Chauncey Crandall is a huge proponent of fasting and notes that it is more beneficial to the body than the average person might think. The leading heart doctor says that during a fast, a metamorphosis occurs. The body undergoes a tearing down and rebuilding of damaged materials.
For this reason, fasting is famous for its ability to rejuvenate and give the body a youthful tone. Fasting dissolves diseased cells and leaves healthy tissue. Fasting is beneficial for arthritis, asthma, high blood pressure, lupus, chronic fatigue, colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, cases of paralysis, neuritis and more.
“There is an unwarranted fear of fasting that strength diminishes from the catabolism of proteins from muscle fibers,” Crandall says.
Even during long fasts, the number of fibers remains the same. Healthy cells, though they may reduce in size or strength, also remain perfectly sound. A well-nourished man can live from 50 to 75 days without food, provided he is not exposed to harsh elements. Human fat is valued at 3,500 calories per pound. Ten pounds of fat are equal to 35,000 calories.
“Most of us have sufficient reserves, capable of sustaining us for many weeks,” Crandall says.
The human body has many ordinary modes of achieving elimination: the lungs, liver, kidneys, colon. When these are overloaded, the body will resort to “extraordinary” methods of elimination: boils, mucous and other discharges, sweat, vomiting, diarrhea.
If elimination is impossible, the toxic overload will go into storage forms in the joints, vessels, muscles and organs. While fasting, the body is highly conservative of its energy and resources. During this rest, toxin intake and production are reduced to a minimum while elimination proceeds unchecked. Anabolic processes, such as tissue and bone healing, also proceed at a maximal rate during the fast.
The first stage of cleansing removes large quantities of waste matter and digestive residues. The first few days of a fast can be rough due to the quantity of waste passing into the blood stream. After the third day of the fast, there is a little desire for food. The second stage is cleansing of mucous, fat, diseased and dying cells and the more easily removed toxins. As the fast continues, the cleansing process becomes more thorough. The last stage is the cleansing of toxins that have been accumulating in your cellular tissue from birth and the microscopic tubes that carry vital elements to the brain.
“Cleansing is the last layer, only possible through a combination of juice fasting, water fasting and a healthy diet high in raw foods,” Crandall says.
To overcome a severe disease like cancer, he says it is important to continue through a series of fasts to the point where the full scouring action of catabolism removes the disease from the tissue.
One of the surprises that comes from fasting is an increase in mental acuity. Large amounts of blood and nervous energies have to be sent to digestive organs to digest a meal. During a fast, these energies are not required and may be used by the brain for better thinking. This increase doesn’t usually happen until after the first few days of a fast because the body is busy cleaning out toxins.
Chauncey Crandall is chief of the cardiac transplant program at the world-renowned Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and practices interventional, vascular and transplant cardiology.