Intermittent fasting (fasting between 12- 24 hours at a time) has had a lot of recognition lately for helping with weight loss. But numerous studies have found other health benefits with this eating pattern:
1. Improve Blood Pressure – One study found a group who intermittent fasted had their systolic blood pressure reduce by 9%.
2. Burn Fat – Fasting helps your body enter ketosis which uses fat as an energy source.
3. Anti-Aging Effects–A Harvard University study found fasting can alter network activity in mitochondria – the powerhouse of cells that takes in nutrients and creates energy for the cells. Mitochondria have been connected to the aging of cells.
4. Reduce Oxidative Stress – Unstable Molecules called free radicals interact with the good guy molecules and damage them which can cause illness. Fasting can help reduce oxidative stress and help prevent the good guy molecules from getting damaged.
5. Cell Repair – Intermittent fasting helps cells with a waste removal process called autophagy. This process helps get rid of the dysfunctional proteins and gunk (technical term) that builds up over time. This process can help prevent chronic diseases like cancer.
6. Fights Depression – Deficiency levels of brain hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is linked to depression. Intermittent Fasting can help produce the BDNF hormone.
7. Combat Early Stages of Alzheimer’s – A study in rats delayed and reduced severity of Alzheimer’s when they fasted. Another case study found 9 out of 10 people with cognitive impairment showed improved symptoms when they fasted.
8. Longer Life – Studies in rats have shown intermittent fasting has helped increase their lifespan. Some as long 83% longer.
9. Restore Insulin Secretion – One study on mice with type 1 and type 2 diabetes showed fasting restored and promoted new insulin-producing pancreatic cells.
10. Improve Gut Health - Motilin and Ghrelin, which regulate the digestive tract, are released during fasting and some studies have found that ghrelin may have a therapeutic use for diseases like colitis and ischemia.