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When you are fasting for diet purposes, like with intermittent fasting, it is important to continue to support your health in other ways. Because fasting involves not eating for a certain period of time, it means that for that period of time you are also not getting any of the nutrients that you would get from a regular day of eating.
If you do not take care of your body while fasting, it can worsen some side effects like nausea and dizziness. Though supplements will not entirely prevent these side effects from happening, they can help you feel a little bit sturdier on your feet.
When it comes to dieting and overall health, the Japanese philosophy of Shoku Iku is highly beneficial to keep in mind. Our Shoku Iku guide is a helpful place to start if you are new to the scene or want to learn a little bit more about this philosophy. In essence, though, Shoku Iku emphasizes the psychological effects of certain foods on the body and hones in on eating whole foods. To put this into practice, before and after fasting, and during your eating period, you should focus on whole foods and foods that make you feel good.
If you are here so that you can become a little bit more educated about fasting before you give it a shot, it is important to know the pros and cons of this practice.
Fasting can have many health benefits, but the main benefits include:
These benefits can be life-changing, but it is important to keep in mind that fasting may also come along with some side effects like dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches, and difficulty concentrating. Thus, it is important to make sure you are not too hard on your body while you are fasting, and staying hydrated during your fast is the key to feeling good.
That said, hydration is not quite enough while you are fasting, and it is a good idea to incorporate some supplements, too.
There are many different kinds of vitamins, but they are mainly broken into two categories: water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins. Knowing the difference can help you identify which vitamins you can safely take while fasting, and which vitamins you should avoid.
Water-soluble vitamins are vitamins that are not stored in the body and that are soluble in water, hence in their name. Because these vitamins are not stored, there needs to be a constant, adequate supply of them, thus making it important to take supplements of these vitamins while you are fasting.
The water-soluble vitamins are biotin, folate, niacin (B3), pantothenic acid, thiamin (B1), pyridoxine (B6), vitamin B12, riboflavin (B2), and vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. The B vitamins are important for the production of red blood cells, supporting your brain, promoting a healthy metabolism, and maintaining your central nervous system. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and it supports healthy teeth and gums as well as a healthy immune system and wound healing.
Because these vitamins are water-soluble, you do not have to take them with food and they can be taken while you are fasting.
Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins that are stored in your body’s fatty tissues, and supplements of these are best absorbed when taken with foods high in fat. The fat-soluble vitamins are vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin K. Vitamin A is needed to maintain healthy teeth, bones, skin, and other tissues, and vitamin D is also critical for healthy teeth and bones. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps your body produce red blood cells as well as use vitamin K, which helps your blood stick together.
Because these vitamins are fat-soluble, they work best when taken with sources of fat. You should thus not take these vitamins while fasting, because they will not be absorbed well by your body if they are not taken with food.
Fasting can definitely take a toll on your gut and microbiome, and studies have shown that fasting impacts different people’s bodies in different ways. Fasting can surely have some benefits for your gut, but these depend on what condition your gut microbiome was in before you went on your fast. Additionally, the way that fasting impacts your gut also depends on the foods you eat during your eating periods.
That said, it is best to play it safe and take steps to protect your gut while you are fasting! You can protect your gut by making sure to eat foods high in fiber as well as foods full of prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics are carbohydrates that feed the good bacteria in your gut, and probiotics are those good bacteria.
If you are having trouble incorporating enough of these foods into your diet, it may be necessary to start supplementing. Our Complete Probiotic Multivitamin has a 2-in-1 acid-resistant formula that gives you a complete multivitamin, immune boost while also working to soothe and regulate your digestive system, support your brain function, restore good bacteria in your gut, and promote a healthy immune system. With ingredients like vitamin A, biotin, calcium, and grapefruit extract, this may be just the boost you need.
You can also opt for our Super Enzymes with prebiotics and probiotics to support your gut health, promote healthy digestion, improve lactose absorption, and more. This product can also help reduce bloating and indigestion and can help your body convert food into energy. This product also helps build up healthy bacteria in your gut, so it can be largely beneficial in protecting your gut while you fast.
Going on a fast without taking your gut into consideration can leave you feeling bloated, uncomfortable, and even in pain from indigestion and inflammation in your gut, so taking that extra step to protect your body can make a world of difference.
Fasting can have plenty of potential health benefits, but it is important to support your body with supplements when you are fasting. A fasting period entails going for a certain amount of time without eating anything, which means your body is also missing out on the vitamins and nutrients that are typically provided by a regular day of eating.
Supporting your body with supplements while you fast can help ensure that your overall health and wellbeing does not take a hit from your fasting period, and probiotic or prebiotic supplements are also a great way to protect your gut while fasting. Failing to protect your gut can leave you with a poorly functioning digestive system, ultimately leading to bloating, indigestion, and inflammation in your gut.
Taking that extra step to make sure you supplement your water-soluble vitamins and probiotics while you fast can leave you feeling great!
Fasting 101 - Northwestern Medicine
How to protect your gut during intermittent fasting - Healthspan