Healthy Intermittent Fasting Benefits

Yogis do it and so can you!

Oct 24, 2020
Healthy Intermittent Fasting Benefits Yogis do it and so can you!

You may have heard of the recent dietary trend of intermittent fasting. Using periods of fasting and eating has become a popular method to stay fit. Yet, for centuries, yogis have turned to intermittent fasting as a method of fueling and healing the body with amazing health benefits.

They are not alone. Many cultures around the world practice fasting as a form of literal and spiritual purification. Buddhist monks often do not eat each day after the noon meal. Muslims fast between dawn and sunset during the month of Ramadan. Jews fast for one day as a form of repentance during Yom Kippur.

Fasting gives an opportunity to heal, repair, and detoxify the system, which can reduce many health problems. Indian yogi, spiritual teacher, and author, Sadhguru, founded the Isha Foundation, a network of over 7 million people with 300 centers worldwide dedicated to applying the ancient science of yoga to attain physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.

In a video interview with Youth and Truth on intermittent fasting, Sadhguru explains, “I have been talking about [intermittent fasting] for forty years, and I have seen hundreds and thousands of people who just become healthy and well simply because they are not fueling up all the time, when their tank is already spilling.”

As shown in the video, at Sadhguru’s Isha Centers, people eat their first meal at 10 a.m. in the morning. The centers don’t have any automobiles, so residents stay active throughout the day, walking from building to building and practicing yoga. By the time dinner comes around at 7 p.m., everyone has an empty stomach and feels ready to refuel. In this way, they eat when they’re naturally hungry rather than overeat or skip meals.

Fasting allows the body to heal, repair, and detoxify, which can reduce many health problems. Sadhguru explains that the body and brain work at their best when the stomach is empty. This allows a natural purification process. By spacing out meals, you give your digestive system a break and a chance to cleanse from the inside out.

Sadhguru Wisdom recommends that adults over the age 30 consume two good meals a day. For optimal health, eat once in the morning and once in the evening three hours before going to bed. Include at least 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity, such as walking or yoga.

Today, science supports the health benefits of intermittent fasting. When you fast, healthy changes occur in the body.  A study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that eating within a six-hour period and fasting for 18 hours increases stress resistance and reduces incidence of disease, including cancer and obesity. In addition, time-restricted eating improves blood pressure and insulin sensitivity, as found in a ScienceDirect study of men with prediabetes.

Dietary fads may come and go. While intermittent fasting seems like just another trend, in fact, this time-honored yogic practice follows the evolutionary tendencies of the human body.

Mindful eating with breaks in between meals gives the body a chance to cleanse itself, with many proven health benefits backed by science. Sure, the optimal diet doesn’t look the same to everyone. But for many, fasting provides the ideal eating pattern for healthy living. 

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ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.