Fasting is becoming a more popular way to manage your food intake to help improve overall health and wellness. Today we’re going to look at the health and cognitive benefits of fasting and whether this might be a healthy habit to add to your weekly health regimen.
You’re probably already familiar with the basic concept of fasting - abstaining from food for a given period of time - to some degree. But let’s talk about some of the details related to modern fasting, particularly as it occurs outside of a religious or creedal setting, as it primarily has historically.
You can fast by limiting food on certain days of the week or during certain hours of the day, such as restricting caloric intake for 16 hours from dinner to breakfast. As you practice fasting, you may find that some methods work better for you than others.
Improve your body’s ability to fight off disease
One of the main - and most surprising aspects of fasting is the ability that this practice gives your body to fight off disease.
A type of reset
Fasting acts as a kind of reset that gives your body a chance to process toxins and rebuild important nervous pathways that give you the ability to fight disease of all types.
Rebuild physiological pathways
Resting your body from processing calories and nutrients aces as a regular reset for all of your body systems.
New ways to process energy
When you’re not focused on creating and burning new energy, your body needs to work harder for energy and learns new ways to conserve and distribute energy in the healthiest way possible.
Reduce risk for chronic illness
By improving your physiological pathways and balancing your nutrient levels and hormones, you can enjoy the benefit of reduced risk for chronic illness when you regularly fast.
Ward off disease
Overeating and little rest between processing events puts you at risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more. Fasting does a good job at erasing some of the likelihood of developing such an illness.
When you go without food, you give your liver a chance to process through toxins and remove them from your body.
Time to digest
Normal digestion takes at least four hours, so if you’re not giving yourself breaks that are much longer than that, you don’t give your liver a chance to catch up and kick into detox once the regular digestion takes place.
Obviously when you restrict your caloric intake over any sustained period of time, you open the possibility to losing some extra weight.
Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
Limiting your calories on certain days of the week by fasting can help you to kick some extra pounds, though you shouldn’t look to fasting as a weight loss measure in and of itself.
Improve your brain
In addition to the notable physiological benefits of fasting, it also offers plenty of benefit for your brain.
From deepening neurological pathways to heightening your cognition and lowering your stress reaction, fasting is a good way to get your brain to kick into high gear on a regular basis.
Improve cognitive function
Fasting improves cognitive function by reducing stress and improving neural function to help you achieve better mental clarity.
This improved cognitive function can help you to focus on projects at work or school, so fasting before a big presentation or test can be very beneficial.
Kickstart your memory
Fasting also works as a jump start for your memory. By improving neural pathways and calming the brain’s stress reactions, you can improve your memory through regular fasting.
Getting past the fog
Even though there is a bit of brain fog associated with fasting, over time you will notice a definite improvement in the overall quality of your memory.
Regulate your brain function
Studies show that regular caloric intake can cause over excitement in the brain. This a concern for people with certain conditions.
While many people can deal with this type of stimulation without many immediate adverse effects, children and adults with certain neurological disorders - including epilepsy - cannot. Limiting caloric intake reduces brain excitement and gives you better brain function overall.
Use nootropics to aid in beating fasting fogginess
Even with the myriad brain and body benefits that fasting brings, dealing with moodiness and brain fog on your fasting days can be challenging. If you’re working out hard, wrangling children, or trying to push through a 12-hour workday, your fast days might be a greater source of pain than benefit as you try to work through the brain fog on these days.
A positive daily regime
Since stress and depression associated with fasting reduce some of the positive impacts of the practice, consider adding nootropics to your daily regimen to nix the fasting related stress and fog and get back to your life. Nootropics can fill the gaps and give you the energy you need to work through your fasting days without adding extra calories back into your routine.