An Accredited Member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society, Julie Graduated with distinctions from S.A. College of Botanic Medicine and Natural Therapies Pty Ltd. Professional Qualifications include: Naturopathic Doctor, Herbal & Homoeopathic Practitioner: Diet and Nutritional Medicine: Remedial & Therapeutic... more
A recent study, Cell Stem Cell, has discovered that intermittent cycles of prolonged fasting not only protects the body and brain against immune system damage, but has also been found to promote immune system regeneration, shifting stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal.
In both mice and a Phase 1 human clinical trial involving patients receiving chemotherapy, long periods of not eating significantly lowered white blood cell counts.
In mice, fasting cycles then “turned on the regenerative switch,” changing the signalling pathways for hematopoietic stem cells.
These are responsible for the generation of blood and immune systems, the research showed.
They were not able to predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system with the human body.
(Hematopoietic system is the organic system of the body consisting of the blood and the structures that function in its production.)
However the study does show that this could have significant benefits for healthier aging, as it seems apparent that immune function can decline with age, therefore increasing susceptibility to disease as we age.
So by engaging intermittent, prolonged fasting periods of no food and only including fluids such as filtered water, organic bone broth, organic mother apple cider vinegar, and organic herbal teas for two to four days of the week over the course of six month, we can kill older and damaged immune cells while supporting the regeneration of new ones.
Research shows how this can benefit and improve chemotherapy tolerance as the immune system will be less compromised and supported during the treatment.
The benefits are also seen in people suffering from immune system deficiencies including autoimmune disorders.
How Caloric Restriction and Intermittent Fasting Fights Inflammation and Improves Brain Function
For many of you, the first thing that may come to mind when talking about calorie restriction or fasting will be for the reduction of body fat and losing weight, not for brain health.
Yes it is true, scientific research does show a link between restricting your daily caloric intake and weight management. I want to make something clear that I am not talking about calorie counting here. When restricting calorie intake is mentioned, it is mostly focused on fast unhealthy foods such as fast food chains, packaged foods, and processed foods. All of these foods encourage your body to eat more.
There is no evidence to show that introducing certain diets or diet restrictions will help you to live a healthier and longer life. The evidence here is found with people changing or implementing plant-based and organic diets. Eliminating fast and processed foods will give you a healthier life, reduce the risk of disease, and support healthy weight management.
It has also been found that having spiritual beliefs of there being a God or Universal source has positive effects on both the physical body and soul (your emotional and mental health).
It is also believed that implementing mindful dietary changes protect your brain, giving your body a chance to rest and recuperative more effectively.
Implementing fasting into your lifestyle routine, even on an occasional basis, has been found to increase the levels of "chaperone" proteins helping to prevent incorrect assembly of other molecules in the cell. This helps to reduce the risk of multiple illnesses such as depression, anxiety, dementia and Alzheimer's.
Fasting also boosts autophagy, a process in which cells dispose of damaged molecules including ones that were linked to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurological diseases.
Another reason to look at implementing changes to both a healthier plant-based diet and intermittent fasting is that it improves the body's response to insulin, therefore decreasing the risk of diabetes and heart failure.
An increase of inflammation in the body seems to go hand in hand with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. By implementing intermittent fasting and changes to the foods you are eating, this will assist in decreasing inflammation which is a major contributing factor to many ailments such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, Alzheimers, and heart failure.
If your plan is to live a life of optimal health, vitality, and one free of disease, then the benefits of these dietary changes and intermittent fasting are great ways for you to live this lifestyle. Short term effects are great, but the long term effects are awesome!
Starting with Tiny Steps:
Choose, over a month, one to two things that you will change each week:
- Change from coffee to organic herbal teas, such as green tea, white tea, peppermint tea, etc
- Replace soft drinks with filtered water, add a slice of lemon or even a sprig of mint
- Instead of eating biscuits or cakes, eat a piece of fruit
- Instead of buying chips, buy unsalted, dry roasted nuts
- Add flavor to meat using natural ingredients such as onion, garlic, turmeric, cumin, coriander, mint, parsley, fennel and thyme
- Reduce the meal size portion of your animal protein to the size of the palm of your hand
- Don't have sauces or cheeses with your meat meals
- Eliminate processed foods, especially deli meats and products
By changing and implementing healthy lifestyle changes, you are giving your body every chance to support yourself, not only for a long life, but one of optimal health, happiness, and vitality.
Being sick isn't fun and certainly isn't how you want to live your life.
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Empowering you to optimal health - Julie Doherty N.D