Wikipediaphoto by Jean Fortunet

Fasting shows to have multiple benefits

Share this story!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

 By Kimberly Burnham

In a couple of days Jews around the world will be fasting on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. On Oct. 4, the first Sunday of the month, Mormons or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) will be fasting as they do on the first Sunday of every month.

Do you have a practice of fasting for one meal or once a month or during daylight hours for a week? What do you gain from fasting? How does it affect your life and your mood? Do you do it so you will live longer or be happier?

A 2011 study in Physiology & Behavior  entitled “Efficacy of fasting calorie restriction on quality of life among aging men” noted, “Calorie restriction  has been promoted to increase longevity. Previous studies have indicated that calorie restriction can negatively affect mood and therefore the effect of calorie restriction on mood and quality of life becomes crucial when considering the feasibility of calorie restriction in humans. We conducted a three month clinical trial on calorie restriction (reduction of 300 to 500 kcal/day) combined with two days/week of Muslim sunnah fasting. ” In the study researchers checked several variables including body composition measurements, quality of life questionnaires, sleep quality, and depression indexes . This is what they found, “The Muslim sunnah fasting group had a significant reduction in body weight, BMI, body fat percentage and depression. The energy component of quality of life was significantly increased in the Muslim sunnah fasting group. There were no significant changes in sleep quality and stress level between the groups as a result of the intervention.” They concluded, “Muslim sunnah fasting resulted in body weight and fat loss and alleviated depression with some improvement in the quality of life.”

There are many food restrictions or encouragements associated with faith traditions. Sometimes these food traditions become like comfort food. We remember the foods we ate in community as children. Sometimes, what is memorable is fasting or what we don’t eat. Some of these traditions carry health benefits which are physical or emotional.

A 2015 systematic review in the America Journal of Clinical Nutrition noted, “Clinical research studies of fasting with robust designs and high levels of clinical evidence are sparse in the literature. Whereas the few randomized controlled trials and observational clinical outcomes studies support the existence of a health benefit from fasting, substantial further research in humans is needed before the use of fasting as a health intervention can be recommended.”

The study looks at the physical health benefits because, “two observational clinical outcomes studies in humans were found in which fasting was associated with a lower prevalence of coronary artery disease or diabetes diagnosis.”

So there are some established benefits of fasting on physical health as well as emotional health. What will you be eating this month?

 

About Kimberly Burnham

Author of "Awakenings: Peace Dictionary, Language and the Mind, A Daily Brain Health Program" Kimberly Burnham, PhD (Integrative Medicine) investigates the relationship between memory, language, caring and pattern recognition to create a daily brain health exercise program enabling people to achieve better neurological health, mood, and quality of life. She is on a mission to create more peace and understanding in the world by collecting and writing about the nuanced meaning of “Peace” in 4,000 different languages and is looking for funding to complete the project. Known as The Nerve Whisperer, Kimberly uses words (books, presentations, and poetry), health coaching, guided visualization, and hands-on therapies (CranioSacral therapy, acupressure, Matrix Energetics, Reiki, and Integrative Manual Therapy) to help people heal from nervous system and autoimmune conditions. She also focuses on vision issues like macular degeneration and supports people looking for eye exercises to improve driving and reading skills as well as athletic visual speed. An award-winning poet, Kimberly grew up overseas. The child of an international businessman and an artist, she learned Spanish in Colombia; French in Belgium; then Japanese in Tokyo and has studied both Italian and Hebrew as an adult. The author of “My Book: Self-Publishing, a Guided Journal”, she can be reached for health coaching, publishing help, bible study zoom presentations or talking about peace at NerveWhisperer@gmail.com or http://www.NerveWhisperer.Solutions.

Visit My Website
View All Posts

Check Also

Idaho’s Race to the Bottom

Idaho in the ‘80s and ‘90s and into the early years of this century became an “end-of-the-road” destination, the northern, western state where all roads metaphorically end, collecting the wackaloons and nutcases — and worse — who were fleeing other parts of the country in search of religious fundamentalism and their version of racial purity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *