“A genuine fast cleanses the body, mind and soul. It crucifies the flesh and, to that extent, sets the soul free.” -Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), Father of the Indian Independence Movement

Fad or not, detox is what your body is designed to do. The importance of proper detoxification is non-debunkable as is the process of fasting which is exciting to see finally get more attention with the rise in the trend of intermittent fasting.

It’s important to recognize that scientific studies and cited research papers on the effects of fasting on our mind, our mitochondria, the rate of synapse strength, ketosis and access to deeper inner tranquility are limited as there is no money to be made from the healing modality of fasting, and therefore very little money to fund the research.

The way fasting affects cognition is blatantly obvious to anyone who has tried it. There is a very specific period of time during a fast when you can bask in the state of heightened mental clarity and greater receptivity.

For anyone who has to perform daily, to produce or who wants to create impact with their work, this is about as juicy as it gets.

Mark Mattson, a professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins has written, spoken and Ted talked on the topic of fasting and its effects on the brain.

Some highlights from his work:

  • Fasting is a challenge to your brain, and your brain responds to that challenge by adapting to stress response pathways that help your brain COPE WITH STRESS and disease risk.

  • Fasting increases the production of protein in the brain (neurotrophic factors), which in turn promotes the growth of neurons, the connection between neurons, and the strength of synapses (meaning THE WIRES FIRE BETTER).

  • Fasting can stimulate the production of NEW nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus.

  • Fasting increases the number of mitochondria in nerve cells…improving learning and memory ability.

  • He has also said that fasting enhances the ability of nerve cells to repair DNA.

If you’re interested in the kind of mental clarity that fasting can be, I offer at-home detox programs throughout the year.