5 benefits of fasting you should know
‘Fasting is difficult.’
‘Fasting causes muscle loss.’
‘Fasting means starvation.’
These and many more such myths surrounding fasting has kept people away from trying it. You have to look beyond these myths to discover the benefits that fasting has to offer. And if you incorporate fasting in your life, it has the power to change both your physical and mental health for good.
Now, let’s see five benefits of fasting.
1. Fasting will help you lose fat
It is well established that fasting helps you lose weight. But the misconception is that this weight loss happens because of muscle loss rather than fat loss.
We have already debunked this myth here.
When you fast, the growth hormone rises in your body. This increased levels of growth hormones in the body prevents muscle loss and at the same time speeds up fat burning process.
An eight week long, alternate-day fasting study showed that there was a significant reduction of fat mass without any loss of muscle mass.
2. Fasting slows down the aging process
Aging means deterioration of the cells. Our cells age just like us, the longer they live the weaker they get. As we age, the health of the cells start declining, which causes the body to deteriorate.
Autophagy is the natural, regulated mechanism of the cell that disassembles unnecessary or dysfunctional components. Autophagy allows the orderly degradation and recycling of cellular components. – Wikipedia Fasting helps in revitalizing these unhealthy and damaged cells by promoting a process called autophagy – Cells recycling themselves.
During the fasting state, the cells in the body will recycle the damaged parts and rebuild itself into a fresh and healthy cell. When the cells become healthy again, our aging process slows down drastically.
3. Fasting helps you increase insulin sensitivity
Insulin is a very powerful hormone which is responsible for transporting the nutrients, especially glucose, from the blood to the cells.
Too much insulin – in response to the carbohydrate-rich food – will make the body resistant to insulin. Insulin resistance is the first indicator of diabetes and the root cause of obesity.
When we fast, there is no food coming in the body. So, the level of insulin drops and remains low until you are fasting. This makes the body sensitive to insulin. That means less insulin will be required to transport the nutrients to the cells.
4. Fasting improves your brain power
‘Not eating anything can make you smarter.’
There are two ways by which fasting helps in improving brain power:
1. Fasting increases the production of a protein in the brain called BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor). BDNF protects and helps regenerate the brain neurons. It also boosts the transmission of nerve impulses between two neurons. BDNF protects us from many brain-related diseases like dementia and stroke. It also acts as an antidepressant.
2. Fasting increases neurogenesis. That means it increases the rate at which the new brain cells are formed. More brain cells mean more brain power.
5. Fasting is simple and convenient
‘Out of clutter, find simplicity.’ – Albert Einstein
The beauty of fasting lies in its simplicity. You can add fasting with any type of diet.