At age 16 I was a volunteer at a hospital bacteriology lab. I became a chemist for U.S. government. Then I studied health & related fields.
Fasting means consuming only water
Fasting Gives You More Money and Time
One benefit of fasting, according to Ben Franklin is that doing it, earns you money. Ben Franklin says that a penny saved is a penny earned. If you fast for a week, you save the money that you would have paid for food for that week. This was written October 2011. Allan Cott M.D. (psychiatrist) says:
"Most people can fast safely for a whole month or longer. Our body gives the signal when it is time to end the fast."
So a person can save what they spend on a whole month's worth of groceries. It is recommended that you get fasted by a professional like Joel Fuhrman MD. He can take insurance.
There is a saying. A rich person has a lot of money and a wealthy person has a lot of time. Fasting saves you time and money. You will not need the time to shop for food, put away the food, prepare the food, eat the food and clean up afterwards.
The body is taking in toxins and creating metabolic waste everyday. The body is cleansing itself of these toxins everyday. So why fast?
Sometimes the cleansing does not keep up with the amount of toxins coming in and the body gets backed up with toxins. A fast or fasting is where you consume only pure water and nothing else.
Some people do not think that it is good to fast. But they do not know that they fast every night when they sleep. Fasting is not eating and you do not eat while you sleep. When you stop the fast, you break the fast. That is the word you use for stopping the fast. This is why the first meal of the day is called break-fast! This October 17, 2013 article explains how the body cleanses itself while you sleep. Study Reveals Brain 'Takes Out the Trash' While We Sleep. It says:
The study, which was published today in the journal Science, reveals that the brain's unique method of waste removal – dubbed the glymphatic system – is highly active during sleep, clearing away toxins responsible for Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders.
Pure water is distilled water or reverse osmosis (R/O) purified water. Filtered water has many different pollutants in it, like many medications. Joel Fuhrman M.D. uses distilled spring water. That means that he puts spring water through a water distiller. Both of these methods actually takes the pure water out of the water! This is the only kind of water (R/O) I use to make tea. I do not drink water, except if I am on a fast. I drink teas like Yerba Mate Tea, Rooibos Tea and Green Tea.
So a fast is a chance for the body to catch up with this process and clean you out. Fasting gives the body a rest unlike any other rest. Arnold Ehret calls fasting "nature's bloodless operating table." It can help with almost any health problems.
Arnold Ehret had a fasting center in Switzerland and said that fasting had cured some cases of deafness and blindness. The 3 fathers of modern medicine used it-- Galen, Paracelsus and Hippopotamus. I mean Hippocrates. Ancient Jews used it for health, mourning, self-denial, petition and penitence according to Rabbi Morris Kertzer who wrote What is a Jew . Petition is trying to get something from people or God. Penitence is punishing yourself to help you feel better and make up for bad things (sins) you have done. This may have something to do with why some people cut themselves. Psychiatrists have used it for mental problems.
Alex Carrel, M.D. (famous scientist) says:
The elimination of waste products by fasting increases longevity.
Joel Fuhrman M.D. says:
In my practice I have seen fasting eliminate lupus and arthritis, remove chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, heal the digestive tract in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and quickly eliminate cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and angina. In these cases the recoveries were permanent.
Please note that Crohn's disease could cause someone to have diarrhea every 2 hours preventing them from sleeping more that 2 hours at a time. There is no medicine to stop it. But without food going in, there is no need for waste to come out.
Ron Kennedy M.D. says:
Fasting creates a condition of low concentration of toxic wastes in the circulatory system. This is sensed by the plasma membrane of each cell and each cell will then let go of its load of toxic wastes. When this happens suddenly, as it does with fasting, the result can be a sudden case of mild systemic toxemia as the system cleanses itself. Those who fast must be prepared for a phase of headache, irritability, insomnia and fatigue. This is a natural part of the healing process and should be welcomed.
John Tilden M.D. says:
I must say in all seriousness that fasting when combined with a properly selected diet is the nearest approach to a 'cure-all' that is possible to conceive-- profoundly simple and simply profound!
Elson M Haas M.D. says on his website:
Fasting is the single greatest healing therapy.... When I first discovered fasting, 15 years ago, I felt as if it had saved my life and transformed my illness into health.... I believe fasting is the 'missing link' in the western diet.
Donald E Colbert M.D. says:
Fasting is another method of detoxification that I recommend frequently. Fasting allows the body to heal by giving it a rest. Fasting gives the digestive tract a much-needed rest, which in turn allows the overburdened liver to 'catch up' on its detoxification work.
People also lose weight during a fast. How much weight they gain back after the fast depends on what they do and eat after the fast. Fasting does help one to overcome attachments to food, the physical world and addictions. People also develop tastes for healthier foods after fasting.
The Biggest Dangers of Fasting
Since the blood pressure drops during a fast, people need to make sure that they do not get up too fast from lying down since they may pass out and hit their head on something. But fasting is the fastest way to lower high blood pressure or hypertension. You have to be careful in breaking the fast. Also one in 100 people will develop a situation of too little potassium. Then the fast must be broken.
Books on Fasting
I have read about a dozen books on fasting including one by the writer Upton Sinclair that liked to spend 10 hours a day writing. One was by a minister that did it for religious reasons. A Commonsense Guide to Fasting (C1981) by Kenneth E. Hagen. He had gotten very good at it. One day a minister had to go out of town and he took over for him for a week.
After a few days a guy asked him if he had eaten at the local restaurant. He said "no." The guy asked where he had eaten at. He said that he had not eaten anywhere since it never occurred to him. He states that he was not fasting those 3 days. He was just very busy doing things and had forgotten all about eating!
People eat much more food than they need to eat. Fasting helps them to eat less. The only proven method of anti-aging is calorie restriction. They learned this from a study done on rats. Restricting calories is no fun but with fasting you are consuming no calories so it helps you to take in less total calories.
Patricia Bragg is a famous health expert. Her father Dr Paul Bragg along with Jack LaLanne and Adele Davis started the health food movement or natural health movement. Ms. Bragg fasts every Monday and also 3 days at the beginning of every month. I did the math. That is fasting a week every month! She also does a long fast of 7 to 10 days every 3 months. An ancient Egyptian text says to fast several days or more right before the change of season to help your body get used to the new climate. From above webpage:
One of the first nationally-recognized health advocates, Dr. Paul Bragg helped bring natural health to the nation’s attention by advocating deep breathing, water fasts, organic food, juicing and exercising. Called the “Father of the Health Movement in America,” Bragg opened health centers in Los Angeles during the mid-1920s.
New Information added March 7, 2012. This is from NaturalNews.com:
According to a new study carried out at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, fasting for one or two days each week may help improve the condition of individuals suffering from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Researchers have found that stopping nearly all food intake for short periods of time triggers a protection mechanism within the brain which also works against the effects of neurodegenerative disorders.
From the Bragg's book on fasting (see below):
Fasting not only slows down the ageing clock, but it produces a healthy youthfulness and rebirth in the body. In my years supervising fasts, I have seen thousands of unbelievable miracles happen to people of all ages.
Cleansing the Colon
When Dr. Herbert Shelton N.D. first fasted people, he gave enemas to the first 6,000 people. Then he stopped giving enemas and fasted 34,000 more people. He realized that they were not needed. When the fast was over, the colon cleansed itself after taking a vacation. See the 2 Best Ways to Cleanse the Colon. Also see Discovery: Fasting Stops Peristalsis Giving Colon a Rest.
This explains that after fasting for about 6 days the contractions that happen every 2 seconds (called peristalsis) stops and this rest or vacation completely regenerates the colon so it works like a new one.
Fasting and Eating for Health: A Medical Doctor's Program for Conquering Disease by Joel Fuhrman M.D.-- leading country's expert on fasting.
Water Fasting's Amazing Effect On Immune System. 2 minutes.
Why Fasting is Good For Your Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter (M.D. | neurologist)
All about water fasting with Dr. Alan Goldhamer part 1 of 2
What 26 Days Of Fasting Did To Me
yasmeen on May 03, 2015:
I am a Muslim and I don't fast like my do, that is fasting the whole day and then when breaking they eat too much food in the evening. Like I have seen most of my Muslim friends do the same. I think breaking fast by consuming first dates with water or vegetables juice or light food like broth, herbal teas. Not breaking fast with heavy food like samosas, rice and curry.
arslan on August 04, 2013:
that's so many health benefits in exchange for abstaining from eating/drinking. I am a muslim and we fast for a whole month from sunrise to sunset every year. in addition we also try to keep away from bad deeds in all their forms. so there are countless physical and spiritual benefits. Thank you for this very informative article.
Chuck Bluestein (author) from Morristown, AZ, USA on July 27, 2012:
During a fast, there is no need for nutrients just like there is no need to eat while you are sleeping. Fasting is the most effective way to lower high blood pressure.
Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2012:
I agree that blood pressure needs to be watched when one is fasting. There still needs to be enough nutrients entering one's system. I like that you reference doctors to add strength to your points.
Chuck Bluestein (author) from Morristown, AZ, USA on February 22, 2012:
The book above is by Joel Fuhrman M.D. He is considered the country's leading expert on fasting. He has treated thousands of people with serious problems with fasting. His mother was fasted by Dr Shelton. Dr Shelton also had him fast for 32 days to help with an injury.
If you are going to fast on your own then you should have that book. Dr. Shelton was the country's leading expert on fasting before Dr Fuhrman.
Brinafr3sh from West Coast, United States on February 20, 2012:
I have been thinking about going on a fast, I just need to choose when. My last fast was for 1 day, but the next fast will be for at least a week. But first I will be getting the the book by Kenneth E. Hagen on how to fast, and which fasts a better for me. This is a very useful Hub, thanks so much.
emdi on January 06, 2012:
I do one day 'fasting' once in a while. I hardly feel troubled of it as I was just very busy doing things and had forgotten all about eating!- as the other guy told
Chuck Bluestein (author) from Morristown, AZ, USA on December 17, 2011:
It could help type 2 diabetes since the most important thing for them is to lose weight and gain muscle. Juice drinks can include spirulina, kale, chlorella, barley grass and many other very nutritious foods.
susy_jordan on December 11, 2011:
how would fasting affect diabetes 2 ? Good or bad for diabetics?
thanks for info!
samanthamsmith from Small Town USA on October 21, 2011:
Never tried it but sounds awesome!
Chuck Bluestein (author) from Morristown, AZ, USA on October 19, 2011:
Thanks doodlebug. I forgot to put M.D. after Ron Kennedy's name. It is not the Kennedy that was senator although Abraham Lincoln created a day of fasting. I will put up a link to a longer article including this.
Christopher Wanamaker from Arizona on October 18, 2011:
Interesting. I am curious now and would like to do more research on this subject.
Nolen Hart from Southwest on October 18, 2011:
Interesting Hub. I had no idea that Robert Kennedy believed in fasting. I just might try it.