By Amanda Froelich,
Regardless of one’s personal views on the act of fasting for planetary change, there are other benefits which could come from a day of peaceful protest.
If one seeks positive change either bodily or as a collective group, fasting may be for you. An ancient form of cleansing the body and connecting with the divine, you may just experience more than the following benefits:
1. Promotes Detoxification
The act of abstaining from processed foods filled with additives, refined sugars, and acidic-forming, hard-to-digest animal proteins even for a short period of time allows the body to begin cleansing the debris built up in the lymphatic and digestive system. Because most toxins are stored in fat, and the body uses fat for energy during fasting – specifically prolonged periods of time, fasting can be very beneficial for cleansing and healing.
2. Rests Digestive System
During a fast, the digestive organs rest. The normal physiological functions continue, but at a reduced rate. Because the digestive process is constantly bombarded by food to break down, an opportunity to rest reduces the energy expenditure sent to those organs, and instead can go to areas of the body that need more attention and healing. By abstaining from acidic food options, the production of stomach acid also reduces, hence why many experience relief from ulcers during their fasting period.
3. Resolves Inflammatory Response
Some studies show that fasting promotes resolution from inflammatory diseases and allergies. Such illnesses provided relief include rheumatoid arthritis and skin issues. Again, the main, yet very unknown factor being that inflammatory producing foods have stopped being consumed, therefore the body can heal itself.
4. Reduces Blood Sugar
Fasting increases breakdown of glucose so that the body can get energy, which in effect reduces production of insulin and rests the pancreas. Glucagon is produced to facilitate the breakdown of glucose, therefore the outcome of fasting is a reduction in blood sugar.
5. Increases Fat Breakdown
The first response of the body to fasting is the break down of glucose. When the store of glucose is depleted, ketosis then begins; this is break down of fats to release energy. Therefore, by fasting fats stored in kidney and muscles are broken down to release energy. It is important to note if one chooses to engage in a long-term fast, the body can resort to burning muscle as fuel once fat stores are depleted. **All fasts for those concerned about their health should be undertaken with the guidance of a counselor or doctor.**
6. Promotes a Healthy Diet
It has been observed that fasting reduces craving for processed foods and promotes a desire for natural, water-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. A healthy lifestyle is imperative to maintain optimum nourishment and health, therefore fasting is one way of jump starting detoxification and adopting a healthier diet.
7. Promotes Weight Loss
Because fasting reduces the fat stores of the body, it can produce fast weight loss. However, this is not a good weight-loss strategy as it’s not sustainable or healthy. Reducing refined fat and sugar intake while increasing fresh plant food consumption is a much better approach to achieving a desired weight for the long-term.
8. Boosts Immunity
When an individual is on a balanced diet in between fasts, this can boost immunity. Elimination of toxins and reduction in fat store also helps the body. When intelligently breaking a fast with fruit, one can increase the body’s store of essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin A and E which are great antioxidants readily available in fresh produce. A wide range of phyto-nutrients help to boost immunity.
9. Helps Overcome Addictions
According to many sources fasting makes it easier to kick the habit, whether with nicotine or sugary food consumption. With any addiction, once your body starts to detoxify the substance, you crave it and experience dramatic detox symptoms until stores are replenished. Abstaining from triggers while fasting allows the body to detoxify the acids and toxins from the blood stream and cells, therefore having beneficial effect in reducing cravings for good.
Highly mineralizing and alkalizing green leafy vegetables have been shown to be exceptionally beneficial for reducing cravings as part of a healthy diet, or implemented once one breaks their fast.
10. Corrects High Blood Pressure
Aside from adopting a healthier diet, fasting is one of the non-drug methods of reducing blood pressure. It helps to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, clogging of arteries by fat particles (associated with eating a highly refined, high animal-protein diet with inflammatory promoting chemicals and additives).
During fasting, glucose and later, fat stores, are used to produce energy. Metabolic rate is reduced during fasting and the fear-flight hormones such as adrenaline and noradernaline are also reduced. These all work together to keep the metabolic steady and within limits, the effect a reduction in blood pressure.
From this aspect it seems clear that fasting can do a body good if embarked with proper guidance and common sense. Historically the abstinence from all substances consumed for a short period of time has been done to cleanse and gain closer divinity with God; spiritual psychologists would suggest there’s common ground between both. What holistic practitioners realize is that every physical illness is linked with an emotional instability; an example is contracting heart disease and being unable to forgive another, therefore suffering heartache.
Louise Hay in her book “You Can Heal Your Life” is very quick to point out any illness can be and is linked to an emotional suppression in the cells. Because emotions create chemical reactions in the body, it is not an outrageous proposal. With this understanding, by detoxifying the body through fasting, one is uncovering their suppressed chemical emotions and relieving their physical temple of toxins. This can cause the arousal of hidden thoughts and buried hurts, so in a completely metaphysical way, the art of fasting is more than just the cleansing of the physical body.
You can gain better insight and a more purified understanding of your self and the world by choosing to abstain from earthly satisfaction for a day or more. With heightened understanding, it can be easier to gain a proper relationship with food, your cravings, and others on this planet.
With the pope’s proposal for an act of peace, perhaps now it’s easier to understand how even though one’s beliefs may not be in exact alignment with another, good can come out of working towards harmony (bodily and without) in all aspects.
Overall, whether for religious/spiritual reasons or for personal health, a variety of benefits could come out of skipping your meals for one day.
Chemical Reactions from Emotions