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A Brief on Intermittent Fasting and Its Associated Health Impact

Intermittent fasting has gained substantial attention over the past few years for its significant role in weight loss, but present study suggests anti-aging effects and improving mental and physical health are likewise connected with it. It comprises number of different fasting protocols where the general concept is to consume food alongside voluntary fasting over a given time frame. Protocols of intermittent fasting include periodic fasting, alternate day fasting and day time restricted fasting.   

Weight management

When we fast, our body uses its own stored fat as source of energy.  The last food we take provides enough energy to support us for few hours. Then, the body uses its stored energy for next five to six hours till we consume meal again on the very next day. At this point, our body shifts to burning off fat to retain energy. This is why sometimes fasting protocols are longer than sixteen hours to give the body shifting transition time into fat burning state. One could shed one to two pounds a week if he/she follows a planned intermittent fasting method.  It’s even possible to lose up to three to four pounds a week following same method if combined with planned exercise regimes in the same given period.

Effects on aging

Fasting boosts metabolism, makes the body burning calories and breaking down nutrients more efficiently. Fasting is also proven to slow down DNA degradation, a simultaneous process that continuously occurs as we age while accelerates DNA repair, eventually decelerating down the aging. In addition of that, fasting increases blood antioxidant levels that aid in preventing cell damage by free radicals and can reduce chronic inflammation as we grow older.

Effect on physical and mental health

Intermittent fasting has been proven to improve good cholesterol HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) while decreasing bad cholesterol LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) levels in our blood. This process is associated with lowering blood pressure, improved regulation of glucose control, and decreasing deposition of fat in the liver. Along with improving the state of gut normal flora which is responsible for maintaining good overall health, it can also help improving cognition, memory and sleep quality.

Associated Health Impact
Associated Health Impact

Healthy diet matters

While fasting, experts recommend maintaining a good protein rich diet unless people could be at risk of breaking down stored proteins instead of fats as energy sources. Some form of protein should be taken in every meal during fasting or non-fasting time including whole eggs, yogurt, fish, chicken, beef or plant based proteins like seeds or beans. Additionally, the body also needs a healthy balance of other micronutrients like fibers and minerals from fruits and vegetables, carbohydrates from whole grains, brown rice or whole wheat bread to get the best out of it.

Who need intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting impacts best on those who are trying to shed pounds and who want to lead a healthier life. Conversely this protocol will not be suited for pregnant women, under aged youth, people diagnosed with chronic disease and people who work at shifts.

 

 

 

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