Is it a good idea to “starve” yourself just a little bit each day, or a couple of days a week? Mounting evidence indicates that yes, intermittent fasting (IF) could have a very beneficial impact on your health and longevity.
Aside from removing your cravings for sugar and snack foods and turning you into an efficient fat-burning machine, thereby making it far easier to maintain a healthy body weight, modern science has confirmed there are many other good reasons to fast intermittently. For example, research presented at the 2011 annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans showed that fasting triggered a 1,300 percent rise of human growth hormone (HGH) in women, and an astounding 2,000 percent in men.
HGH, human growth hormone, commonly referred to as “the fitness hormone,” plays an important role in maintaining health, fitness and longevity, including promotion of muscle growth, and boosting fat loss by revving up your metabolism.
Here are some facts about intermittent fasting on health.
1. Fasting gives the digestive system a rest
Your digestive system is working pretty hard, day in and day out, to cope with all the food and drink that you pass through it. Fasting occasionally gives it a much needed rest and you will find that your digestive system will work much better after a short break.
2. Fasting can help you beat addictions
Many people have found that fasting can help them overcome bad habits and addictions. If you are trying to quit smoking or give up drinking, then you might find that fasting for a while will help.
3. It is a great way to start a healthy diet
If you are planning to switch over to a healthier lifestyle and diet, then starting with a period of fasting can be a great way to begin. It gives your body a chance to rid itself of all the toxins from your old unhealthy diet and it gives you great motivation for your new diet and way of life.
4. Fasting normalizes insulin sensitivity
If you have been eating too much carbohydrates and sugar, your body can become insulin resistant, which can lead to diabetes. Regular fasting will stop this from happening and can prevent the onset of diabetes and other diseases, such as heart disease and some cancers.
5. Fasting can reduce your hunger levels
Going without food, for short periods of time, can reduce your hunger levels during the non-fasting periods. Fasting normalizes the levels of ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone, which will make you feel less hungry overall.
6. It can slow down the ageing process
A period of fasting increases the production of the human growth hormone. The human growth hormone promotes the growth of new and healthy cells, a lack of which, leads to premature aging.
7. Fasting promotes the detoxification process
When you fast, your body begins to use your fat reserves for fuel and this, as well as helping you to lose weight, will also help to release the toxins that have become stored up in the excess fat in your body.
8. It whitens the eyes and clears the complexion
Taking a break from eating solid food can also have some amazing effects on your skin and your eyes. Often, you will find that your skin becomes clearer, breakouts will reduce and even the whites of your eyes will appear whiter and clearer.
9. Fasting can reduce high blood pressure
For many people, a period of fasting can help to reduce high blood pressure without the need for medication. If you do take medication for high blood pressure, it is not advisable to try fasting before consulting with your doctor first though.
10. It can boost the immune system
A period of fasting can also boost your immune system. The best way to end a fast to gain this effect is not to return immediately to a binge on all those unhealthy foods though! Take it as an opportunity to change your diet for the better and celebrate the end of your fasting with a hearty meal of fruit and all those vitamins and minerals will get straight to work on your newly cleansed body.