Fasting, the practice of abstaining from food and sometimes drink, has been a part of many cultures and religions for thousands of years. While there are many different types of fasting, one type that has gained popularity in recent years is long-term fasting, which typically involves abstaining from food for several days or even weeks at a time.
When you take a break from eating for 3, 5, 7 – even up to 21 days – your body enters “survival mode”. Your body's systems, including your digestive system, get a well-deserved rest, and your body starts other processes that provide benefits you might never otherwise receive without prolonged fasting
While long-term fasting is not without risks and should only be undertaken with careful consideration and medical supervision, there are several potential benefits to this practice that are backed up by scientific research. In this blog post, we will explore some of the potential benefits of long-term fasting.
As we age, our memory is no longer what it used to be. Prolonged fasting can help by stimulating brain cell regrowth and regeneration of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory
Fasting triggers the release of the Human Growth Hormone (HgH), responsible for boosting metabolism, burning fat, and making you look younger. HgH is sometimes referred to as "The Fountain of Youth." Although HgH production slows as you age, one study showed that HgH production increased by 500% after fasting for 2 days
High Energy Levels
You may falsely believe that all you'll want to do when prolonged fasting is nap, but the opposite is true. Your energy level will soar as you burn your stored fat instead of newly eaten calories for energy
Weight loss and improved body composition
One of the most well-known benefits of fasting, including long-term fasting, is weight loss. When you fast, your body turns to stored fat for energy, leading to a reduction in body fat. In addition, fasting can also lead to improvements in body composition, such as a reduction in body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference.
Improved insulin sensitivity
Insulin is a hormone that plays a key role in regulating blood sugar levels. When you fast, your body becomes more sensitive to insulin, which can improve your body's ability to regulate blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance.
Inflammation is a natural response by the body to injury or infection. However, chronic inflammation has been linked to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Long-term fasting has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, potentially reducing the risk of these diseases.
Improved immune function
Fasting has been shown to improve immune function in both animals and humans. One study found that mice who fasted for 48 hours showed improved immune cell regeneration. In humans, fasting has been shown to improve the function of white blood cells, which play a key role in fighting infections.
Increased Stem Cell Reserves – Stem cells have “the potential to develop into many different types of cells in the body. They are a repair system for the body”. Stem cells are there for use when other cells become damaged. Reserves deplete with age, and stress accelerates their depletion. Prolonged fasting can help to maintain stem cells
While the exact mechanisms are not fully understood, fasting has been shown to increase lifespan in several animal models. In addition, some research suggests that fasting may help to delay the onset of age-related diseases in humans, potentially leading to a longer, healthier life.
While long-term fasting may have some potential benefits, it is important to note that this practice is not without risks. People who are considering long-term fasting should speak with a healthcare professional to ensure that it is safe for them to do so, and should always monitor their health closely during the fasting period.
In addition, long-term fasting is not suitable for everyone, particularly those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have certain medical conditions. People who are interested in trying long-term fasting should always do so under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional.
In conclusion, long-term fasting has the potential to provide several health benefits, including weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, improved immune function, and increased longevity. However, it is important to approach fasting with caution and to ensure that it is safe for you to undertake this practice before embarking on a long-term fast.