Is Intermittent Fasting Effective?
Some of us are familiar with intermittent fasting, and even engaging in it, while some others don’t really see it as a thing worth their dedication. Intermittent fasting has a positive effect on the human body with regards to reducing the risk of some diseases and losing excess body weight. You are probably doing the 5:2 fasting or the 16/8 intermittent fasting. Either way, you can enjoy numerous benefits from your intermittent fasting habit. We`ll be discussing 12 health benefits you can enjoy when you go on intermittent fasting.
12 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Reduces Belly Fat
A number of people are looking for effective ways to deal with belly fat; intermittent fasting is one of the most effective ways. It is popular among people who are watching their weight, and is a scientifically proven manner of reducing belly fat. Intermittent fasting lowers your BMI and reduces LDL or unhealthy cholesterol.
Intermittent fasting can also help you achieve a lower waist circumference than being on a calorie-restricted diet. You can also integrate intermittent fasting with the Mediterranean diet, as this could give a better result in your attempt to reduce abdominal fat. So you`ll be getting rid of free fat mass and reducing the risks of being obese.
Lowers Cancer Risk
Cancer has been a real challenge for the past couple of decades; it has stood as the second leading cause of death. While many experts are employing surgery, chemotherapy and other new approaches to manage cancer, it has no cure. So, aside from searching for a cure, we are all focused on how best to tackle this disease before it springs up. From some new findings, intermittent fasting can serve as a preventive and treatment strategy for cancer without lowering your calorie intake. When you fast, you reduce the multiplication and growth of cancer cells.
Another group of studies shows that women who observe night fasting have a reduced risk of having breast cancer. Intermittent fasting can also improve the tolerance of chemotherapy treatment, increasing its effectiveness by getting rid of dead cells. Comparative mice studies also prove that a calorie-restricted diet coupled with intermittent fasting showed some anti-cancer effects in the body system. Of course, there will be a need to continue to seek more conclusive research on how intermittent fasting is related to these anti-cancer activities.
Improves Heart Health
On the list of the causes of deaths, heart diseases come before cancer. There are many leading risk factors for heart diseases which can be generally categorized under poor lifestyle and diet choices. Weight loss, lower blood cholesterol levels, and cardiovascular exercises are methods of preventing and managing heart diseases these days. Intermittent fasting can also reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
As a less restrictive diet plan, intermittent fasting improves your heart health by reducing LDL or unhealthy cholesterol levels, cutting down on abdominal fat, enhancing your blood lipid profile, and lowering leptin concentration.
Reduces Blood Pressure
Hypertension and high blood pressure are heart diseases caused by lifestyle habits or genetic conditions. You can use intermittent fasting to reduce your blood pressure.
A study shows that women between 46 and 62 years experienced a decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, thanks to intermittent fasting.
Lowers Diabetes Risk
Diabetes is a leading disease in terms of numbers; it affects about 463 million adults and over 1 million children. We all have heard about diabetes and how it is a toughie, but what is diabetes really? Diabetes is a condition where the body system cannot create enough insulin needed or when the body system becomes resistant to insulin. Insulin is a vital hormone secreted in the pancreas to process sugar and glucose. Intermittent fasting is an effective strategy to reverse insulin resistance in people who have type 2 diabetes.
In a research to prove the influence of fasting on diabetes, a few people with type 2 diabetes fasted for 24 hours thrice a week and they all showed a noticeable reduction in blood sugar level and body weight.
Reduces Oxidative Stress
If you are unfamiliar with oxidative stress, it is the accumulation of harmful free oxygen radicals in your body. Oxidative stress occurs as a result of increased metabolic by-products in the body such as pollutants, dead cells, and radiation.
Some antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, glutathione, and catalase lower oxidative stress. The good news is that research shows intermittent fasting increasing the level of these antioxidant enzymes in obese patients. Intermittent fasting directly influences the production of glutathione and some other genes which are instrumental in the reduction of oxidative stress. As oxidative stress reduces, the risk of developing heart diseases reduces too, improving heart functions.
Intermittent fasting also encourages proper autophagy, which is the removal of damaged or used up cells, organelles, and proteins. Autophagy automatically takes place as a response to DNA damage and the accumulation of toxins in the body. If autophagy is inhibited, you could be faced with DNA instability, disease, and inflammation.
Autophagy improves in the body of people who undergo intermittent fasting. As a result of this, the growth of tumors and cancer cells is subdued. Autophagy also suppresses the development of leukemia, breast cancer, prostate cancer, myeloma, ovarian cancer and some other types of cancer.
Short-term fasting can also improve therapeutic neuronal autophagy in your system. Autophagy, as a result of intermittent fasting, reduces fat content in your body and helps you to avoid obesity.
Maintains Muscle Mass
When you fast intermittently, you can keep lean muscles and prevent unnecessary loss of muscle mass. If you really want to consolidate the results of your intermittent fasting, engage in resistance training so that you properly lose excess fat while preserving lean muscle.
Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease, a type that negatively affects the nervous system. This disease leads to memory loss and mostly affects older people. You can use intermittent fasting as an effective nutritional approach to enhance your brain’s ability to function optimally and avoid memory loss. You can try this, coupled with workout and yoga to boost your mental strength.
Improves Sleep Quality
Insomnia can be a heavy blow on your mental health, and it can also make you more vulnerable to some diseases like obesity and Alzheimer’s. You can successfully tackle inadequate sleep and put an end to insomnia with intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting improves daytime sleep and increases the hours of sleep, even for someone suffering from insomnia. A better quality of sleep and increased sleep time improves alertness and keeps neurological complications away.
Aging can be stressful with the grey hair and wrinkles, but intermittent fasting can literally help you age gracefully. Healthy aging will maintain good health in old age and give you longevity. Intermittent fasting also enhances autophagy, and this is essential in increasing lifespan. Cellular waste expulsion, inflammation reduction, prevention of cancers and the avoidance of other forms of diseases will help to increase your life span.
Inflammation is the initial step for healing, but chronic inflammation gives rise to obesity, cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis, and many other unwanted medical conditions. Adiponectin, one of the hormones that minimize inflammation, is increased in production during intermittent fasting. Also, during intermittent fasting, the molecules which control your body weight are mostly non-inflammatory, and your muscle mass is easily retained.
Now that you know a dozen reasons to, it’s time you tried intermittent fasting as a healthier lifestyle choice.