Fasting is an age-old process that helps rejuvenate your body, mind and soul. Religious leaders try to instil this into their followers as a means to get reconnected to their beliefs. The same goes for the nutritional value of fasting.
Water fasting involves just taking water for several hours without food. This kind of fasting usually lasts up to 24-72 hours. However, it is not for everyone.
In fact, just a few go through with it because of its advantages and disadvantages. Complete use of water for three days is not 100% healthy. Therefore, it is advisable to try short term fasting to start with. It helps cleanse the body of damaged cells and helps replace them with new ones.
To start with, you can go for 24 hours or less to boost metabolism. But if you intend to lose weight, do not try for long. It will only disturb your metabolism.
Before any fast at all, you should see your doctor. You can only do water fasting if you:
1. You are overweight.
2. Want to boost your immunity.
Do not use if you have diabetics, you are pregnant, you just concluded surgery or childbirth or you have hypoglycemia.
Here are some of the benefits of water fasting:
1. Improves Insulin Sensitivity
Fasting improves insulin sensitivity and blood glucose regulation. Insulin and leptin are hormones that help regulate blood glucose levels.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure
Drinking more water and cutting down salt consumption is an easy way to lower blood pressure. If properly monitored, it can help reduce hypertension.
3. Reduces the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
This can also help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
4. Reduces Oxidative Stress
The accumulation of reactive oxygen species due to unhealthy food habits and lifestyle increases oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Water fasting can help lower oxidative stress.
However, there are some dangers of water fasting, and they include:
1. Unhealthy Weight Loss
Because the body consists of fat, water weight, and muscle, water fasting will only reduce the water weight in the body while fat foods remain. You will lose weight but the moment you have water, they come right back if not properly monitored.
Although water is used to hydrate the body, the foods we eat also contain 20% water. So, water is just not enough.
3. Loss of Nutrients
We gain nutrients each time we eat, most especially a balanced diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables. You can lose all these nutrients if you don’t eat.