Do you ever wonder if fasting is healthy? Fasting refers to voluntary abstention from (certain) foods for a certain period. Fasting often also has a spiritual aspect. A culture of fasting can also be found in the major world religions. In most cases, the goals behind it are similar, as those fastings want to strengthen their faith through abstinence. All the great founders of religions went through fasting and established such a period in their respective beliefs.
For example, while Jesus retreated to the desert for 40 days to fast, Mohammed is also said to have fasted before the Koran was revealed to him. Moses also climbed Mount Sinai and fasted there for 40 days before receiving the Ten Commandments. In Buddhism, fasting is also common. In Judaism, fasting and abstinence are practiced on several days. This abstinence is often celebrated as a great festival with the breaking of the fast. But is fasting healthy at all?
Detox cure: How it works
Fasting trains the metabolism and is, therefore, healthy. When the body does not have to digest heavy food, it can focus on the important cell cleansing. Often, fasting makes you lose a few pounds. How long it should last depends on which method you choose. Because if one fasts too strongly, fat and muscle mass are reduced by the missing energy.
It can be said that the body begins to break down its fat after about four days of fasting. Recent studies show that interval fasting can protect against diabetes because it improves cellular insulin response. This reduces the amount of fat in the pancreas – this fat contributes to the development of diabetes, according to researchers. And even with some cancer therapies, interval fasting can work, supporting how a new study by the University of Peking wants to have confirmed. In the case of illness, fasting should be clarified; however, always with experts and cared for by experienced physicians.
With interval fasting, 16:8, one does without food for 16 hours and may normally eat in the remaining eight hours. In the 5:2 method, you go without solid food two days a week and are allowed to eat normally for five days. The advantage of interval fasting is that muscle mass is not lost. This is important to avoid the yo-yo effect after breaking the fast. Intermittent fasting improves sugar and fat metabolism, releasing substances in the body that can fight inflammation.
Other fasting methods for health
Besides the two most well-known methods, numerous other kinds of chamfer exist. In addition to juice and soup fasting – in which solid food is avoided – there is also alkaline fasting, where only alkaline metabolized foods are allowed. The most important thing is to choose a fasting method that is not too difficult for you. This way, motivation and chances of success always remain high.
These people should not fast!
So fasting is healthy for many people – depending on the method. However, not all people should fast. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should refrain from fasting, as should children and teenagers. Fasting is also unhealthy for underweight people and people with serious pre-existing conditions. For mentally unstable people, fasting can even have a pathological effect and cause an eating disorder. Therefore, it is always best to consult doctors who can assess your health status before embarking on a prolonged fasting cure.
- Source: vogue.de/picture: Bild von congerdesign auf Pixabay
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