Fasting is having a big moment in the wellness world. Whether it's referred to as time-restricted eating, intermittent fasting, a fasting-mimicking diet or just plain old fasting, people are experiencing major health results without the old food diaries and calorie-counting.
Beyond weight loss, fasting has been shown to be an amazing tool for reversing insulin resistance, lowering systemic inflammation, and - most importantly - changing people's relationship with food.
Experienced fasters often remark on how they have a newfound body awareness where they can differentiate true hunger from passing boredom and then make dietary choices that are more conscious and less emotional when not fasting.
Bigger changes occur with longer fasts. Dr Valter Longo is a pioneer in the field of fasting research. His experiments involving animal models have shown that the fasting body will preferentially destroy dysfunctional cells.
In his book The Longevity Diet, Dr Longo states: "By causing many damaged and old cells in different systems to die or reset, [Fasting Mimicking Diet] flushes out bad cells and spurs regeneration inside the cell (autophagy) as well as new cell production through stem cell activation. This leads to regeneration and rejuvenation.”
This is big news for people suffering from a variety of autoimmune disorders. In these disorders, the body's own immune system has confused its host cells for foreign invaders, resulting in a chronic civil war of inflammation, pain and fatigue.
In an animal study featuring mice with multiple sclerosis (MS), refeeding after a three day fast led to a reduction in proinflammatory cytokines, suppressed autoimmunity by lymphocyte apoptosis, and regeneration of oligodendrocytes - which is a pretty big deal!
There are many more benefits of long term fasting (3-5 days) that Dr Longo describes in his book. I highly recommend it!
If you're interested in any form of fasting, stay tuned to my blog for additional posts on the subject. Additionally if you have any questions regarding your metabolic and digestive health, send me a message and I'd be happy to help!