Fasting for Gut Repair: Guide & Benefits

  Reviewed
 by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.

SuperHumans are the toughest, fittest, healthiest and happiest human beings on this planet. My mission is to help you realize your superhuman potential and learn how to live a long, happy and healthy life.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’m a content organizer, fact-checker and super mom who ensures content is medically-reviewed, highly accurate, and engaging. My passion is organizing information and ensuring the facts are presented in a manner that is interesting and easy to understand.

Fasting for Gut Repair

Fasting for gut repair is a way of leading our natural rhythms. Going without food is a way to let your body know it needs to function more in tune with its own internal clock and less in sync with our outside world. 

It is also a full-body experience, and it’s also a mind-body experience, which can be challenging. The common pain points when it comes to fasting are gut pain or discomfort, headaches, migraines, insomnia, anxiety, or depression.

Fasting isn’t just about giving your stomach a rest. It helps you to heal on other levels, too. Fasting sets your mind right and gives your body what it really needs—the opportunity to repair itself. So while the challenges I’ve just mentioned are all too familiar to you, let’s have a look at tips that can make fasting a little more comfortable and effective for you.

Does Intermittent Fasting Help Digestion?

Intermittent fasting is a dieting technique that has been shown to promote gut health. The basic idea behind intermittent fasting is that you consume your calories within a short window of time (less than eight hours), and then fast for the rest of the day.

This means that you can still eat, but in smaller portions, which may help repair damage to your digestive system and reduce inflammation.

But does it work? Research shows that fasting to reset the digestive system can have a number of benefits for people with digestive diseases like ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. It’s also been shown to improve symptoms in patients suffering from Crohn’s disease and celiac disease.

Are there recommendations on how long to fast to reset the digestive system? Well, there are a lot. One or two-day fasts are recommended every few weeks, while others recommend several days at a time once or twice a year.

The duration of your fast will depend on your current health and how well you’re able to tolerate fasting. Fasting should always be done under the supervision of a medical professional to ensure safety. If you’re new to fasting and want to try it out, I recommend starting with a 24-hour fast and then gradually increasing the duration as your body adapts.

Benefits of Fasting

Fasting is a great way to keep your gut healthy. Among the benefits of fasting are helping you remove toxins, sloughing off dead cells, and repairing your gut lining. Intermittent fasting can also increase insulin sensitivity. This means that it could help you avoid conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.

woman with toned abs

Here are more reasons why intermittent fasting is good for your gut health:

Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s response to an injury or infection, which can lead to pain and swelling. It’s a normal process that helps your body heal, but long-term inflammation can make you more susceptible to disease.

How does fasting reduce inflammation? When you eat food, it triggers an inflammatory response in your gut because your body needs nutrients to break the food down into energy.

This means that if you don’t eat for a while (like when you’re fasting), the body doesn’t need to produce as much of this inflammatory response.

Increases Energy Levels

When you fast intermittently, you’ll notice an increase in energy levels as well as mental clarity.

This is because there are fewer toxins being produced by your body and less waste material being processed by your digestive system when you eat less than usual during certain parts of each day or week. This leads to better overall health as well as more energy for everyday tasks such as working out at the gym or running errands around town.

Bloating and Gas May Be Reduced

Fasting can help reduce bloating and gas because it gives your digestive system a break from the constant work of digesting food. The result?

stomache

Your gut flora—the good bacteria in your intestines—have more time to do their work unencumbered by the constant influx of new food particles that are processed into waste products.

Aids in the Fight Against Infections

When you fast, your body goes into a state of ketosis, which is when it burns fat instead of sugar as its main source of fuel. When this happens, the body’s immune system becomes stronger and more efficient at fighting off invaders like viruses and bacteria that might cause illness or infection.

Helps You Recover From Stress

Intermittent fasting makes it easier for your body to repair damage caused by stress. This gives your gut cells a chance to rest and restore themselves after being exposed to harmful substances like alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods.

Improves Your Digestion

The longer you fast, the more efficient your digestive system becomes at absorbing nutrients from food. This means that less waste gets sent to your colon where it would normally be eliminated through pooping or urination—which means fewer toxins in your body.

Boosts Your Immunity

Fasting helps your body to produce T-cells, which are responsible for killing off any harmful bacteria or viruses that come along. This means that when you’re fasting, your body will be better equipped to fight off any bugs that try to take up residence in your gut.

woman exercising outdoor

5 Things To Think About When Implementing IF for Gut Health

1. First, Address Your Digestive Issues

If you’re following a fasting protocol that requires you to fast for more than 14 hours, it’s important to address any digestive issues you might have first.

This can include taking digestive enzymes or probiotics, as well as avoiding foods that cause issues for you. If you struggle with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), or if you have any other issues with your gut health, then it’s important that you address these first.

You may want to consider taking a probiotic supplement such as Optima, as well as eating more fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut. It’s also important that you eat enough fiber in order to keep your digestive system moving smoothly through the intestines.

I would also recommend prebiotics for leaky gut, or, if you have this plant at home, try using aloe vera for gut health.

2. Keep Food Sensitivities in Mind

When implementing IF for gut health, it’s important to keep food sensitivities in mind. Some people may experience worsening symptoms when they eat certain foods, such as gluten or dairy. If you know that these are problematic for you, it may be best to avoid them while fasting.

If you’re not sure what might cause pain or discomfort in your gut, consider getting tested by a doctor or nutritionist. They can determine what foods are most likely to cause problems and help you avoid them during fasting periods.

3. Include a Variety of Fermented and Cultured Foods

When you’re fasting or doing intermittent fasting, it’s important that you include a variety of fermented and cultured foods in your diet. These foods provide the bacteria that help to improve gut health and keep your microbiome happy.

making pickled vegetables

Some examples include sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, pickled vegetables, miso soup, tempeh, natto (fermented soybeans), katsuobushi (dried tuna shavings), and coconut kefir.

4. Combining Keto and Fasting

Combining fasting with keto can help you achieve better results than either of these methods on their own, as the two work together to improve your overall digestion and absorption of nutrients.

5. Diet Is Not the Only Factor Affecting Your Gut Health

When you’re trying to improve your gut health, it’s tempting to think that the only thing you need to do is change your diet. But just like with any other aspect of health, there are multiple factors at play here.

You might be surprised to learn that there’s a lot more going on in your gut than just what you eat. Stress levels, sleep quality, and physical activity all have a direct impact on how well your digestive system functions.

If you’re looking to make changes in order to improve your overall gut health, it’s important to look at all the different aspects of your life that could be affecting it. This can help you identify where there are gaps in your routine and what areas are causing stress or contributing negatively toward good digestion overall.

Who Should Refrain From Fasting?

The general consensus on fasting is that it’s a healthy practice, but there are some people who should refrain from fasting.

If you’re underweight or have an eating disorder, fasting can be dangerous. If you’re underweight, your body will use muscle instead of fat for energy during the fast, which can lead to muscle wasting.

If you have an eating disorder, fasting may exacerbate any underlying mental health issues—and if you’re making yourself sick because of an eating disorder, fasting isn’t going to help. Check this post out for another perspective on weight gain and leaky gut.

Fasting is also not recommended for pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers. It’s important for pregnant women to maintain a healthy weight and get enough nutrients in their diet during pregnancy; fasting may interfere with this goal.

In addition, some nutrients like folate and iron are more difficult for the body to absorb when pregnant or breastfeeding—so it’s important that pregnant women make sure they’re getting enough of these nutrients in their diet before considering fasting as a way to lose weight (and thus reduce the risk of complications).

Does Fasting Restore Gut Health?

Fasting is one of the most natural ways to restore your gut health. If you’re looking to improve your digestion, clear out excess waste, and strengthen your immune system, fasting can help you do all of that.

woman exercising at home

The reason that fasting helps your gut health is that it boosts your body’s production of digestive enzymes. These enzymes help break down food and absorb nutrients from food in order to fuel the rest of your body. When you’re fasting, these enzymes aren’t used up by digesting food, so they’re available to help heal the lining of your intestines.

In addition to this effect on the digestive system, fasting also helps reduce inflammation in the body. This inflammation can be caused by environmental factors like pollution or stress, but it can also come from within: as a result of an unhealthy diet or lifestyle choices (like smoking).

Fasting allows your body to detoxify itself—and when it does, it improves its ability to fight off infections and keep inflammation under control.

Can You Heal a Leaky Gut by Fasting?

If you’re considering fasting to heal a leaky gut, you’re on the right track. When we fast, we’re giving our bodies a break from digesting food and using energy to do so.

We’re also allowing our bodies to rest from having to process nutrients from food all day long. As soon as we stop eating for a period of time (usually about eight hours), our body begins its natural process of cleansing itself—which includes healing your leaky gut.

How Long Should You Fast for Leaky Gut?

Most people who are trying to heal their leaky gut will fast for between two to four days. But how to heal a leaky gut fast?

The length of time you should fast will depend on your body’s needs and how quickly it can start repairing itself after the fast ends. You may need to fast longer than those two to four days if your body is taking longer than normal to begin repairing itself after the fast ends.

Some people find that they need to repeat their fasts every few months in order to keep their gut health and reduce inflammation in their intestines.

Conclusion

The benefits of fasting for overall health and wellness are many, and the process could indeed be considered a lifestyle change. However, it’s important to know that it should not be undertaken alone, and there are alternative methods that can assist with digestive system repair, such as herbal cleansing formulas, natural supplements, as well as well-balanced dietary plans.

Take this with a grain of salt: intermittent fasting is not for everyone. If you have a medical condition that requires you to take medications or supplements on a regular basis, or you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have an eating disorder, talk to your doctor before going on a fast.

For more posts on health, wellness, and longevity, keep checking this blog. With the proper guidance, knowledge, and empowerment, we can all be SUPERHUMNs!

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