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 of time. 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 is currently one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends. People are using it for all the health benefits that are backed by science.
Here are the 4 scientifically proven benefits :
1. Promotes Blood Sugar Control by Decreasing insulin resistance
Several studies have found that fasting may improve blood sugar control, which could be useful for those at risk of diabetes. Decreasing insulin resistance can increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin, allowing it to transport glucose from your bloodstream to your cells more efficiently. Coupled with the potential blood sugar-lowering effects of fasting, this could help keep your blood sugar steady, preventing spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels. Keep in mind though that some studies have found that fasting may impact blood sugar levels differently for men and women.
2. 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. Another small study discovered the same effect when people fasted for 12 hours a day for one month.
3. 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. Animal studies have reported that fasting could protect brain health and increase the generation of nerve cells to help enhance cognitive function. However, more studies are needed to evaluate the effects of fasting on brain function in humans.
4. Improves your immune system
Fasting does a number of things to your immune system. According to one study, a three day fast can lead to the regeneration of the entire immune system and the production of totally brand new white blood cells which have a stronger ability to fight disease. Fasting also triggers the burning of fats and the release of toxins from the body, which can also enhance the body’s ability to fight diseases. Breaking the fast with fruits can boost your immune system even further by providing your body with a source of essential vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamins A and E which are great antioxidants. Fasting also prevents the formation of cancer cells, regulates the likelihood of inflammation, and helps reduce the occurrence of free radicals in the body, which causes damage to the cells, DNA, and the body’s proteins, thus contributing to disease.
However, it is very important for one to be physically and mentally prepared before the fasting begins. One way you can be prepared is to drink plenty of water and consume your daily supplement before or after fasting because there is no excuse no to get all the nutrients you needed while going through this diet.