Our bodies are now used to being fed on a regular basis. However, this has not always been the case. Thousands of years ago, hunter-gatherers often experienced periods of deprivation when they could not find food. The human body has therefore adapted, and has developed an ability to store the food essential for its survival. Fasting is thus in a way inscribed in our genes.
Our digestive organs are in great demand on a daily basis. They are often abused by an unbalanced or overly rich diet. Our instestinal flora is also in constant contact with the toxic substances that we ingest with ourdiet. As a result, our body tends to get heavier and cluncrous, so it’s healthy to give it a little bit of a rest.
Putting your digestive system to rest saves some of the energy that would have been used to function. Fasting will allow the liver and stomach to regenerate, and the intestinal flora to rebalance. The digestive system will also be able to eliminate toxins that accumulate on a daily basis.
In order to help our body in this “cleansing”, it is essential to drink well to help the disposal of waste, as it will require a lot of work of the kidneys and liver. The elimination of toxins can result in a renewed vitality and lucidity, and an improvement in the quality of the skin which then secretes less sebum. After 2 or 3 days of fasting, a feeling of serenity also appears.
Researchers have demonstrated the virtues of fasting on many chronic diseases: hypertension, asthma, skin allergies, digestive disorders, diabetes and obesity. It has also been proven recently that fasting allows blood stem cells to renew themselves, and thus the immune system to regenerate.
At the cerebral level, fasting seems to protect neurons from degenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and even aging in general. Fasting also helps to adapt better to stress.
There are different types of intermittent fasting, during which water, infusions, tea and possibly coffee are allowed, although it is recommended to do without it.
Fasting 16 hours a day
The principle is quite simple, and we have all done it without knowing it: it is to fast 16 hours a day, including the duration of sleep. You can skip dinner or breakfast, then resume a normal diet for the next 8 hours. Researcher Mark Mattson has shown that skipping breakfast every day would put daily stress on the brain and stimulate the production of proteins responsible for the growth and survival of developing neurons. He thus questions the program of the 3 daily meals to which we are accustomed, and the idea that breakfast would be the most important meal of the day.
The 24-hour fast
Once breakfast is over, you have to wait until the next day to resume a new breakfast. This type of fasting is practiced by some people once a week, but can also be practiced occasionally in order to put the digestive system to rest.
Fasting 1 day out of 2
According to several studies, fasting is the most effective method for longevity. Some results observed in mice show an increase in lifespan of 20. However, its long-term application is not easy and requires strict food hygiene. An alternative solution is to limit caloric intake to 500 kcal per day on fasting days, rather than fasting completely.
Therapeutic fasting from 1 to 3 weeks
This faster fast ingegs over a longer period of time must be achieved with the guidance and control of professionals. It is usually done for therapeutic reasons, especially in the context of cancer treatment or chronic inflammatory conditions. Internships also offer fasts of a certain duration for all, but it is necessary to learn about the professionals in management and to take into account all the necessary precautions.
Fasting when you want /when you can
It is the most intuitive fast, which consists of listening to one’s body, and fasting according to sensations. Contrary to popular belief, it is not important to skip a meal when our body does not feel the need.
Yuka and Anthony Berthou Sante and Nutrition (full article 30 minutes of reading)