FOUNDATIONS OF HEALTH – PART 3
In a previous article on the subject of what not to eat, I listed things like MSG and sugar which should be avoided if we wanted to avoid disease. Let’s take this one step further. Instead of discussing what not to eat I’d like to talk about not eating at all, that is, the incredible health benefits that occur when fasting.
When an animal is ill it generally stops eating. That’s how we know something is wrong with our pet. We call the vet, tell him Fido is not eating and we know something’s wrong. But, maybe Fido’s doing what comes naturally?
For example, take Thanksgiving. After eating an ungodly quantity of cooked food, most of us just want to sleep. Even the football game on TV won’t keep us awake. Cooking food, of course, destroys enzymes and that, coupled with the artificial ingredients in most foods, stresses the body. Our white blood cell count becomes elevated, a sign of inflammation, and it’s time for siesta. That siesta allows the body to recover from the”food poisoning” we’ve just subjected it to.
We’ve been trained to think that three square meals a day is the way to go. As a kid, I never liked breakfast. I still don’t. Of course in an Italian family skipping a meal is heresy. So I dutifully obeyed. Thin children are very upsetting to Italian parents. Cultural traditions aside, over eating is a major cause of degenerative disease.
Stressing the body occasionally by not eating, skipping a meal a day is a great way to improve health. Not eating, fasting purifies our body. It burns up up some of the trash we’ve fed it. The process is called autophagy or autolysis. Our body is smarter than we are. During sleep, It will start digesting those cells and tissues which are diseased, damage, or dead, allowing them to be replaced by new healthy cells. And we all need new healthy cells. Many of us also need many fewer cells. Losing unnecessary excess cells is commonly called weight loss.
Americans, with a dizzying array of food choices 24 hours a day, suffer from the highest rate of obesity in the world. We are addicted to food. Food manufacturers know that if they lace food with certain chemicals, MSG for example, will make the cheap food taste better and we’ll eat more. This increases corporate profits as well as butts and thighs and disease.
When more cells are dying then are being replaced rapid aging occurs. And of course more diseases spring up. Many bowel diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, even certain cancers can be cleared up by fasting. The research is undeniable. Under eating is the secret to health and longevity. So where do we start?
Research recommends no food three hours before bed time. Avoiding late-night eating will produce a biochemical, NAD, which has incredible healing properties. Late-night eating also reduces cellular energy and depletes antioxidant levels. Antioxidants are necessary to detoxify some of the toxic trash we eat. Remember, unneutralized toxins are stored as fat! Also, no food 3 hours before bedtime plus 8 hours of sleep is essentially an 11 hour fast. Delay breakfast a couple of hours, and you can achieve the 12 to 16 hours a day recommended for intermittent fasting. Even doing this simple eating adjustment occasionally, on weekends or when time permits, will produce incredible, rejuvenating health benefits.
After the age of 30 fasting is relatively safe for most people. So unless you’re severely underweight or suffer from a neurological, degenerative disease, or are pregnant or lactating, fasting is safe. Diabetics and those with severe hypoglycemia should be medically supervised. But the vast majority of us would benefit from putting down the fork for longer periods of time.
Stay well, Dr. Bill Ardito, D.D.S. – Sunshine Dentistry AZ 520-761-1600