In our continuous quest for health and vitality, the benefits of fasting have re-emerged as a pivotal component of wellness and self-care.
This ancient practice, once rooted in spiritual and cultural traditions, has transcended time to become a modern health trend with a plethora of scientific backing.
While many embark on fasting for weight loss or spiritual reasons, the spectrum of advantages extends far beyond these realms.
In this comprehensive exploration, I uncover seven surprising benefits of fasting, revealing how this time-honored practice can revitalize both your body and mind.
Table of Contents
7 Surprising Benefits of Fasting
- Enhanced Cognitive Function: Contrary to the common misconception that fasting might fog your brain due to decreased nutrient intake, research suggests quite the opposite. Fasting can improve brain function by enhancing neuroplasticity and promoting the growth of new neurons. This process is facilitated by the increased production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) during fasting. BDNF plays a crucial role in this. It improves learning, memory, and the generation of new brain cells, potentially warding off neurodegenerative diseases. This is not new! The great Mathematician Pythagoras fasted before his exams. Locally, while I was in college, I would fast before my exams too because I read it someplace that it would make me cognitively sharper.
- Boosted Metabolic Health: Intermittent fasting, a popular form of fasting, can lead to improved metabolic health by regulating blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation, and improving insulin sensitivity. These changes are pivotal in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. By giving your digestive system a break, fasting can help in rebalancing your body’s natural hunger hormones, leptin, and ghrelin, thereby improving your relationship with food and aiding in weight management.
- Detoxification & Cellular Repair: Fasting initiates a cellular waste removal process known as autophagy. This process involves the breakdown and removal of dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells over time. Enhanced autophagy is linked to reduced inflammation and a lower risk of various diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. By promoting cellular repair and regeneration, fasting not only detoxifies your body but also slows down the aging process, contributing to longevity.
- Improved Cardiovascular Health: Fasting has been shown to have a positive impact on heart health by improving various risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. These include lowering blood pressure, reducing bad cholesterol levels (LDL), decreasing blood triglycerides, and improving overall cholesterol profiles. By safeguarding your heart through these mechanisms, fasting can play a significant role in maintaining a healthy and robust cardiovascular system.
- Enhanced Physical Performance and Endurance: Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are increasingly turning to fasting as a way to enhance physical performance and endurance. Fasting triggers the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline, hormones that not only increase energy but also improve physical performance. Moreover, during fasting, the body shifts from using glucose as its primary source of energy to utilizing fat, a more efficient and long-lasting fuel. This metabolic switch not only aids in fat loss but also enhances endurance and stamina.
- Promotion of Healthy Aging and Longevity: Fasting can influence longevity by promoting healthier aging. Studies in animals have shown that calorie restriction, including forms of fasting, can extend lifespan. This is thought to be due to the reduction in oxidative stress and increased resistance to cellular stress when fasting. By protecting cells and DNA from damage, fasting not only contributes to longer life but also ensures that those extra years are healthier and more vibrant.
- Mental and Emotional Balance: Beyond the physical benefits, fasting can also be a profound emotional and mental cleanse. Many people report feeling more mentally clear and emotionally balanced during and after fasting periods. This mental clarity is often attributed to the reduction of inflammation in the brain, leading to improved mood and cognition. Additionally, the discipline and self-control required to complete a fast can foster a sense of accomplishment and resilience, boosting overall mental well-being.
These benefits of fasting are not only backed by Science but supported by the highest authority, the true Word of God.
- Weight Loss
- Heart Health
- Cancer Prevention
- Improve Sleep
- Decrease your risk for diabetes
To Benefit From Fasting Do This!
Up until now, you would have assumed that I’m discussing fasting in general. However, I’m not! In order to enjoy all the benefits of fasting listed above you must pursue Christian or Biblical fasting.
Therefore, from this point onwards, when I speak of fasting I’m talking about total abstinence fasting.
This means no eating or drinking of any kind! No food; no drink!
This type of fasting is the only one that the Holy Bible discusses. Additionally, to achieve weight loss (to any significant degree) or even cancer prevention we must punish our bodies!
This we cannot achieve if while we are fasting we break it by eating or drinking, then resume fasting.
Was Jesus Short & Fat?
Students of The Word, don’t be distracted by questionable info that claims that Jesus Christ was a short and fat man.
The Holy Bible tells us otherwise!
Therefore, irrespective of what new research they want to come up with which revealed that Jesus Christ was a short fat man, don’t believe it!
I know he was not fat and short. Listen as King David, speaking about Jesus Christ, described him in the following Scriptures.
“I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.”Psalm 22:17
From this reference, I deduced that Jesus was thin or meager. From much fasting, he could look at himself and see “all” his “bones”.
That certainly, is not the picture of a short fat man. Is it?
Here is a great Bible Study Tip: never utilize one Scripture to teach any doctrine. We need at least two but three is King!
As a result, the other Scripture verse that supports the one above is:
“My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.”Psalm 109:24
Once again, King David speaking concerning Jesus Christ explained that he was not a fat man because he had little or not much “flesh”.
This means that he was a thin man because of much fasting! He was not fat.
Christians Don’t Fast To Lose Weight!
One of the noticeable benefits of fasting is weight loss. However, Christians never fast to lose weight. Weight loss just happens to be one of the natural benefits we enjoy from our pursuit of spiritual goals.
All my life, even as an adult, I have been tall (6 feet) and thin. I think the main reason for that is, that I have fasted regularly over the years and continue to fast!
Abstinence fasting helps me to remain slim and trim. I never watch what I eat and I eat any time of the day or night and I eat and drink like a farmer’s horse.
This is not new! The great Mathematician Pitagarous fasted before his exams. While I was in college, I would fast before my exams too because I read it someplace that it makes me cognitively sharper.
What Happens When We Constantly Eat?
According to News In Health, (NIH), fasting is abstaining from eating. But this is how the World sees fasting. Believers in Jesus Christ, on the other hand, have a different perspective on this!
We see fasting as the Lord and His Word, The Holy Bible, see it. Total abstinence from not only eating but drinking also.
According to NIH,
“Studies suggest that this constant food intake may lead to health problems. Researchers have started looking at whether fasting can have potential benefits for some people.”NIH
Now, I don’t need any studies to indicate that to me. Our systems need rest. So, if we constantly eat and drink, like most Americans do, then, they will end up sick.
Thus, without any doubt, the benefits of fasting are obvious in such a situation. Nevertheless, even people who have control over their will should fast.
Scientist Don’t Know Much About The Benefits of Fasting Because…
Today, scientists don’t know a whole lot about what happens to our bodies as we fast. Their focus is in the wrong place.
They are doing research “in cells” and on animals in the labs, mainly mice. Additionally, they need to understand fasting correctly.
There are no fasting diets! It’s a mutually exclusive event for we are either fasting or eating and drinking, but not doing both simultaneously.
It’s not only about what happens to our bodies when we don’t eat, for an extended time, but what happens when we totally abstain from both food and drink.
It’s one or the other! Not until they comprehend fasting as such, they will never unlock what happens to our bodies as we fast!
Therefore, they need to study what happens to Believers, (people, not animals), as we fast.
7 Spiritual Benefits of Fasting
There are many spiritual benefits of fasting in the Bible. However, most of them, you will not know unless you have fasted and or continue to fast regularly.
However, I have listed seven of the major ones below:
- Christian fasting generates supreme control over your will (soul) Psalm 35:13.
- Fasting Increases a Believer’s faith in God! Matthew 17:21; Mark 9:29.
- It prevents us from yielding to temptations, 1 Corinthians 7:5.
- Fasting assists us to become more patient people.
- We become “dead to sin” through fasting and prayer, Romans 6:2.
- We can extricate ourselves by fasting from any “yoke” or “bondage” that’s holding us down! Isaiah 58:6.
- Much fasting makes it easy for us to repent!
- Christian fasting softens our spirit which makes it easier for us to forgive!
There are more benefits of Christian fasting that I will add to this Bible Study at a later time!
In conclusion, the benefits of fasting extend well beyond simple weight loss.
From enhancing brain function and metabolic health to promoting longevity and emotional well-being, fasting can be a powerful tool in your wellness arsenal.
As with any health regimen, it’s crucial to approach fasting in a way that is mindful, informed, and aligned with your individual health needs.
Consulting with healthcare professionals, considering your personal health history, and starting slowly can help ensure that your fasting journey contributes positively to your overall health and vitality.
In closing, remember, fasting is not just a practice but a journey. It’s one toward understanding and harmonizing with your body’s innate needs and rhythms.
Therefore, I must encourage you to embrace it with curiosity and care, for, you may find yourself on a transformative path to revitalize both your body and mind.