Fasting is a practice that dates back centuries and plays a central role in many cultures and religions. As a practice fasting has been associated with a wide array of potential health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, weight loss, as well as heart health, brain function and cancer prevention.
1️⃣ Promotes Blood Sugar Control by Reducing Insulin Resistance
Several studies have found that fasting may improve blood sugar control, which could be especially useful for those at risk of diabetes.
Decreasing insulin resistance can increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin, allowing it to transport glucose from your bloodstream to your cells more efficiently. Coupled with the potential blood sugar-lowering effects of fasting, this could help keep your blood sugar steady, preventing spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels.
2️⃣Aids Weight Loss by Limiting Calorie Intake and Boosting Metabolism. Theoretically, abstaining from all or certain foods and beverages should decrease your overall calorie intake, which could lead to increased weight loss over time.
In fact, one review showed that whole-day fasting could reduce body weight by up to 9% and significantly decrease body fat over 12–24 weeks.
3️⃣ Some studies have found that fasting could decrease several markers of inflammation and may be useful in treating inflammatory conditions, such as multiple sclerosis.
4️⃣Fasting has been associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and may help lower blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
5️⃣Animal studies show that fasting could improve brain function, increase nerve cell synthesis and protect against neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.
6️⃣Some animals and test-tube studies suggest that fasting could block tumour development and increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
Safety and Side Effects When Fasting
Be sure to stay hydrated, eat nutrient-dense foods and get plenty of rest. It’s best to consult with your doctor before fasting if you have any underlying health conditions or are planning to fast for more than 24 hours.
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