The power of intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting has been the up and coming trend for health enthusiasts. Results show tremendous weight loss in short periods of time. However, not everyone knows the full internal health benefits it has. Lets dive into the science of intermittent fasting so that you can have a grasp on how it works internally.
When you are fasting (not eating), this state causes your body to be put under mild stress. This then forces your body to release the stored energy, which is taken from fat cells, to fuel itself. At this point, there are certain things that are happening in your body that has many health benefits. Fasting decreases inflammation by suppressing the release of pro-inflammatory interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor alpha. Fasting also reduces free radical damage, level of IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth hormone 1), tumour progression and cancer risk. IGF-1 acts like insulin, which signals our cells in our body to grow. That is where the problem is. You see, for cancer to grow or survive, it needs insulin levels to spike. Thus, when you fast, you lower the level of insulin production in your body. I haven’t even gotten to the most important part yet!
The most important part of fasting is that, fasting stimulates a process called autophagy. This process causes the body to break down the old and damaged cells and uses them for energy. I’m sure you can see where I am going with this. Yes, autophagy combats viral infections and helps the body eliminate abnormal cancer cells. As for the cancer cells that already exist, it deprives those cells of nutrients in which makes those cells starve, making them weaker and slowing the growth and spread of tumours.
So the question you probably have right now is: “How long do I need to fast for in order for this to work?” Well if you have a look at the chart above (featured imaged) by Ted Naiman, M. D., retrieved from http://www.burnfatnotsugar.com, you can see that the ‘sweet spot’ is 18 to 24 hours.
I know, I get hungry after not eating for 30 minutes too. BUT! If you can fast between 18 to 24 hours, that will have a lot better results than fasting for a short period of timing. Intermittent fasting usually only requires you to fast for 16 hours and does not give as good of a result as longer-term fasting. However, if you are trying to live a normal lifestyle without having to deal with your hunger, then intermittent fasting (which only requires you to skip one meal), is the best option for you.
WOW, that is hard for the brain to comprehend isn’t it? BUT! I’m sure that you can see that fasting can positively impact your body and the health benefits it has not only externally, but also internally.