Ever heard of the expression less is more? Well, when it comes to food, it just may be the case…that less is more! After reading an article in the April 2017 edition in Taste For Life magazine, I now feel compelled to give fasting a try. Here’s what I got from it…
Taking the time to fast has shown to decrease inflammation and to prevent the occurrence or recurrence of some diseases, including some dreadful “C’s”. One study, where over 2,400 women were followed in August 2016 and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), showed that women who fasted an average of 13 hours overnight, decreased the chance of breast C from recurring. Researchers concluded that it was most likely due to more regulated glucose levels and sleep.
Apparently, Indian women have used fasting therapeutically for thousands of years, ‘echoing the disease-prevention benefits of intermittent fasting.’ Fasting showed to ‘starve tumors of the blood supply that they needed for growth’. Interesting.
Fasting can have several other health benefits for the body:
- improves reproductive features – menstrual cycle, ovulation and fertility
- improves metabolism
- pain and stiffness relief from rheumatoid arthritis
- lowers high blood pressure and cholesterol levels – arteries become less inflamed
When we fast, our cells become mildly stressed, which forces our bodies to deal with the stress and ward off certain diseases.
Dr. Toledo, MD, medical director of the Buchinger Wilhelmi clinic in Germany and Valter Longo, PhD, of the University of Southern Californa both agree that when we fast for three days, our body can “reset” the immune system and ‘trigger the production of new white blood cells, helping to ward off disease’. Some studies have even showed that fasting can help to ‘mitigate the toxicity of chemotherapies used to kill C’s.
So, what are the ways we can fast? Here are three techniques:
- Every-other-day-fasting – limit ourselves to only 500 calories (600 for men); we have to be sure to eat nutrient-rich foods, such as lean proteins and fresh produce
- Half-day fasting – 12 hours on and 12 hours off; over time we may find that we can increase our fasting to 16 hours; health benefits can come when we limit our eating to eight hours per day.
- 5:2 fasting – eat normal for five days a week and, then limit our caloric intake to 500 calories the other two days.
*Please note: Fasting is not recommended for people with diabetes, those whom struggle with eating disorders, women who are pregnant or nursing, the elderly, and children. Always check with your doctor before beginning any fasting regimen.
You think you want to fast? I think I’ll try it!