Intermittent fasting is like a foreign country to most adults. We’re told to eat three square meals daily, and commonly, we’re also told to snack throughout the day. Lastly, everyone hears about the importance of eating breakfast, you know, that word created to ‘break the fast.’ So, when can anyone stop eating and allow their body to fast, or should they?
Cardiovascular health requires a litany of things you ought to be mindful of. We talk about so many of them right here on this site:
- Stress, meditation and mindfulness
- Exercise as a way to reduce risk factors for disease
- Importance of reducing blood pressure
- A healthy plant-based diet
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
There is a breadth of research associated with the benefits of intermittent fasting. When you fast, either 8 hours, 16 hours or even for 24 hours, you help your body:
1. With weight loss: your body burns fat and glycogen, the fat from glucose that turns into glycogen. When you stop eating, your body burns fat.
2. Decrease stress and reduce heart disease. Many studies about intermittent fasting show the body’s resistance to harmful stress, fighting free radicals and improving the body’s ability to heal itself.
3. Improves brain function: intermittent fasting increases new nerve cells in the brain. During such fasting, you can also increase a protein that protects against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
4. Improves the immune system by keeping inflammation low.
5. Improves skin clarity and visible reduction in acne
6. Increases production of growth hormones that helps reduce injuries and develop lean tissue and more fat burning.
Why Consider Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is helpful in maintaining a healthy heart, reducing heart disease, obesity and also blood sugar and blood pressure. By increasing fasting rates, you can also reduce insulin dependence to help with diabetes prevention.
Exercise and fasting are similar, actually. Each lowers insulin production, increases growth hormones and also production of fatty acids and amino acids. The presence of healthy levels of fatty acids, amino acids and growth hormones means better muscle metabolism and the burning of fat.
Start slowly whenever you try something new. Perhaps, when you start, try to fast one day a month. When you’re more comfortable, work up to 2 times monthly. If you’re on medication, be sure and ask your doctor about any medications that require food. Make certain you discuss with your doctor whether intermittent fasting is good for you to try.