Fasting is the abstinence from some or all drinks and foods for a period of time. People fast for different reasons and periods. Some fast so as they can be able to have time for prayers while others fast so as they can lose weight or even for other health reasons. Are there health benefits to fasting? For the longest time, fasting has been a practice that plays a vital role in a number of religions and cultures.
Here we will explore the health benefits of fasting that will definitely surprise you. We will also share on how one can incorporate the benefits into their own life.
Benefits of fasting
1. Fasting boosts insulin sensitivity
Fasting promotes blood sugar control in your body by reducing insulin resistance. Reduced insulin resistance improves the sensitivity of the body to insulin, which allows glucose to be transported from the bloodstream to the cells effectively. The good results will be keeping the blood carbohydrate (sugar) steady, preventing the blood sugar levels, and preventing crashes. It is also essential for you to be aware that fasting has a different impact on women and men.
2. Fasting aids weight loss
Fasting limits your calorie intake, which improves your metabolism. It is an easy option to a dieter who needs to lose a few pounds. Logically, when one decides to abstain from certain or all beverages and foods that increase their daily calorie intake, they tend to lose weight. Short-term fasting increases one's levels of neurotransmitter norepinephrine that enhances weight loss. It helps to preserve the muscle tissues to lose body fat and weight.
Most studies prove that intermittent fasting, which is the controlled fasting for a number of days, allows the body to burn fat cells faster compared to dieting. Your body needs energy and therefore it uses fat as its source. If you want to hit a low body-fat percentage, then fasting can be a reliable option. In fact, it is an easy and quick option.
3. Fasting fights inflammation resulting in better health
Fasting is the process that is used to help in fighting off numerous infections such as chronic inflammations. Some of the serious chronic conditions that can develop include rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. When you fast, you will improve your health and reduce the levels of chronic inflammatory.
4. Fasting energizes the metabolism
When you fast, your digestive system is able to rest resulting to speeding up of your metabolism. Your metabolism is energized making it to burn the calories efficiently. This means that if you are always having a poor digestion of the food, you can try intermittent fasting to speed up the metabolism and burn fat. It will regulate the digestion as well as improve the bowel function. All this will improve your metabolism function as well.
5. Fasting improves longevity
Are you aware that when you eat less you live longer? Fasting alters with the mitochondrial networks in the cells, which will definitely improve your health. Mitochondria networks have the ability to affect lifespan and longevity. What fasting does is to manipulate the mitochondrial networks and therefore making them to stay in their youthful stage for a longer time. This encourages many people to practice the low-energy conditions like intermittent fasting and dietary restriction.
6. Fasting promotes the brain function
Studies prove that fasting can boost your brain’s function and health. This is because it produces a protein referred to as BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor). What is the work of BDNF? It activates the brain-stem cells to trigger a number of chemicals, which improve neural health. It converts into other new neurons as well. BDNF protein protects the brain cells from any changes that are associated with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. This makes fasting for brain health worth it.
7. Fasting aids clear skin & prevent acne
When you fast, your skin becomes clear. Your body frees temporarily from digestion making it to focus its ‘regenerative energies’ more on other body’s system. Studies prove that abstaining from all foods for just 24 hours or a day helps to clean the body from toxins. It also regulates your body’s functioning of organs such as kidneys, and the liver.
8. Fasting boosts the eating patterns
Fasting is helpful to those individuals who find it hard to establish a good eating habit because of work or any other priorities. When you practice intermittent fasting for a timed period that suits your lifestyle, then you will be able to boost your ‘eating patterns.’ Most people with the binge eating habits eat one meal a day with limited calories intake for quick results, with fasting you will be able to boost your eating habits
9. Fasting can contribute to self-enlightenment
When most people fast, they tend to have a good connection with their lives during practices like martial arts, meditation, reading, and yoga. This is because they lack food in their digestive systems, which creates a room for energy in their body. If you want to feel better physically and consciously, fast for self-enlightenment. Your mind will be clear and your body lighter resulting to you becoming more grateful and aware of other things that surround you.
10. Fasting improves the immune system
Practicing intermittent fasting boosts an individual’s immune system. This is because it decrease free-radicle damage, starves the formation of the cancer cells, and regulates the inflammatory body conditions.
How to start healthy fasting
Here we will share with you the different types of fasting so that you can easily find a method that fits your lifestyle. They include:
1. Water fasting – Water fasting involves taking in water only for a timed period.
2. Calorie restriction – This fasting method involves restricting calorie intake into your body for days each week.
3. Juice fasting – This method entails drinking fruit juice or vegetables for a timed period.
4. Partial fasting – This method entails eliminating certain drinks or foods from your diet such as caffeine, animal products, or processed foods for a timed period.
5. Intermittent fasting – Your calorie intake is completely or partially restricted for some hours in few days. Intermittent fasting is broken-down into subcategories like alternate-day fasting that entails time-restricted feeding or eating each day.
Before you start-off fasting, you should experiment the different types to find out the one that works incredibly for you.
Fasting side effects
Is fasting healthy and safe? In spite of the numerous fasting for health benefits, it might not be safe for every individual. Some people who suffer from low blood sugar, fasting can spike and crash their blood-sugar levels; it is very serious and dangerous.
This means that you should first consult your doctor to check if there is underlying health risks. Furthermore, fasting should not be practiced without a close medical supervision for underweight people, older adults, and adolescents. In case you fast, ensure that you stay well dehydrated.
In conclusion, fasting is usually associated with broad arrays of health benefits such as weight loss, heart health, cancer prevention, brain function, and improved blood-sugar control. There are different types of fasting such as calorie restriction, water fasting, and intermittent fasting. Note that most of these studies are limited to animals meaning that more studies need to evaluate benefits of fasting in humans.
The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for the professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content including text, graphics, images, and information contained on or available through this page is for general information purposes only.