THE BENEFITS OF FASTING
Fasting has become increasingly popular recently due to some of the amazing health benefits that people are gaining from the practice. However, fasting is nothing new! It dates back centuries, being particularly popular amongst certain cultures and religions.
The term ‘fasting’ means leaving a certain amount of time between meals – sometimes including liquids.
Generally, fasting is done for a period of between 24-72 hours. Intermittent fasting is a little different and means that a person goes through cycles of eating and fasting as a lifestyle choice or for a particular ‘diet’. This might mean only eating between 2 pm and 6 pm every day, or fasting for 2 days and eating for 5 days, etc.
Read on to find out more about the incredible benefits of fasting.
CAN HELP TO IMPROVE BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting may help to control the blood glucose levels of those who are at a high risk of type 2 diabetes.
The study found that men who were at risk of type 2 diabetes had improved blood sugar levels when practising intermittent fasting – one of the most interesting things is that this result stayed the same irrespective of what they ate!
CAN IMPROVE HEALTH
Inflammation-inducing cells have been found to “fall asleep” during periods of fasting – the cells, in general, were found to be less inflammatory in the participants who took part in fasting than in those who continued to eat as normal.
Fasting is thought to lower the levels of “bad” cholesterol in the body, as well as improving the way that sugar is metabolised in the body. Both of these things reduce the risk of gaining weight and developing type 2 diabetes – 2 conditions which can have a huge impact on the heart. As a result, fasting = improved heart health!
CAN IMPROVE BRAIN FUNCTION
Fasting can improve brain function by boosting the production of proteins that promote the growth of neurons. This is potentially something that can help in the treatment of age-related neurodegenerative disorders.
CAN SLOW DOWN THE AGEING PROCESS
Intermittent fasting can improve the ageing of arteries, keep our body young and healthy, as well as help us to live longer and improve the overall health of our bodies. Fasting can also reduce the risk of age-related diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
MAY HELP TO PREVENT CANCER
Fasting has been found to decrease the likelihood of relapse in cancer patients, as well as reducing the chances of cancer-related mortality. It can also promote the production of healthy cells – reducing the risk of developing cancer.
IT CAN HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS
Adding periods of fasting into your diet will generally mean that you are cutting calories, which, when teamed with exercise, is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and unwanted belly fat.