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With the ongoing sacred month of Ramadan, it is important to gear up on the benefits of intermittent fasting. Fasting in Ramadan involves not eating or drinking anything from dawn to sunset. ‘Rozedars’ or the practitioners can eat and drink once their fasting is broken and restart their fast the next dawn.
Ramadan is the practice of intermittent fasting where you cycle between spans of eating and fasting. There are various diverse types of intermittent fasting; some of which are the 16/8 and 5:2 methods.
HealthShots spoke to Asma Alam, a consulting nutritionist and dietitian, who listed some superb benefits of intermittent fasting.
Various changes occur in our bodies when we do not eat for a long stretch. For instance, our body’s hormone levels change which makes stored fat more accessible alongside initiating cellular repair processes. Moreover, insulin levels in the body drop notably, which stimulates fat burning. It also helps you consume fewer calories and boosts metabolism which is an effective way to lose those extra kilos.
“Intermittent fasting (IF) has also been shown to reduce inflammation and oxidative damage in our bodies, both of which benefit the aging process. Furthermore, it notably improves countless risk factors associated with various heart diseases, that include triglycerides, cholesterol levels, inflammatory markers, and blood pressure,” says Alam.
IF has also been shown to aid in brain health. It increases the growth of new neurons while protecting the brain from damage. “Certain studies also suggest that intermittent fasting might prove protective against certain neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease,” adds Alam.
Keeping off from food for a period of time strengthens your gut and cleanses its lining. Autophagy, a self-cleansing process of the intestines initiates which removes the toxins from the body.
IF is proven to increase metabolic rate which in turn, lowers the blood sugar levels. Fasting for a month kills the risk of hypertension and decreases the amount of bad cholesterol. All these things are known to boost the immune system.
The bottom line is that Intermittent fasting is quite a prevalent weight-loss approach, but its health benefits extend way beyond this. It might help you live a much healthier life too. There are numerous ways of practicing intermittent fasting. Some of which involves fasting during certain hours every day while some only require fasting on particular days of the week. Nevertheless, approaches, as well as results, vary depending on various factors like body type and metabolic rates.