There are several health benefits of intermittent fasting. It improves the health of your brain and body and also reduces weight.
The major benefits of intermittent fasting are:
Leptin is a saturation hormone which is produced by fat cells. It gives us an indication to stop eating. Whenever you are hungry, your Leptin level will decrease and when you start to feel full, it starts to increase.
People who have obesity have higher levels of Leptin circulating in their body which can lead to Leptin resistance. This can eliminate the hunger signals. Lower Leptin levels cause less Leptin resistance and less hunger.
Syncs circadian rhythms and fights against metabolic disease
Circadian rhythms are the natural sleep and wake cycle of our internal system which regulates the feeling of sleepiness and wakefulness in the 24 hour time frame.
One of the benefits of intermittent fasting is that it helps us to stick with our body’s circadian rhythm and helps the metabolism to fight against metabolic disease.
Sleep disturbances are usually caused because of eating certain types of food before going to bed. But fasting helps to completely reset your circadian cycle.
Better immune system
Our immune system is very complex. It keeps us away from the attack of pathogens that are present around us. Our immune system needs to be strong or it can turn on us or it can attack the harmless substances.
Studies says that the slow immune system extends to allergic responses. Experiments that were conducted in rat indicated that it lowers hypersensitivity and allergic reactions of the immune system.
The body is constantly undergoing a detoxification process throughout the day. A large amount of energy is used in the detoxification process and also to digest food.
When the body is not occupied in digesting food, it can put its full focus on flushing out the toxins and in the healing process. When you give your body a 12 – hour time during the intermittent fasting, it optimizes detoxification process.
Changes in Functioning of Cells, Genes and Hormones
When you don’t eat for some time your body undergoes several changes. It initiates repair processes for the cell changes the levels of hormones to use the stored fat and convert it into energy.
The insulin level drastically drops, which carries out fat burning, the growth hormones are boosted up to 5 times, the waste is discarded from the cells which is called autophagy and the genes are altered in terms of longevity and protection against various diseases.
Lose Weight and Belly Fat
In this fasting method you eat less meals compared to your normal diet which reduces your calorie intake. This eventually makes your body cut down the fats and lose weight. It accelerates the hormones functions for weight loss.
Low blood glucose levels, high growth hormone level and increase of norepinephrine helps to break down fats in the body and use it as energy. It helps to get rid of belly fat that causes disease.
Lowers the risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes has become very common these days. Intermittent fasting shows insulin resistance and reduces the blood glucose levels. It also protects against kidney damage and other complications of diabetes.
Hence it is a protection for people who are at a risk of developing type-2 diabetes. But this varies in gender. A study showed the blood glucose level got worse in women after following the intermittent fasting for 22 days.
Reduces Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in the Body
Oxidative stress is caused because of aging and chronic disease. The free radicals react with molecules and damage them. Intermittent fasting improves the body’s resistance to oxidative stress and fights against inflammation.
Beneficial for Heart
These days heart disease has increased a lot. There are many risk factors for heart diseases. Intermittent fasting help against these risk factors like blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood triglyceride levels, inflammation and blood glucose levels.
Cancer is caused due to uncontrolled growth of cells. Intermittent fasting has a positive effect on the metabolism, which reduces the risk of cancer. There is evidence on cancer patients that shows fasting has reduced many side effects of chemotherapy.
Improves Brain Health
Intermittent fasting improves the brain functions. There were studies conducted on rats that showed a boost in growth of nerve cells, which benefits the functioning of the brain.
It also increases the levels of brain hormones called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). In animals it was seen that fasting protected against brain damage caused by stroke.
Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s so preventing it is a good option but is critical. A study conducted on rats shows that intermittent fasting delays the disease and reduces its severity. Several reports show significant improvement in the symptoms.
There are studies in rats that shows that fasting improved the life span. The rats that fasted every other day lived 83% longer than the ones who weren’t fasting.
Although this has not been proven in human benefits towards the health markers indicates, it can help you live longer and healthier life.