9 Health Benefits Of Fasting You Never Knew Existed
If you understand fasting it’s abstaining from any food or drink for a certain period of time. Fasting plays a major role in many religions and cultures and it can take between 24-72 hours. However, intermittent fasting is where you have periods of eating and fasting which can take a few hours or a few days.
This kind of fasting is gaining popularity and it has many health benefits from losing weight to regulating your blood sugar to improving your brain function.
It also helps to strengthen your immune system, improve your metabolism, protects you from chronic diseases, and reverses insulin resistance. Some people think that fasting means putting your life in danger or gaining fat. Some even say skipping breakfast is the wrong thing to do.
Before you rule out fasting as a beneficial exercise, let’s first see how fasting benefits your body and health.
1. Boosts our brain function
Your brain is the last thing you think about when you go on a diet. Fasting helps to improve your brain function and structure and increase the growth of nerve cells to help improve your cognitive function. Since fasting relieves inflammation it can help prevent neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Fasting also helps increase your mental focus and clarity improving your brain health and performance. It gets rid of damaged cells in your brain and helps to break down fat deposits for energy that the brain uses as a better source of fuel making you more productive for longer.
2. Improves insulin sensitivity
For diabetics, fasting has been found to be a very effective and efficient way of controlling your blood sugar. Consuming foods that are easily converted into sugar increases your insulin levels so as to get the sugar from your blood to your cells. Over time, your cells become resistant to insulin.
When you fast your body is forced to use up all the stored glucose and because there is no new supply of glucose, the insulin levels start to drop. Lowering your insulin levels helps to break down fat faster and maintain low insulin levels when you break your fast.
3. Aid in preventing cancer
Since fasting helps to get rid of toxins in your body it can prevent the growth and spread of tumors. Intermittent fasting can suppress the side effects of chemotherapy and increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs.
Fasting helps to identify and remove the old, mutated, and damaged cells through a process called autophagy. Which if left unchecked the mutated cells can replicate to form cancer cells. By fasting, you deprive the cancer cells food to grow and replicate.
4. Improve your heart health
If you suffer from high blood pressure or high cholesterol, fasting is a great way of lowering your bad cholesterol thus reducing your blood pressure. When you fast you lower your carbs intake which causes your liver to produce fewer triglycerides reducing inflammation and arterial damage.
5. Helps you lose weight
When fasting you eat less than you normally would which means you consume fewer calories. Fasting is the best way of losing weight because your body uses up stored fat. Sugar and fat are the main sources of fuel for your body and it can’t burn both at the same time.
And since most of your meals are converted to sugar which is easier to burn, your body will opt to burn sugar leading to accumulation of fat. When fasting your body first uses up the sugar supply then goes for the fat stores for energy.
With low glucose levels, your kidneys will also get rid of excess water stored.
You can also boost your fasting results with a natural fat burner.
6. Delays aging and improve your longevity
This can be a surprising benefit but fasting can help prolong your life. Your body uses the process of autophagy to get rid of old and damaged tissues and cells. By constantly restoring themselves, cells are able to function better which has an anti-aging effect.
This slows down your aging process both physically and mentally. When you fast you give your body a break in the digestion process and the focus is shifted to repairing of your cells and tissues.
Autophagy helps in maintaining your mental function and health, muscle mass, and reduce the effect of the age-related disease.
7. Improve your immune system
Fasting is a great way of boosting your immune system against common illnesses. When you fast your cells begin to regenerate replacing old cells in your immune system with stronger ones which strengthen your body’s immunity.
8. Helps to clear your skin and prevent acne
When it comes to your skin and fasting the process of autophagy applies here. By replacing old and damaged cells and tissue with new ones, you get better-looking skin. Fasting diverts your body from thinking about digestion and since your body needs energy it looks for any fat stores to convert to energy even dead tissue like scar tissue. The replacement of old skin cells with new ones helps to also heal wounds faster.
9. Helps maintain lean muscle tissue
Mostly when you lose weight you lose both muscle mass and fat but it can be difficult to maintain muscle mass when losing fat. Fasting is all about burning more calories at rest while maintaining lean muscle tissue. When you’re fasting you don’t do any intense workout so your body burns fat and not muscle.
However, if you’re fasting and exercising at the same time you will burn more calories and your fat stores. Once your body doesn’t have any more fat to burn it will burn your muscle to provide the energy you need.
Fasting is a great way of improving your life
At first, it will be hard to go without eating for long periods of time but once your body adjusts, it becomes easier. Fasting is very beneficial to your health but that doesn’t mean you do it all the time. You can come up with specific days when you fast to help improve your brain function, maintain your blood sugar, maintain your body weight, boost your immune system, and rejuvenate your skin.