Fasting is the willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. Although sometimes viewed as unhealthy, depriving, or reserved for religious reasons, short-term fasting can offer excellent health benefits.
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As research grows in this area of health, fasting is becoming more widely accepted as a legitimate means of managing weight and preventing disease. At the same time, it is important that fasting is done in proper and healthy ways.
Although fasting can be challenging and sometimes uncomfortable, the mental and physical benefits can:
- Boost cognitive performance
- Protect from obesity and associated chronic diseases
- Reduce inflammation
- Improve overall fitness
- Support weight loss
- Decrease the risk of metabolic diseases
- Benefit cancer patients — A recent study with mice and cancer showed that fasting during chemotherapy jump-starts the immune system and exposes the cancer cells. Ridding the body of old, toxic cells and replacing them with new, healthy ones may be just the answer. Traditionally, cancer patients have been told to increase nutrients and caloric intake while undergoing chemotherapy treatments but this approach might now be under review.
If you are interested in trying fasting, please consult your doctor.
Source: Boulder Medical Center