Cognitive And Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

Lanu Pitan

Studies show that IF supports heart, general body function and brain health.

Photo by Djim Loic on Unsplash

There are lots of diets and fasting fads all across boards, but intermittent fasting is simply time-restricted fasting, no more no less. It says, allow a period where you give your digestive system a break by not eating anything solid.

This period will depend on you to decide but meals or eating should be restricted to between eight to ten hours of daytime at a stretch.

It further implies it by allowing you to eat anything whatsoever that you desire to eat, fatty foods, high carbs, proteins, whatsoever. There are simply no rules on what you eat, although it does make sense to eat healthily. During your period of the fast, however, you can take low-calorie liquids, soups, water, tea, coffee, broth etc.

The Science Of Intermittent Fasting

After each meal, glucose is used for energy, and fats stored. But during the intermittent fasting, once the glucose is depleted, fat is broken down and use for energy.

The science behind the working of intermittent fasting is to allow our insulin level to go down to the extent that our fat cells will release their stored sugar to be used as energy.

‘’It takes ten to twelve hours to use calories in the liver before the metabolism shift to stored fats’’ Dr P Mattson of John Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr Mattson said the body produces fewer new proteins (from amino-acids) during fasting, forcing the body to take its proteins from non-essential sources, break them down for use. This depletion is restored when we eat again.

Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

The burning of the fat cells will naturally result in weight loss. Other Benefits are:

Improved Cognitive Function — the research on laboratory rats showed improved brain function and therefore were less susceptible to stroke. This is because they were able to adjust successfully to oxygen and energy deprivation in time of crises.

Sustains Good Health — -Other tests on humans indicated a reduction in insulin sensitivity which normally is present in some serious diseases like obesity, inflammation, cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure.

Maintain Gut Health — Avoiding all day eating and snacking is a good way to ensure your gut microbiota is optimised and therefore may extend life.

Risks Associated With Intermittent Fasting

Ketosis — Keto bodies, a build-up of acidic molecules, called ketones in the blood. They are produced when fats are used for energy in the body. Keto bodies regulate many proteins activities in the body and influence ageing.

In people without diabetes, insulin prevents dangerous build-up of ketones in the body. However, for people with diabetics, ketosis (build-up of ketones in the body) can be dangerous and can damage the liver, kidney and brain.

As with all else, intermittent fasting should not be undertaken by people with serious health conditions.

Behavioural Disorders— Some people who are already at risk, may suffer behavioural disorders like bulimia, mental breakdown, anorexia and other eating disorders.

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