In a previous post we have dealt with what Intermittent Fasting (IF) is and the various methods one can follow, in this post, we will look at 5 benefits this lifestyle change has to offer.
Numerous studies show that IF can have powerful benefits for your body and brain. However, it is important to keep in mind that research is ongoing and still in its early stage.
These health benefits are linked to intermittent fasting:
Weight loss and lower Insulin levels: The body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which cells use for energy or convert into fat and store for later use. Insulin is a hormone that allows cells to take in glucose. Insulin levels drop when a person is not consuming food. During a period of fasting, it is possible that decreasing insulin levels causes cells to release their glucose stores as energy. Repeating this process regularly through IF will ultimately lead to weight loss.
IF also restricts the amount of food taken in daily, which further contributes to weight loss.
Lower risk of type 2 diabetes: Being overweight is one of the main risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. IF may hold benefits for diabetes prevention as it can assist in weight loss and other factors linked to the risks of diabetes.
A review paper examined a group of adults who were overweight and obese, the researchers observed reductions in markers of diabetes, such as insulin sensitivity.
As a result, they suggest that intermittent fasting could lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in this group of people.
Heart health: A study from 2016 reveals that IF may reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, heart rate, blood triglycerides (a type of fat present in the blood), inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance — all risk factors for heart disease.
Brain Growth: What is good for the body is often good for the brain as well. IF improves various metabolic features known to be important for brain health and increases the brain hormone BDNF.
Cell Repair and Disease Protection: When we fast, our body goes through a process called autophagy. This involves the cells breaking down and metabolizing broken and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells over time. In simpler terms, fasting triggers a metabolic pathway that removes waste material from cells resulting in possible protection against diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancers.
In our next post, we will deal with the Safety and Side effects of Intermittent Fasting.
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