Fasting: A Physiologic “Reset Button”

/, Health, Nutrition/Fasting: A Physiologic “Reset Button”

Fasting: A Physiologic “Reset Button”

fasting is a reset buttonFasting is typically associated with religious traditions for the most part — it’s considered to be a means of quieting the mind and denying the body in favor of the spirit, and in my experience it certainly does have this effect.  But even those who engage in fasting for spiritual reasons may not realize that there are actually a number of physiologic benefits as well.

Fasting increases the body’s capacity for healing by increasing the activity of those white blood cells that gobble up non-specific intruders (macrophages), increasing the activity of those white blood cells that deal with specific intruders (cell-mediated immunity), and calming autoimmunity (decreasing antigen-antibody complexes).  But what does this actually mean?

I like to think of fasting as a reset button, specifically for the gut.  You can’t work all the time, right?  You need a weekend to rest, and to engage in certain life maintenance activities like cleaning the house, going to the grocery, fixing the leaky sink, etc.  If you don’t get that down time, your living space becomes increasingly vile, things don’t get fixed, you have nothing in the fridge… and eventually you become exhausted, burned out, and sick.

Your gut is no different.  If it’s constantly trying to digest, it doesn’t have any energy left over to tend to its own repairs, or to rest.

Disclaimer: not everyone should fast.  Anyone who is already weakened or nutrient-depleted needs to be built up before fasting would be advisable.

If you fast for longer than a day or two, you should make sure you’re doing it at a time when your schedule is much less demanding than usual, so that you can spare the calories and allow your body to heal.

Even for those patients who are healthy and whose schedules allow for a longer fast, there are right and wrong ways to go about it.

That said, in my experience a short fast can jump-start a patient’s healing like few other techniques I have seen.  My advice: open yourself up to the possibility.  Seek some guidance on how to do it right, and then spend a day (or several days) in rest and contemplation.  You might be very surprised how good you’ll feel afterwards!


Subscribe to my wellness newsletter & get a FREE eBook: "10 Supplements Everyone Should Have."  Plus, get 15% OFF your first order from my new online store! You may unsubscribe at any time.


By |2017-05-30T07:38:21-07:00July 6th, 2012|Categories: Articles, Health, Nutrition|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

About the Author:

Dr. Lauren Deville is board-certified to practice medicine in the State of Arizona. She received her NMD from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, AZ, and she holds a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from the University of Arizona, with minors in Spanish and Creative Writing. She also writes fiction under a pen name in her spare time. Visit her author website at

One Comment

  1. […] alone are strong enough to effect the quick change I’d like to see. Nutritional approaches include fasting in various forms, including water and juice fasts or guided medical food fasts. (Disclaimer: be smart about it and […]

Comments are closed.


Get a week's worth of fast, healthy, kid-friendly recipes for the whole family when you sign up for our free monthly health newsletter!

I hate spam as much as you do. I will never share, sell, or publish your email address.