Fasting is not a new concept. Historically, religions such as Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism have practiced fasts for long periods of time. Researchers have discovered that there are benefits to fasting, which then stem from the practice of intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting or IF is an unconventional diet plan that monitors when you eat rather than what you eat. The practice is known to give great results for weight loss. But IF has other health benefits, including reduction of risks for severe conditions.
Here are some notable health benefits to intermittent fasting.
5 Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
A small study on two men with type 2 diabetes showed that they no longer had to take insulin when they fasted for three weeks. While the results on this test were deemed successful, it is still unsure if most of the population with this type of diabetes will respond the same way. But what this study did show is that fasting may have positive effects to prevent people from acquiring type 2 diabetes possibly.
Reduces Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress is an imbalance of antioxidants in the body, which could lead to tissue damage. Some tests have shown that intermittent fasting can reduce the likelihood of this happening, slowing down signs of aging and preventing diseases.
Can Improve Brain Health and Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Reducing oxidative stress and helping with cellular repair are all benefits from IF that contribute to good brain health. Intermittent fasting can increase a brain hormone known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF, which helps fight off some brain diseases such as depression. Some studies conducted on animals show that it could also go as far as protecting the brain from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Reduce Cancer Risk
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting played a role in preventing cancer in animals. IF’s effect on metabolism is what contributes to these results. Little is still known about its effects on humans in preventing the disease since the cause remains unknown, but research so far has provided promising results.
Weight Loss and Prevention of Obesity
Lastly, its weight loss results can take someone from the obesity category to a much more manageable weight. People with obesity are at risk for several diseases such as heart attacks and diabetes. Losing weight through this method can help people with food addictions practice self-discipline and mindful eating.
While this diet plan has its share of perks, it is certainly not for everyone. Some people with pre-existing conditions may not take well with missing meals. Diets are supposed to be sustainable for them to work long term. If this arrangement is something you can’t do consistently, try other healthy methods to prevent disease and lose weight. But if you are convinced to try it, consult a doctor to see if your health can take it.
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