A million and one things are instantly improved with even the tiniest bit of weight loss. Your clothes fit better, you’re more confident and your health improves. It’s a snowball of positivity that we’d never like to see the end of.
That snowball seems to get even better when weight loss is a result of intermittent fasting. Not only is it a bonafide weight loss method, but it also boasts a bunch of health benefits.
Dr Krista Varady has sifted through the research to give us ten scientifically proven health benefits to intermittent fasting.
Lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol
Increases ‘good’ cholesterol
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting increases your HDL ‘good’ cholesterol levels by 10-15%. High levels of HDL cholesterol marks the decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. (See references: 1 and 2)
Lowers blood pressure
Trims belly fat!
Lowered insulin resistance
Inflammation response may be reduced with intermittent fasting. Studies show that inflammation markers such as TNF-alpha and IL-6 were reduced while fasting. These markers are linked to the development of heart disease and diabetes. (See references: 1,2,3)
May help prevent cancer
Intermittent Fasting may help prevent cancer. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) promoted the growth of cancer cells. Studies have found that Intermittent Fasting reduces IGF-1 by up to 50% which can help reduce cancer risk. (See reference: 1)
Studies have shown that as a response to Intermittent Fasting, the body produces proteins that protect neurons (our brain cells). This, in turn, helps our brains cope with stress and resist disease. (See references: 1,2,3)
Helps to prevent Alzheimer’s
Intermittent Fasting may prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. In laboratory experiments, Dr. Mark Mattson and his colleagues have found that intermittent fasting—limiting caloric intake at least two days a week—can help improve neural connections in the hippocampus while protecting neurons against the accumulation of amyloid plaques, a protein prevalent in people with Alzheimer’s disease. (See references 1,2,3)
Studies have shown a reduction in biomarkers for ageing, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. These results support the use of intermittent fasting to promote a longer lifespan and health-span. (See references: 1,2,3)
It looks like weight loss is just the tip of the iceberg for intermittent fasting. What lies beneath are some truly powerful (and sometimes surprising) improvements to your health that are hard to ignore.
Have you tried intermittent fasting? Have you been surprised by any unexpected health benefits?