Fasting has been used for thousands of years in every culture to facilitate better health through cleansing. There are different ways to fast, each method offering different benefits. There’s the juice fast, the water fast, the fruit fast, the dry fast, the Master Cleanse, and several types of partial fasts. Each different type offers a particular benefit. The benefits of fasting are multiple, and in this post you can see just what you can expect to gain from this age-old body therapy.

Fasting Benefit #1- Detoxification and Rejuvenation! I know you thought I was going to say “weight loss”, right? Well no, that is not the #1 benefit, although plenty of dieters have that particular idea in mind and undertake a fast for that reason. The main fact of fasting is this: a fast gives your body a break from doing the work of digestion. All of the energy your body would have used for digestion is channeled instead into healing and regeneration. Even Hippocrates, the father of medicine, recommended fasting to assist healing during an illness. Fasting is said to strengthen the body’s Vital Force.

According to the World Dictionary:

vital force
— n
(esp in early biological theory) a hypothetical force, independent of physical and chemical forces, regarded as being the causative factor of the evolution and development of living organisms

Depending on how many days you stay on a water fast, initially your body begins to burn stored sugar (glucose), and then after the stored sugar is depleted it begins to burn stored fat. When your body begins to burn stored fat (usually somewhere around the second or third day), you will feel energetic and mentally alert because your body has entered into a state called ketosis. The ketones being produced at this time are altering your metabolism (think VROOM! VROOM!) and also sending more oxygen to your brain. You may lose up to two pounds a day after the first day. The toxins that were stored in your fat cells are now being released and flushed out of your body with the water you are required to drink during the fast.

Benefit #2: Reduce your risk of disease! While fasting cannot be said to cure disease, it enables the body to heal itself. The American Heart Association says people that fast may be reducing their risk of heart disease, according to studies. Taking that break from eating also causes cells to be less insulin resistant, a great benefit for people with Type II diabetes.

Three major universities have conducted studies with the conclusion that fasting enables the body to kill cancer cells. Cancer cells get their nourishment from blood glucose, which is the first substance used for energy during a fast. It is depleted from the bloodstream and unavailable for use by cancer cells.

The 2001 Conference on Fasting Therapy for Internal Pathology in Russia concluded fasting was effective for the elimination of psoriasis, allergic dermatitis, neurodermitis, and eczema. It also found fasting to be effective for colitis, bronchial asthma, gout, hypertension, and hypothyroidism.

Benefit #3- Anti-aging! Getting rid of toxin build-up in your organs, cells and tissues is one sure-fire way to live longer. Toxicity creates often insurmountable obstacles to living a long, healthy life. The harder your body has to work to buffer acidity and maintain your blood pH at a healthy level, the less capable it becomes at maintaining balance and a healthy immune system.The more free radical damage at the cellular level, the higher the odds that your body will develop chronic diseases. Fasting activates genetic cellular repair and rejuvenation. Fasting also helps your cells and arteries flush out built up gunk, keeping them clear and more elastic so you can live a longer, healthier life.

Benefit #4- Spiritual Awareness! Do you suffer from addictions? Worry? Anxiety? Depression? Fasting opens a door into your spirit that will help you become more self-aware. You will be able to overcome obstacles in your life that may have been blocking you from true peace and happiness. The energy realized during your fast will help you hear the voice of your spirit within. It will help you see more clearly, deal with personal issues more effectively, and strengthen your inner resolve for better success in life.