You may have heard of intermittent fasting in the past. The kind of fast you don’t have to keep up with the whole day but 12-14 hours. You may also have heard or read testimonials as to how it may help you detoxify, and how it may even help you lose weight.
But is that it? Are these the only benefits? What if someone who is at their ideal weight wants to do intermittent fasting but still wants to reap some benefits? So, what’s in store for them? Do these benefits of intermittent fasting extend beyond weight loss? Can they help with several health issues?
Well, let’s find out.
Helps reduce inflammation
As per research, intermittent fasting (IF) may help lower inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s response towards attackers like viruses or bacteria. This is known as acute inflammation, which only lasts till the enemies are controlled. Chronic inflammation, however, is when the body sends out inflammatory cells to fight even when there is no danger or invaders. This can cause a variety of chronic health issues.
So, how does intermittent fasting come in to save the day?
As suggested by studies, intermittent fasting may lower inflammation by controlling and reducing the release of inflammatory cells as it is in this window of fasting, that the inflammatory cells go into “sleep mode”.
May be beneficial for heart health
You are not alone if you are concerned about the rising number of heart attack and cardiac arrest cases. Your heart health chiefly depends on genetics and your lifestyle. If you have welcomed or are planning to welcome intermittent fasting in your lifestyle, your heart will thank you.
As per research, changes observed in metabolic parameters, such as reduced levels of triglycerides and low blood sugar levels after IF, are beneficial for heart health.
In addition to that, intermittent fasting reduces cholesterol levels. And from what we know, high blood pressure has already been a leading cause of heart disease.
Facilitates the cell repair process
So, what happens in your body when you fast? Among the many good things, your cell repair process gets commenced. As you know damaged and dead cells in the body are replaced by new cells, this is called the cell repair or turnover process.
When you fast, it gives your body time to get rid of the dead cells and replace them with new and healthy cells. It is a significant detoxification function of the body, which gets facilitated by intermittent fasting.
May even help prevent cancer
As far as studies are concerned, intermittent fasting may also reduce the risk of cancer by slowing down the growth of cancerous cells. However, more research is needed into the area. The claim is backed by several animal studies. There is only limited research conducted on humans. However, intermittent fasting has been shown to lower the side effects of chemotherapy and improve cancer treatments.
May boost cognitive functions
Turns out, intermittent fasting is even good for overall brain health. As it helps reduce inflammation, blood sugar levels, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance, it may boost cognitive functions and help prevent Alzheimer’s.
Additionally, it has also been observed that intermittent fasting may help protect the brain against damage suffered due to stroke.
If your nights go by twisting and turning to finally get your body to sleep, intermittent fasting may save the day. Before we tell you how it’s important to put it out there that food greatly influences your quality of sleep. If you slip into your blanket just after consuming a heavy meal, you may have a light sleep.
However, if you keep a window between mealtime and bedtime, your body would digest the food before you head to sleep. This means, your body won’t have to perform the digestive functions, and it will rest. Hence, a deep and satisfying sleep.
Can reduce insulin resistance
Intermittent fasting may also help control blood sugar levels, which is very helpful for those suffering from diabetes. Even if you are not diabetic, intermittent fasting may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
But just know, it’s important to exercise caution. Patients taking medications for type 2 diabetes, or particularly those on insulin have low blood sugar if they follow IF. This may be life-threatening. Make sure you consult your doctor before proceeding with intermittent fasting if you have diabetes.
Intermittent fasting shows promise in addressing various health issues as observed above. While ongoing research continues to unravel its full range of benefits, it’s clear that intermittent fasting has the potential to contribute positively to overall well-being. As with any lifestyle change, it’s important for individuals to approach intermittent fasting thoughtfully and consult with healthcare professionals if needed. Embracing this eating pattern might offer a simple yet impactful way for many to enhance their health.