Most cultures and religions around the world have practiced cleansing, fasting, and detoxification rituals for centuries. In these traditions, common aspects of cleansing practices include the elimination or restriction of certain food and drink for a designated period of time. Science has verified the health benefits of these practices.
A 2007 study by Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, Utah looked at the fasting habits of Mormons who followed a strict practice of fasting for one day each month. Researchers x-rayed the blood vessels of the Mormon’s hearts and determined that fasting for just one day a month gave the Mormon’s healthier heart arteries. According to the authors, people who fast receive a heart-protective benefit that can help stave off a heart attack.
The researchers determined that fasting allows the arteries to become sensitized to insulin-producing cells, which are desensitized when a person develops pre-diabetes (or diabetes) and therefore can’t process food as efficiently. Refraining from eating for even 24 hours helps by removing the body’s exposure to glucose, giving the heart’s arteries a rest, and allowing them to re-set. Because diabetes is closely linked with psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance-related disorders, cognitive impairment, and dementia. this research has significant mental heath implications as well.
Fasting and other forms of detoxification can reduce the toxic load we collect within our bodies. Because detoxification can be hard on the body, it’s important to have medical supervision while undergoing this type of therapy. The best way to partake in any type of detoxification method is with the help of a qualified health professional that can safely facilitate the process.