The fasting works in the following way. By not eating for two to four days in a row, the body significantly lowers the number of white blood cells. Those cells that die off tend to be those which are weak or have damage. When a person begins to eat again, new stem cells are created which end up being much healthier than the ones that died off. In other words, by fasting, a person can regenerate a completely new and healthy immune system.
The study could have huge implications for a variety of groups, especially in the area of healthier aging. As people get older, their immune system declines, which can lead to a bigger chance of getting a variety of diseases. If fasting can help regenerate a person’s immune system, their body may be able to better fight these diseases than they could before, without the need of any prescription drugs. As the authors note, “If you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.”
And added benefit is that a healthier immune system could end up saving people a lot of money. Being able to fight off diseases without the help of pharmaceuticals can save a small fortune. Simply being in better health can save money in a large number of ways such as being more productive, having fewer sick days and having more energy. For those who think this would be a good idea for them and their health, don’t just jump right into it. Here are a few things you need to consider before you begin a fast:
Tell Your Doctor
Before you do anything, consult your doctor to get their opinion. Since they will best know your health issues, you want to make sure doing a fast will actually be a benefit, and not detrimental to your health. There may be reason you should not do this which you may not have considered. This is especially true if you are taking medication which might be affected by you not consuming food or calories.
Once you get the go-ahead from your doctor, be sure that you drink plenty of water during the fast. Especially during the summer, the last thing you want to do is get dehydrated while fasting. Consult your doctor on the amount of water you should be drinking during the fast, and make sure you consume the recommended amount.
Don’t Strenuously Exercise
Trying to fast and keep your regular routine will be a challenge in itself when you aren’t able to take your normal food and coffee breaks throughout the day, but it will make the entire process even worse if you try to exercise as well. When you make the commitment to fast, give your body the best chance to complete it with the least amount of discomfort. Strenuously exercising while fasting will make the other hours all that more difficult as your body craves food even more.
Try to make the time you attempt the fast as stress-free as possible. Trying to not eat while you have major stresses will make fasting miserable, and make it much more likely you fail to succeed. Try to schedule the fast during a time when you have plenty of time to use the way you want, and you don’t have a huge number of commitments which have to be met.
Make Sure You’re Healthy
You want to make sure that you’re in the best health possible when doing this. That is, you don’t want to attempt this when you have the flu or some other type of illness. Again, make sure to consult your doctor and review your health before attempting to fast for 48 – 96 hours.
It’s Not a Diet
Be sure to remember why you’re doing this. You’re fasting to regenerate your stem cells and rebuild your immune system, not to lose weight. You should not care one bit about any weight you lose or don’t lose. It’s also important to note that this should only be done twice a year, not on a monthly basis. Doing it more often than twice-a-year may have a number of negative effects which outweigh any benefit you get from the immune system regeneration.
(Photo courtesy of Cordey)