12 Health Benefits of Fasting
Friday, February 10, 2017 11:57 AM
Fasting is usually encouraged for certain spiritual benefits but studies have shown that fasting can improve the human health in a surprising number of ways.
- Fasting has shown to improve brain function, because it boosts the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF.) BDNF activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, and triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. This protein also protects your brain cells from changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
- Fasting is great for normalizing insulin sensitivity- When your body gets too much carbs and sugar, it can become insulin resistant, which will then lead the way to a host of chronic diseases. If you don’t want to go down this route, then you’ve got to keep your body sensitive to insulin. Fasting is an effective way to do this. When insulin sensitivity is up, you can better prevent diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart complications.
- Fasting can help clear the skin because with the body temporarily freed from digestion, it’s able to focus its regenerative energies on other systems.
- Not eating anything for just one day has shown to help the body clean up the toxins and regulate the functioning of other organs of the body like liver, kidneys and other parts.
- Fasting can slow down the aging process- As previously mentioned, fasting can cause the body to produce more Human Growth Hormone. This hormone is actually closely connected to the aging process. When the body produces less HGH, it tends to age faster too. So in effect, it is safe to conclude that fasting can help the body age more slowly.
- Fasting is an excellent tool for weight loss- There have been studies that support fasting as an excellent tool for weight loss. In one study, non obese patients lost an average of 4% of total fat when they fasted alternately for a 22 day period. It must also be noted that their fasting insulin levels also decreased. In another study conducted on obese individuals, fasting, meaning consuming only 25% of their daily calorie needs yielded an average 5.5 pound weight loss in an eight week period. 3% of body fat was also lost, along with a decrease in total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
- Intermittent fasting improves the immune system because it reduces free radical damage, regulates inflammatory conditions in the body and starves off cancer cell formation. In nature, when animals get sick they stop eating and instead focus on resting. This is a primal instinct to reduce stress on their internal system so their body can fight off infection. We humans are the only species who look for food when we are ill, even when we do not need it.
- Intermittent fasting gives your digestive system a rest, and this can energise your metabolism to burn through calories more efficiently. If your digestion is poor, this can effect your ability to metabolise food and burn fat. Intermittent fasts can regulate your digestion and promote healthy bowel function, thus improving your metabolic function.
- Fasting can normalize ghrelin levels- What is ghrelin? It is actually also known as the hunger hormone, because it is responsible for telling your body that it is hungry. When you fast, the ghrelin levels in your body normalizes, so it actually becomes more accurate in telling you if you should really eat, or leave off having a snack until later.
- Fasting Improves Hunger. Just think about this, can you actually experience real hunger if you eat a meal every 3-4 hours? Of course you can’t. In fact, to experience the true nature of hunger, this would take anything from 12 to even 24 hours.
- Fasting promotes the secretion of Human Growth Hormone, which is important for burning fat. Fasting can also promote muscle building, while decreasing insulin levels. When you combine all of these, fasting can in fact, transform the human body into an effective fat burning machine
- Fasting helps to regulate the hormones in your body so that you experience what true hunger is. We know that obese individuals do not receive the correct signals to let them know they are full due excessive eating patterns.