Fasting, either for religious or health purposes refers to the practice of abstaining or cutting down of food and drinks for a certain period of time.

There are many different ways of fasting such as 18:6 which implies not eating for 18 hours straight then eating in the 6-hour window period. Other preferences include,12:12, 16:8 or 22:2 and 24-72 hours fasting.

Scientifically, fasting has been proven to be of healthy benefit from weight loss, better skin and improved health.

Below are seven reasons why we should fast

Stimulates Brain Function

According to a study tabled at the Society for Neuroscience in 2015, fasting stimulates the brain by promoting the growth of neurons that enhance memory performance and help in stroke or brain injury recovery.

“Researches have shown that it could improve brain function, increase nerve cell synthesis and protect against neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s,” states the Healthline website.

{ Read: 7 Tips to healthy fasting during Ramadhan }

Improves the Heart Health

A study with 4,629 participants linked fasting with lower risk of heart disease and diabetes which is a major factor in heart failure.

Further, fasting reduces blood pressure, controls the level of blood triglycerides and cholesterol which can cause stroke and heart disease if not properly managed.

Boosts Immune System

Scientists at the University of Southern California reported that fasting can regenerate the entire immune system by stimulating the body’s production of new white blood cells. This newly generated immune system cells help the body fight off infection.

Extends Life Span

A study from University of Chicago showed that fasting delays the development of disorders that lead to death. This is because the mild stress imposed on the body stimulates powerful cellular defenses against potential molecular damage and enable tissue repair. Body organs then are able to function effectively and efficiently.

Weight loss

Abstaining from food is the key and easy way to weight loss than subscribing to a healthy diet. Many studies support fasting as a valuable, reliable tool for weight maintenance and loss.

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“Fasting can increase levels of human growth hormone (HGH), an important protein hormone that plays a role in growth, metabolism, weight loss and muscle strength,” writes Healthline.

Prevents Cancer

“A test-tube study showed that exposing cancer cells to several cycles of fasting was as effective as chemotherapy in delaying tumor growth and increased the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs on cancer formation,” states Healthline.

A 72 hour fast helps to protect cancer patients from harmful effects of chemotherapy treatments lowering damage to the immune system.

Spiritual Growth

Many religions across the world practice fasting to deepen the sense of spirituality. Fasting helps an individual to feel more connected to nature and the world surrounding us by enhancing a clear mind and positive outlook.

Doctors and studies have revealed that fasting is a natural treatment of anxiety, stress, emotional and sexual problems.

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