Is fasting just a trend, or is there real science behind it?

Quick Notes

  • Fasting causes cell regeneration

  • Weight loss is also a benefit

  • There is more and more evidence of using fasting for health

When you hear about fasting, it doesn’t sound very appealing. Go without food for how long? Why? But there is mounting evidence that fasting has some health benefits. Although it sounds like a diet, it’s being used for more than just weight loss. Many people have noticed other medical benefits and practice it regularly.

Fasting has been practiced for spiritual purification and other religious reasons for thousands of years. But in the last few years, fasting has been trending for purposes other than spirituality. Going without food for many days can be dangerous for specific health conditions, so always check with your doctor first. Going without fluids for 24 hours is not recommended. Nutritious food needs to be eaten before and after the fast. Understanding how fasting affects the body is essential to a successful fast.

What does fasting do to your body?

The type of fasting we’re talking about here is technically called “intermittent fasting.” It is abstaining from eating food during certain hours of the day. The most popular regimen for this type of fasting is called 16:8. A person will eat healthy food for eight hours during the day and refrain from eating the rest of the day and night.

The body treats fasting as a threat and goes into survival mode. When the body is fasting, it doesn’t have food to convert into energy.

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So to keep the metabolism going, the brain tells the body to start converting fat cells into energy. That’s the theory behind using fasting for weight loss. Many people have reported it as a “magic bullet” for dieters.

By cycling between periods of eating and fasting, the cells of the body go through a kind of reboot. After the fast is over and eating resumes, that’s when the benefits of fasting begin. Healthier cells start to regenerate as the body now says, okay, we’ve got food again, so let’s make some new cells!

Key benefits of fasting

Can it make you live longer? Some studies are actually saying yes. Fasting for longevity is based on cell regeneration. As we age, our cells age right along with us. As cellular matter gets older, it doesn’t regenerate as quickly, and that dead matter accumulates in our cells. So once food enters the picture again, new, healthier cells are generated, and the old cells and toxins then leave the body. Fasting has also been shown to release growth hormones, which increase muscle mass and bone strength.

Fasting for longevity is one of the health indicators that shows promise. There are several reasons for this. When the new cells regenerate, the symptoms of many health conditions are reduced. This, in turn, can extend one’s life by preventing or minimizing unhealthy diseases. Animal testing has shown that mice who were forced to fast actually lived longer.

Fasting for longevity is one of the health indicators that shows promise.

Fasting to look younger is also being reported by many people. Again, that’s related to cell regeneration, and it makes sense. When old cells are removed and replaced with healthy ones, the skin and body are rejuvenated. This can give younger-looking skin and body.

According to a study at Harvard, intermittent fasting can help with diabetes. A group of prediabetic patients were put on a time-restricted fast and only allowed to eat during eight hours of the day. The report stated the patients had “dramatically lower insulin levels,” and it also lowered their blood pressure.

Is fasting the curative for many health conditions? Much of the research backs up those claims. Some people in the medical community are saying, not so fast. More studies need to be done before there is substantial evidence regarding fasting. So the question is, can you go without food if it’s for health reasons? It’s a resounding “yes,” according to many people.

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