Fasting is practiced in different parts of the world since ancient times and continues even now. It plays a primary role in various religions and cultures. Now, it is gaining more importance due to the benefits associated with it. Some of them are backed by science, and some we can observe ourselves while fasting. Here we will see the benefits of fasting, backed by science.
Fasting is refraining from all or some kinds of food or drink, primarily as a religious practice. Some prefer following intermittent fasting, which involves periods of fasting and eating for a few hours of a day. On the other hand, fasting involves not eating anything for a day or two.
With the increasing trend of fasting, it is crucial to identify the benefits of fasting. Respecting the religious reasons of different cultures, let’s get into the benefits of fasting on a scientific basis.
Benefits of fasting:
- Can boost weight loss: Fasting can help you stay in a calorie deficit during your weight loss journey. One should practice reducing calorie intake by adding low-calorie and nutrient-dense foods. But, fasting for a day a week can boost the weight loss process. Remember that fasting never allows you to consume anything you want the next day. Get back to your healthy diet plan as soon as you finish fasting.
- Could delay aging: Different researches show the benefit of delayed aging. However, these researches don’t provide concrete results. So, one could consider it as one of the benefits of fasting.
- Fights inflammation: Acute inflammation is normal to fight off infections, but chronic inflammation can have serious health consequences like heart diseases, cancer, etc. Some studies have shown that fasting can help decrease inflammation and help promote better health.
- Good for brain health: Fasting helps relieve inflammation, and that can also aid in preventing neurodegenerative disorders. Various studies have shown this benefit of fasting. Fasting may improve the conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.
- Can increase human growth hormone: The human growth hormone is involved in growth, metabolism, weight loss, and muscle strength. Several studies show that fasting for 24 hours can increase human growth hormone.
Though there are many benefits of fasting, and few of them are scientifically proven as well. But, these benefits are not the same for everyone. These benefits vary with age, sex, and other health conditions.
- If you are a person with diabetes, fasting can play with your blood sugar levels, which could be detrimental.
- You can include fruits or juices during your fasting period. This will help you stay light and active.
- Stay well hydrated, and don’t ignore water during your fasting period.
- What you eat after fasting is also crucial. So, always go for something light initially. Then go forward with your diet plan.
- If you are fasting beyond 24 hours, it is advisable to take the doctor’s advice. As there’s no one size fits all approach. One should think about their health before starting anything new.
Fasting has different benefits for different people, and people do it for different reasons. Whatever be their reasons, some of these benefits can be observed due to fasting.
The detoxification process or a calorie deficit, the reason is yours. Choose your reason according to your health. Always remember, it might work for your friend, but not for you or vice versa.