Why is fasting good for you – 7 health benefits, backed by science!
Despite its recent surge in popularity, fasting is a practice that dates back centuries and plays a central role in many cultures and religions. Defined as the abstinence from all or some foods or drinks for a set period of time, there are many different ways of fasting.
In general, most types of fasts are performed over 24–72 hours. Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting, ranging from a few hours to a few days at a time. Fasting has been shown to have many health benefits, from increased weight loss to better brain function.
Here are 7 health benefits of fasting — backed by science…
1) Promotes Blood Sugar Control by Reducing Insulin Resistance
Several studies have found that fasting may improve blood sugar control, which could be especially useful for those at risk of diabetes.
In fact, one study in 10 people with type 2 diabetes showed that short-term intermittent fasting significantly decreased blood sugar levels.
2) Promotes Better Health by Fighting Inflammation
While acute inflammation is a normal immune process used to help fight off infections, chronic inflammation can have serious consequences for your health.
Research shows that inflammation may be involved in the development of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
Some studies have found that fasting can help decrease levels of inflammation and help promote better health.
One study in 50 healthy adults showed that intermittent fasting for one month significantly decreased levels of inflammatory markers.
3) May Enhance Heart Health by Improving Blood Pressure, Triglycerides and Cholesterol Levels
Heart disease is considered the leading cause of death around the world, accounting for an estimated 31.5% of deaths globally.
Switching up your diet and lifestyle is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of heart disease. Some research has found that incorporating fasting into your routine may be especially beneficial when it comes to heart health.
4) May Boost Brain Function and Prevent Neurodegenerative Disorders
Though research is mostly limited to animal research, several studies have found that fasting could have a powerful effect on brain health.
Because fasting may also help relieve inflammation, it could also aid in preventing neurodegenerative disorders.
5) Aids Weight Loss by Limiting Calorie Intake and Boosting Metabolism
Many dieters pick up fasting looking for a quick and easy way to drop a few pounds.
Theoretically, abstaining from all or certain foods and beverages should decrease your overall calorie intake, which could lead to increased weight loss over time.
Some research has also found that short-term fasting may boost metabolism by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which could enhance weight loss.
In fact, one review showed that whole-day fasting could reduce body weight by up to 9% and significantly decrease body fat over 12–24 weeks.
Another review found that intermittent fasting over 3–12 weeks was as effective in inducing weight loss as continuous calorie restriction and decreased body weight and fat mass by up to 8% and 16% respectively.
In addition, fasting was found to be more effective than calorie restriction at increasing fat loss while simultaneously preserving muscle tissue.
6) Increases Growth Hormone Secretion, Which Is Vital for Growth, Metabolism, Weight Loss and Muscle Strength.
Human growth hormone (HGH) is a type of protein hormone that is central to many aspects of your health.
In fact, research shows that this key hormone is involved in growth, metabolism, weight loss and muscle strength.
Several studies have found that fasting could naturally increase HGH levels.
One study in 11 healthy adults showed that fasting for 24 hours significantly increased levels of HGH.
Another small study in nine men found that fasting for just two days led to a 5-fold increase in the HGH production rate.
Plus, fasting may help maintain steady blood sugar and insulin levels throughout the day, which may further optimize levels of HGH, as some research has found that sustaining increased levels of insulin may reduce HGH levels.
7) Could Delay Aging and Extend Longevity
Several studies have found promising results on the potential lifespan-extending effects of fasting.
Try our famous Soup & Juice Fast!
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