We’ve taken our first steps into the new year. Most of us have done so with several goals in mind that we hope to accomplish before 2020 or to at least be progressing toward. If you’re one of many whose goals involve health issues, such as weight loss, cleansing, strengthening your immune system or simply improving the state of your overall health in mind, body and soul, you’ll want to consider fasting as a potential viable option in your plan.
Research has found that fasting for several consecutive days can have substantial benefits. You may already know that a main part of your body’s defense against ill-health lies with your white blood cells. Think of your white blood cells as your infantry, scientifically known as leukocytes, of which there are numerous types. While these guys comprise a mere one percent of your blood, they are your super power toward preventing illness and fighting infection.
Your white blood cells basically patrol your bloodstream 24/7, ready to do battle with any foreign invader that places your health at risk. If your body signals your white blood cells that a particular problem has arisen in a specific part of your body, the disease-fighting platoon of super cells rushes in to destroy whatever it is that is threatening your health.
Here’s why fasting may be beneficial: When you fast for two to four days, your body rids itself of old or damaged cells and signals your stem cells to regenerate and produce new, strong cells. If you have suffered damage from chemotherapy, antibiotics or even through the natural course of aging, fasting can help rebuild, rejuvenate and strengthen your body.
Studies also show that fasting before receiving chemo or other cancer treatments may help avoid toxicity. It’s no secret that the collateral damage done on a body from such treatments is often more than the body can withstand. Fasting may be a means of pre-treatment immune system strengthening that in turn makes cancer treatments more effective.
Fasting benefits are not necessarily limited to the physical body. Jesus spoke of fasting and prayer; in fact, He once said there are certain types of demons that cannot be exorcised from a body, except through fasting and prayer. (Matthew, 17:21)
If you’re on the fence as to whether or not to incorporate intermittent fasting in your 2019 health plan, consider the ideas in the following list:
• Periodic fasting may help reduce insulin resistance in your body.
• Fasting may greatly reduce inflammation in your body. Inflammation can have serious adverse health consequences, including arthritis and heart disease.
• You may also be able to increase generation of nerve cells and improve cognitive function and brain structure by fasting from time to time.
It is always recommended that you consult with a licensed physician before implementing a significant health care change, such as fasting or dieting of any kind. If you tend to succeed more when held accountable for your choices and when you enlist support to help achieve your health-related goals, you might want to team up with your besties to form a fasting group, so that you are not alone in your struggle on days where you will be limiting your food intake.
If one of your goals this year is to simplify your lifestyle, fasting may coincide nicely with the plan. Think of it as a means for trimming your food plan and purging excess eating from your life. If you’re a praying person, you can choose a loved one or a topic of focus (world peace, end to hunger, etc.) to offer prayer for during your fasts.
If you’ve experienced benefits from fasting (or have had a bad experience) we want to hear about it! Share your story in the comments!
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.