One of the latest health trends has taken the internet by storm. If you’re looking for a way to boost your health, intermittent fasting may be the answer. Intermittent fasting has been around for centuries, but it has only recently started to gain in popularity. Proponents of intermittent fasting say it has many health benefits, ranging from weight loss to improved heart health. While there are many different ways to do intermittent fasting, all involve going for periods without eating. So, what are the health benefits of intermittent fasting? And why should you try it? Keep reading to find out!
Effective Way To Lose Weight
Many people who try fasting find that they lose weight as a result. This is because you are cutting down the number of calories you eat daily, which means your body has to burn fat as fuel. In addition, intermittent fasting puts your body under mild stress, which can lead it to increase its metabolism. Once your metabolic rate goes up, you’ll also notice that you aren’t as hungry during the fasted period – another way that intermittent fasting can help you to reduce calories. Finally, studies have shown that intermittent fasting may help suppress the hunger hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin sends signals to your brain, telling it when you’re hungry or full. When your ghrelin levels drop, so does your appetite – meaning you may find it easier to stick to the diet overall. Less desire for unhealthy snacks means you’re much less likely to binge when you start eating.
Enhanced Heart Health
There is some evidence that intermittent fasting can help improve your cardiovascular health. When we eat, our bodies use a certain amount of energy just processing and digesting the food and breaking down its nutrients. This process creates heat and uses oxygen – and as a result, there’s an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Studies have found that this kind of ‘cardiometabolic stress’ leads to plaque build-up in the arteries, which can cause all kinds of problems such as high blood pressure and heart attacks. One animal study has shown that intermittent fasting may reduce this kind of cardiometabolic stress – so it can help protect you from heart problems. This has been backed up by a human study, which found that intermittent fasting lowered blood pressure and improved the function of arteries.
Improved Cognitive Function
Studies have shown that doing intermittent fasting can improve cognitive function – especially when it’s combined with exercise. Intermittent fasting also increases levels of a brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which can help prevent age-related decline in brain function. In addition, animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting may improve learning and memory. Researchers believe this could be because animals tend to devour their food during a fasted period, giving their bodies more time for essential tasks such as learning, problem-solving, and collecting food.
Helps Cleanse Your Body And Mind
When you’re eating three meals a day, you’re putting constant stress on your gut. This can lead to issues such as bloating and constipation. In addition, what we eat impacts our moods – so when you do finally get to eat again, you may be more likely to overindulge in unhealthy foods. It also means your body isn’t constantly producing insulin after every meal, which can lead to feelings of tiredness or even depression. Intermittent fasting gives your digestive system time to rest between meals, absorbing nutrients better and making it less susceptible to damage caused by the normal stresses of eating.
Helps Boost Energy Levels
Many people believe that if you miss a meal, your blood sugar level will drop, and you’ll feel tired. This is why many people find it difficult to manage fasting days – they think it could make them less productive. However, some studies show that this isn’t the case. Intermittent fasting can give you an energy boost and improve cognitive function. One study even found that alternating fasting every other day may help reduce body weight, increase insulin sensitivity, and lower blood pressure, all of which contribute to improved energy levels.
May Prevent Cancer
A few animal studies have suggested that intermittent fasting may reduce cancer risk. This could be due to its positive effect on cell regeneration, but other possibilities exist. For example, giving your digestive system a break reduces the amount of work it does to absorb nutrients from your food. This means fewer free radicals are produced in the gut, damaging DNA and leading to cancer.
Research is still ongoing regarding the impact of intermittent fasting on health – but there’s undoubtedly some promising evidence so far, making it worth trying out. Giving your gut a break between meals seems to help improve digestion, boost energy levels, and may even have anti-aging properties. So, while you might be giving up three meals every day, the benefits associated with intermittent fasting are thought to outweigh this inconvenience.