There are many different types of fasting. In order to understand the benefits of fasting, firstly we need to have a look at the differernt types of fasting.
Here are a few of the most common types of fasting:
Water fasting: This fasting involves drinking only water for a set amount of time.
Juice fasting: In this fasting, we can only drink vegetable or fruit juice for a certain period.
Intermittent fasting: This includes intake of wholly or partially restricted of food and water for a few hours up to a few days at a time, and a regular diet is resumed on other days.
Partial fasting: In this type of fasting, certain foods or drinks such as processed foods, animal products or caffeine are eliminated from the diet for a set period.
Calorie restriction: Calories are restricted for a few days every week. Within these categories are also more specific types of fasts.
For example, intermittent fasting can be broken down into subcategories, such as alternate-day fasting, which involves eating every other day, or time-restricted feeding, which entails limiting intake to just a few hours each day.
To get started, try experimenting with different types of fasting to find what works best for you.
- 6 Health Benefits of Fasting, Backed by Science
- 1. Promotes Blood Sugar Control by Reducing Insulin Resistance
- 2. Promotes Better Health by Fighting Inflammation
- 3. May Enhance Heart Health by Improving Blood Pressure, Triglycerides, and Cholesterol Levels
- 4. May Boost Brain Function and Prevent Neurodegenerative Disorders
- 5. Aids Weight Loss by Limiting Calorie Intake and Boosting Metabolism
- 6. Increases Growth Hormone Secretion, Which Is Vital for Growth, Metabolism, Weight Loss and Muscle Strength
6 Health Benefits of Fasting, Backed by Science
These are 6 benefits of fasting proven by science:
1. Promotes Blood Sugar Control by Reducing Insulin Resistance
Several studies have found that fasting improves blood sugar control, which is especially useful for those at risk for diabetes.
A study of 10 people with type 2 diabetes found short-term intermittent fasting reduced blood sugar levels.
Another review found that both intermittent fasting and alternate-day fasting effectively reduced insulin resistance by limiting calorie intake.
Decreased insulin resistance increases your body’s sensitivity to insulin, which allows it to deliver glucose from your bloodstream to your cells more efficiently.
Combined with fasting to lower blood sugar, it can help keep your blood sugar stable, avoiding the dangers and dangers of lowering your blood sugar levels.
However, keep in mind that some studies have found that fasting affects blood sugar levels differently for men and women.
For example, a short, three-week study found that alternate-day fasting in women practiced poor blood sugar control but had no effect on men.
2. Promotes Better Health by Fighting Inflammation
Acute inflammation is a typical immune process that helps fight infections, while chronic inflammation can severely affect your health.
Research suggests that inflammation may help develop chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Some studies have found that fasting can help reduce inflammation levels and promote better health.
According to a 50 healthy adults study, intermittent fasting for one month significantly reduces inflammatory markers.
Another small study found the same effect when people fasted 12 hours a month.
Furthermore, an animal study found that using a very low-calorie diet to reduce the effects of fasting reduces inflammation levels and is beneficial in treating multiple sclerosis, a chronic inflammatory condition.
3. May Enhance Heart Health by Improving Blood Pressure, Triglycerides, and Cholesterol Levels
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 31.5% of deaths worldwide.
Changing your diet and lifestyle is one of the most effective ways to reduce heart disease risk.
Some research has found that including fasting in your daily routine is very good for heart health.
According to a small study, eight-day alternate-day fasting reduced “bad” LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides levels by 25% and 32%, respectively.
Another study found that fasting for three weeks under medical supervision significantly reduced blood pressure and blood triglycerides, total cholesterol, and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels in 110 adults also reduced.
Also, one in 4,629 people was associated with a lower risk of coronary artery disease and a lower risk of diabetes, a significant risk factor for heart disease.
4. May Boost Brain Function and Prevent Neurodegenerative Disorders
Although research is mostly limited to animal research, several studies have found that fasting has a powerful effect on brain health.
A study in rats found that intermittent fasting for 11 months improved brain function and brain structure.
Studies in other animals have reported that fasting maintains brain health and increases nerve cells’ production to improve cognitive function.
Because fasting helps in relieving inflammation, it also helps in preventing neurodegenerative disorders.
In particular, animal studies suggest that fasting may protect and improve outcomes for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.
However, more studies are needed to assess the effects of fasting on brain function in humans.
5. Aids Weight Loss by Limiting Calorie Intake and Boosting Metabolism
Most dietitians will find a quick, easy way to shed a few pounds.
Theoretically, avoiding all or some foods and beverages will reduce your total calories, leading to weight gain over time.
Some research has found that short-term fasting promotes metabolism by increasing neurotransmitter norepinephrine levels, leading to weight loss.
One review showed that a full-day fast could reduce body weight by up to 9% and reduce body fat by 12-24 weeks.
Another review found that weight loss over 3-12 weeks was often useful as a calorie limit and reduced body weight and fat mass by 8% and 16%, respectively.
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6. Increases Growth Hormone Secretion, Which Is Vital for Growth, Metabolism, Weight Loss and Muscle Strength
Human growth hormone (HGH) is a type of protein hormone central to many aspects of your health.
Research suggests that this significant hormone is involved in growth, metabolism, weight loss, and muscle strength.
Several studies have found that fasting naturally raises HGH levels.
In a study of 11 healthy adults, 24-hour fasting significantly increased HGH.
Another small study of nine men found that fasting for just two days increased HGH production rate.
Also, fasting helps maintain stable blood sugar and insulin levels throughout the day, further optimizing HGH levels. Some research has found that maintaining high levels of insulin lowers HGH levels.
“Fasting is associated with various health benefits, including weight loss, blood sugar control, heart health, brain function, and cancer prevention.”
There are many different types of fasts to suit almost every lifestyle, from water fasting to occasional fasting and calorie restriction.
When combined with a nutritious diet and a healthy lifestyle, including fasting in your daily routine, it is suitable for your health.