Fasting is a very old phenomenon. It is prevailing since the time when we were hunters. Our bodies are designed in such a way that we can have regular fasts and it cleanses our bodies by enhancing some bodily functions. It also benefits our mental health in many ways.
Fasting is when you have a set period of time in which you will not have food. Different people do fasting in different ways. Some people fast for 24 hours without water while some may set some period of time for food intake while others may keep it on just water etc. In every religion, there are different ways to keep fast. Now a day’s intermittent fasting is also a term frequently used by the people and the experts. The diet in a fast is almost calorie-restricted so that it boosts the body’s mechanisms and cleanses the body of the toxic waste it contains.
Adaptation is a part of fasting and happens within 12-16 hours of keeping the fast. Till that time your body uses the glycogen which is already stored in the liver for energy. And after that, it uses the fat which is stored in the body for energy production. When you are on fasting the cleansing process within the cell also increases. This process is called autophagy. In this process, the damaged parts of a cell are removed.
Fasting and brain
Fasting has proven to increase the production of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). This factor is associated with memory. It also increases the generation of new nerve cells. Studies that are done on mice have proven that when they were put on intermittent there was an improvement in their learning, memory, and cognitive functioning.
Studies have also proven that when you do intermittent fasting it will help the brain against age-related changes and there is protection against diseases like Alzheimer’s. It will reduce the risk of cognitive impairment in people.
Fasting also affects mood and anxiety. As you all know that almost everyone these days is affected by mental health disorders. There is a development of anxiety and other mental disorder in both the genders. Intermittent fasting has an effect on mice and has shown to be an antidepressant. Not only this study has shown that nurses who were in depression earlier after fasting showed a significant reduction in depression.
Fasting and psychological well being
Fasting has a significant effect on cognition and memory. People who keep fasts have control over their food habits. They develop patience for their control over food. This is a part to develop good psychological well being. It makes a person humble, self-sacrificing, and attain a good level of maturity. Fasting trains you so that you become more self-controlled and self-regulatory. It makes you realize your strengths and weaknesses.
Fasting and spirituality
Fasting not only improves your psychological well being and memory but also gives you purity in your thoughts and improves your character. You want to release from this materialistic world and you want to join yourself with the sacred god and become spiritual. It brings you to self-actualization. It makes you release your ego as well.
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