The Ecology of Humans (41) Fasting

Fasting

Fasting has been shown to slow aging in a number of species. Caloric restriction acts on many different cell types and tissues and, importantly, also on the brain. There, it leads to a slowing down of age-associated pathologies, such as brain atrophy or loss of plasticity. ~ American science writer Peter Stern

Fasting 2 to 4 days at a stretch every 6 months or so rejuvenates the system. Damaged cells are recycled. This improves the immune system by getting rid of dysfunctional and unneeded cells. Stem cells awake from their normal dormant state and start regenerating.

Fasting is a mental discipline. Plan the fast. Set a goal and stick to it. One needs to positively affirm in the mind the benefit of a fasting program to feel its benefits as pleasantly as possible.

Before fasting, cleaning the colon of stubborn fecal waste and toxins is well advised.

Drinking lots of water is essential to fasting. If you feel the need to lick your lips, you are on your way to dehydration.

A juice fast is a judicious start to fasting. Use fresh squeezed fruit. Avoid juices where sugar has been added.

Vegetable juices are also recommended, as are herbal teas, with or without a spoonful of honey. As always, organic produce is highly preferable.

Fasting on water only is strict but brings the quickest results. Start with a 24-hour fast before building up to a few days.

Use the best-quality water available, not tap water. Distilled water is good, as is high-quality spring water. If tap water is to be used, boil it for 15 minutes first.

A fast is a vacation. Rest while fasting.

Slight exercise, such as taking a walk in the park on a pleasant day, is fine, at least on the first day or so. Don’t overexert yourself, especially on a water fast.

Fasting is a rapid detoxification. Elevated body odor, bad breath, and pimples from the skin releasing toxins is to be expected. Fatigue will tell you that you are exerting yourself to much.

Headaches can occur, typically from a drop in blood sugar. To minimize this discomfort, enter a fast after several days of winding down caloric consumption, eating light foods, such as those you want to break a fast with.

An alternative fasting regime is to reduce caloric intake to a minimum for 1 or 2 days a week.

The cells of the brain are put under mild stress that is analogous to the effects of exercise on muscle cells. The overall effect is beneficial. ~ American neurobiologist Mark Mattson

Break a fast with light, healthy foods: vegetable juices, raw fruits and vegetables, steamed vegetables, and light vegan fare, such as soup.

A junk-food meal after a fast will painfully demonstrate why meat, dairy, and fried foods are bad for you.

Fasting and going back to a bad diet is ill-advised. If you lack the discipline to eat a healthy diet, do not bother fasting. Instead, welcome yourself to the Collective in accepting accelerated decrepitude owing to weak will.

Immune system defects are at the center of aging and a range of diseases. Prolonged fasting promotes stress resistance, self-renewal, and lineage-balanced regeneration in cells. ~ Chinese American gerontologist Chia-Wei Cheng et at