5 Mental Benefits of Supervised Fasting
Apr 10, 2023
Does fasting from 5 to 21 days in a controlled environment really provide mental benefits?
This is the purpose of companies like MiAyuno, which accompany people on retreats under medical supervision and which enhance all the mental benefits that fasting can provide. But... What exactly are the mental benefits of fasting with professional supervision? We will see it in the following lines.
- Related article: "Psychology and Nutrition: the importance of emotional eating"
What is the use of fasting?
Through research, having low serotonin levels has been linked to the appearance of low moods, and even depression.
To understand this better, our intestine contains more than a hundred million neurons, and one of their functions is to produce 95% of the total serotonin produced in our body, also called the hormone of happiness.
Serotonin is a well-being neurotransmitter. For this reason, a correct functioning of the intestine, as well as a correct balance of the intestinal flora that colonizes it, is key to maintain optimal levels of serotonin and thus ensure a good mood.
In our time, in which stress and poor eating habits can affect our mood, fasting helps us regain our internal balance.
In fact, fasting can help in cases of overweight and obese people, digestive problems and food intolerances, allergies, people with metabolic problems (hypertension, cholesterol...), hormonal imbalance, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia and those who suffer moments of personal crisis, among others.
But controlled fasting, such as the one offered by the Miayuno company, also provides several mental benefits both to people with some type of disease and to healthy people who have decided to fast to take care of themselves and maintain a state of well-being over time.
- You may be interested in: "Eating psychology: definition and applications"
The Mental Benefits of Supervised Fasting
Here we will look at 5 mental benefits that fasting can bring:
Disconnect from your personal activity
Today we move at full speed; We don't see the days go by, we get up and start with our smartphones at full speed. Wake up, read the news, the unread messages from the day before from those who don't stop arriving, the emails, the day's agenda... then we link up with commuting to work, work, meetings, meals, work again... And when there are small children, picking up the children, extra-curricular etc…
The day flies by. And when do we stop?
It is increasingly difficult to find a moment for yourself, so a fast allows us to first force ourselves to disconnect. But we don't go from a moment of high-speed action to relaxation. This is the first stage of the mental break to rediscover what is around us.
1. Chill out
fasting too triggers this natural stress response in the body, as well as exercise.
Once we have managed to stop, we have to relax. That is not easy either; The fact of not eating for a limited time allows our body to have more energy to feed our mind, since it does not spend energy on digestion.
Joint activities in controlled fasting, such as yoga or hiking, accompany us to relax.
The third mental benefit of fasting is rediscover yourself.
By fasting, we have to slow down the pace of our activities, so we have more time to reflect, think, sleep, read, write etc... It is a privileged time with oneself, time that in today's life is difficult to find. Fasting is a moment of reunion with oneself with tranquility and inner peace.
It must be added that for fasts of several days, and to ensure the complete success of the process, it is recommended to do them outside the home in very natural environments that favor disconnection, surrounded by professionals from the sector and with medical supervision.
3. Improve mental faculties
In addition to mood, fasting seems to improve mental clarity.
Researchers have linked fasting to “an increased level of vigilance and an improvement in mood. As Damien Carbonnier and Jesús Domínguez comment in their book: my fast, the energy available to the brain during fasting (after 3 to 4 days) is greater than what it usually has. A more energetic brain is a more efficient brain, and a more efficient brain more easily finds solutions to possible problems which a person faces. Therefore, many people today practice fasting consciously in order to have more mental capacity.
Thus, fasting improves mental faculties when it comes to:
- improve attitude
- Helps to have more clarity
- Improve planning
- Increases willpower
- Help to abandon addictions (tobacco, alcohol, drugs...)
- boost creativity
- encourage new ideas
4. Slow down brain aging
Until the 90s, it was thought that our maximum stock of neurons decreases throughout our lives, and that adults cannot generate new brain cells.
Today, neuroscience researchers have discovered that new neural cells are created in the adult nervous system.
Researcher Mark Mattson, professor of neuroscience at John Hopkins University, current head of the neuroscience laboratory at the National Institute of Aging, is one of the leading researchers in the field of cellular mechanisms and molecular. He demonstrated the benefits of fasting, which could protect the brain by preventing and slowing the effects of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative conditions.
If neurogenesis improves memory and mood, and through it it is possible to avoid much of the deterioration due to aging or stress and modify or delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.
And you, Have you tried fasting yet? If you are interested in learning more about them, find out about the services of companies like Miayuno which can successfully accompany you on your first fast.