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FASTING - Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science (Part 1/2)

Anne vd Giessen: Blessed by the advancement of modern science, we’re now able to measure and quantify the benefits associated with fasting.

By: Anne van der Giessen

Clinical Hypnotherapist

Holistic Health Coach


When something has endured the test of time, we know that it works. All ancient forms of medicine and most religious practices include some form of fasting. These practices were either aimed at improving health, curing disease or as an act of faith. Blessed by the advancement of modern science, we’re now able to measure and quantify the benefits associated with fasting. We no longer need to go back and attempt to translate the old texts into a modern vernacular that we 21st century humans can understand – it’s there in the science, which is growing every day.


When something has endured the test of time, we know that it works.

There is so much information out there in the health and well-being realm in relation to fasting. Every self-proclaimed bio-hacker, natural health lifestyle enthusiast, performance optimiser, influencer or body transformation mogul will tell you that their way is the best. And maybe they even have a product to help you with that. They all likely have benefits, but understanding a little more about fasting and how to right-size your approach for your own biology is key.


FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

Fasting, or intermittent fasting, boasts so many health benefits:


  • Weight loss

  • Regulation of blood sugar and metabolism

  • Overall detoxification

  • Enhanced mental focus

  • Up-regulation of immune system function

The main reason that fasting is so good for us is that it nurtures our body’s own innate ability to heal, which can slow ageing and results in greater likelihood of disease prevention.


By leaving a sufficient period of time between caloric intake events, we give our body the chance to enter into an autophagy-based state. Autophagy is the process whereby the body cleans up waste products excreted from cells, or resulting from the break-down of dead cells, such as proteins. This makes way for the building of newer, healthier cells and rids the body of these problematic substances.


The main reason that fasting is so good for us is that it nurtures our body’s own innate ability to heal.

Being in this state requires that energy otherwise used in digestion is available to be

directed to these repair and rejuvenation processes within the body. If we are constantly

digesting food or other sources of calories, this consumes a lot of energy. One of the known

signals for autophagy within the body is blood sugar. Keeping our blood sugar levels stable

during fasted periods and between meals is therefore increasingly important.


Based on this high-level introduction, fasting sure sounds like a no-brainer, right? Maybe even the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth. There’s not much of a downside… it would seem. Well, not much, but you do need to know how to fast in the right way!



ANNE VAN DER GIESSEN






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