Fasting For Body, Mind, and Spirit Health

Why fasting is necessary for you?

Fasting refers to a willing denial of food, drinks, or both for a certain period or entirely in some instances. It might also refer to a reduction of intake of all or specific edible items such as food, beverages, or other drinks. There are various types of fasting, but let’s take a brief look at what the bible has prescribed as categories in a proper ‘fast.’ First comes the ‘Regular fast.’ It refers to refraining from eating any kind of food, although some people believe the notion that drinking water or juices are acceptable. Then we have the ‘Partial fast.’ It refers to the fact that one is allowed only specific meals at distinct times of the day. Finally, the ‘Full fast’ refers to altogether avoiding consumption of any kind of food item.

The general concept that changes life

Fasting, in general, has various benefits from weight loss to improved functioning of the brain. For the body, fasting may come to aid for multiple common conditions that are faced by us like diabetes, inflammation, heart health, general metabolism, aging, etc. It has been observed that intermittent fasting has helped patients obtain low blood sugar levels. Also, alternate day fasting has helped to reveal that it can reduce levels of LDL cholesterol (Also known as “Bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides. There have also been studies that suggested that fasting could help obtain enhanced cognitive function and even prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The most common and the most popular aspect of fasting is losing weight. According to some studies, it has been found that it helps in boosting metabolism and increases the levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which in return aids the weight loss process.

A funny fact that has been established world-wide is that fasting also helps us appreciate the food better.

Researchers and studies have shown the relevancy of fasting

Some studies also focused on fasting straight for 24-hours, just to note the ripple effect of it on our body. During these hours, what happens to our bodies is of utmost importance. During the first few hours, the organization continues to burn the carbohydrates present in our collection. But after a few hours, these are depleted, and the body finally shifts to fasting mode. In this mode, the body goes into a state called glucogenesis (making its glucose mainly from the fat stored), which is known to boost up calories burnt in our collection.

If we continue on this path, then we reach a state where the body switches to muscle-burning state or starvation mode. Here the muscle tissues are burned for the supply of energy, and the metabolism also slows down. It has been well established that to enter actual tissue burning state; one has to go through fasting for consecutive days or weeks. If done correctly and without any medical condition, a person can successfully go for a 24 hour fast.

With all these physical benefits come a bunch of restrictions. It has been advised that this should be taken into practice by people with diabetes, with a history of eating disorders, on medication that requires them to be taken with food, young children/adolescents, or expecting mothers.

The benefits of fasting and personal choice

Despite the availability and the benefits that along with fasting, one should always remember that this is purely a personal choice. If one feels the need to try it out or fast for a specific purpose, then he/she should be clear about it. Wrong practices might lead to a requirement of urgent medical attention.

When it comes to the effects of it on our minds, we can see the difference on various levels. Our brain on intermittent fasting benefits the brain by increasing the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

This acts as a growth factor for the new neurons and helps them communicate with one another. It’s a natural antidepressant. It’s also found that BDNF aids the longer and healthier life of neurons by resisting common diseases (like dementia) and injury (like strokes). All this happens while maintaining the proper neuron function and structure.

Researchers are still going on about it

Studies have also shown that occasional fasting helps in the growth of the nerve cells. One must have a natural question as to how the growth of nerve cells translates to better neuro health. Well, they help with brain aging, brain damage from stroke, and epilepsy. What it means is that fasting keeps our brain younger and protects it from neurodegeneration from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease. It has been noted that periodic fasting may delay the onset or reduce the severity of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases.

Studies show that the effects of strokes have less brain damage if they’ve been intermittently fasting. The patients also have found to have higher levels of BDNF along with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory brain compounds.

To the fact that it deals with less brain damage, it was also noticed that fewer death cases were registered because of stroke. This is relevant research that has helped us understand the effects of stroke and how we can prevent damage or defy death altogether.

After all, the actual effects of fasting come the ways it has shifted and molded itself into the roots of some religious practices. Apart from the difference that one can make out or not, there’s a spiritual level on which we start seeing a difference if we look deep into ourselves. In some practices, it is believed that fasting is showing our part of offering to God. What it is supposed to mean is us making more time for prayer (God) and not what we’re giving up on for him. Let us now look at some of the spiritual experience ones might go through while fasting.

It is a cleansing journey towards your present

Fasting provides a soul-cleansing trip. With all the toxins that we put us in our bodies, it’s as tricky as it gets. Also, by not eating anything helps in relaxing our digestive systems. Above all, it is not the only detox for our bodies, but it gives them time to detox our souls. It is considered as a faith move, an expectation that God will fill us with his holy spirit.

Our pledge to deny food leads us to seek God, to know more about him to live, and to live abundantly. It also brings a desire and realization of a higher being. Someone who is above us and the thirst to know more about him is felt.

The body permits you to fast better

Because the body does not have to spend energy on digestion, it has more to utilize on other things. Along the same lines, it can be said that the way we don’t have to think about what to eat next, we have more time to devote to him. As we spend more and the more time fasting, the more we realize his importance and develop deeper praise for everything in general. Once we have the realization about God, we won’t be counting the hours down till the fast is over. We’ll be celebrating the entire time.

Once the fast is complete, you’re renewed, detoxed, and full of energy with a new desire, new praise, and sensitivity towards the voice of God and your inner voice as well. One shall also realize that the absence of food in all these hours is futile when it comes to comparison with what one has gained in all this time. One should also know that physical hunger can never be satisfied, as you’ll feel the desire every few hours. But once you feed yourself emotionally and spiritually, then the satisfaction will provide a new source of happiness and feeling of a more prominent being. Fasting can be considered as a remedy for the soul.

As we have seen the ways the body physically heals itself, it also starts to heal itself emotionally and spiritually. One can feel rejuvenated. Some of the belief revolves around taking fasting as a way to work on themselves, as in work on their will power. And it does make a difference. A person who can commit to fasting can commit to anything and be done with it.

Final thoughts:

On a final note, it’d be safe to say that if done correctly, fasting can prove to be an all-rounder for our body, mind, and soul. It helps in appreciating the way we look at food and other things and people in life. In a way, it makes it stronger and wiser. It can become a lifestyle where one develops a focus on positive thoughts and work on being stress-resistant. Discipline is something that can be learned from the entire process of fasting. Because if one can tame himself, then there’s no stopping to what he/she can achieve and accomplish. In the end, it’s a journey, an experience in itself, so if you’re planning on taking it up to enjoy and keep your mind open to it because it has everything you are looking for, you just have to pay attention to it.

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