The over-consumption of antibiotics, the use of hormones, obesity factors, excess of carbohydrates and increased fat intake, refined foods, hydrogenated oils, sugars, with the stressors of a polluted terroristic society have wrecked havoc on our immune systems.
When you read food labels and note the high fructose corn syrups and sugars added to entice appetites, it is no wonder that the fermentation of yeast in the intestines of the general population is breeding overgrowth.
This then causes the "leaky gut" condition where the intestinal lining becomes more permeable than it should be. This permits large molecules of food to enter the bloodstream. The immune system detects these foreign bodies and launches an attack which leads to inflammation. As time goes by, more and more foods that travel through the intestinal membrane may appear as enemies since the development of sensitivities triggers food allergies.
The colon has been referred to as the sewer system of the body. It is the place where we store the waste material that most people take for granted until our health becomes poor. At this point it is essential to proclaim the importance of wise eating habits and lifestyle changes that can contribute to proper diet and health.
Sensible weight loss, physical exercise, hydration with clean living water, stress management, short intervals of sunlight and fresh or purified air for oxygenating will be a start of detoxification for the cleansing of your body.
Fasting is a healing and cleansing process that even animals do. If a dog is sick it will not eat, allowing the body to rest and eliminate poison toxins. Then it will eat grass or leaves for the alkaline chlorophyll, which is the green blood of plants that our Creator made for food and medicine.
There are many kinds of fast that every one can choose from depending on your ability to tolerate low blood sugars. If you skip a meal by drinking a fruit or vegetable juice once or more a day that is a good start. Some people can do a juice fast for days while others just eat vegetables or soups to allow easier digestion without heavy meats or sweets.
Fasting fits into the divine design for medical purposes and for spiritual warfare that causes favorable breakthroughs as well as confusion in the enemies camp, as noted in the scriptures.
Eat a diet high in alkaline fruits and vegetables with increased water and the residue of your bodys ph will turn from acid to alkaline which is a state of chemistry it is demanding. Avoid refined and processed carbohydrates, starches, sugars and fermented products as alcohol turns into sugar.
All sugars produce an acid residue and a unbalanced amount will cause the body's pH to become acid which leads to degenerative diseases, cancer and other immune problems.
Anti-fungal treatment consist of eliminating mycotoxins of grains, molded corn and peanuts are common contaminants. Starving the sugar cravings and supplementing with herbs that are fungicidal. Garlic, oregano, olive leaf extracts are but a few natural remedies that you will read much about in your continuing education of self care.
Due to the fungal link to illness and cancer it is wise to detox the gastrointestinal tract, the liver and build the immune system. Then the body's own defenses can repair, strengthen and heal naturally without synthetic pharmacology prescriptions that have a acid residue left for the liver to filter and the body then works harder to re-balance the pH for alkalinity.
Common medication side effects are reported in the general medical literature due to high levels of negative reactions noted. Frequently the cause of polypharmacy, where more prescriptions are given to treat the side effects and the snow ball of masking the true cause of dis-ease in the body is covered up; making it harder for the immune system to fight the origin of the symptomatic problem from the beginning since the body easily becomes toxic.
In the 17th century it was common to cleanse the 31 feet of the gastrointestinal tract with enemas and purgatives to assist the body in eliminating toxic poisons accumulated from poor bowel programs and bacterial, yeast and parasite infestations. This cleansing process including fasting, clear broths, soups, teas, herbal remedies, saunas and steam baths effective in detoxifying the GI tract and the liver, which is a vital internal organ that regulates a healthy body.
It is important to understand that we are not talking about stomach acid or the pH of the stomach. We are talking about the pH of the body's fluids and tissues, which is an entirely different matter.
|FOOD CATEGORY||Most Acid||Acid||Lowest Acid|
|SWEETENERS||NutraSweet, Equal, Aspartame, Sweet 'N Low||White Sugar, Brown Sugar||Processed Honey, Molasses|
|FRUITS||Blueberries, Cranberries, Prunes||Sour Cherries, Rhubarb||Plums, Processed Fruit Juices|
|BEANS VEGETABLES LEGUMES||Chocolate||Potatoes (without skins), Pinto Beans, Navy Beans, Lima Beans||Cooked Spinach, Kidney Beans, String Beans|
|NUTS SEEDS||Peanuts, Walnuts||Pecans, Cashews||Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds|
|GRAINS CEREALS||Wheat, White Flour, Pastries, Pasta||White Rice, Corn, Buckwheat, Oats, Rye||Sprouted Wheat Bread, Spelt, Brown Rice|
|MEATS||Beef, Pork, Shellfish||Turkey, Chicken, Lamb||Venison, Cold Water Fish|
|EGGS DAIRY||Cheese, Homogenized Milk, Ice Cream||Raw Milk||Eggs, Butter, Yogurt, Buttermilk, Cottage Cheese|
|BEVERAGES||Beer, Soft Drinks||Coffee||Tea|
|FOOD CATEGORY||Lowest Alkaline||Alkaline||Most Alkaline|
|SWEETENERS||Raw Honey, Raw Sugar||Maple Syrup, Rice Syrup||Stevia|
|FRUITS||Oranges, Bananas, Cherries, Pineapple, Peaches, Avocados||Dates, Figs, Melons, Grapes, Papaya, Kiwi, Berries, Apples, Pears, Raisins||Lemons, Watermelon, Limes, Grapefruit, Mangoes, Papayas|
|BEANS VEGETABLES LEGUMES||Carrots, Tomatoes, Fresh Corn, Mushrooms, Cabbage, Peas, Potato Skins, Olives, Soybeans, Tofu||Okra, Squash, Green Beans, Beets, Celery, Lettuce, Zucchini, Sweet Potato, Carob||Asparagus, Onions, Vegetable Juices, Parsley, Raw Spinach, Broccoli, Garlic|
|OILS||Canola Oil||Flax Seed Oil||Olive Oil|
|GRAINS CEREALS||Amaranth, Millet, Wild Rice, Quinoa|
|EGGS DAIRY||Soy Cheese, Soy Milk, Goat Milk, Goat Cheese, Whey||Breast Milk|
|BEVERAGES||Ginger Tea||Green Tea||Herb Teas, Lemon Water|
"And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."
In Yoga, fasting is a way to cleanse and to purify as part of the niyama of sauca. Yogis use fasting as a way to tame the mind, as a tapas to develop restraint over the basic instinctual drive for food foraging, a drive that many of us have little control over as evidenced by the epidemic rise in obesity and diet related health problems.
Modern medical science shows us that fasting is also a great way to support health of the physical body and to prevent disease, but to be healthy, fasting must be done correctly.
Contrary to what some critics of fasting purport, fasting is not starving. The words don’t mean the same, and the physiology is not the same either. They’re related, but starvation is an extreme or prolonged period of inadequate food supply that taxes the body to the point of its inability to compensate. It implies a period of suffering, both physically and mentally. You can even be eating, just not getting enough calories and the right nutrients, and still be starving to death.
The American Heritage Dictionary says that “to fast” means “to abstain from food” and “to eat very little or abstain from certain foods, especially as a religious discipline.” The original meaning from Old English was “to hold firmly” and thus “firm control of oneself” or “holding to observance.”
The word “starve” on the other hand comes from the Old English “steorfan” which means “to die” or from the older Germanic roots of “sterban” which means “to be stiff.” The modern definition according to the American Heritage Dictionary is “to suffer or die from extreme or prolonged lack of food.” Informally, we may say we’re starved when we’re simply hungry, say even after skipping one meal, but that’s a slang exaggeration.
When it comes to fasting and cleansing, some argue that the popular ‘juice fasting’ isn’t really fasting but rather it’s a mono-diet or a severely restricted diet. As you can see from the definition above, abstaining from certain foods is technically considered fasting. Drinking lemonade with maple syrup and cayenne pepper while fasting and cleansing is a real fast as is fasting and cleansing by eating only brown rice in the extreme Oshawa #7 plan.
But from a spiritual perspective of fasting, there may be a difference between severely restricted diets and true fasting. The Jewish fasting on Yom Kippur is complete and total with absolutely no food or even water, but most Biblical fasts allow free access to water while fasting and cleansing. Ramadan is a water only fast from sunrise to sundown every day for a month. With Hindu fasting, there is total abstention from all food, too.
Maybe there’s a hint here that to truly gain the spiritual benefits of fasting and cleansing, all nutrition must be foregone for a period of time, and that includes juice and peppery lemonade.
People who are fasting lose weight, and that’s a good thing for overweight people given the health consequences of obesity, which is now the second most common preventable risk factor for death in the United States. Weight loss is tricky though. Fasting for health must be done correctly to prevent a counter-productive drop in the basal metabolic rate.
Also, most of the weight lost during the usual fad fasting diets is due to a loss of total body water, even in those people fasting who are drinking tons of water to compensate. All that water comes right back when you begin to eat again.5
One way to lose weight by fasting but not lose tons of water or reduce your metabolic rate is to cycle 24 hour water fasts every other day. That’s the type of fasting for health that has been most studied in the medical literature. The basal metabolic rate begins to drop at around 48 hours of water fasting, so a 24 hour fast is well within a safe limit. Two studies in humans have shown no change to the metabolic rate with such short periods of fasting.27,28
Intermittent fasting, or fasting every other day, may be just what’s needed to target belly fat. Mice eating only 15% of their usual calories every other day had significant decreases in their visceral fat, the fat around the mid-section, regardless of whether or not they were on a high fat diet.45
In an experimental model, intermittent fasting reduced by half the amount of heart damage caused by a heart attack.36 Intermittent fasting protects against age-related phenomena like fibrosis, oxidative damage, and inflammation, indicating that it may be preventative of age-related diseases.44 Mice fasting every other day develop fewer cases of lymphoma and liver cancer.37
The risk of diabetes is less with intermittent fasting. A study in rodents showed a reduced incidence of diabetes when fed only on alternate days.33 Studies in humans also suggest that diabetes is less likely to develop with intermittent fasting.34,35
A study in the Journal of Neuroscience Research found that fasting animals for 24 hours, but not 48 hours, after a hit on the head to simulate brain injury from traumatic accidents resulted in less brain damage. The 24 hour fast decreased oxidative stress and calcium loading and increased oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria isolated from the site of injury.
Research in rodents indicates that intermittent fasting increases both the mean and the maximal life span38, and that it increases neurogenesis in the brain, which means more brain cells develop and survive.39 Also, when fasted rodents were exposed to toxic chemicals to mimic Parkinson’s disease, more brain cells survived and their function improved significantly.40
Fasting may help against another poison, chemotherapy, which is designed to kill cancer cells at the expense of some toxicity to normal ones. A report published in the journal Aging noted that when 10 chemo patients fasted, six reported fewer side effects when they received chemotherapy while fasting compared to when eating normally. The effects of the treatment did not appear to be altered at all.51
Eating every other day has been shown to decrease cell proliferation rates, an effect known to reduce the development of cancers. In animal models, intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce cancer growth on the skin and in breast tissue.60
Fasting may be beneficial in the treatment of other diseases as well, particularly those of an autoimmune nature and allergy. Fasting inhibited the development of colitis in an animal model designed to mimic the inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, and a systematic review of 31 studies of fasting followed by a vegetarian diet to treat rheumatoid arthritis determined that a statistically and clinically significant beneficial long-term effect was evident.
The basal metabolic rate drops with long-term fasting, so that when you begin to eat again, more of the same amount of food gets stored as fat instead of burned as energy. Ultimately, fasting incorrectly can make you fatter. The body learns to be more efficient with its calories to prepare itself for another stressful bout of food deprivation. A significant drop in the metabolic rate can occur as early as within the first 48 hours of fasting.14
Fasting for as little as several hours or a day can release environmental toxins stored in fat cells.54,55 When they’re released from that relatively safe storage place where they’re inactive, they can then move to places in the body where they cause damage as a side effect of fasting.5 For example, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons released during fasting seek out melanin in skin cells and induce melanoma.26
The release of pesticides from stored fat in fasting birds during migration caused severe toxicity leading to death. Hexachlorocyclohexane stored in fat cells in rats was released by fasting. It found its way to uterine tissue where it exerted estrogen-like effects.
The estrogen simulating effects of this toxin and others are thought to contribute to the development of breast cancer.63 In another study, the release of a pesticide stored in fat cells resulted in nerve damage as a side effect of fasting.64
High circulating levels of environmental toxins in the blood from inappropriate fasting are more likely than lower baseline levels to overwhelm the body’s innate ability to clear them. Fasting must be done correctly to prevent harm from the release of environmental toxins stored in fat cells.
One way the body detoxifies naturally is through glutathione reactions, which play an important role in removing free radicals and heavy metals. Glutathione is depleted after 24 hours of fasting.46 Glutathione depletion, as well as the depletion of other natural detoxification mechanisms of the body, is a good reason not to fast for too long. Longer fasts are likely to cause free radical damage, linked to aging and cancer development.
After 7 days of fasting, mild vitamin deficiencies occur. They may become severe after several weeks.74 A lack of thiamine, one of the B vitamins, can cause particularly devastating complications like the loss of brain cells and significant brain damage. Its sneaky, and the brain changes often don’t register behaviorally until re-feeding after food deprivation.17,18
When fasting for longer than 4 weeks, severe low blood pressure with standing can occur, and some people pass out from it. Others get nauseated, fatigued, weak, and dizzy. They can develop dry skin, irregular periods, and brittle bones. Gallstones developed in 11% of people who were fasting in one study.25
In men, long periods of fasting causes lowering of the sex drive, decreases volume of prostatic fluid, and decreases sperm number and motility.70 Kidney stones have been precipitated by fasting.70
And let’s not forget death, the ultimate side effect of long periods of fasting. The average non-obese person can live for 60 days when fasting only with water, the time consistent with a loss of one third of the body’s functioning proteins and the complete loss of all stored body fat.
Protein loss never stops during those long fasts, and anything over 30 days is extremely dangerous even for markedly obese people.5 In particular, the heart has a hard time with foregoing nutrition.
Although it learns to use ketone bodies and fat as an energy source, that doesn’t stop the degradation of heart muscle tissue from occurring. There are numerous reports of fasting people dropping dead suddenly from heart rhythm disturbances due to the extreme wasting of muscle fibers and electrical instability.71
The body uses what it has for energy rather than defense. Infection is the leading cause of death from fasting-related malnutrition.5,22
1n 1982, there was an investigative report in the Los Angeles Daily Journal of the death of a 49 year old man from pneumonia caused by malnutrition during a 30 day fast at a naturopathic health clinic. It was one of six reported deaths from fasting within the preceding five years in that clinic sponsored by Dr. Shelton’s Health School in Texas. 49
Sometimes the side effects of fasting are considered a part of a ‘healing crisis’ and are disregarded. From a news report, one man who was fasting with Herbalife, a very-low-calorie diet fast, ignored serious symptoms of cardiac myopathy that developed. When he passed out from fasting, his wife urged him to see a doctor but he didn’t make it there. He collapsed again and died in front of his 4-year-old daughter.50
Children are particularly susceptible to damage from long term fasting. From a 1995 bulletin put out by the National Council Against Health Fraud, the following cases were among those reported:
So, is fasting good for you or not?
The answer is, “Yes!.” There are definitely health benefits of fasting when it is part of well-planned and well-executed regimen.
As a last word of caution, pregnant or breast-feeding women and anyone who has kidney or liver problems should avoid fasting. Neither should anyone fast who suffers from an eating disorder. If you’re on medications, please check with a physician before fasting as many, like prednisone and some diabetes meds, may lead to serious complications when combined with a lack of food.
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