Fasting: introduction, benefits, types and supplements

Everyone has a doctor in him or her. We just need to help it work. “The natural healing power a human being has, is the best. Our food should be our medicine. But eating when you are sick is feeding your illness. ” Hippocrates.

It’s better to fast for one day than to use drugs.”  Plutarch

Since ancient times, our ancestors have always fasted, not eating food for a long time, and sometimes not even drinking certain drinks. Hippocrates (BC 460 years — BC 370 years) and Plato (BC 428 years — BC 348 years) are known to discuss fasting in ancient Greek writings. Paracelsus (1493 years – 1541 years) was a Swiss doctor, alchemist and astrologer, known as the father of Western medicine, he said: “Fasting is the best therapy“.

Most people fast by intention, but sometimes they don’t. For example, when a person is sick, the body may force fasting. Recall the last time you got an infection such as flu or intestinal disease. Maybe you have no appetite. Loss of appetite during illness or injury is the body’s attempt to restore balance to help recovery.

Recently, science has shown us that it is indeed good for both body and mind. We have all felt how overeating can make our minds dull. In addition, animal studies over the past few decades have shown that calorie restriction can help reduce weight. 

According to scientific research, fasting and calorie restriction can help extend life in addition to reducing waist circumference. Scientists say this is due to the activation of SIRT1 and SIRT2 genes. These genes produce proteins that delay the aging process. In other words, it may help you live longer and healthier.

The benefits of calorie restriction (kcal)

  • Lose weight.
  • Has anti-tumor benefits.
  • Strengthens the immune system.
  • Extends life.
  • Reduce insulin secretion.
  • In about 24 adrenaline content will rise after hours, thereby increasing the energy.
  • Improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Reduce body oxidation or “rust “.
  • Improve mental health, reduce depression and anxiety symptoms.

Fasting programs

There are various options, which will be discussed in this article. It is a voluntary decision not to eat certain foods or drinks for a specific period of time. Everyone fasts when sleeping at night. This is the English “breakfast” (origin breakfast), that “break the fast” (end of Fast). People with diabetes and other chronic diseases should consult their doctor before starting it.

During fasting, stop eating all food or certain foods. Check out our fasting diet plan for further information. You can usually drink water, black coffee and unsweetened tea, but the recommendations may vary. You can add lemon, strawberry or cucumber to add flavor to water. Many times you can also drink green tea, which may help further weight loss. Some people add chia seeds to the water to help suppress appetite.

Some types of fasting include:

  • Intermittent
  • Routine
  • Partial
  • Alternate day
  • Fruit juice
  • Smoothie

Intermittent fasting

This type helps lose weight and / or help improve blood sugar levels. When a person is intermittently fasting, he should choose between six and eight hours a day to eat. Eating from 6-8 pm is the best time for most of the people. Studies have shown that this can help lower cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar levels. Some people add calorie-restricted diets, or ketogenic diets to intermittent fasting to further help lose weight.

Routine fasting

It includes not eating all food and drinking calorie-containing beverages. This is essentially a fasting in which we only drink water. Many people who do this kind of fasting will fast for one, three, seven or ten days to promote weight loss and detoxification. Do not drink more than 2 liters of water every day. Excessive drinking will cause abnormal electrolytes. It should only be carried out under the direct supervision of a doctor.

Partial fasting

It means not eating certain foods. The most popular is the diet-excluded method. In this method, meat and dairy products are excluded from the diet. The Daniel Plan or Daniel Fasting is an example.

This meal plan was originally for three weeks, but now it is for 6 weeks. During the period, you can ingest fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, high-quality oil and fresh water; do not ingest meat, seafood, dairy products, alcohol, sugar, fried foods, yeast bread, processed foods, or coffee.

Alternate day fast

Some people choose to fast on alternate days. For example, on the first day, they will eat as usual and consume about 2000, while on the second day, they may be limited to 500 kcal. This is done every other day, usually for a short period of time, to prepare for other types of programs.

Fruit juice fasting

This type has detoxification and weight loss effects. Most people who do fruit juice fasting will do it for one to seven days. It is best to use a juice that combines fruits and vegetables to increase nutrition. This method is rich in antioxidants that can help the liver successfully eliminate toxins from the body.

Smoothie fasting

Some people prefer smoothie fasting to fruit juice fasting, and it also has detoxification and weight loss effects. Most people who choose to fast for smoothies will go for one to seven days. Can be combined with fruits and vegetables, using unsweetened almond milk or coconut water to make smoothies rich in antioxidants. Only fruits shouldn’t be used to make smoothies, because fruits contain high sugar content. Therefore, it is important to add whey or vegetable protein powder to help reduce fructose absorption. Peanut butter or almond butter can help increase protein.

Supplements taken during fasting

Whether fasting for health or religious reasons, there are supplements that can help maintain nutrition during fasting:

Branched chain amino acids (BCAA)

Branched-chain amino acids are composed of L -leucine, L -isoleucine and L-valine. Amino acids are essential for protein synthesis and can help people who are fasting.

Various vitamins

A study on the “Journal of the American Medical Association”, said: “We recommend that all adults take one multivitamin a day”. A high-quality multivitamin provides an extra guarantee for the body to obtain what it needs, especially during fasting.

Whey protein

It is a commonly used supplement for regular exercisers and is often used as a dietary replacement for people who want to maintain weight or lose weight. Whey from milk is also a popular source of protein for those who want to build muscle. Whey protein shakes can be used as meal replacements in intermittent fasting plans or alternate day fasting plans. It is not recommended for Daniel fasting.

Plant protein

For intermittent fasting, alternate day fasting or partial fasting, pea protein, meal replacement milkshake or vegetable protein powder should also be considered.


If muscle cramps occur during fasting, magnesium should be taken. 125 mg to 500 mg of magnesium chelate (magnesium aspartate, magnesium citrate, magnesium malate) should be taken daily. If loose stools occur, reduce the dose. Magnesium oxide can also be considered, but the absorption is not so good.

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