11 Proven Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting health benefits includes promoting weight loss, reducing diabetes risk, helps balance circadian rhythms, prevents metabolic syndrome, boosts immune system, helps slow down aging process, improving cognitive function, improving heart health, preventing Alzheimer’s disease, and alleviating inflammation.
Intermittent fasting has gained popularity among people due to numerous health benefits associated with it. You will be delighted to find that, unlike crash diets, intermittent fasting includes adequate food servings allowing you to obtain essential nutrients to promote better functioning of organs.
From reducing weight to improve sleep pattern, you can incorporate intermittent fasting into your regimen to embrace a healthy body. You may not believe it but opting for intermittent fasting can combat symptoms that contribute to various cardiovascular issues such as hypertension.
You can also opt for intermittent fasting to reduce inflammation, supercharge your brain, and boost metabolism and immune system. Studies have shown its surprising benefits to chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, or Alzheimer’s disease as it helps dismantle factors that promote free radicals and oxidative stress in your body.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting refers to voluntary abstinence from any kind of drink and food. It is an umbrella term that applies to various practices. Many people consider it a form of ‘dieting’ which is one of the reasons this approach has received instant attention. 16/8 hour fasting is the most popular form of intermittent fasting in which a person fasts for 16 -hours.
Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) is another alternate version of intermittent fasting that requires a person to fast for 24-hours or it restricts him to take 500 calories per day. Another approach is 5:2 fasting that requires only two days of fasting per week. Similarly, Warrior Diet in intermittent fasting allows 20-hours fasting with only one meal at night.
According to Dr. Robin Forouton, representative of Nutrition and Dietetics Academy, the definition of intermittent fasting varies from individual to individual. Some people consider it every day fasting while many think they can eat from 11 to six in the noon.
11 Proven Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
1. Helps in Weight loss
Intermittent fasting allows you to schedule food intake, which is crucial to shedding extra pounds. This way, you can control your eating habits without putting in significant efforts. You will only need to incorporate low fat and calorie nutritious food options into your diet to get desired results in a short time span. So, if you are willing to lose some weight, look no further than intermittent fasting and make a difference.
2. Reduces Diabetes Risks
A recent study has concluded that more and more people are becoming susceptible to type II diabetes. It would not be wrong to claim that an unhealthy lifestyle contributes to several health problems including diabetes. That is where intermittent fasting comes into the play as it limits insulin production in your body. Moreover, the fasting cycle promotes the production of insulin-producing beta cells by restoring insulin secretion and help people control sugar level.
3. Helps balance Circadian Rhythms
Circadian rhythm refers to your sleep cycle, which is a natural process that regulates wakefulness and sleepiness in the human body. Eating food before sleep is associated with sleep disturbance and weight gain and it increases acid reflux. Hence, intermittent fasting helps you regulate circadian rhythm as it restricts the consumption of food before bed.
4. Prevents Metabolic Syndrome
As intermittent fasting helps your body reset its circadian clock by restricting the amount of food you take before bed, this process also affects your metabolism optimally. The whole process improves your digestion and prevents several metabolic syndromes- high quantity of visceral fat, via reducing insulin resistance and blood glucose significantly.
5. Boosts Immune System
Intermittent fasting strengthens your immune system to fight the adverse effects associated with chemotherapy. In addition, it potentially helps immune system regenerate by revitalizing dormant cells into self-renewal state. A recent research has further concluded that intermittent fasting decreases white blood cells count (WBC) in the body; triggering the immune system to produce more WBC that protects the defense mechanism of the body.
Autophagy is a mechanism to maintain cells in the body and can be stimulated by intermittent fasting. Several studies have proven autophagy as a critical process for brain vitality, longevity and disease resistance. Furthermore, the autophagy cycling mechanism helps body combat cancerous cell growth, diabetes, and obesity.
7. Slows Down Aging Process
Oxidative stress is a major cause of an increased amount of free radical cells in the body. Not only does it increase free radical cells but also it affects the body’s ability to neutralize the detrimental effects of these cells. This is the significant factor, contributing towards aging, heart diseases, and cancer. Intermittent fasting is an effective way to reduce oxidative stress.
8. Improves Cognitive Function
Several studies suggest that it is essential to take care of the nerve cells, as they are crucial for brain functions. Intermittent fasting, in this regard, speeds up the growth of brain nerves cells and leads to better memory and cognitive functions.
9. Improves Heart Health
One of the effects of intermittent fasting is healthy weight loss, which means less fat and cholesterol in the body. Hence, it reduces the risks associated with heart diseases, increased LDL cholesterol, inflammation and blood triglycerides while improving heart health.
10. Prevents Alzheimer’s Diseases
Alzheimer is an incurable neurodegenerative disease. This fact makes it essential to prevent its symptoms in first place. A recently conducted study has revealed beneficial effects of intermittent fasting to reduce the symptoms and severity of Alzheimer in patients of different ages.
The research has further suggested that intermittent fasting protects you from various neurological disorders like Huntington. It boosts the BDNF production- an essential protein in the brain. The protein is important as it helps brain adapt to external and internal changes, making it resilient to anxiety and stress.
11. Alleviated Inflammation
In most cases, injury or bacteria contribute to inflammation in your body. If not treated on time, this inflammation leads to major or minor health diseases including diabetes, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular disorders.
Intermittent fasting can do the job for you. Fasting encourages your body to release ghrelin – the hunger hormone that does not only reduce inflammation but also combat the risks of diseases associated with it. Moreover, intermittent fasting also prevents the development of inflammatory proteins called cytokines.
You may find various short cuts to lose weight. However, it is unlikely that you will improve your overall via opting for crash diets. With intermittent fasting, you can fight health-damaging factors, shed extra fats promoting longevity at the same.