Fasting is willingly abstaining oneself from eating or drinking anything, or both, for a limited period of time.
It has been practiced in innumerable cultures throughout antiquity.
So, Is it good for you?
Let us see:
Sometime ago, a Japanese cell biologist, called Yoshinori Ohsumi found out the mechanisms of something called autophagy in our body. Autophagy basically, is one of the processes in our body which enables cells to rearrange and recycle its components, and also to discard non-functional ones.
Autophagy is a Greek derivative of the words “auto” meaning “self”, and “phagein” meaning “to eat”. Therefore, Autophagy can literally mean the ability of the body to eat itself.
This ability allows the body to free itself from low-functioning or potentially toxic components. The body usually eats up the weak cells, that might run the risk of becoming cancerous or toxic. Also, overactive autophagic genes might cause harm to the body.
Because then, they might cause the body to eat up the functioning cells too. But normally, these genes evolved, to eat up the weak and low-priority cells and fats in case of droughts and/or famines.
For his findings, Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine in the year, 2016. This should tell us how important these findings were.
In today’s world, it’s a fact that more people die of obesity, than of famines and droughts. This shows that a lot of people do not use the autophagic ability of their bodies to their own advantage.
Therefore, comes in the need for fasting. To observe a fast essentially means to recreate a situation of famine for oneself, for a limited period of time of course. In other words, fasting tricks the mind into thinking that the body now needs to eat up its cellular reserves to fulfil its nutritional needs. This is entailed by several benefits:
The body is ridden of extra fat cells, lowering cholesterol levels in the process
Immunity is improved.
Detoxification of body takes place.
Risk of growth of cancerous cells reduced.
Metabolism is improved.
Improvement in Brain function.
Insulin secretion is regulated, lowering risk of diabetes
Overall improvement in health
Gives long life to practitioner.
Therefore, fasting is definitely good for you, provided it is done intermittently and for, at the maximum of 2-3 days at a time. The practice is also a good exercise of will power. Something that helps in the other spheres of life as well.
But, if one becomes overly obsessed by the benefits, fasting renders him with, it becomes a curse. Too much fasting gives rise to too much autophagy, meaning loss of essential fatty cells, vitamins and minerals. This causes weakening of immunity and increased susceptibility to diseases.
Have a great day!!