So following from my last blog post “Healing your Autoimmune System” …. can you guess what will reset you immune system, jump start your healing process, down regulate inflammation and allow you to “heal & seal” the gut lining!??
If you guessed FASTING! Then you are right! However unfortunately, 3 days might not be enough for most people; I am talking more like 21 days! But hold on, don’t leave just yet! We can still aid in the healing process by doing as little as 3-5 days! And yes I am talking ONLY DRINKING WATER for 3 days!!
Okay so if fasting is a new concept for you and you never did it before then maybe you want to start with intermittent fasting and check out the benefits which I discussed before in my blog (links below) before taking part in 3 days fast:
- Breakfast. Is it really the most important meal?
- Tips to fast effortlessly & never get hungry
- Benefits of intermittent Fasting
Fasting has so many benefits and it has become so popular the past few years especially in the health and fitness industry, mainly for its weight loss benefits! But fasting, if done correctly is more than just losing weight.
& if you do decide to do prolonged water fast for the sake of losing weight, then let me stop you there! It will be a waste of your time. I tried it & failed badly! You are going to gain the weight back & more if you are not disciplined once you break your fast, plus most of the weight loss is water weight.
Use fasting for the sake of your health and not to starve yourself for the sake of losing weight 🙂
Fasting is much deeper than that and can be a life changing experience, where you learn the difference between true and false hunger, become more aware of your emotions, and experience emotional healing by allowing repressed emotions to finally come up to the surface.
The longest fast I did was 8 days – just water & it was AMAZING! Its was definitely hard but with the right intentions & mindset, was so worth it 🙂
P.S I build up my way to 8 days by the way, I did it gradually and it took me 2-3months. Starting with 3 and 5 days then aiming for 21days! Haha I would love to do a 21 day fast one day – I know it sounds crazy but I am just fascinated by it! Check out Tangle Woods centre here, a fasting retreat that has helped 1000s of people heal and cure range of diseases including tumors & cancer
Is fasting good for leaky gut, inflammation & autoimmune disease?
“There is truly no faster way to down regulate inflammation and jump start healing than fasting. Fasting works wonders for many health conditions, but is especially restorative for a leaky gut because it provides a break from digesting food, allowing time to “heal and seal” the lining.”
So How exactly does fasting aid in resetting our immune system & heal a leaky gut?
Well, the simple and short answer is that fasting is not exactly what heals you! It’s your own body that does that. Fasting just allows your digestive system to get a break from constantly digesting food (which takes between 4-24hrs) and finally be able to work on other functions like repair and damage. There is a reason why when most of us and all animals get ill we don’t feel like eating, that’s because internally our bodies needs the energy to heal itself and not digest food.
So why prolonged fasting (24hrs+ fast) & not just stick with intermittent fasting?
What are the benefits?
Here are reasons why prolonged fasting is AMAZING! Even if you are in good health – fasting is very beneficial & here is why:
- Autophagy – Fasting promotes autophagy, the cellular self-cleansing process that breaks down and recycles damaged molecules and cellular organelles. A study looking at liver cells found that the number of autophagosomes increased 300% after 24 hours of fasting, and a further 30% around 48 hours of fasting – began to decline after 48 hours (3)
- Immune Health – Fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged, old immune system. A study found that prolonged fasting (2-3 days) can reset and regenerate the immune system which resulted in the depletion of white blood cells and triggered stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells. White blood cells get broken down during fasting, which in turn forces the stem cells in your body to produce more & as a result you have new white blood cells, but healthier and much more effective than the old ones. (4)
Another interesting study, took cancer patients who were undergoing chemotherapy and had them fast for 1, 2 or 3 days prior to chemotherapy. Those who fasted for 3 days, but not those who fasted for 1 day, experienced fewer harmful side effects, such as immunosuppression. AMAZING!!!
- Digestive Health – Fasting acts as a “digestive reset” by giving the digestive tract time to rest from breaking down and absorbing food and helps it strengthen its mucosal lining. About 65% of the body’s energy must be directed to the digestive organs after a meal. This reduces intestinal inflammation and improves motility leads to better nutrient absorption and improved bowel movement.
- Brain – Fasting reduces synaptic activity (synapses allow chemical signals to be passed between neurons). The brain’s way of conserving energy and giving itself a little reboot. Reducing synaptic activity helps limit the unwanted oxidative damage in the nervous system. Overactive synaptic activity linked with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease (10).
Want more convincing & studies to make you consider doing a prolonged fast??
Other benefits also include: Arthritis benefits, asthma improvement & helps with hypertension. Longer fasting periods have shown impressive results for those with rheumatoid arthritis. Best results are with a fasting periods of 1-3 weeks followed by a vegetarian diet.
Humans can survive 30 or more days fasting. It is natural for humans to have high energy when hungry and lower energy when satiated – likely because we would have needed our brains functioning well to come up with new sources of food.
Don’t fear fasting, it’s a natural process that we have forgotten. The pain and aches that you will experience during your fast are NORMAL & are detoxying symptoms, however use your intuition and don’t ignore your body’s signals if you need to stop your fast. However, I do ask that you trust that your body is able to heal itself.
Depending on your current condition please do talk to your doctor if you feel like you need assistant and do your research, there is so much information out there. 🙂
Please do let me know what you think of this post, comment, share your experience if you have tried fasting before & let me know what you would like me to post about next? Shall I talk about my 8 day water fasting experience or shall we discuss GRAINS & why they might be causing you harm?!
If you like this post follow my blog to get notified when I will post next. Hope you all have a beautiful day 🙂
1) Short-term fasting induces profound neuronal autophagy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti…
2) The Profound Benefits of Fasting (and Autophagy) | Synchro. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://besynchro.com/blogs/blog/the-…
3) Short-term fasting induces profound neuronal autophagy: Autophagy: Vol 6, No 6. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/1…
4) Fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged, old immune system | USC News. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://news.usc.edu/63669/fasting-tri…
5) The ketone metabolite β-hydroxybutyrate blocks NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated inflammatory disease. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2…
6) Can Fasting Fight the Flu or Common Cold? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/…
7) Fasting enhances growth hormone secretion and amplifies the complex rhythms of growth hormone secretion in man. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti…
8) Augmented growth hormone (GH) secretory burst frequency and amplitude mediate enhanced GH secretion during a two-day fast in normal men. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1…