Intermittent fasting (IF), one of the most talked-about diets right now, is a way of eating that designates periods of time for eating and for fasting. Before the modern era, people fasted to cleanse their bodies of toxins and treat certain diseases. Today, we know that fasting has even more reported and demonstrated benefits. But when it comes to dieting, promising new fads seem to spring up almost daily, and there’s no shortage of supplements or methodical formulas to help you achieve your health goal. But with such a saturated market, it’s more difficult to determine which approach is worth your time and effort when it comes to adopting a diet that fits your lifestyle. It’s no surprise, then, that of the more popular wellness trends to rise to popularity is micro fasting, better known as “intermittent fasting”.
These naturally-induced fasting benefits can have a lasting positive effect on the body and mind, and this is what today’s article is going to be discussing.
15 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- Improves Brains Health:
Fasting improves metabolic factors that are important to our brain health . This includes less oxidative stress and inflammation, as well as a drop in blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Eventually, it also increases the levels of brain-driven neurotrophic factors, a brain hormone that, when deficient, is directly linked to depression and other mental health issues.
As it also promotes new nerve cell growth, which can positively affect cognitive function. Fasting is known to increase the hormone known as (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), which helps with the creation of new neurons connected with improved memory, mood, and productivity. Bye, bye brain fog.
2. Reduces Inflammation:
Inflammation is at the root of many health conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. It can also exacerbate symptoms of certain conditions you already have. The micro fasting boosts the production of beta-hydroxybutyrate, which blocks inflammation as a result of the immune system. Summer is a particularly important time to seek for ways to reduce inflammation. Since we’re dealing with hotter temperature, sunburns, and dehydration it may make symptoms of chronic inflammation worse. Fasting controls the release of free radicals present in your body and protects you from inflammation.
3. Reduces the Risk of Diabetes and other Heart Diseases:
Generally explained, a higher-than-normal blood sugar level puts you at risk for developing diabetes and heart disease. Intermittent fasting (IF) helps to balance out blood sugar and insulin. Some people started controlling their blood sugars so well with the food they eat, they stopped taking medication at all, although it’s not that easy to achieve.
4. Helps Abdominal Health:
fasting allows your body and, most importantly, the digestive tract and organs crucial time to heal and rejuvenate to improve the overall composition of the microbiota of the gut.
Important to note: Non-caloric liquids and black coffee or tea without added sugars or milk can be consumed during fasting periods.
With the proven anti-inflammatory, digestive, and metabolic benefits attributed to the practice of intermittent fasting, as the body is provided the necessary time to heal and rest through these periods of fasting, most commonly at night. Hence, it’s recommended to avoid eating after dinner in order to give the body the necessary time to heal, rest, and rejuvenate through intermittent fasting.
5. Improves Resistance to Oxidative Stress:
A number of observations prove that intermittent fasting effectively reduces oxidative stress. Reducing it is extremely important as long-term oxidative stress eventually leads to the destruction of important molecules in the body through reactions with other unstable molecules, such as free radicals.
It also plays a role in the development of a range of conditions, including cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and can also accelerate the aging process.
6. Slows down Aging:
Research shows that intermittent fasting benefits can mimic the effects of very low-calorie diets, which are good for anti-aging, aging is a process that can’t be stopped, but changing the way we treat our bodies dramatically affects the way we age. The full mechanism of how it works would take a lot of scientific terms to explain but if simplified this means that the fasting process activates the life-extending mechanisms, creates space for new cells to grow, and literally rejuvenates our bodies.
7. Promotes Weight Loss:
Fasting boosts the production of the hormone norepinephrine, which burns fat naturally. While it increases hormones, fasting may also boost the metabolic rate of the body as it reduces insulin resistance, and in turn, blood sugar to help reduce the risk of diabetes. By lowering insulin and increasing growth hormone levels, it also increases the release of the fat-burning hormone called norepinephrine (noradrenaline). Due to these hormonal changes, fasting increases your metabolic rate.
8. Helps Skin Health:
Intermittent Fasting has helped numerous people who suffered from skin-related problems, such as acne. The secret is, when you give your body an extended break from its digestion routine, it kick starts your body’s detox mechanism too. Those who allow their body to adjust to this new digestion pattern claim to enjoy clear, glowing, healthy skin – an unexpected, long-lasting perk that comes with Intermittent Fasting.
9. Mindful Eating Habit:
Ever reach for a chocolate or bag of chips out of habit without even realizing what you’re doing? That’s called mindless eating, and most of us do it to some extent. But do it often enough, and it can cause you to fall pretty out of step with your body’s hunger cues.
Many people eat emotionally, particularly at night when it’s easy to sit in front of the television, and mindlessly consume extra calories. But fasting diets, which force you to establish clear eating windows, eliminate this absent-minded noshing and can help you take in fewer overall calories.
10. Improves Hunger:
Just think about this, can you actually experience real hunger if you eat a meal every 3-4 hours? Of course you can’t. In fact, to experience the true nature of hunger, this would take anything from twelve to even twenty four hours.
Fasting helps to regulate the hormones in your body so that you experience what true hunger is. We know that obese individuals do not receive the correct signals to let them know they are full due excessive eating patterns. Think of fasting as a reset button: the longer you fast, the more your body can regulate itself to release the correct hormones, so that you can experience what real hunger is. Not to mention, when your hormones are working correctly, you get full quicker.
11. Helps with Blood Pressure:
Intermittent fasting (IF) may help lower high blood pressure in the short term. Having a healthy blood pressure is important, unhealthy levels can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
But so far the research shows these blood pressure benefits last only while IF is practiced. Once the diet ended and people returned to eating as normal, researchers found the blood pressure readings returned to their initial levels.
12. Better Sleep:
If you’ve ever felt like you slipped into a food coma after a big meal, you know that diet can have an impact on wakefulness and sleepiness. Some people report being able to sleep better as a result of following this way of eating.
13. Reduces Tumor Growth:
This happens because tumors feed on carbohydrates, i.e. glucose. When glucose levels are more regulated and lower throughout the day, the tumor does not receive the sustenance it needs to grow.
14. Increases Cell Turnover:
Intermittent fasting increases autophagy, which is an important detoxification function in the body to clean out damaged cells. Put differently, a break from eating and digestion gives the body a chance to heal and get rid of junk inside the cells that can accelerate aging.
15. Simplifies Life:
Nowadays we’re always in a rush. When you eliminate the number of meals you eat in a day or week, you also find this amazing added benefit: meal preparation becomes much easier. During eating windows, you can simply eat your regular food and then drink water, tea, coffee, or bone broth while fasting. And heels in breaking down expensive foods in your former diet.