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This is the complete guide on intermittent fasting benefits.
Here, we will discuss the amazing health benefits of intermittent fasting.
Read the full article to get this amazing information.
Fasting is an ancient practice. In every religion and culture, fasting is very important. Many people practice fasting as a religious practice.
But why did our ancestors emphasize fasting? Is there any reason behind it? Does it have benefits?
Lots of questions occur in our minds whenever we hear about intermittent or any kind of fasting. Here we will see the important benefits of intermittent fasting.
Though it is not possible to cover all the importance in a single article, we will discuss the important ones.
Table of Contents
1. What is Intermittent Fasting?
Let’s begin our discussion by understanding what intermittent fasting actually is. Well, intermittent fasting is far different from the other fasting methods.
It is not a religious practice. It is not even a diet in which you consume low-calorie diet foods.
In simple words, intermittent fasting is all about when to eat and not about what to eat.
I can remember there was a subtitle in the book “Delay, Don’t deny”.
This sentence is alone enough to give the whole idea of intermittent fasting.
It has two phases. The first one is the fasted state and the second one is the eating phase. In the fasted state, you can’t eat anything. No matter whether it contains calories or not.
Of course, you can drink water. Even many nutrition experts give the advice to drink black coffee or black tea.
In the eating phase, you can eat your normal meal.
Ideally, you can eat whatever you want but always try to consume healthy and natural foods and not pre-cooked unhealthy foods for the best results.
2. Intermittent fasting Patterns
1) 16: 8 pattern
In this pattern, the individual is given a time window of 8 hours. In which he or she can eat anything. Then he or she passes through the 16 hours time window in which he or she can’t consume anything.
In this pattern, you stop eating food at 8 pm and direct eat on next day at 12 am.
2) 5: 2 pattern
In this pattern, the individual has to intake only 25% of the daily calorie needed for 2 days of the week and on other 5 days, he or she can eat regularly.
3) 24 hours fast
In this pattern, the practitioner stops eating food for 24 hours. It is also known as one meal fast because the practitioner only consumes one meal in 24 hours.
There are other patterns too such as the 6: 1 pattern and more.
3. Intermittent Fasting Benefits
Here I have mentioned a few of the intermittent fasting benefits. They are evidence-based and have been proved by years of research.
1) Intermittent fasting helps in flushing the poisons from the body
Flushing off the toxins is one of the intermittent fasting benefits.
Before I explain all these.
Can you guess from where all toxins come?
The answer is quite simple.
From our food.
How can our food produce toxins in our bodies?
I don’t know whether you know this or not but we are living in a poisoned world. Where our air, food and, water all are poisoned.
Excess use of pesticide, insecticide, and fertilizer have made our food poisoned.
The fruits and vegetables which we consider the most nutritious foods are exposed to highly poisonous chemicals like DDT, chlorinated Hydro Carbon, and phosphorous compounds.
The salad we eat in order to keep ourselves healthy is sprayed with harmful chemicals. These chemicals can cause dangerous diseases like cancer.
You may think that you wash the vegetables and fruits but these chemicals can also go up to their pulp. Then they can’t be washed.
So even peeling the skin of tomatoes and removing the outer layer of the lettuce can’t prevent you from consuming harmful chemicals.
The only method to get rid of these all is to get rid of their residue before you eat too much of them. Intermittent fasting can help us with it.
How can Intermittent fasting help us in detoxification?
When we fast, we stop eating and all the energy of the body which has to be used in converting the food into energy will now be used to flush the poison from the body.
The main concept of intermittent fasting is the body can clean itself, it can heal itself, and can repair itself. Just let it give some time to heal.
The life extension specialist Paul. C Bragg mentions in his book “The miracle of Fasting” that when he used to go on 10 day fast, he could see the crystal forming in his urine in a few days.
When he sent the urine sample to the laboratory, the examiner told him about the traces of DDT and other deadly pesticide residues.
Bragg used to practice intermittent fasting of 24-30 hours once a week and 10 days of complete fast 4 times a year.
He also mentions in his book that whenever he flushed the toxins away, he was filled with great energy.
Go deeper :
2) Intermittent fasting can help in De-salting the body
Here I don’t think there is a single person who doesn’t know the harmful effects of excessive use of salt in the diet.
Excess salt can harm our kidneys, bladder, heart, arteries, veins, and blood vessels.
Salt also weakens our bones by robbing the calcium from them. It can also cause the problem of high blood pressure. Research shows that our body can only tolerate 0.5 – 1 gm of salt per day.
But today the commercial foods available in the market are full of salts and other additives. So we have to remove excess salt from our bodies.
Studies show that a complete fast of 3-4 days can de-salt your body.
Intermittent fasting of 24-36 hours can de-salt your body weekly.
Bragg mentions in his book that he used to go for 4 days of complete fast in order to de-salt his body. And during this fasted state, he only used to drink distilled water.
So we can say de-salting is one of the intermittent fasting benefits.
However, before taking any action always take the proper advice from your doctor.
3) It also helps in diabetes
Treating diabetes is one of the main intermittent fasting benefits. There are generally two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2.
Intermittent fasting can help us with type 2 diabetes.
But what is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and why intermittent fasting can only help with type 2?
In type 1 diabetes your body is unable to produce insulin. Whereas in type 2 diabetes, your body has a sufficient amount of insulin but is unable to respond to insulin effectively.
So in type 2 diabetes, your body becomes insensitive to insulin.
Now, how can intermittent fasting help us with type 2 diabetes?
When we fast, we don’t eat and our bodies can’t carbs. This decreases and eventually stops the production of insulin.
The falling down of insulin also decreases the leptin levels. This decrement in leptin levels increases the body’s cellular sensitivity to insulin.
This is the main reason why intermittent fasting is one of the effective ways to treat type 2 diabetes.
The beta cells that are located in the pancreas are the source of insulin in the body. Research shows that these beta cells contain leptin receptors which monitor the leptin amount in the body.
And in response to it, beta cells change the production of insulin. The secretion of insulin depends on how much sugar you consume.
Prolonged high levels of insulin increase the levels of leptin and cause more storage of the fat and more weight you gain.
So intermittent fasting can work as a potent tonic potent for pancreatic function and cellular health.
This makes intermittent fasting the best and most effective method for reversing type 2 diabetes.
4) Intermittent fasting increases the Human Growth Hormone
What is HGH and why do we consider the increment in HGH one of the intermittent fasting benefits?
HGH is associated with the body’s overall growth and is very important. It stimulates fat loss, and muscle formation, develops lean tissues, increases tissue repair, etc.
It also enhances energy levels, bone strength, brain function, metabolism, cell replacement, sexual function, production of enzymes, etc.
Though there are many benefits too, I think you have gotten the idea of why HGH is important.
HGH is produced in the pituitary gland in the center of the brain. Then it is converted into other growth factors in the liver such as IGF 1 and IGF 2 (Insulin-like Growth Factors 1 and 2).
HGH is short-lived and the liver converts it to IGF 1 as a more stable compound to transport it throughout the body in the blood.
Fasting stimulates the production of IGF 1. And the IGF 1 produced during the fasted state is also very potent than produced in the normal state.
Research shows that during the fasted state, the production of IGF 1 increases from 30 ng/ml to 340 ng/ml.
Our bodies decrease the production of HGH after the age of 30 but if we practice intermittent fasting regularly then we can ensure its sufficient levels in the body.
Highly obsessed people need to fast longer to raise the HGH significantly.
Causes of Low HGH levels-
- Increased body fat
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Decreased energy
- Low cardiac output
- Low immunity
- Lower libido
- Lower skin elasticity
- Lower healing rate
- Lower bone mass and density
- Low memory power
(Related: Most Effective Tips to Stay Healthy Forever)
5) Intermittent fasting helps in fat loss
Your body has two sources of energy glucose and stored fat. When you continue eating all day, your body uses glucose as its primary energy source.
It is because too much glucose can produce toxins in the bloodstream.
So your body’s priority will be to use glucose.
But when we fast, after 6 hours of eating our bodies lack glucose and start using fat as their energy source. Thus we lose fat.
Intermittent fasting when combined with resistance training is extremely good for bodybuilding.
Fatloss is one of the most praised intermittent fasting benefits.
6) It cures epilepsy in children
Fasting is also beneficial for children suffering from epilepsy. Intermittent fasting reduces the length, number, and severity of seizures in children.
Because such seizures are generally associated with glucose metabolism.
Due to too much intake of sugar from refined foods or improper glucose metabolism, seizures occur.
In intermittent fasting, we change the body’s glucose metabolism by shifting to ketones as the source of the energy.
This eliminates the seizures in most children.
According to pediatric neurologist Helen Cross, ketogenic diets can be established as an alternative treatment for any child with epilepsy.
Studies on the effects of intermittent fasting on epilepsy show that it is far better than high fat or ketogenic diet.
So curing epilepsy is also one of the intermittent fasting benefits.
4. Other intermittent fasting benefits
- It improves the functions of cells, hormones, and genes
- It can also reduce inflammation in the body
- It also prevents cancer
- It is extremely beneficial to treat chronic cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, congestive heart failure, reducing triglycerides, atheromas, etc.
- It can also increase the immunity power
- Intermittent fasting is also found useful for people with acute pancreatitis.
- It can also be useful to treat autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rosacea, chronic urticaria, etc.
5. Who should not practice Intermittent Fasting
- Pregnant and diabetic woman
- Those who are suffering from severe anemia
- People who are in a state of starvation
- People with a fatty acid deficiency that prevents ketosis from occurring
- Nursing mothers also should avoid fasting
- People who are suffering from porphyria.
- Type 1 diabetics
- Insufficient kidney function
Go deeper :
In this article on intermittent fasting benefits, we have discussed almost all intermittent fasting benefits.
Intermittent fasting is not a new thing that modern science has developed. It has been there for thousands of years ago. We have just found the benefits of it.
Just knowing the benefits of intermittent fasting will not help you. You have to take action in order to get the benefits of intermittent fasting.
Though it will be very difficult for you to practice it in beginning, you will be habituated to it as you practice more.
Many people have gotten the benefits of intermittent fasting now it is your turn.
Tell me in the comment which of the intermittent fasting benefits you like the most.
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