Should you fast when you’re sick?

This is a great question, and I’ve been getting it a lot lately, especially in today’s viral climate. 

The first thing I want you to do is to listen to your intuition. Have you ever noticed that animals will naturally fast when they’re not feeling well. It’s one of the first signs that there might be something wrong with your pet when they stop eating. You have an inner doctor inside you, that speaks to you through cravings and feelings. So instead of worrying about what you should do, ask yourself —do I feel like fasting or eating right now? 

Fasting & Viruses:

There are several things we know happen to your body when you fast:

  • Ketones prime the cells to stop viral replication. When you are in ketosis, your cells are actively ready and primed to take on viruses. I talked a lot about this and the research around the best fast for COVID-19, and the best diet for COVID-19. If you are fasting for this purpose, you’ll want to look for a ketone reading of above 0.5. 
  • At 17 hours of fasting, the cells naturally start detoxing pathogens like viruses and bacteria. This is also called autophagy, and new research on autophagy shows that we can use autophagy fasting to strengthen our body against viral attack
  • Bone broth fasting has glycine which repairs the inner mucosal lining of your gut, where 80% of your immune system lives. So if you’re not feeling like fasting, but broth sounds good, this is a great way to optimize the digestive and immune systems when you’re sick. 

Healing Hacks:

There are several things you can do when you are not feeling well:

  • Eat healing foods. If you are going to eat, this is not the time to binge on comforting junk foods, sugary or processed foods, avoiding foods that tank your immune system. Sugar suppresses your immune system for up to 5 hours. Instead you’ll want to lean into healing probiotic rich foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented yogurt and bone broths. These foods work to repair the gut lining and increase your ratio of good bacteria, which are needed to mount a defense against pathogens. 
  • Try supplements. Supplements can help speed up the recovery process. 

>> Grab my Cold & Flu Supplement Guide, which includes some of my favorite supplements for viruses, bacteria and respiratory conditions. 

  • Sleep! Sleep is incredibly vital in both protecting against and healing from sickness. It is hands down one of the best things you can do for your body. 
  • Epsom salt baths will help pull toxins out of your body. It’s a great way to combat achy and muscle tension, and provide relaxation for deeper quality sleep. 
  • Chiropractic adjustments will boost your immune system by 200%. We know that immediately after a chiropractic adjustment there is a huge increase in immune boosting chemical messengers called “cytokines”, that tell your body to ramp up your immune systems response to germs, bacteria, viruses and foreign invaders. Adjustments are a safe, natural and effective strategy to boost your immune function when sick.

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