or we are eating as an emotional response. Like the benefits for the body, fasting also ‘resets’ the way our mind works in relation to food. We can experience benefits such as:

  • Relearning appetite vs. hunger
  • Heal disordered eating
  • Increase cognitive functioning
  • Protect brain health

Benefits For The Soul

Whether we realize it or not, for many people, food brings joy into one’s life. When we eliminate that source of joy, it presents an opportunity for use to find joy within ourselves. For some, this may be the hardest part of partaking in a fast, but coming out on the other side can potentially create radical shifts in the perceptive of oneself and the external environment. Other benefits include:

  • Create inner peace
  • Practice stillness
  • Change mindset, reduce negative thinking
  • Relearn your will and strength
  • Experience a higher state of consciousness by detoxing your body from chemicals and stagnant energy

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About the Author

Myra Gerst

Plant based nutrition Holistic Health and Wellness

Chiang Mai

I believe health is an ongoing, ever-changing, non-linear goal we must always give our love and attention to. Ever since I was a little girl,...

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