Psychological Benefits of Intermittent fasting

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What would life be like if we avoided doing things that made us physically and mentally uncomfortable? I believe that if we did not challenge ourselves, life would be pretty uninteresting and dreary. Challenging ourselves allows us to grow as individuals, reach a degree of self-actualization, and be more robust in dealing with life’s adversities. Fasting is an example of physically challenging ourselves. Although abstaining from eating is a physical struggle, the benefits include spiritual enlightenment and psychological well-being.

An article about fasting is appropriate because an estimated 2 billion Muslims worldwide fast from sunrise to sunset during the month of Ramadan. Fasting has various physical benefits, but this article will focus on psychological ones.

Imagine you’re alone in the bush, and a gigantic baboon appears out of nowhere and tries to attack you. At this point, your body’s fight or flight system kicks in, and you gain these superhuman abilities that ensure your body uses its full power to live. Without even thinking about it, your body will usually choose the most excellent option for survival by fighting, running, or freezing. For this to happen, your body releases a slew of chemicals.

Similarly, when a person fasts because he or she is hungry, the body releases a slew of molecules. Our bodies produce these compounds to protect us against the severe side effects of fasting for an extended period. These hormones are frequently released after a long period of fasting, which usually comes after the “hangry” (hungry + furious) emotions associated with missing a meal.

So, how does our body alter physiologically during fasting?

Autophagy is a process that takes down garbage and aged cells.

Structures while fixing faulty installations When compared to a non-fasting condition, the process of autophagy is considerably boosted during fasting.

BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor): A protein that increases while fasting. BDNF interacts with neurons in the brain that are involved in memory, learning, and cognition.

Ketones: A substance that is used to protect the brain when there is a lack of glucose. Ketones are created in more significant quantities during fasting.

As a result of these modifications, the following five psychological benefits occur:

(1) Neurodegenerative conditions:

Lower levels of autophagy in mice resulted in decreased brain development and an increase in body fat. Furthermore, reduced levels of BDNF are linked to memory loss, neuronal death, cognitive impairment, and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Moreover, studies have shown that an increase in ketones protects against neurodegenerative illnesses.

(2) Memory, cognition, and learning are all aspects of cognition and learning.

A rise in BDNF levels prevents memory loss, neuronal death, and cognitive impairment.

(3) Resting

According to one study, they were fasting after eight days considerably improved individuals’ sleep compared to their pre-fasting sleep.

(4) Anxiety and depression

Fasting has been shown to considerably lessen anxiety symptoms in 80 percent of chronic pain patients. Furthermore, lower levels of BDNF have long been associated with higher levels of depression symptoms, meaning that higher levels of BDNF are associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms.

Furthermore, it is generally known that exercise is related to lower rates of sadness. This is because, similar to fasting; our brains release chemicals associated with our bodies being threatened due to the physical exertion our bodies experience.

Stroke (5)

Fasting not only lowers the risk of stroke but also lowers the likelihood of post-stroke brain damage. The increase in BDNF reduced inflammatory cytokines while increasing neuroprotective proteins.

Fasting can be viewed metaphorically as a one-stop cure-all and preventative medicine for neurodegenerative disorders, difficulty sleeping, depression, anxiety, and stroke, while also boosting memory, cognition, and learning.

Fasting, whether for religious or non-religious reasons, can dramatically improve your psychological health.

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