10 health benefits of intermittent fasting
Here are 10 potential health benefits of intermittent fasting.
1. Weight management
Intermittent fasting may be effective in promoting weight loss because it reduces insulin levels. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose by the body, which your cells then either consume for energy or convert into fat and store for later use. Insulin is a hormone that enables your cells to take up glucose into their internal structures.
Insulin levels tend to fall when you stop eating and drinking for an extended period of time. After a period of fasting, decreased insulin levels may lead cells to release their glucose storage to be used as a source of energy, potentially leading to weight loss.
Intermittent fasting also means that you are likely consuming fewer calories daily, which may help you shed extra pounds. However, since your body adapts to reduced calorie intake over time, you may notice that you reach a weight loss plateau after 3-6 months.
2. Lowered risk of type II diabetes
Over the past several decades, a diagnosis of type II diabetes has become more widespread. The primary indicator of this condition is the presence of elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Anything that helps the body become less resistant to the effects of insulin should help bring down blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type II diabetes.
3. Reduced inflammation
Oxidative stress is a contributing factor to both premature aging and the development of many chronic diseases. Unstable chemicals called free radicals cause harm to other essential molecules, such as DNA and protein, when they interact with these molecules and cause damage in the process.
According to several studies, intermittent fasting may help the body minimize the inflammation caused by oxidative damage, slowing the aging process and preventing the development of certain diseases.
4. Improved heart health
5. Improved brain health
Animal studies have shown that mice who were put on a diet of short periods of intermittent fasting had improved learning and memory compared to mice that were allowed unrestricted access to food.
6. Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s
Other animal studies have suggested that intermittent fasting may help lower the risk of developing neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke. However, there is currently no conclusive research regarding whether intermittent fasting has the same effect on humans.
7. Improved tissue health
Animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting improves tissue health, which aids in faster recovery after injuries or surgery.
8. Faster cell turnover
Taking a break from eating and digesting provides the body with the time to repair and clear itself of waste products that have accumulated within the cells.
9. Increased longevity
According to research conducted on animals, intermittent fasting may help increase longevity and extend your lifespan.
10. Improved sleep
What you eat during the day can affect your sleep at night. Some people who do intermittent fasting claim that it helps them get better sleep and improves symptoms of insomnia or other sleep disorders.