Fasting requires a person to abstain from food, alcohol, drinks and even water, when done from a religious point of view. It has been an integral part of religious traditions around the world, but has now become a recognized way to good health, with health conscious people around the world professing its numerous benefits. Though starving oneself is not considered healthy, but fasting occasionally has been proved to be useful for the human body. If done in the right manner, it has the ability to promote good health in more than one ways. For this reason, fasting has become very popular and even the people who are not obligated to it from the religious point of view, have started practicing it as a way of life. It has been proved to carry a series of health benefits, curbing various kinds of diseases, prolonging life and at the same time, improving its quality.
Here is a list of top 10 health benefits of fasting:
1. Weight Loss
Weight watchers are on a constant lookout for ways to get rid of some extra pounds in a healthy way and fasting is a good way to do so, as it initiates the process of weight loss without staying starved as in conventional weight loss diets. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting which involves not eating fort a fixed interval of time, helps in the fat burning process by activating the fat cells in the body. It enables the body to use up fat reserves rather than sugar, for its energy requirements.
2. General Detoxification
Primarily, talking from the religious point of view, fasting is meant to purify the body and purge it from impurities. Scientifically, this statement is justified because fasting actually does that by promotion of detoxification process in the body. It tends to burn up fats and release the toxins, facilitating their movement out of the body.
3. Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Another key health benefit of fasting is that it does the important function of improving insulin sensitivity, which means that it has the ability of regulating the blood sugar levels by the effective release of insulin in the bloodstream. This reduces the pressure on the pancreas and improves its functioning.
4. Improves Metabolism
When you fast at intermittent intervals, you give adequate rest to the digestive system, which in turn improves your metabolism by burning up calories in a more effective manner. Those with weak digestion can particularly benefit as they will be able to metabolize food in a better manner. Additionally, a better bowel function is encouraged by fasting, which again has a positive impact on the metabolism.
5. Immunity Booster
Fasting promotes overall good health and freedom from disease by boosting immunity. It has the ability to reduce the damage caused by free radicals, obstructs the formation of cancer cells in the body and prevents inflammation. Actually, fasting reduces the workload of the body systems, and they get the chance to recuperate and counter infections and disease.
6. Lowers High Blood Pressure
If you have been suffering from chronic blood pressure, you can lower it naturally without drugs by practicing fasting on a regular basis. Research has shown that a person who is regular with fasting is able to bring down their blood pressure and keep it that way.
7. Improves Brain Function
Another useful benefit of fasting is that it promotes brain function, by enhancing the production of BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor), a brain friendly protein which produces new neurons and promotes brain health.
8. Skin Health
Fasting is excellent for skin health as it clears skin eruptions by detoxifying the skin. Additionally, it makes your eyes brighter and shinier.
9. Improves Eating Patterns
Those who are ailing from eating disorders can benefit from regular fasting because it can help re establish the eating pattern. Eating your meals at set times and set intervals, is the best way to bring the eating patterns back to normal.
10. Overcoming addictions
Fasting is a good way to overcome addictions related to alcohol, tobacco and drugs as it ensures that any craving for these things is gradually dissipated and people also develop determination for abstaining for them.
Also, fasting promotes healthy eating because people tend to eat healthy foods at the end of their fast, as fresh fruits are considered the best way to end your fast. So fast makes you healthier even after it is ended.