What comes to mind first when you think about fasting? Fasting is a method commonly used for quick weight loss, however, it may have other health benefits.
Researchers have recently found that fasting for 72 hours can regenerate your entire immune system. Is this true? Let’s find out and learn more about these new research findings, what a 72-hour fast is, its benefits, risks and alternative methods to create the health you desire.
Researchers at the University of Southern California found that fasting or abstaining from food for as little as two days can regenerate the immune system and as a result, can help the body to fight infections. The findings are exciting as they may show future promise to those with a damaged immune system, such as people with cancer, as well as the elderly.
The research team tested the effects of two to four day fasting on both mice and humans over a course of six months. The found that fasting can significantly lower white blood cell counts in both mice and humans. In mice, they also noticed that each cycle renewed the body’s defense system by triggering the cell-based regeneration of new white blood cells. During the period of fasting, the body got rid of damaged parts. If you consider chemotherapy patients with a damaged immune system or the elderly with an aging body, fasting may be able to regenerate their immune system, creating a new one.
The study also discovered that fasting can reduce PKA enzyme levels that can increase longevity in simple organisms. It can also increase IGF-1 hormone levels that are linked to aging and cancer progression.
Furthermore, another small pilot clinical trial at the university found that a 72-hour fasting period can protect chemotherapy patients against toxicity, or harmful effects of chemo. This supports the teams earlier research, which found that fasting can weaken cancer in mice.
These findings are exciting for the future of treatment of cancer and conditions related to the immune system, as well as prevention of diseases. However, more clinical trials are needed to understand the benefits of fasting, such as a 72-hour fast and how to use it safely.
Fasting refers to a period of time without food. Some fasts involve drinking juices, smoothies, or teas. Some fasts, such as intermittent fasting, only last for a part of the day.
A 72-hour fast is basically a water fast. Water fasting is a form of fasting where you don’t consume anything besides water. They usually last for 24 to 72 hours.
People may follow a water fast, including a 72-hour fast, for various reasons:
A 72-hour fast is not right for everyone.
A 72-hour fast may be good for you, however, it is very important to talk to a doctor to see if it is a good and safe course of action for you.
Since it has several risks, it is important to watch your body for alarming symptoms. A water fast longer than 72-hours can be dangerous. It is very important to only encounter any fast longer than that with medical supervision only.
There are no scientific or governmental guidelines available on how to do a 72-hour fast. It is best to talk to a doctor or join a group to embark on your 72-hour fast with medical supervision. However, based on people’s experiences, this is a commonly used guide for a 72-hour fast.
It is important to prepare your body for a 72-hour fast. Eat a nutrient dense plant-based diet for the three to five days before your 72-hour fast. Eat smaller portions each day. Hydrate well, drinking plenty of water.
During your fast, you won’t be eating or drinking anything besides water. Aim to consume two to three liters of water throughout the day. You may experience some detox effects and side-effects, such as weakness and dizziness. Avoid driving or operating any machinery during your 72-hour fast. Limit your exercise to stretching or light yoga. Rest as much as possible. If you notice any unusual side effects or pain, contact your doctor.
Be gentle with yourself. Remember your digestive system hasn’t consumed food for 72 hours during your fast. Don’t eat a big meal as it may cause uncomfortable digestive and other symptoms. A green juice, smoothie or soup is the best way to break your fast after these 72 hours. Introduce solids in small meals at first. Focus on plant-based foods, such as greens, veggies and fruits. Increase your amount of food to healthy portion sizes over the period of three to five days post-fast. Make sure to hydrate well. Coconut water is a great way to replenish your electrolytes.
It is crucial to follow these post-fast instructions to avoid the risk of refeeding syndrome as a result of rapid changes in fluids and electrolytes in the body. If you notice any unusual symptoms post-fast, talk to your doctor.
The benefits of a 72-hour fast include:
A 72-hour fast has various risks including:
Discuss these risks with your doctor before undertaking a 72-hour fast. If you notice any unusual symptoms or side-effects, including signs of dehydration, dizziness, or fainting during your fast, contact your doctor immediately.
Professor Longo and his research team at the University of Southern California studying the benefits of a 72-hour fast recommend that such dietary intervention should be undertaken with the care of a doctor and dietician.
While 72 hours may seem like a short time, it is a quite long period for the body to go without food and fast. It is important to check with your doctor to see if a 72-hour fast is right for you, to supervise your progress and to check your health post-fast.
If your doctor believes that a 72-hour fast is not right for you or you are personally not ready for a 72-hour fast going without food, there are other alternatives that may also benefit your immune system and overall health.
A 72-hour fast is not an effective way to burn fat. You may lose weight rapidly in a short period of time of fasting, however, the weight will likely be coming from water and possibly carbs and muscle, not fat. While a 72-hour fast may offer some health benefits and may encourage you to continue eating a healthier diet, it is not an effective way to lose fat and not a sustainable way to lose weight.
Eating a nutrient dense diet and living a healthy lifestyle by exercising, sleeping plenty and reducing stress are better ways for long-term fat and weight loss. As you will learn soon, Organifi superfood juice mixes can help you with your weight loss and healthy journey.
Going without food for 72-hours is a long time. Instead of a fast, you can try other methods to improve your health and well-being.
Instead of a 72-hour fast without food, you may want to try a juice cleanse. A juice cleanse is a perfect opportunity to give a break to your digestion and flood it with the abundance of nutrients without going hungry at all.
If you are looking to boost your health, but still be able to eat delicious food, a 3-day vegan detox may be right for you. A 3-day detox is full of delicious green juices, green smoothies and salads using only nutrient-dense plant-based sources.
Whether you choose to do a 72-hour fast, a juice cleanses, or a 3-day vegan detox, it is important to support your body every day with a nutrient-dense diet. You want to aim for lots of greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds and pseudograins. Eliminate or limit animal products and only choose organic, grass-fed, free-range and wild-caught hormone-free animal foods if you choose to consume them. Avoid refined sugar, caffeine and alcohol and any foods that you may be allergic to, such as gluten or dairy.
Superfoods are fantastic resources to include in your nutrient-rich diet or your detox cleanses. Our Organifi Superfood Juice Mixes can support your body during a juice cleanse, 3-day vegan detox, or after a 72-hour fast or any cleanse.
You can enhance your health and support your healthy diet with Organifi products every day.
You can find all these products in our Sunrise to Sunset Bundle. All our products are plant-based, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and non-GMO to support your health and everyday cleansing.
If you decide to embark on a 72-hour fast, talk to your doctor first. Remember, there are easier and safer alternatives that can enhance your health, including juice cleanse, detox diets and simply eating a nutrient-dense, whole foods, plant-based diet rich in greens, veggies and fruits and avoiding refined sugar and processed foods. Organifi Green, Red and Gold in our Sunrise to Sunset Bundle can also help you create the health your desire.
About The Author
Kat Gál is a professional holistic health writer who helps health, wellness and nutrition businesses to market their products and services through quality online content. She is also a Certified Holistic Health & Life Coach. Kat is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. Reach out if you are looking for amazing blog content at email@example.com or at katgalwriter.com.
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