Health/Wellness

The Key to Healthy Living and Long Life!

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When you think of fasting, what immediately comes to your mind?  Most people think of “fasting” in the traditional manner; anything given up temporarily for a specific cause or purpose. Fasting, as practiced by religious groups, is a way to demonstrate devotion to God and His authority.  According to Scripture, fasting is described as abstaining from food for a specific period of time. It is almost always regarded as fasting from food; however, in Scripture, there are also other ways to view fasting. 

 

According to 2 Chronicles chapter 20, fasting is demonstrated as a spiritual discipline.  When the nation was faced with disaster, Jehoshaphat was alarmed by this news and sought the LORD for guidance. He called upon the people to get serious with God by going without food.  He also gave orders that everyone throughout the nation of Judah should observe a fast for a designated period of time. By separating themselves from the daily routine of food preparation and eating, they could devote that time to considering their sin and praying to God for help. Hunger pangs would reinforce their feelings of penitence and remind them of their weakness and their dependence upon God.

To be clear, Scripture does not demand Christians to fast. However, fasting is presented as something that is good, useful, and beneficial.  It is not intended to punish the flesh, but to redirect attention to God.  Also, fasting should not be considered a “dieting method” either. The purpose of a biblical fast is not to lose weight, but rather to gain deeper fellowship with God.  Individuals with certain medical conditions should always consult their physician before considering a fast.  Everyone can temporarily give up something in order to draw closer to God.

 

Certain religions fast for health benefits.  Mormons have traditionally fasted one day a month, and studies have shown that this practice has contributed to living longer.  They also avoid drinking alcohol or smoking.  In a study in Salt Lake City where a large number of Mormons live, it was noted that after a 12 hour fast, they found that the HDL (good cholesterol) rose and the triglycerides (dangerous blood fat) decreased.  

 

Fasting and Your Heart!

Fasting, intermittently, may be helpful to our hearts! According to a study by The American Journal of Cardiology, published in June 2012, researchers observed the habits of 200 men and women. They found that those who fasted once a month were 58 % less likely to have heart disease than those who did not, after controlling such factors as age, smoking status, and high blood pressure. Two studies from Horne’s team of researchers at Intermountain Medical Center noted that fasting one day a month may prevent clinical diagnoses of heart disease and diabetes.

 

When my husband passed away from a myocardial infarction (heart attack), he had no prior history of heart disease nor displayed any or symptoms.  As a Retired Nurse, it is my contention that his diet was definitely a contributing factor. He loved fried foods before and after our marriage: however, I was able to get him to experiment with alternative ways of preparing his favorite fried foods that did not involve deep frying especially as it relates to his favorite fried food, pork chops.   My husband’s condition increased my interest in dietary health concerns on a cellular level.  What if he had fasted from fried foods much earlier in his life and utilized ‘intermittent fasting’ years before I met him?  Would he be here with us today?  What else could I have done?  These and other questions continue to haunt me.  How about you?

 

Fasting and Breast Cancer!

The 5:2 Fast is an intermittent fast where people eat whatever they want for five straight days during the week.  The remaining two days they limit their diet to   five hundred calories per day.  You may be surprised to know that there is research that supports the health benefits of this technique.  .

 

 

In a six-month study conducted by Dr. Michelle Harvie of the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Center in Manchester, England found that women who followed the diet lost more weight than those on an equivalent low-calorie diet.  In addition, Dr. Rhonda Patrick, a biomedical scientist and expert on micronutrients and cancer found that women with breast cancer that fast for 13 hours overnight have a 36% reduction in breast cancer recurrence.

 

Results of a randomized clinical trial at the University of  Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology  found that  a periodic, five-day fasting diet  can safely reduce the risk factors for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other age-related diseases.

 

Intermittent Fasting and Alzheimer’s Disease!

Recently, I had the opportunity to provide care to my 95-year-old father. Yes, there is longevity in our family. He is in fairly good health for being his age, has exceptional good long-term memory and demonstrating a decline in his short-term memory with sporadic periods of agitation and confusion.  When evaluated it was determined that he has a mild-moderate degree of dementia. 

 

According to Mark Mattson, head of the National Institute on Aging Neuroscience Laboratory, has studied the effects of fasting on the brain for 20 years.  In animal studies, intermittent fasting assists the brain in withstanding degenerative effects of aging.  A slight degree of stress on the body is created by fasting in the same way that exercise causes stress on the body.  This type of stress stimulates the growth of brain cells similar to how exercise creates a beneficial stress on muscles.  The results are a stronger body and a stronger brain.

 

Intermittent Fasting on Health and Longevity

Although previous work has shown how intermittent fasting can slow the aging process. Scientists and researchers are only beginning to understand the underlying biology.

 

It has been documented that just as fasting gives your body a break from toxins, one must consider it also saps our bodies of vital nutrients, like vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.  According to David Katz, MD, MPH, Director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University, says “with fasting, you risk throwing out the baby with the bath water, as you create nutrient deficits on your fasting days, it may be difficult to compensate on the days you do eat.”

 

 

“Low-energy conditions such as dietary restriction and intermittent fasting also have previously been shown to promote healthy aging.  Understanding why this is the case is a crucial step toward being able to harness the benefits therapeutically,” said Heather Weir, lead author of the study, and a research associate at Astex Pharmaceuticals. “Our findings open up new avenues in the search for therapeutic strategies that will reduce our likelihood of developing age-related diseases as we get older.”

 

Another important factor to keep in mind is that individuals who fast intermittently have typically maintained a healthy body weight, been more alert, and energetic, experienced less stress, and are less prone to getting sick when compared to the counterparts. Consider the following tips.

 

Tips for Health and Longevity

  1. Be careful what you eat and evaluate your relationship with the knife, fork and spoon.
  2. Consider a colon cleansing.
  3. Consider a liver cleansing.   It is the “Queen” of detoxification and maintenance with physician consultation.  The liver has two main functions ~ to purify blood and process fats.
  4. Consider food as a “Prescription” for good health and longer life ~ ‘we are what we eat!’
  5. Create a balance of food, motion and emotions.

 

 

“A long healthy life is no accident. It begins with good genes, but it also depends on good habits.”

Dan Buettner

 

 As a bonus, I would like to offer a final key to healthy living and stronger immune system. Start your day by brushing your teeth followed by drinking a glass of warm water every morning on an empty stomach.  The glass of warm water will make your belly happy and help flush out your intestines. Please wait at least 15-20 minutes before having your breakfast. You will feel the improvement no matter what level of health you are in. In about 10 days you will start feeling the difference with a new and healthy outlook on life

 

The human body is simply amazing!  It is a clever self-maintaining system. In all our organs, and in our blood, there are built-in mechanisms that help our bodies fight viruses, get rid of toxins, and eliminate unwanted by-products and dead cells.

 

Barbra is an international certified holistic life coach. As a life coach, she shares prescriptions of the physical, emotional, and spiritual blockage that hinders the source of life which flows from the heartbeat of God. Barbra is an Award winning book author. Winner of Fresh Lifestyle Magazine 2017 BOOK AWARD and a PWN International Literacy Award, for her wonderful book, “Every Beat of My Heart”.

www.beatofmyheart.org
barbragp.acndirect.com
www.bgpbooks.com
www.pwnbooks.com/pugh.htm

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