Fasting not only cleans the cells (autophagy) and reduces obesity, but it can also lower blood pressure. It is also easier to change your diet after fasting. The reason for this is in the gut.
Fasting means temporarily abstaining from eating solid food – for example, drinking only water, tea, and clear broth for five days. Anyone who is healthy can fast at home. Those suffering from diseases should fast under medical supervision in a clinic. Experts are convinced that fasting is effective against rheumatism, high blood pressure, and obesity. One way to relieve the body is intermittent fasting.
Effective reboot for the body
Fasting is like a fresh start for the body. If you eat constantly, sometimes too much or the wrong thing, many of the body’s systems are overwhelmed, such as the insulin and blood pressure systems. Fasting puts the body back to its “factory settings” and everything can then start again.
Fasting lowers blood pressure
On the second or third day of a five-day fast, many fasters experience a blood pressure-lowering effect. A new study shows the reason for this: Fasting not only cleanses our cells but also influences the activity of the microbiome – i.e. the millions of bacteria that colonize the intestine.
Changing your diet is easier
The study examined people who were overweight and had high blood pressure. They should change their diet to a Mediterranean diet with lots of vegetables, little meat, and good fats for three months. Half of the participants had fasted for five days before changing their diet.
Those who had fasted before changing their diet were able to lower their blood pressure and BMI significantly better than the participants who had not avoided solid food. The cause is probably a change in the microbiome of the intestine: on the one hand, the composition of the bacteria in the intestine had changed during the fasting, and on the other hand the activity of the bacteria.
Gut bacteria produce more short-chain fatty acids
After fasting, you produced far more short-chain fatty acids from dietary fibers than before. These short-chain fatty acids are instrumental in reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure. But humans cannot produce them themselves. The fact that fasting can be used to get bacteria to produce more of these important metabolites was an amazing finding for the researchers.
Psychological effect: Fasting motivates you to persevere
If fasting is placed as a block at the beginning of a healthy diet, a psychological effect also sets in: Anyone who fasts successfully has achieved something and is motivated to achieve even more – i.e. to eat healthily in the long term. In this respect, there is a synergy effect of fasting first and then eating well and healthily.
The effect wears off: Regular fasting is important
Fasting as an introduction to a healthier diet is therefore recommended for everyone, whether sick or healthy. However, the effect on the microbiome does not last forever – after six to twelve months you should stimulate the microbiome again by fasting again. Even if the blood pressure rises again, this is a signal to start fasting again.