The human body is designed with the capacity to fast. Although fasting is safe as well as effective, it is advisable to be under medical supervision when on any extended fast.
"Man lives on one quarter of what he eats. On the other three quarters lives his doctor."
- Inscription on Egyptian pyramid, 3800 BC.
Fasting is very different to malnutrition. A poor quality diet consumed for a month results in a lowered state of health. Fasting, on the other hand, gives the body the opportunity to cleanse and heal itself. When free from the responsibilities of digestion, the capacity for self-restoration is enhanced.
Sometimes when people try to make major dietary changes without the benefit of fasting they become frustrated. Beneficial changes that can take months or years with careful eating happen quickly if a fast is utilized. Once a person begins to realize the health potential and can see the results, he or she is more likely to become committed to a lifetime of healthful living.
Nature tells us to fast. When we have no appetite during an acute illness, fasting is nature's way to accelerate recovery. Feeding the sick individual when his digestive powers are diminished only serves to further complicate the illness.
Conditions responding to fasting include: Headaches, hypoglycemia, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, acne and eczema, tinnitus, vertigo, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, cervical dysplasia, chronic neck and back pain, polymyalgia rheumatica, and many others.
Physicians who have used this approach have recorded improvement or recovery from conditions of every description that patients had been needlessly suffering with for years. Besides the diseases already mentioned, one should assume that in the vast majority of chronic medical conditions this approach may give the disease sufferer the best chance to achieve a complete recovery and avoid a lifetime of suffering or medical treatments.
The withdrawal symptoms of addiction to such drugs as alcohol, cocaine, nicotine and caffeine are resolved quickly while fasting. Most people are amazed at how easy it is to quit smoking while fasting. Those who have fasted begin to respect their body in a new way that enables them to take better care of themselves in the future.
When non-human animals feel sick, they do not eat. Listen to your body when you are sick and have no appetite. Fast for a few days, then proceed to a light diet of fruit and salad vegetables for a few days and you will quickly recover your health.
Conditions for which fasting is not recommended include extreme weakness or debilitation, severe anemia, nutritional deficiencies, porphyria, evidence of weakened kidney or liver function, and pregnancy. Malnourished patients with cancer or AIDS should not fast. Medications should be tapered and discontinued prior to fasting whenever possible.
A very useful book is Fasting and Eating for Health, A Medical Doctor's Program For Conquering Disease. by Joel Fuhrman, MD. 1995.
Fasting makes it easier to overcome bad habits and addictions. Many people have overcome tobacco and alcohol cravings, and even drug addictions, by fasting.
Most people are amazed at how easy it is to quit smoking while fasting. Fasting makes it easier to overcome a tobacco addiction by reducing the craving for nicotine.
Fasting makes it easier to overcome bad habits and addictions. Many people have overcome tobacco and alcohol addictions, and even drug addictions, by fasting. Fasting rapidly dissipates the craving for alcohol.
Fasting makes it easier to overcome bad habits and addictions. Many people have overcome tobacco and alcohol addictions, and even drug addictions, by fasting. Fasting rapidly dissipates the craving for drugs.
According to research at the University of Southern California published in June, 2014, prolonged fasting reduces levels of the enzyme PKA, which is linked to aging.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. has spent much of his professional life treating disease by fasting his patients. He has an entire chapter in his book, Fasting and Eating for Health, dedicated to the subject of autoimmune disease. He is convinced that fasting with subsequent dietary changes is a much superior approach to autoimmune disease than conventional treatments.
Increased fibrinolysis during fasting may account for the dramatic improvement seen when patients suffering from thrombophlebitis fast.
Fasting is a way to correct high blood pressure without drugs. Fasting will normalize blood pressure in the vast majority of cases; the blood pressure will remain low after the fast if a person follows a health-supporting diet and lifestyle.
Fasting should not be used when there is malnutrition.
Fasting gives the digestive system a much-needed rest. After fasting, both digestion and elimination are invigorated.
Fasting is an important element of treatment if a sustained remission is to be expected.
Short fasts can be beneficial, giving the entire organism an opportunity to restore its cellular and immunogenic integrity.
Fasting should be avoided during pregnancy.
Research at the University of Southern California published in June, 2014 suggests that a person's entire immune system can be rejuvenated by fasting for as little as three days. Fasting appears to trigger the production of new white blood cells, which fight off infection. Fasting not only forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat, but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells – many of which may be damaged or old. This in turn "flips a regenerative switch" that prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells.
It is generally best not to eat for at least a day when sick with a cold or flu. Not eating will help your immune system to concentrate on the battle taking place. Fasting is more likely to make a difference with the flu than with a simple cold.
Fasting promotes the drying up of abnormal fluid accumulations, such as edema in the ankles and legs and swelling in the abdomen.
In severe cases, additional methods of support besides diet may be needed and perhaps the best of these is fasting. Fasting is a useful, inexpensive and universally available treatment for hypoglycemia. The fast allows the entire system to restore its cellular integrity.
Fasting should be avoided in cases of porphoria.
The fast allows the entire system to restore its cellular and immunogenic integrity. Fasting can cause regression of some autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis. [Controlled trial of fasting and a one-year vegetarian diet eased symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis; The Lancet, 1991, 338]
Fasting should not be employed if a general weakness exists due to malnutrition.
In severe cases, a short juice fast for four or five days with carrot, beet, citrus fruits, apple and pineapple may be used to hasten the recovery process prior to an alkalinizing diet.
Major nutritional deficiencies may best be corrected prior to the start of a lengthy fast. Supplementation during a fast is also a possibility.
Fasting has a powerful effect on improving liver function, an effect which continues after the fast. However, fasting should be avoided in cases of severe liver disease or failure.
Lengthy fasting should generally be avoided by people with renal failure. Short-term fasts may be helpful, but must be done under an experienced doctor's supervision.
Fasting lowers the allergic reactions causing asthma.
Fasting clears the skin and whitens the eyes. It is a common experience to see skin eruptions clear while fasting.
Fasting clears the skin and whitens the eyes. It is common to see skin eruptions clear while fasting.
Extended fasting should be avoided by patients with a current known cancer who have experienced significant weight loss. These patients tend to be malnourished already, and further nutrient restriction by fasting would make matters worse.
However, research at the University of Southern California published in June, 2014 showed that prolonged fasting reduces levels of a hormone that increases cancer risk and tumor growth.