Today, thanks to science, we know that fasting not only serves as a moment of reflection and spiritual strengthening, but also has benefits for our health.
Fasting, practiced in various forms, is a ritual rooted in the main Western religions, such as Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Although religions share similarities in this practice, its origin dates back to human traditions since prehistory, mentioned in sacred texts such as the Hindu Upanishad, the Bible, the Koran, the Jewish Talmood and the Indian Mahabarata.
Although it is difficult to determine the exact moment when the tradition of fasting as a religious symbol emerged, there is evidence of the practice of abstinence in some native tribes of North America, ancient Greece, and pre-Columbian Peru. These cultures already related the interruption of a basic experience for the human body, such as food, with the elevation of thought towards spirituality.
Fasting not only strengthens your mind and spirit, causes your body to burn fat, heal your gut, detoxify and improve your mood, but it is also the best way to reduce inflammation.
It also triggers a natural regenerative process called autophagy. This word derives from Greek and translates as “eat oneself.” We could say that cells commit suicide, that is, they decompose and recycle their own components. Thus, old, damaged or abnormal proteins, and other substances in its cytoplasm (liquid inside the cell) are destroyed. For example, after an infection, through the process of autophagy we can eliminate viruses and bacteria.
Fasting also improves cardiometabolic health by reducing blood pressure, insulin resistance, and oxidative stress. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels also decrease. Helps regulate appetite and the diversity of the intestinal microbiota.
Think about this, when you fast, your body takes energy that it would normally use to digest food and redirects it toward healing and repair. This is the best way to restore balance to your immune system and your entire body. Everything regains balance.
You can do a prolonged period of fasting by consuming only water with electrolytes, water with lemon, herbal infusions, you can also do a less drastic version by consuming only bone broth and then opt for intermittent fasting as a lifestyle to maintain its benefits.
During the cleansing process, not only is your body chemically purified, but also your mind. Remember that several cultures and religions use fasting as a form of spiritual cleansing, also strengthening the will. Mind over body.
- Listen to your body, it will tell you how long you can fast.
- Stay hydrated, and use electrolytes or salt water, because by drinking a lot of plain water you can lose minerals.
- You can drink herbal infusions, make your own blends, and take advantage of this time to learn about herbalism.
- If you are a coffee lover, choose a good organic coffee without mycotoxins. I like this one @dangercoffee
- Fats do not break your fast, so you can add MCT oil to your coffee, which will give you energy and help with the ketosis process.
- During fasting, some of our cells die, repair themselves, and begin self-healing processes, but during this, we can also lose good bacteria in the gut, so taking prebiotics helps maintain those bacteria. You can add inulin, acacia fiber, or psyllium husk powder to your drink. I like the Triple Fiber product, from the MicroIngredients brand.
- During fasting our body detoxifies, and we can help it eliminate these toxins by using activated coconut charcoal in the morning, or taking a G.I. Detox capsule. These supplements should be taken an hour away from any other supplements or coffee.
- Choose to fast at a time when you can dedicate yourself to yourself when you don't have many things to do during the day that demands a lot of energy.
- Fasting is a perfect time to pause in your life and evaluate many aspects that you want to improve or change and perhaps start meditating too. It is a time of evaluation and organization of your life, a time to master your body.
- After a prolonged fast, you can switch to intermittent fasting but try to vary your fasting time frames during the week to have metabolic flexibility.
- Break the fast with bone broth, some proteins, vegetables, and fats. Don't eat sugar or carbohydrates right there.
- Fast with someone else, when we do something that demands a lot of energy and mental control above all, it is good to have the support of someone else or a group.
- Listen to your body about the exercise you want to do, jumping for a minute a day on a trampoline for example helps drains your lymphatic system, taking short walks keeps your body moving without spending too much energy. You know what is best for you. You set the limits.
- Doing cold plunges, earthing, meditating, journaling, everything that can help you get into balance and increase your energy during fasting will be very beneficial.