Intermittent fasting is a big buzzword right now, and chances are you’ve heard about it somewhere from someone. Although currently getting a lot of attention, fasting has been a cultural and religious practice for as long as history dates back.
What I find most fascinating when it comes to intermittent fasting, is the ability to improve immune function. This idea of ‘starving a cold’ – refraining from foods when we’re stick – is not just an old wives tale; rather there may really be something to it. We can go so far as to suggest that intermittent fasting may support immune regeneration, with one study showing protection in mice against the immunotoxic effects of chemotherapy.
The best way I like to incorporate intermittent fasting, is implementing an 8 hour eating window. I find that an 11am – 7pm eating window works well for most, as does the 12pm-8pm window with holiday evens coming up. The alternative way to do intermittent fasting are full day fasts, with water, which become a very useful techinque for aiding the immune system during cold and flu season.
When we stay clear of food through a full day fast or several days of fasting, our immune systems are not distracted by food, being able to send all ‘immune-troops’ to where needed – like the sore throat you may be experiencing.
So when you’re not feeling so well, it may be adivsable to stick with some bone broth and plenty of clear fluids, rather than whole meals of solid food. But why wait until you get to that point? Support your immune system now with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, using a quality (homemade when possible!) whole-foods apporach, and give the 8 hour window a try.
Yours in health,