The concept of intermittent fasting is not new and has been in practice since the ages. The intermittent fasting has been the part of various religious cultures, and it does have a scientific reason attached to it.
Hinduism has its Navartara (Nine days of fasting twice a year), and similarly, Muslims have their Ramadan. In Ramadan, Muslims usually don’t eat anything for 15 to 16 hours. Many other religions have the same concept, but it is just that it has been molded as per the convenience. The entire logic behind all this is taking the body into the process of detoxification. The modern wellness specialists have to come in support of this healthy practice. The functional medicine specialists recommend this practice to almost everybody if their client’s health condition allows.
What’s the scientific reason behind the working of Intermittent Fasting?
It has been found that when the human body goes into the process of fasting for long hours, then one of the most important systems of the body goes into self-regeneration. The system of the body that is being referred here is the Gastro-Intestinal System. The GI Tract is responsible for the smooth functioning of our digestive system. The same includes a series of organs that play their role in the working of our digestive system. The following organs make up the GI Tract:
- Small Intestine
- Large Intestine
The other solid body parts that make up the digestive system are Liver, Pancreas, and Gallbladder.
It is often said that that almost every disease begins with the stomach and its long term solution is also the gut healing.
To get things into perspective, understand this: If there are toxins present in your body then where are they most likely get stored!? – Possibly inside your gut. When your body is in possession of considerable toxins; that is when your immune system starts to get weak. And that is an open invitation to a number of deadly diseases. We as living creatures are blessed to have an immune system that is capable of self-healing, but the 21st-century lifestyle, dietary practices along with toxic environmental factors have contributed to a rapid rise in chronic diseases all around the world.
How to do it?
There are two ways to go about this; one is that you fast for around 16 hours and keep an eight-hour eating window. The second option is to go for 18 hours and keeping the eating window accordingly.
There are two types of intermittent fasting:
- Dry Fasting – You won’t even consume water during this 16 hour or 18 hour period.
- Water Fasting – You won’t consume anything but water throughout the 16 hours or 18 hour period.
The best is to go on these types of fast at least once per week.
It is after the period of 16 hours when the real magic starts to take place inside the body. The body now enters into the process of autophagy which has numerous benefits when it comes to detoxification of the body. Even the stem cells are activated to regenerate the abnormal and dead cells.
What Autophagy does is that starts destroying or eating up all the damaged cells and cellular debris, and that is divine.
The below-mentioned points are the benefits that practicing intermittent fasting can give you:
- It works as a great healer in the case of gut leaking
- Keeps blood sugar in control
- It has the potential of reversing diabetes by reversing the diabetes resistance
- It is helpful in the prevention and treatment of cancer. The autophagy which begins after 16 hours starts eating up the cancer cells. There is literature available on this on the credible medical sources. A functional medicine specialist can better suggest a cancer patient how to go about it because of the other technicalities involved.
- It eliminates all the inflammatory issues of the gut
- It cleanses the body internally and the digestive system
- It also regenerates pancreas as well
- It enhances weight loss and metabolism
- It works tremendously well with the combination of the keto diet
- It enhances the longevity of a person
- It works immensely well in brain functioning by the release of ketones and the same also helps in the prevention of the neurodegenerative diseases of all kinds.
- It also increases the level of a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine
- It helps in the prevention of diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer
These are all the potential benefits that intermittent fasting can offer if one accepts it as a regular practice as a part of their lifestyle.
Note: Intermittent fasting can’t be done in certain conditions or situations such as pregnancy, eating disorder, issues of binge eating, etc. and best would be to consult a functional medicine specialist or your trusted physician.