08 May The Top 4 Health Benefits of Fasting
Despite sounding intimidating, fasting is a practice that millions of people do every year. It’s a practice that dates back for centuries and for good reason: the health benefits that come from it are widespread.
Utilized for more than just reducing calories or religious reasons, fasting can actually do wonders for multiple functions in the human body. Able to help sharpen brain function, maintain heart health, reduce inflammation and so much more, skipping a few meals may be more beneficial for you than previously thought.
Improves Brain Function
When it comes to brain health, intermittent fasting has proven to be quite beneficial. Though most studies have been first conducted on animals, results have shown that various metabolic features are improved after fasting. Evidence also points towards the growth of new nerve cells and an increase in BDNF, a brain hormone that can cause depression and other mental issues during deficiency.
This, combined with a few other factors, leaves scientists to believe that intermittent fasting could help prevent or assist with the treatment of major neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Regular, healthy fasting has found to have an extremely positive relationship with the heart. Intermittent fasting can help influence the way your body reacts to sugar and cholesterol by decreasing the amount of “bad” cholesterol in your system and regulating healthy sugar metabolization. Both of these factors can, thus, aid you in losing weight– another factor that makes your heart happy.
Other studies have concluded that intermittent fasting can help decrease overall blood pressure and lower the number of triglycerides your body has. Too many triglycerides increase your chance of having heart disease, so finding natural ways to lower this, like through fasting, is beneficial for everybody, but especially those who are at-risk.
Helps to Fight Inflammation
Recently, researchers at Mount Sinai have found that fasting has the ability to lower inflammation and help improve chronic inflammatory diseases and other conditions. When we fast, our bodies experience a reduction in oxidative stress within our cells, thus, reducing overall inflammation.
Inflammation is a key player in conditions and ailments of all severities, and it isn’t easily controlled. Thankfully, we’re finding that even 24 hours of fasting can help lower inflammation and have our bodies feeling more relaxed and relieved than after a day full of eating.
Assists with Weight Loss
Though fasting should never be your sole dietary regimen, the occasional fast can be a great assistant in your weight loss journey. Besides the obvious fact that you’re restricting the number of calories that your body is digesting, some studies have shown that intermittent fasting can actually help boost your metabolism.
When your body undergoes fasting, your levels of norepinephrine increase, which is a neurotransmitter that works directly with your metabolic rate. This means that your body is able to more efficiently burn calories and give you an extra boost of energy–the perfect recipe to lose weight.
…And so Much More!
These are only a few of the many health benefits that have been found to come from fasting. No matter how appealing this is, it is crucial to do as much research as possible surrounding the practice, as doing it incorrectly or for too long can seriously impact your health. If this is something that piques your interest, make sure you contact your primary care physician first to make sure it is a healthy option for you.