Water fasting: The health benefits plus a WARNING for certain people with disease
(NaturalHealth365) There are some bold claims on water fasting out there. Cancer prevention, impenetrable immunity, and a fat-busting miracle are just some of the claims. Yet, some people suggest it’s just a “fad.” Surely it can’t be healthy to starve yourself of solid foods for days on end … right?
Well, we already know that our current sick care system has some questionable claims on what’s best for us and what’s not, so what does the latest research really say? You might have heard that fasting cures cancer.
How much truth is there to the varied statements out there? Let’s take a closer look.
Myth or fact: Does water fasting really prevent cancer?
Cancer is a phenomenon of which we’re only just scratching the surface. Seemingly “healthy” people aren’t immune to it. Many turn to alternative methods to prevent and, in some cases, cure their aggressive cancers.
In 2016, Yoshinori Ohsumi was awarded a prestigious Nobel prize for his research in understanding autophagy. Autophagy is a process within the immune system where our cells break down toxic cells to cleanse our body.
What did he discover? That intermittent fasting is the most effective way to induce autophagy.
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Yes, that’s right, it’s not just possible, but probable that fasting breaks down cancerous cells.
After 16 hours, this process begins; however, maximum benefits are around the 48-72 hour mark. This is different for everyone, of course.
The most effective way to gain the benefits of this is with 72-hour water fast. Now, water fasting isn’t for everyone. People with chronic diseases, children, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid fasting.
And, as always, be sure to talk to an integrative medical professional when making significant changes to your diet or lifestyle.
Other proven benefits of fasting
There are many other reasons that people turn to water fasting. It’s a staple in almost all religious and spiritual traditions that bring one closer to God or Spirit.
It’s also known to speed up fat loss, and it’s a powerful way to detox your body. Aside from autophagy, water fasting helps facilitate the cleaning of the lymphatic system.
By skipping meals, you will lose fat as well as lower insulin levels. The body readily uses insulin through carbohydrate intake. But if we prevent higher insulin levels long enough, fat cells will be forced to release their energy stores.
Keep in mind, if you have diabetes, it’s generally not a good idea to water fast.
Fasting also increases HGH (human growth hormone), which helps you build muscle and, in turn, lose fat. More muscle means a higher metabolism and more energy.
Another surprising benefit of water fasting is a change in gene expression. Fasting is proven to alter genes positively to protect against chronic disease and increase longevity.
How can you get started?
There are many popular ways to get started with intermittent fasting. As mentioned early, water fasting for 72 hours is the best possible way to boost your immune system. But that’s not always possible or safe for everyone.
For those who are unable fast for extended periods, just 12 hours of fasting can induce autophagy.
The most popular way to gain cancer prevention fasting benefits is through the “8:16 rule.” That’s where you eat for only 8 hours of the day and drink lots of water in the remaining 16 hours. You can pick any 8 hours to eat; many people skip breakfast and eat from 11 am – 7 pm each day.
Another way to ease yourself into water fasting is by trying a 24 hour fast. You can go from dinner to dinner the next day or breakfast to breakfast the next day. The best way to do this is to observe the hours of the day that you are the least hungry and work around those times. From there, you’ll be able to work to a 48 hour fast, then 72 hours.
There are many conditions, such as diabetes, that shouldn’t try fasting. But if you’re in good health looking to boost your energy, reduce fat, and stay healthy as you age, water fasting is an excellent method to weave into your routine.
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