Fasting is becoming an increasingly common form of weight and health management; however, many people wonder whether fasting is actually good for you. This is because fasting is quite a foreign concept to the modern western world, but fasting is by no means a new phenomenon. In fact, Muslims will be fasting for Ramadan 2023, and many Catholics fast on Fridays. Fasting is commonplace in a number of cultures and religions, and it’s now being adopted globally for health purposes.
Detailed below are just some of the health benefits of fasting when it’s carried out safely. Our bodies need some level of water and food to function, meaning it’s important to establish the difference between fasting and depriving your body.
First things first, many people experiment with fasting to try and lose weight. Naturally, refraining from consuming certain drinks and foods will reduce your calorie intake. As a result, this can encourage weight loss over time.
Similarly, some research shows that short-term fasting has the ability to boost metabolism. This is because norepinephrine levels can be increased from fasting, which is a neurotransmitter that can enhance weight loss.
For instance, a full day of fasting is thought to decrease body weight by as much as nine percent and reduce body fat over 12 to 24 weeks.
Improved Brain Function
One thing that isn’t always considered regarding fasting is its impact on brain health. This is because fasting can help alleviate inflammation, which can contribute to the prevention of neurodegenerative disorders.
Not only can fasting prevent neurodegenerative disorders from setting in, but it may be able to improve outcomes for conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
That said, its effects are still in the research stages, meaning nothing is proven; however, the evidence does suggest that fasting has a positive impact on our brain function. Of course, this only applies when it’s carried out in a healthy manner.
Enhanced Heart Health
It’s not just our brains; our hearts also benefit from fasting. This is especially important when considering heart disease is the number one killer globally. In fact, heart disease accounts for 31.5 percent of deaths worldwide.
Since adjusting your lifestyle and diet is one of the most effective ways of decreasing your heart disease risk, it’s no surprize that fasting has an impact.
This is because evidence suggests that fasting decreases cholesterol levels, which is a massive factor in heart health. For instance, people who are overweight tend to have higher cholesterol levels, which puts them at a greater risk of heart disease.
Everyone’s body requires some level of inflammation. This is otherwise known as acute inflammation, which is an immune process employed to combat infections.
On the other hand, though, chronic inflammation can have severe health consequences. This kind of inflammation can lead to chronic conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and heart disease.
In response to this, fasting can reduce inflammation levels and promote improved health. This is because studies have shown that intermittent fasting can decrease levels of C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation.
Improved Blood Sugar Control
Last but not least, fasting can improve blood sugar control, which can be particularly helpful for those with diabetes. For example, a study of people with type 2 diabetes showed that short-term intermittent fasting reduced blood sugar levels.
This is because reducing insulin resistance can increase the body’s insulin sensitivity, facilitating the transport of glucose from the bloodstream to the cells more efficiently. As a result, spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels can be prevented, resulting in greater stability.
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