Fasting is healthy and good for your body

Nature Basics | 06.08.2021

How good is fasting for the body?

A detailed analysis

How your immune system can be supported and strengthened

Fasting is currently very popular. From interval fasting to longer-lasting therapeutic fasting cures lasting several days, the various types of fasting are very much en vogue. But how does fasting affect health and how good is it really? In this article we answer all these questions.


Where does the concept actually come from?

The idea of fasting has been a known phenomenon since the Stone Age. Before humans became sedentary and the agricultural revolution made regular food intake possible, fasting was a regularly occurring condition. As a hunter-gatherer, we were therefore for decades in an environment where it was quite normal, which is why it can also be said that the body is made for it and adapted to it. Accordingly, it can also be stated that it is not natural to provide the body with food several times a day and this for years and without longer breaks. Therefore, many hypotheses exist, according to which it would be advisable to reintegrate fasting more regularly into people’s daily lives. According to these hypotheses, this allows the digestive tract to recover and various processes to take place, which are not possible through continuous food intake.


However, the concept of fasting also existed in ancient times, when the theory of microcosm and macrocosm was still widespread. According to this theory, a person’s diet affects not only his body, but also his mood, behavior and temperament, as well as politics. Modern studies cannot confirm this completely, however a good connection can already be recognized in the self-test. An important example here are the Pythagoreans, who with their meatless diet already laid the foundation for many fasting methods used today.


Also in many religions fasting is of large meaning, whereby here the conditions are quite different and sometimes more, sometimes less strict. Here, too, it can be seen that fasting was already an important part when religions came into being.


Most popular methods: From Buchinger to interval fasting

Buchinger Fasting

If one regards today’s methods, it is evident that there are also many new forms of fasting. Among the best known of these is Buchinger fasting, which bears the name of its inventor, Otto Buchinger, a German physician. Buchinger fasting usually takes place in a clinical setting and is also known as therapeutic fasting. In this method, you completely avoid solid food and instead consume at least 2-3 liters of liquid per day. In Buchinger’s therapeutic fasting, the psychological aspect also plays an important role.


Alkaline Fasting

Also very popular nowadays is the alkaline fasting, which is less strict than the Buchinger fasting, as one is allowed to eat fruits and vegetables here. However, only foods that can be metabolized alkaline are allowed, and oils are also permitted. The goal of alkaline fasting is to detoxify the body and boost the metabolism. Juice fasting works in a similar way, where a glass of juice may be drunk several times a day. This form of fasting also serves to relieve the body and restore its alkaline balance.


Interval fasting

In addition, interval fasting is on everyone’s lips, which is also known as “intermittent fasting” (IF) in English-speaking countries. This type of fasting can also be applied well in everyday life, since one can eat normal meals here. According to the 16:8 model, followers of the fasting method abstain from food for 16 hours and eat it only during a time window of eight hours. Based on the model of the stone age fasting phases are to be inserted thus also here for the discharge of the body. Apps such as “Fastic” can help with the time measurement, where users can exchange information and help each other with recipes or exercises. To establish better eating routines and adopt healthier eating habits, many people swear by interval fasting.


What do studies say about longevity?

The topic of fasting is also of great importance for science. Some biologists and doctors even consider fasting cures and calorie-reduced diets to be THE guarantee for a long and healthy life. The US-American gerontologist Roy Walfor, as founder of the “Calorie Restriction Society”, advocated light and healthy food, which can result in an increase in life expectancy of even 30%. This was already examined many times in laboratory studies and also proved. Dr. Valter Longo, a biologist from Italy who received his doctorate under the aegis of Roy Walford, contributed the “Fasting Mimicking Diet” and also wrote the bestseller “Eat young – the Longevity Diet”.


Fasting Mimicking Diet: What is it?

This described Fasting Mimicking Diet (“mimic fasting”) is a concept that allows to integrate the classic fasting method into everyday life in a simpler and less cumbersome way. Unlike traditional fasting diets, mimicking fasting allows solid food and more calories to be taken, but it must always be achieved that the body still demonstrably enters a fasting state. To be able to achieve this, the user must adhere to a strict diet plan, which among other things also does not allow sugar (i.e. no fruit).


Instead, mock fasting is all about grilled vegetables, olive oil, raw vegetables, seeds and nuts. The mock fasting diet thereby extends over a period of 5 days. It is preferably done two to four times a year. Since here higher quantities of food can be taken up, humans can reach a comparatively large fullness feeling, which makes fasting simpler than with other well-known fasting methods (interval fasting is excluded here).


If you would like to try the Fasting Mimicking Diet once, you can buy the ready-made package of ProLon®, co-developed by Professor Longo, or simply select special Mimic Fasting prescriptions for 5 days. Beyond that also food supplements play an important role with fasting apart from the meals: Many studies advise as addition and optimization to take vitamines, minerals and/or omega 3 fatty acids additionally.


Which fasting cure is the right one for me?

There is no question that fasting is good for you. People relieve their intestines, give their stomachs a break and also strengthen their immune systems. In addition, a fasting cure can be very helpful in the case of food allergies. Also with many other indications and disease pictures fasting is to be able to help, which Professor Michalsen of the Charité Berlin describes in its best-seller book.


Contrary to crash parliamentary allowance well-known on all sides are interval fasting and the fasting mimicking diet besides very good lasting alternatives. With these fasting methods, you learn to listen to your body and perceive its signals. You also practice paying attention to what your body really needs. In addition, you will appreciate your food more in everyday life. Last but not least, these methods are proven to be good for the body and the immune system, which is why you can hardly avoid the various fasting methods in a healthy lifestyle.