What is the longest period that you go without eating anything?
I bet you don’t think about not eating. You are either hungry or not hungry. It’s crazy if you imagine not eating anything! The longest recorded fast is 382 days. Impressive. Fasting is defined as “voluntarily not eating food for varying lengths of time.”
Fasting dates back thousands and thousands of years. Usually, you are not eating when you sleep for six to nine hours every day. Typically, we have “break fast” when we have a meal after our fast. Some people will do longer. The longest fast is 382 days. Whew, that would be a long time until breakfast!
There are many types of fasts. One is intermittent fasting. It has periods of eating and not eating that ranges from a few hours to a few days at a time. Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Mark Mattson, Ph.D., has studied intermittent fasting for 25 years. He says “(m)any things happen during intermittent fasting that can protect organs against chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, even inflammatory bowel disease and many cancers…” There are many benefits which you get when you fast.
1. Boost Brain Function and Prevent Neurodegenerative Disorders – Studies have reported that fasting could protect brain health and increase the generation of nerve cells to help enhance cognitive function.
2. Promotes Better Health by Fighting Inflammation – Fasting can help decrease levels of inflammation and help promote better health in some studies.
3. Serves Weight Loss by Limiting Calorie Intake and Advancing Metabolism – One review showed that whole-day fasting reduces body weight by up to 9% and significantly decreases body fat over 12–24 weeks. Another study found that intermittent fasting over 3–12 weeks was as effective in inducing weight loss as continuous calorie restriction and decreased body weight and fat mass.
4. Fosters Cancer Prevention and Increases the Effectiveness of Chemotherapy – One rat report found that alternate-day fasting helped block tumor formation. Similarly, a test-tube study showed that exposing cancer cells to several cycles of fasting was as effective as chemotherapy in delaying tumor growth and increased the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs on cancer formation. Promising!
5. Normalizing insulin sensitivity – When your body gets too many carbs and sugar, it can become insulin resistant. It often causes a host of chronic diseases, including type-2 diabetes. Fasting helps.
Everyone can benefit from fasting. As you can understand, fasting can be used in stroke recovery in the acute phase and in the chronic phase for years. You can use it daily for intermittent fasting, fast for one period of 24-36 hours once per week, or a longer interval of 2 – 5 days once or twice a year. The benefits are waiting for you to explore fasting.
Sources: https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Fasting https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fasting-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR_9 https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/intermittent-fasting-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-work & https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/health-benefits-of-fasting.html
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