Keeping away from food and drinks for some hours or days is known as fasting. In India the practice of fasting is into practice since centuries and plays a central role in many cultures and religions. Intermittent fasting involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting, ranging from a few hours to a few days at a time. Though it is not a very popular practice in modern days, there are several health benefits of fasting such as increased weight loss to better brain function.
Helps in Weight Loss
Keeping away from all or certain foods and beverages should decrease your overall calorie intake, which could lead to increased weight loss over a period of time. Due to limited calorie intake, fasting helps in boosting metabolism which helps in increase in weight loss. Researches state that it could reduce body weight by up to 9% and significantly decrease body fat over 12-24 weeks. It is an easy way of dropping a few pounds or kilos.
Blood Sugar is Controlled by Reducing Insulin Resistance
Scientific researches state that short term intermittent fasting as well as alternate day fasting may improve blood sugar levels to patients of Type 2 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.
Along with blood sugar-lowering effects of fasting, this could help keep your blood sugar steady, preventing limitless emergencies due to increase in your blood sugar levels. Studies show varied results of fasting on men and women.
Health Improves by Fighting Inflammation
Researches state that inflammation may be involved in the development of chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. A very low calorie diet showed reduced levels of inflammation and was beneficial in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, a chronic inflammatory condition.
Improves Heart Health
Globally, approximately 31.5% deaths all over the world are due to heart diseases. Diet and fasting plays a vital role in reducing the risk of heart diseases by cutting down bad LDL cholesterol to 25% and triglycerides to 32%. Studies suggests that it also reduces blood pressure. Studies also suggests that fasting could be associated with a lower risk of coronary artery disease, and significantly lower risk of diabetes, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Boosts Brain Function and Prevent Neurodegenerative Disorders Researches state that practicing intermittent fasting for consistently 11 months, improves brain structure and its function. It can protect brain health and increase the regeneration of nerve cells to help enhance cognitive function. It can protect against and make overall improvent in conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's, also.
Fasting can naturally increase high growth hormone. It could delay aging, extend longevity and increase survival rates. Yet more research needs to be carried out to prove its' long-lasting effect on humans.
It may aid in cancer prevention and increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Researches on animals show that fasting helped block tumor formation. More research work on humans is still needed.