10 health benefits of fasting

The 2009 article on health benefits of fasting, continues to be one of the most popular posts on this blog with almost 5,000 views. And most of these come through Google search, suggesting there’s a lot of interest in the subject. Here is a slightly edited version:

Fasting is the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. Almost every expert in medicine, heath and nutrition has written something about the benefits of fasting. Here’s a summary:

  • Fasting promotes detoxification. As the body breaks down its fat reserves, it mobilizes and eliminates stored toxins.
  • Fasting gives the digestive system a much-needed rest. After fasting, both digestion and elimination are invigorated.
  • Fasting promotes the resolution of inflammatory processes, such as in rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Fasting quiets allergic reactions, including asthma and hay fever.
  • Fasting promotes the drying up of abnormal fluid accumulations, such as edema in the ankles and legs, and swelling in the abdomen.
  • Fasting corrects high blood pressure without drugs. Fasting will normalize blood pressure in the vast majority of cases.
  • Fasting makes it easy to overcome bad habits and addictions. Fasting rapidly dissipates the craving for nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and other drugs.
  • Fasting clears the skin and whitens the eyes. It is common to see skin eruptions clear while fasting, and the whites of the eyes never look so bright as they do after fasting.
  • Fasting restores taste appreciation for wholesome natural foods. People say that their taste buds come alive after fasting and that food never tasted so good.
  • Fasting initiates rapid weight loss with little or no hunger. Most people are surprised at how little desire for food they have while fasting.

Besides the above health benefits, fasting is also an excellent training in self discipline and will power. Successful fasting for a period of time can provide motivation to carry on a healthy diet. Will you try it?

[Millions of Muslims around the world are starting their fasting month, called Ramadhan. We would abstain from all food and drinks from dawn to dusk every day for thirty days! Many break their fast with dates.]