Does fasting for 5 to 21 days in a controlled environment really bring mental benefits?
This is the purpose of companies such as MiAyuno, which accompany people on medically-controlled retreats and enhance all the mental benefits that fasting can bring. But… what exactly are the mental benefits of fasting under professional supervision? We will see in the following lines.
What’s the point of fasting?
Research has linked low serotonin levels to low moods and even depression.
To understand this better, our intestine contains over one hundred million neurons, and one of their functions is to produce 95% of the total serotonin produced in our body, also called the happiness hormone.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter of well-being. Therefore, a correct functioning of the intestine, as well as a correct balance of the intestinal flora that colonizes it, is key to maintaining optimal levels of serotonin and thus ensuring a good mood .
In our time, when stress and bad eating habits can affect our mood, fasting helps us to regain our inner balance.
In fact, fasting can help in cases of overweight and obesity, digestive problems and food intolerances, allergies, people with metabolic problems (hypertension, cholesterol…), hormonal imbalance, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia and those suffering from personal crises, among others.
But controlled fasting, such as that offered by the company Miayuno, also provides various mental benefits both to people with some kind of illness and to healthy people who have decided to fast in order to take care of themselves and maintain a state of well-being over time.
The mental benefits of supervised fasting
Here are 5 mental benefits that fasting can bring:
Disconnect from your personal activity
Today we’re moving full speed ahead; we don’t see the days going by, we get up and we start with the smartphones at full speed. Waking up, reading the news, unread messages from the day before from those who do not stop coming, emails, the agenda of the day … then we link with travel to work, work, meetings, meals, again work … And when there are small children, the collection of children, after-school etc …
The day flies by. And when do we stop?
It is increasingly difficult to find a moment for oneself, so a fast allows us to first force ourselves to disconnect. But we do not go from a moment of action at full speed to relaxation. This is the first stage of the mental pause to rediscover what is around us.
Fasting also triggers this natural response to stress in the body , as does exercise.
Once we’ve managed to stop, it’s our turn to manage to relax. That is not easy either; not eating for a limited time allows our body to have more energy to feed our mind, as it does not waste energy on digestion.
Joint activities in controlled fasting, such as yoga or hiking, accompany us to achieve relaxation.
The third mental benefit of fasting is to meet oneself again .
When we fast, 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 should be added that for fasts of several days, and to ensure the complete success of the process, it is recommended to perform them outside in very natural environments that favor the disconnection, surrounded by professionals of the sector and with medical supervision .
3. Improving mental faculties
In addition to mood, fasting seems to improve mental clarity .
Researchers have linked fasting to “increased vigilance and improved mood. According to Damien Carbonnier and Jesús Domínguez in their book: Mi Ayuno , the energy available to the brain during fasting (after 3 to 4 days) is greater than it usually has. A brain with more energy is a more efficient brain, and a more efficient brain more easily finds solutions to possible problems that a person faces. That is why many people nowadays consciously fast in order to have more mental capacity.
Thus, fasting improves the mental faculties at the time of :
- Improve attitude
- It helps to have more clarity
- Improves planning
- Increases willpower
- Help to stop addictions (tobacco, alcohol, drugs…)
- It encourages creativity
- Encourages new ideas
4. Slowing down the aging of the brain
Until the 1990s, 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, currently head of the neuroscience laboratory at the National Institute on Aging, is one of the leading researchers in the field of cellular and molecular mechanisms. He demonstrated the benefits of fasting, which may 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 to 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 finding out more about them, find out about the services of companies like Miayuno which can successfully accompany you on your first fast.