Of fasting and longevity
Believe it or not, the less you eat the longer you live.
Eating less or intermittent fasting is a simple idea of eating in a restricted time period, and not eating anything for the 16 to 23 hours.
In order to understand how not eating anything for an extended period of time is beneficial, we need to understand what goes on inside our bodies when we do eat.
During a fed state, insulin is released in the body which causes a spike in the blood sugar level, food is converted into glucose which is stored in the liver, unfortunately the liver can only store glucose up to a certain limit the rest is converted into fat.
In a fasted state, the digestive system shuts down, and the body begins to repair damaged or broken down old cells.
According to a recent study, scientists have observed that during fasting the human stomach releases a hormone, Ghrelin which is responsible for the hunger feeling, prolonging that feeling causes the brain to produce a chemical called Brain derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) specifically in the hippocampus which is associated with learning and memory.
BDNF is the biggest factor in growing new neurons or neurogenysis and in turn helps to fight off deadly diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzhiemer’s
The body gets an opportunity to repair itself as a result of a slower metabolic rate, better defense mechanisms, and protein production during fasting. This leads to improved mental well-being, clarity, improved blood circulation, and a feeling of rejuvenation.
Scientists believe that all of these effects contribute to a slowdown in aging and an extended life expectancy.
Fasting also boosts stem cell’s regenerative capacity.
Human Growth Hormone, or HGH, is naturally produced by the body, but remains active in the bloodstream for just a few minutes. It’s been effectively used to treat obesity and help build muscle mass, important for burning fat. HGH also helps increase muscle strength, which can help improve your workouts, too. Fasting has been shown to increase the Human growth hormone by 400% to 600%
Intermittent fasting improves the immune system because it reduces free radical damage, regulates inflammatory conditions in the body and starves off cancer cell formation. In nature, when animals get sick they stop eating and instead focus on resting.
This is a primal instinct to reduce stress on their internal system so their body can fight off infection. We humans are the only species who look for food when we are ill, even when we do not need it.
Fasting allows us to feel better both consciously and physically. With a lighter body and a clearer mind we become more aware and grateful for the things around us.
After fasting, the blood is filled with better levels of endorphins, which makes you more alert and provides you with a feeling of good mental health.
Fasting protects heart health influences the regulation of glucose and cardiovascular health.
This has been demonstrated by various studies conducted in this regard, along with other health benefits including lowering blood pressure, body mass, triglycerides, and increasing insulin sensitivity and levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Most people used fasting as a tool for weight loss, however, those who have always wanted to live longer and disease free now have something to ponder upon.