With summer just around the corner, many people are looking to tune up their bodies and get ready for the beach season. One approach to achieving this goal is through fasting, a practice that has been used for centuries in Ayurveda, science, and medicine from India.
According to Ayurveda, fasting is a way to reset the body and balance the doshas, or energies, within us. In modern times, we are often overfed and undernourished, and the food we consume can sometimes act as a poison rather than medicine. Ayurveda teaches us that toxins and inflammation, known as ama, are the root cause of many diseases that disrupt our Agni, or digestive fire.
Maintaining strong gut health and consuming a plant-based diet with intermittent fasting can help maintain positive homeostasis in the body. Our bodies have a natural inclination to heal, but we often abuse it, taking one step forward and two steps back.
To stay ahead of the game, it is important to be proactive. Intermittent fasting and fasting-mimicking diets are powerful tools that can help enhance the following:
Fasting can benefit the body in several ways. When we fast, our body shifts from using glucose as its primary fuel source to using stored fat for energy. This metabolic shift can lead to several health benefits, including:
- Weight loss: Fasting can lead to a calorie deficit, which can result in weight loss. When we fast, our body burns stored fat for energy, which can help reduce body fat.
- Improved insulin sensitivity: Fasting can improve insulin sensitivity, which means our body is better able to use insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. This can be particularly beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.
- Reduced inflammation: Fasting has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is linked to many chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
- Increased autophagy: Fasting can increase a process called autophagy, which is when our body breaks down and recycles damaged cells. This can help to reduce the risk of developing certain diseases, including cancer.
- Improved brain function: Fasting has been shown to improve brain function and may even help to prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
It’s important to note that fasting should be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional, particularly for individuals with certain health conditions or who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
All of these benefits of fasting are hard to ignore. By incorporating these practices into our daily routines, we can boost our overall health and well-being, and get ready to show off our beach bodies with confidence.