Health Benefits of Fasting


Fasting is a part of religious beliefs across the world. People have been fasting for ages and besides the religious gratifications there are certain added advantages of skipping meals in a planned way. The Internet is full of theories based on fasting, most of which are nonsense and cannot be easily believed. However, based on strong past evidences and thorough research done at reputed institutions it is now well-established that fasting really has amazing health benefits. We are here to find out more about those benefits.

Fasting boosts your insulin sensors

Research carried out in 2005 at the Copenhagen muscle research Centre found that post-fast your body becomes better at absorbing glucose from the blood. This is called insulin sensitivity and fasting boasts this thereby helping your body to tolerate carbohydrates and sugar better.

Intermittent fasting makes you healthy

Fasting helps in improving metabolism. When you do not read your body will look for other sources of energy and that is stored fats in your body. You burn more calories efficiently and also the digestive system gets a much-needed rest, which also has a positive effect on your bowel movements.

Fasting makes you smart

Neuroscientists at the laboratory of neuroscience (National Institute on Ageing) believe that fasting leads to changes in neurochemicals which improves cognitive functions, increases neurotrophic factors and increases stress resistance besides helping in reducing inflammation of the brain. Fasting increases production of protein in the brain and in turn promotes strengthening of the neurons and simulates the hippocampus. Neuroscientists also founded intermittent fasting enhances the ability of nerve cells to repair DNA.

Fasting makes the immune system stronger

It is believed that fasting triggers a state of regeneration which gets rid of damaged an old cells and creates new ones in their place. The catch however is in the fact that this works only with prolonged fasting. Meaning, you will have to fast for 3 to 4 days at a stretch, and ideally repeat the process for over a period of 6 months.

According to Valter Longo, director of the USC Longevity Institute, protein kinase A (PKA) is an enzyme which depletes during fasting and triggers the stem cells to begin rebuilding the entire immunity system. According to Mr Longo, “… The body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting. Now, if you choose to system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or ageing, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.”

The health benefits of fasting are numerous but it all depends on how well you plan to undertake it. In another article, How to Get Maximum Health Benefits from Fasting, we talk about planning and executing fasts the right way.