Intermittent fasting is a selective eating pattern that follows periods of eating and fasting for a specific duration of time. Studies show that it has numerous benefits for physical as well as mental health. It has gained much popularity in a few decades. Commonly people use intermittent fasting as means to lose weight, but it has much more to give than just getting you rid of some extra pounds.
Common Health Benefits
Before getting started with the health benefits, it offers to let us understand the science behind the phenomenon. Basically, fasting is embedded in our physiology, and fasting triggers numerous cellular functions. Consciously putting the body into a fasting phase helps to acquire those benefits. Let us review some benefits.
1. Cellular Repair
During the period of fasting, the body is kept deprived of food. This triggers a completely different set of cellular processes mostly intended to repair and remove wastes. Also, during fasting, the insulin level in the blood drops significantly, and fat stores in the body become more accessible.
The growth hormones also tend to increase in the blood. This assists with more muscle formation from fat stores. It is important to know that this cellular repair can only be acquired with fasting. Changes in hormone levels also help with gene expression.
2. Weight Loss
It is amongst the more popular benefits intermittent fasting offers. Many people use intermittent fasting just for the sake of weight loss. It also helps to burn stubborn belly fat, which is difficult to get rid of; as discussed earlier, it makes body fat more accessible than usual.
It helps with weight loss by limiting calorie intake. During the fasting phase, easting is restricted and thus lets the body take fewer calories as compared to a normal routine. Not only it helps with shrinking calorie intake, but it also boosts metabolic rate. With reduced insulin level, increased growth and norepinephrine hormone triggers fat burning and eventually resulting in weight loss.
3. Helps With Insulin Resistance
Intermittent fasting is extremely beneficial for people who have higher risk factors of developing Type II diabetes due to insulin resistance. Fasting significantly reduces insulin levels in the blood; this is beneficial with increased insulin sensitivity and reduces insulin resistance.
It is the development of insulin resistance that leads to high sugar levels in the blood and, over time, results in the development of Type II Diabetes.
4. Reduces Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress results from unhealthy eating and habits of drinking and smoking. In addition to many hazardous effects on different organs in the body, it is also responsible for increased oxidative stress in the body and inflammation across the body.
Intermittent fasting helps to reduce oxidative stress due to increased alcohol intoxication. However, it is important to look for therapies that are helpful with addiction problems, as intermittent fasting alone is not sufficient.
Addiction is very common in almost every state in the US; state-specific services can be acquired in almost all states, including Nevada; an addiction guide in terms of possible treatment options and cost can provide all necessary information.
5. Cardiovascular Health
There are various means through which intermittent fasting increases cardiovascular efficiencies and heart performance. This is even more beneficial for people with high-risk factors of coming across cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Intermittent fasting keeps the level of triglycerides in blood to a reduced level which eventually leads to low cholesterol levels. Furthermore, it also keeps blood pressure under controlled levels. Intermittent fasting keeps blood sugar levels in control and also assists in weight loss; all these factors make it beneficial for cardiovascular well-being.
Autophagy is a natural process of removing unnecessary and dysfunctional proteins from the cells of the body. It may also be termed as a natural cleaning process at a cellular level. Normally, autophagy requires certain conditions to get started.
Autophagy only takes place when blood sugar level and insulin level are quite low in the blood. Dysfunctional proteins pile up in cells and need to be degraded and removed from cells. These are cellular wastes, and autophagy allows removing these wastes.
7. Helps To Avoid Cancer
Intermittent fasting is also very helpful in preventing and reducing risk factors of cancer. Several studies conducted on mice have proved that intermittent fasting does help in preventing cancer. However, further studies are needed to understand the phenomenon. Cancer is abnormal cell growth.
Cancer can occur anywhere in the body with abnormal cell growth and the formation of tumors. Scientists have looked into different therapies and ways to prevent this deadly disease. Intermittent fasting can prove a useful therapy to avoid cancer.
8. Benefits To Brain
Intermittent fasting has numerous benefits that promote brain health and improve brain functioning. At a very basic level, it helps to combat the harmful effects of oxidative stress and inflammation. Furthermore, it promotes the production of new nerve cells.
Also, some animal studies have suggested that it promotes the level of a brain hormone (brain-derived neurotropic factor) that helps to deal with depression and other nervous disorders. Studies have also suggested that fasting helps with reducing the risk of brain stroke. It also helps with Alzheimer’s disease, which is a neurodegenerative disease.
9. Extends Lifespan
Intermittent fasting is extremely popular among people looking for anti-aging remedies. Some major health benefits in terms of lowering blood sugar levels, weight loss, low cholesterol, increased metabolism, and restricted calories reduce the probability of major health issues that are life-threatening and eventually promote life span.
Studies have been conducted on rats; the rats with intermittent fasting lived 80% longer than those who did not fast, thus proving the claims to increase lifespan. However, more studies on humans are needed to establish this thought further.
Intermittent fasting is becoming much more popular among people because it is a very safe and easy way to reduce weight. However, there are countless health benefits of intermittent fasting that go far beyond. There are numerous health benefits that can only be acquired with fasting and thus make it worth adopting.