Immune health is always important, and we are heading into the time of year it is of most importance. I found this article written by Kathryn Kos, M.ED NTP which talks about fasting and our immune health.
I am sharing my abridged version of her article with you so that you may take the necessary steps to improve your immune system.
Hello my dear friends-
Your immune system is what keeps you well by being vigilant in fighting foreign substances.
Some signs of a weakened immune system may be:
Lung/Respiratory infections or aliments
Stunted or delayed growth in children
If you experience any of these symptoms, it would be good for you to do something to strengthen your immune system. Perhaps fasting may be added to your healthy habits.
What is fasting?
Fasting means to go without food for 12 hours or more. Water is typically the only beverage consumed and is highly recommended. With that said, you can choose to add coffee or tea without cream or sugar.
How does fasting affect your immune system?
When you fast, your body is forced to use glucose and then your stored fat for energy. In addition to using the sugar and fat for energy, your body will start to use sick and damaged cells for energy too.
As these cells are decreased, your body will make new healthy cells which include infection fighting cells. This process leads many to believe how fasting may help improve your immune system.
Resistance to toxins.
Studies show that fasting for 48-120 hours can activate pathways that increase your cells resistance to stress and toxins. This only occurs in long fasts.
Decrease disease risks.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to help the immune system in slowing the progression of increasing blood sugar levels and improving cardiovascular health.
Decreased age-related diseases.
As we age, our immune system starts to decline. Studies have shown that fasting may have the potential to prevent many age-related diseases including auto-immunity.
Different ways to fast:
Fast for 12 hours each day. Don’t eat food for 12 hours. You can sleep during most of this fast.
A 16 hour fast. This fast is also known as the 16:8 fast; 16 hours with no food and 8 hours of eating nutrient dense foods.
Fasting 2 days a week. This consists of eating healthy 5 days a week and fasting 2 days, but not 2 consecutive days.
Alternate day fasting. This type of fasting is consuming 500 calories or less every other day.
Weekly 24 hour fast. No food is consumed in a 24 hour period.
Block fast. This is fasting for 36 consecutive hours or more. During this time, the digestive system shuts down and the body focuses on healing on the inside.
It is vitally important to drink plenty of water and add electrolytes if doing a long fast.
As you can see, there are several different ways to fast if this is something you might be interested in. The important thing to remember is to DRINK WATER! Stay hydrated.
If you are on medications, please address fasting with your medical doctor.
For an added bonus, here is a list of some great immune boosting foods:
Herbs and spices
Red bell peppers
And, if you need reminding…here is a list of foods to avoid:
Cooking oils- soybean, corn, cottonseed, sunflower, peanut, sesame, vegetable, and rice bran oils
Foods laced with pesticides
Soda, regular OR diet
Foods containing gluten
Overly processed foods
My wish for all of you is to Bee Well and stay healthy this winter. I hope this information is helpful and gives you encouragement and support.
Much love and gratitude, Janalee