If you are reading this, it is highly likely that you know about intermittent fasting.
And that it is good for you.
But you might be curious about how good it really is (or want to refresh your memory about its benefits).
So read on to find about the twenty-five top benefits of intermittent fasting.
Don’t know what Intermittent fasting is? Then check out this TED Talk on intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting benefits
Read on to find out about the top twenty-five benefits of intermittent fasting.
- Boosts brain growth: If you thought intermittent fasting is just good for losing weight and fitness, then you are merely scratching the surface of what it can really do. Intermittent fasting boosts the growth of new brain cells – it does so by increasing the rate of neurogenesis (the growth and development of new brain cells).
- Improves our capacity to learn and grow: Intermittent fasting doesn’t just help grow more brain cells, it has also been shown to boost the production of BDNF (by 50-400%!), which plays an important role in neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is what enables our brain to continuously learn and grow.
- Better stress management: The boost in neuroplasticity has a whole host of other benefits, including making our brain more resilient to stress and our ability to adapt and change.
- Better memory: Intermittent fasting helps improve our memory, mainly as a result of the growth of more brain cells (thanks to the impact it has on neurogenesis and BDNF).
- Better mood: Here’s another great benefit of boosting our BDNF production – it helps improve our mood! This happens mainly as a result of the creation of new synapses and connections in our brain.
- Better insulin processing: Improves our ability to process insulin, which is important for a whole host of internal functions. When our body is bad at processing insulin, it leads to all sorts of health problems and chronic diseases, the most common one being diabetes.
- Improves our ability to manage hunger: Intermittent fasting has been known to help stabilise our ghrelin levels. Ghrelin is commonly known as the hunger hormone, and stabilising our ghrelin levels means we struggle with hunger pangs less. Very useful for dealing with over-eating issues.
- Better energy regulation: Intermittent fasting promotes our leptin sensitivity. Leptin plays an important role in regulating our energy intake and expenditure levels, so fasting intermittently can help us to regulate our energy levels better.
- Promotes muscle gain, and better fitness: Intermittent fasting helps boost the production of the human growth hormone. The human growth hormone, or HGH, plays a big role in our fitness, especially our muscle growth. Not just that, HGH also plays a big role in our metabolism, fat loss and even how long we live.
- Can help us live longer: Following on from the above point, the boost in our HGH level has been found to have a direct correlation to our longevity. So if you want to live longer (and better), intermittent fasting can be worth checking out.
- Lowers the fat level in our blood (triglycerides): Having a high level of fat in our blood increases our heart disease risk, so intermittent fasting can help with that. If you are someone who is at risk of heart problems, then intermittent fasting is definitely worth checking out.
- Promotes healthy aging: Intermittent fasting helps reduce oxidative damage, which in turn promotes healthy aging. This is important because the last thing anyone wants is to live long, but age badly. So if you want to age well, then intermittent fasting can certainly be helpful.
- Reduces inflammation: Inflammation is bad for us, as it is behind nearly every form of health problems known to us. Intermittent fasting has been shown to promote anti-inflammatory effects, which in turn promotes better health and wellbeing.
- Promotes optimal cellular functioning, and regeneration: Intermittent fasting helps upregulate autophagy and mitophagy, which are extremely important for optimal cellular regeneration, and functioning.
- Improves metabolic efficiency: Fasting intermittently has been shown to improve our metabolism, which in turn can improve our body composition and fat utilisation.
- Boosts fat burning: This is the most popular benefit of intermittent fasting. The fasting state induced by intermittent fasting forces our body (and brain) to use fat as a fuel instead of sugar. Fat is a better and more effective source of fuel for our body. This also helps to get rid of fat build-ups, which are not ideal for the proper functioning of our internal mechanisms (think clogged arteries…).
- Boosts our energy levels: Intermittent fasting boosts the production of new mitochondria, which are like batteries for our cells. Mitochondria is what makes use of the food we eat and converts it to energy. So when our mitochondria production gets boosted, our bodies become better at creating energy. So if you want to improve your energy levels, intermittent fasting can certainly help.
- Prevents Type 2 diabetes: Intermittent fasting helps our body regulate insulin better, and reduces our blood sugar level, as mentioned easier. These, in turn, can help prevent Type 2 diabetes. Not just that, intermittent fasting can even help to reverse it!
- Boosts our immune system: Intermittent fasting helps improve our immune system. As a study published in Cell Stem Cell found, prolonged fasting can not just boost our immune system but, in fact, reverse immunosuppression.
- Lowers blood pressure: Intermittent fasting has been shown to have a direct impact on lowering our blood pressure.
- Reduces the risk of heart disease: Regular fasting has been shown to have a positive effect on our heart health, mainly as a result of decreasing our “bad cholesterol” (low-density lipoprotein).
- Reduces the risk of cancer: Intermittent fasting can help you avoid the big C (yes, we are talking about cancer). This mainly happens as a result of the boost our immune system gets from fasting intermittently.
- Improves pancreatic function: Intermittent fasting can help our pancreas regenerate itself. The pancreas is a vital part of our digestive system and produces insulin and other important hormones and enzymes which help break down the food we eat. When our pancreas doesn’t function optimally, our digestive system suffers, as does our blood sugar levels. So helping our pancreas regenerate itself ensures that our digestive system and blood sugar levels work as they should.
- Lowers the risk of neurological diseases: As mentioned above, intermittent fasting helps generate more ketone bodies. Not just that, it also helps with BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) production and combined they are very potent against neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. So intermittent fasting can actually help lower the risk of neurological diseases.
- Helps manage sugar cravings: Intermittent fasting encourages our body to burn fat for fuel rather than sugar, which is very useful for managing sugar cravings. Making it a habit makes this more effective (and easier to resist the cravings). So if you are someone who struggles with sugar cravings, intermittent fasting can be very useful.
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Intermittent fasting has a whole host of health benefits and is certainly worth trying out if you have not already.
Have you tried intermittent fasting? What has your experience been with it?
Any tips to share?
Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.
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