Intermittent fasting is the hot, new way Hollywood celebrities lose weight. But this ancient discipline that's been practiced in the Bible has other health benefits that go way beyond the red carpet.
Many of us know from the Bible that fasting is good for our spiritual health. But new research shows it's good for our physical health, too.
Intermittent fasting means going for long periods each day without food. Many people choose to fast up to 18 hours a day, meaning they only eat within a four to six-hour window.
"What's great about intermittent fasting is that you can do it some of the time, or most of the time and still stand to reap great benefits," claims dietitian Robin Foroutan.
Health Reporter Lorie Johnson talks with Pat Robertson about the benefits of intermittent fasting on Wednesday's "The 700 Club."
Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Kourtney Kardashian, Selena Gomez, Beyonce, and Hugh Jackman reportedly use intermittent fasting for weight loss, but researchers at the University of California and elsewhere say the benefits are more than skin deep.
"There are 10 years of really interesting data, very compelling research studies on intermittent fasting: preventing atherosclerosis, there may be cancer prevention benefits," Foroutan said.
Intermittent fasting also protects against Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, and even aging, all while boosting the immune system.
Fasting triggers the release of old, inefficient cells making way for new, healthy ones, doctors say.
"Even though we would still recommend a healthy, balanced diet, we're not as focused on what you eat rather when you eat," Foroutan explained.
While ancient scripture tells us forgiveness, letting go of worry, and fasting all bless the soul, modern medicine confirms these practices also benefit the body.