Going without food for 12 hours or more has many positive benefits on the immune system and gut, allowing the body to clear up the old cells and reset the metabolism. Everyone should ideally have a 12 hour overnight fast from when their last meal was eaten until breakfast, but in our age of constant snacking, sometimes this doesn’t happen.
Some people with blood sugar problems, may need a small carbohydrate snack at bedtime to prevent night-time waking, until their blood sugar is more balanced during the day with proteins and good fats. Of course alcohol affects blood sugar during the night, so to manage an effective 12 hour fast with waking, you should avoid alcohol.
For those who are able to go longer, then once a week, a 17 hour fast can be helpful, this means you don’t eat until lunchtime, but for this to work you need to ensure that your last meal is a balanced mix of the right carbs, fats and protein (e.g. salmon, quinoa and 2-3 veg)
Fasting improves health by:
- Cleansing cells of accumulated toxins and waste products.
- Strengthening the gastrointestinal mucosal lining.
- Improving digestion
- Reducing oxidative damage
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving metabolism
- Balancing the gut microbiome.
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