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Home »  Nutrition »  As Eid Ends Ramadan, Know Why Fasting Is Good For Your Body

As Eid Ends Ramadan, Know Why Fasting Is Good For Your Body

Who thought not eating anything could do so much good to your body. Intermittent fasting can solve 6 major health problems.

As Eid Ends Ramadan, Know Why Fasting Is Good For Your Body

Fasting can help your body and brain in multiple ways.

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Fasting makes our body burn fat to release energy
  2. It can help diabetics by reducing insulin resistance by upto 30%
  3. The starvation detoxifies body by clearing damaged cells
It's not just the spiritual or religious people who fast. All the smart people do. Intermittent fasting is a dietary pattern where you alternate between fasting and eating for some days or a few weeks. A common version is the 5:2 diet where you consume the recommended calorie intake (2100 for active urban males) for 5 days and only eat 25% of it for the next 2 days. Eid today, marks the end of Ramadan, the holy period of fasting for the Muslim community. As we celebrate the festival with sweets and new clothes, it's interesting to see that while most people perform the fasting as a religious obligation, this practice actually has tremendous benefits for our health.

Here are 6 benefits you can reap, by saying yes to fasting and no to food, periodically.

Diabetes

To put it simply, diabetes happens because of insulin resistance. Generally, when we eat food, the pancreas release insulin to allow liver and fat to absorb blood glucose. But when a person gets diabetes, he builds a resistance to insulin, leading to high blood sugar. Research shows that fasting can lower blood sugar levels by up to 6% and insulin resistance by a massive 30%. This means that fasting can also protect your liver, damage of which is the biggest harmful effect of diabetes.

Weight loss

Apart from the simple fact that you are eating lesser calories when you fast periodically, these sessions of no-food-eating can bring hormonal changes to your body to aid weight loss. When we fast, insulin levels in our blood, which are the main fat storing compounds drop dramatically. The body, running dry from no food uses the stored fat to gain energy by burning it. Researches show that people lost 4-7% of their waist circumference and so a lot of belly fat (the most lethal kind) while fasting. Short-term fasting also speeds up your metabolism, which means that it is essentially a two-edged sword, slicing off fat doubly.
 

weight loss fasting

Immune system

When we fast, our body reboots the immune system to save energy. It clears out old immune cells and regenerates new ones. Evidence suggests that The body basically realizes that if we have stopped eating, we might be sick and so works to fight off all pressures on the immune system. Additionally, fasting helps to improve our body's anti-oxidative capabilities where we are better able to fight free-radicals that lead to tissue inflammation.

Brain health and longevity

Studies in rats show that fasting promotes development of new nerve cells in the brain, leading to increased performance. Not just this, fasting also boosts production of the Brain-derived neurotrophic factor which helps the body fight off depression and other brain related problems. Studies also show that fasting is good to prevent and reduce severity of neurodegenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson.
 

brain health brain ageing

Detoxify body

Processed foods are low in phytochemicals and antioxidants. These are nutrients that the body needs to get rid of toxins. In the absence of these, cells in the body build up waste products that lead to nerve damage and organ degeneration. This waste material mostly gets accumulated in the fat and when we fast, we burn this fat. The process is also called Ketosis and results in efficient waste removal from the body.

Arthritis and Sclerosis

Autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis can be fought with fasting. This primarily happens because of less production of hormone leptin, that sends our body's immune system into full gear, damaging it's own tissue. This hormone is produced when the body is full and periodic starvation helps to reduce the disease symptoms and immunity-caused lesions in the brain. 

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