benefits of fastingWhether you’re religious or not, fasting is something that has permeated every culture, religion, and history.

And for good reason. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing it for religious reasons or health reasons, fasting can be a way to rejuvenate the body, mind, and soul.

Enjoy these 5 benefits and if you’re currently fasting or will be in the near future, drop a comment. I’d love to hear what your reasons were for your decision.

1. Re-tune your digestive system

Not many people know this but fasting can be a way for you to give your digestive system a tune up. According to Dr. Naomi Neufeld, an endocrinologist at UCLA, “You re-tune the body, suppress insulin secretion, reduce the taste for sugar, so sugar becomes something you’re less fond of taking.”

What happens is that the body eventually uses up the stored sugar (glycogen) so that less insultin is needed to help the body digest food. And that gives your pancreas a rest.

2. Reduce your intake of free radicals

Mark Mattson, a scientist with the National Institute on Aging, has reported that fasting can reduce your intake of free radicals, which can cause cancer. In fact, according to Mattson, “These free radicals will attack proteins, DNA, the nucleus of cells, the membranes of cells. They can damage all those different molecules in cells.”

Even just reducing your calorie intake can have the same effects as a fast. In a study amongst rats and mice, it was noted that those who were fed very little and restricted in their food intake had a reduction in disease compared to those who were fed normal daily diets.

3. Speed up your journey to self-discovery

We are all creatures of habit. And eating, just like smoking and sleeping, is a habit. What happens during a fast is that by taking away such an essential part of your daily routine, you mess up your whole schedule. This sounds bad but it’s not. It’s really a time to reflect on your routines and give you a pause to think about how you want your life to move forward.

By fasting, you become more conscious of yourself and you can take the time usually spent eating to meditate, journal, or do any other form of reflection.

4. Increase your gratitude

How could you not be grateful to break your fast? And after each day when you do break fast, it’s a celebration. A celebration for a completed day of fasting, reflection, and persistence. So rejoice and celebrate your success! Show gratitude to yourself and others.

And when you break your fast, you will be very very happy to taste food again. And contrary to some beliefs, you won’t binge on food. In fact you will be more conscious of what you allow into your body and feel gratitude for the food you receive.

5. Launch yourself into your ideal life

Sounds like a pretty big benefit for something as simple as fasting. But it’s true. When you begin your fast you can take this time to break old patterns, examine your current situation, and use it as the starting point for a whole new life.

What really makes this possible is that by fasting you are exhibiting control over yourself and your situation. And controlling your eating habits may be one of the hardest things to do. For each day you complete a successful fast, you condition your mind into to believe it can and will do anything. You are training your mind to be successful. And after days of a successful fasting your mind will be neurologically conditioned for success.

So the next time you set a goal for yourself, it’ll be easier to attain!

There are tons more reasons why fasting can be good for you and before you begin a fast, check out some resources for the safest and best way to do so.

FinerMinds Team

FinerMinds Team

In our quest to boost your personal growth, we hope to inspire and support you through our content! You can also check us out on Facebook.

29 Comments

  • Yana says:

    Thank you for this great article! I have a question… Is there a "healthy" number of days a person should fast? In today's fast world one can't meditate and try to ignore hunger for a month. I guess the minimum is a day, but what is a healthy maximum for a beginner?

  • Yana says:

    Thank you for this great article! I have a question… Is there a “healthy” number of days a person should fast? In today's fast world one can't meditate and try to ignore hunger for a month. I guess the minimum is a day, but what is a healthy maximum for a beginner?

  • […] Enjoy these 5 benefits and if you’re currently fasting or will be in the near future, drop a comment. I’d love to hear what your reasons were for your decision. Baca seterusnya di sini […]

  • Kirsten says:

    Great article! Fasting also gives me the opportunity to actively exercise control over my physical body's demands and give my spiritual body a chance to take the driver's seat, if you will. There is something about telling the body "not yet" that gives added spiritual strength.

  • Kirsten says:

    Great article! Fasting also gives me the opportunity to actively exercise control over my physical body's demands and give my spiritual body a chance to take the driver's seat, if you will. There is something about telling the body “not yet” that gives added spiritual strength.

  • MaryAnne says:

    okay.. I'm 14! and A Muslim! and I'm Fasting Caues your Supposed to In our Religion…This Article helped me conintue to fast cause i was just about to take a bite of my bag of chips! Ugh It's So Hard! I can't Wait till 8:02 to break it.

  • Bilal says:

    @ Yana/number of days 2fast

    In my pre-muslim-convert days I also used to fast. However, in those days I fasted different compared to the Islamic ways.

    I usually refrained from eating for 7 days, so only liquids during those 7 days. The 1st 3 days tend to be the hardest, after that your body somehow gets used to it.

    I used to do this once every 3 – 4 months, and as far as I know I did not have any negative physical effects, probably cause I took a glass of fruit juices three times a day?

    Another 'system' I use is eating one almond and drinking one glass of water every hour for one day, with a few dates for breakfast and a light salad supper. This might be a way to prepare your body and mind for the real thing.

    You might want to start with one day a month and continue adding one day a month until you reach seven days, or whatever works for you.

  • Sonia Avila Mohammed says:

    Hi every! My husband, son (14yrs.), daughter (12yrs.) and I started Ramadan on Saturday. Yes, we are Muslims. I have been getting up earlier @ 4:30 ever since Ramadan started to make breakfast. I make malt-o-meal or cream of wheat, 1 turkey bacon, 1 boil egg, 1 glass of orange juice, 1 or 2 glass of water, 1 or 2 slice of toast or 1 bagel or 1 muffin, and if want 1 cup of tea. We stop eating and drinking before the sun rises. All day we do not eat or drink until sunset we break fast and eat a healthy balance dinner. This helps us spiritually and helps us health wise, too. There is alot of benefits in this. Ramadan is 30 days.

    If you have a grave illness you can not fast until you consult with your doctor.

    I am so happy to share this with everyone.

  • Bilal says:

    @ Yana/number of days 2fast

    In my pre-muslim-convert days I also used to fast. However, in those days I fasted different compared to the Islamic ways.
    I usually refrained from eating for 7 days, so only liquids during those 7 days. The 1st 3 days tend to be the hardest, after that your body somehow gets used to it.
    I used to do this once every 3 – 4 months, and as far as I know I did not have any negative physical effects, probably cause I took a glass of fruit juices three times a day?
    Another 'system' I use is eating one almond and drinking one glass of water every hour for one day, with a few dates for breakfast and a light salad supper. This might be a way to prepare your body and mind for the real thing.
    You might want to start with one day a month and continue adding one day a month until you reach seven days, or whatever works for you.

  • Sonia Avila Mohammed says:

    Hi every! My husband, son (14yrs.), daughter (12yrs.) and I started Ramadan on Saturday. Yes, we are Muslims. I have been getting up earlier @ 4:30 ever since Ramadan started to make breakfast. I make malt-o-meal or cream of wheat, 1 turkey bacon, 1 boil egg, 1 glass of orange juice, 1 or 2 glass of water, 1 or 2 slice of toast or 1 bagel or 1 muffin, and if want 1 cup of tea. We stop eating and drinking before the sun rises. All day we do not eat or drink until sunset we break fast and eat a healthy balance dinner. This helps us spiritually and helps us health wise, too. There is alot of benefits in this. Ramadan is 30 days.
    If you have a grave illness you can not fast until you consult with your doctor.
    I am so happy to share this with everyone.

  • I am starting a fast the day after labor day. I'm going it with this supplement called Living Fuel, it's a super food with everything under the sun in it, it may even contain sun extract, this stuff is hardcore. But they recommend doing a 7 day fast, were u drink three shakes a day and just pound water. I expect that it will be a week were everything comes together. For the longest time I've been trying to get up before the sun rise and meditate, but have failed to meet the commitment. I hope to build this in with the fast, and plow the universe down with positive energy. I'm ganna track the progress on my blog and provide a description of the experience and method.

  • Muhammad Ikramullah says:

    Thanks for explaining some of the benefits of fasting.

    I started fasting this year on Aug 22,2009.As a Muslim , I do following things for fasting as an unavoidable religious duty.

    -I take some food same as lunch or dinner before Sun rise.

    -Then before sun rise[Subhe Sadik ] fasting arises.

    -Before Sun set I usually go to Dining table and after sun set , I take food, which is called "iftar".

    -This way I have to fast until next month new Moon will rise on the sky.

    -Five time prayers is one of the main part of the fasting, 4 times withing fasting period. Once at night after fasting.

    -We need to avoid all kind of bad things in the fasting month of Ramadan,which starts with appearance of Moon of Ramadan and ends after end apperance of the Moon of Shawal.

    -After apperance of the moon of Shawal , we have a day of enjoyment called "Eid" day.

    -It is supposed that all kind of mental, spiritual and physical well being springs from this fasting.

    -As every year we observe and do the fasting, fasting itself is

    not very hard for us.But avoiding and teaching ourselves all kind of good things is the main thing of fasting,which would be good for this world and the world after death.

  • susan says:

    I practice fasting from food because it rests my body from the labors of digesting food. I think fasting allows my body's central vacuum system to turn on at this time, kind of like closing a building and allowing the janitorial crew to come in and clean up. Imagine never cleaning up our kitchens in our homes!!!!!

    I do not fast from water because water is not a food. That is like oxygen which you don't want to cut off either lol! Unless you want to do yourself in. Imagine running your automobile without water in the radiator! You would damage it.

    I used to fast once a month, which is great for beginners. Now I do it once a week because I am older and the central vacuum system isn't what it used to be.

  • Muhammad Ikramullah says:

    Thanks for explaining some of the benefits of fasting.
    I started fasting this year on Aug 22,2009.As a Muslim , I do following things for fasting as an unavoidable religious duty.

    -I take some food same as lunch or dinner before Sun rise.
    -Then before sun rise[Subhe Sadik ] fasting arises.
    -Before Sun set I usually go to Dining table and after sun set , I take food, which is called “iftar”.
    -This way I have to fast until next month new Moon will rise on the sky.
    -Five time prayers is one of the main part of the fasting, 4 times withing fasting period. Once at night after fasting.
    -We need to avoid all kind of bad things in the fasting month of Ramadan,which starts with appearance of Moon of Ramadan and ends after end apperance of the Moon of Shawal.
    -After apperance of the moon of Shawal , we have a day of enjoyment called “Eid” day.
    -It is supposed that all kind of mental, spiritual and physical well being springs from this fasting.
    -As every year we observe and do the fasting, fasting itself is
    not very hard for us.But avoiding and teaching ourselves all kind of good things is the main thing of fasting,which would be good for this world and the world after death.

  • susan says:

    I practice fasting from food because it rests my body from the labors of digesting food. I think fasting allows my body's central vacuum system to turn on at this time, kind of like closing a building and allowing the janitorial crew to come in and clean up. Imagine never cleaning up our kitchens in our homes!!!!!

    I do not fast from water because water is not a food. That is like oxygen which you don't want to cut off either lol! Unless you want to do yourself in. Imagine running your automobile without water in the radiator! You would damage it.

    I used to fast once a month, which is great for beginners. Now I do it once a week because I am older and the central vacuum system isn't what it used to be.

  • Amy K says:

    Fasting is not a natural function of the body. Never done it in my life and never been ill. Oh and I am at a very mature age. Enjoy life and live…

  • JAnn says:

    I have fasted many, many times in my life. It is one of my favorite spiritual practices. It is great physically because it forces you to slow down from our hectic lives and connect more to your spirituality. It increases your spiritual focus because your attention is removed from food. I don't have a regular fasting time and I am not Muslim but I feel that resting my digestive system and being able to connect more to my spirituality have tremendous benefit for me.

  • Earl says:

    Fasting does not start at sunrise. On eating, drinking and morning prayer 43 minutes before sunrise, starts the fasting of Ramadhan. Fasting during the month of Ramadhan (essential as a muslim) and any time during the year (optional) is not only fasting from food and liquids alone. It is fasting from every temptation of life. It is fasting of the heart, mouth and tongue(speak good, do not hurt anyone's feelings, do not get involved in back-biting and arguments). It is fasting of your hands and legs (utilize your hands to do good to humanity, not utilize your hands and fingers and mind for evil purposes) and do not use your legs to patronize forbidden places. Remember what Shakespeare said in The Tempest, if my memory is still good, Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Refrain from sex since fasting amounts to prayers and in this state, you are all the time praying in front of God. And understand what is HUNGER and how important food is. This is community feeling. Now you know you the value of food. Imagine the pangs of hunger when your brethren are suffering and dying of hunger in the African continent. So the money saved on you lunch, USE IT TO FEED THE HUNGRY. This is what Islam teaches us. Its not just abstaining from food & drink. Its abstaining from everything evil and doing Good to Humanity.

  • Earl says:

    Fasting does not start at sunrise. On eating, drinking and morning prayer 43 minutes before sunrise, starts the fasting of Ramadhan. Fasting during the month of Ramadhan (essential as a muslim) and any time during the year (optional) is not only fasting from food and liquids alone. It is fasting from every temptation of life. It is fasting of the heart, mouth and tongue(speak good, do not hurt anyone's feelings, do not get involved in back-biting and arguments). It is fasting of your hands and legs (utilize your hands to do good to humanity, not utilize your hands and fingers and mind for evil purposes) and do not use your legs to patronize forbidden places. Remember what Shakespeare said in The Tempest, if my memory is still good, Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Refrain from sex since fasting amounts to prayers and in this state, you are all the time praying in front of God. And understand what is HUNGER and how important food is. This is community feeling. Now you know you the value of food. Imagine the pangs of hunger when your brethren are suffering and dying of hunger in the African continent. So the money saved on you lunch, USE IT TO FEED THE HUNGRY. This is what Islam teaches us. Its not just abstaining from food & drink. Its abstaining from everything evil and doing Good to Humanity.

  • Arthur Ratnavale says:

    Fasting is excellent for body and mind.It rests the digestive system and prevents colon disorder,colon cancer etc.Fasting also benefits a person in spiritual practice.That is why Mahatma Gandhi a great political and spiritual leader of our times laid great empasis on fasting and called it “Sathyagraha”.It won independence for his country! Another celebrity the late M.G.Ramachandran(MGR) a popular film idol and political leader in South India used to fast one whole day once a month – he acted in youthful roles in stunts and fight scenes in films while in his sixties.No doubt fasting slows down the aging process and helps one to be agile both phisically and mentally.

  • StevenPai says:

    This is Good,Never Saw such a Approach.But Simply Love The Way it is Written.Awesome Once Again,and Am surely Giving it a shot .Probably from Saturday,The Day I eat the Most.

    Love

    Steven Pai

  • StevenPai says:

    This is Good,Never Saw such a Approach.But Simply Love The Way it is Written.Awesome Once Again,and Am surely Giving it a shot .Probably from Saturday,The Day I eat the Most.

    Love
    Steven Pai

  • Ionut says:

    Nothing new for the human kind but something extraordinary for the most of the people! Fasting has benn practiced for thousands of years, all around the world, within any religion or filosophicaly belief. The fast can be done from 1 to 40 or more days, depending of how strong is the subject's mind. I would actually reccomend to you to be done under medical observation.
    I have been practicing fasting for 10 years now. Every year, preferably in the summer time, I am taking no food, no other liquids but pure water for 10 days. The benefits for my body, soul and mind are absolutely considerable! After 10 days of fasting I feel as a bright new born child.
    Few considerations are necessary here:
    1. Days 1 to 4 are very hard. You need to put all you will power to resist to the temptation of taking food and also to fight back to your mind and habits that try to deviate you from achieving your goal. Fake headache, stomachache or other signal will start to pop-up in your body in order to make you give up. Stay cool, smile, is just you, your mind, that is starting all of these!!!
    2. The 5th day is the toughest one, for me! Here the brain is using its most powerful weapon: the dreams. I have vivid dreams with sumptuous meals, whole cow BBQ, sea food feast and all the wonderful dishes of the world! I've learned to wake up and smile, thinking at my naughty brain.
    3. After Day 5, there is just silence and joy. No need for food, no chance for "corruption". Actually, last year I just forgot when I had started the fast so finally I did fast for 11 days. Every year confirms me that from day 5 onward is just a matter of how long you decide to do it. And it is very easy too.
    4. The greatest let's call it "evil" is the society reluctance to this healing method!!! Everyone around will try to make you abandon your way. From your parents to your partner, from your colleagues to your friends. There is one and only one exception: the kids have the power to encourage you even they are not fully aware about the subject. They are just awesome!!!
    I am at my 3rd day of fasting now and I feel good.
    Do it, do it for yourself and for those around you!!!
    Good luck.

  • Ionut says:

    Nothing new for the human kind but something extraordinary for the most of the people! Fasting has benn practiced for thousands of years, all around the world, within any religion or filosophicaly belief. The fast can be done from 1 to 40 or more days, depending of how strong is the subject's mind. I would actually reccomend to you to be done under medical observation.
    I have been practicing fasting for 10 years now. Every year, preferably in the summer time, I am taking no food, no other liquids but pure water for 10 days. The benefits for my body, soul and mind are absolutely considerable! After 10 days of fasting I feel as a bright new born child.
    Few considerations are necessary here:
    1. Days 1 to 4 are very hard. You need to put all you will power to resist to the temptation of taking food and also to fight back to your mind and habits that try to deviate you from achieving your goal. Fake headache, stomachache or other signal will start to pop-up in your body in order to make you give up. Stay cool, smile, is just you, your mind, that is starting all of these!!!
    2. The 5th day is the toughest one, for me! Here the brain is using its most powerful weapon: the dreams. I have vivid dreams with sumptuous meals, whole cow BBQ, sea food feast and all the wonderful dishes of the world! I've learned to wake up and smile, thinking at my naughty brain.
    3. After Day 5, there is just silence and joy. No need for food, no chance for “corruption”. Actually, last year I just forgot when I had started the fast so finally I did fast for 11 days. Every year confirms me that from day 5 onward is just a matter of how long you decide to do it. And it is very easy too.
    4. The greatest let's call it “evil” is the society reluctance to this healing method!!! Everyone around will try to make you abandon your way. From your parents to your partner, from your colleagues to your friends. There is one and only one exception: the kids have the power to encourage you even they are not fully aware about the subject. They are just awesome!!!
    I am at my 3rd day of fasting now and I feel good.
    Do it, do it for yourself and for those around you!!!
    Good luck.

  • […] a message to the cells of the body that they should conserve and use energy more efficiently.""The 5 Benefits Of Fasting — For Your Mind, Soul, And Body" A really good, quick read that lists two practical benefits and three more spiritual benefits, […]

  • Wow! This is really the article that I need. Even my clients will get convinced about fasting not just for spiritual benefit but for physical gain as well. I also think that fasting can practice your self discipline over something. It is like teaching our brain and body to follow us not the other way around. I appreciate your knowledge in sharing this insight.

  • I’m pretty sure now that alot of people are into fasting coz of Ramadan. I do admit that I have tried it for a month, but it’s a big no for me to try again because I really felt light headed. :(

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