Last Updated on May 31, 2023
While we know intermittent fasting can help with physical health, what effect does it have on our brains?
Let’s examine the research on how intermittent fasting affects the brain, and discuss its potential cognitive benefits.
- 1 Intermittent fasting and brain health
- 2 The brain health-protective effects of intermittent fasting
- 3 For brain health, how do you make intermittent fasting a part of your life?
- 4 Intermittent fasting side effects and certain groups that shouldn’t fast
- 5 Intermittent fasting mistakes to avoid
- 6 Lose weight with fasting
Intermittent fasting and brain health
The benefits of intermittent fasting are growing in popularity, especially when it comes to brain health. Clearly, fasting has major benefits with regard to improving cognitive function and memory.
For instance, in many animal species, intermittent fasting, which involves abstaining from food for 12 to 48 hours at a time, has shown positive effects on neurobiological health.
It makes intermittent fasting an ideal option for those seeking better brain health.
Let’s dive in to learn more.
The brain health-protective effects of intermittent fasting
Fasting may do more than help you trim your waistline. According to a 2019 study, depriving yourself of food for set intervals can also promote brain health by boosting the creation of new brain cells.
The study found that mice who fasted every other day made new neurons more quickly than mice who didn’t fast. So, next time hunger strikes during your intermittent fast, remember that it could also benefit your gray matter.
Also, intermittent fasting increases neuroplasticity in the brain as a result of a metabolic transition. Your brain will function more efficiently and be more resistant to disease if you do fast periodically. Furthermore, intermittent fasting triggers an event known as autophagy, which may prevent the development of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
The study suggests that intermittent fasting may have a range of benefits for brain health. In animal models, intermittent fasting appears to be a promising intervention for:
- Parkinson’s disease,
- Autism spectrum disorder,
- And certain mental health problems.
For brain health, how do you make intermittent fasting a part of your life?
Intermittent fasting offers a number of benefits that may make it an appropriate lifestyle choice for you. If you take into consideration its benefits for brain health, it would not be a bad idea to give it a try.
Here are a few tips for making intermittent fasting a part of your life:
- In intermittent fasting, the focus is on when you eat, not what you eat.
- A variety of intermittent fasting schedules are available. According to your work or school schedule, you can choose the most appropriate plan for you. Fasting Kompanion, the fasting tracker you’ve been looking for, offers the best suitable fasting plan for you.
- Intermittent fasting is most effective when you pay attention to what you eat and stay away from unhealthy foods during the period you eat.
Intermittent fasting side effects and certain groups that shouldn’t fast
It is important to be aware of the potential side effects associated with intermittent fasting. You may experience physical discomfort as a result of fasting, such as:
- Low energy,
- And flu-like symptoms.
Additionally, long periods of fasting can make it difficult to concentrate or focus on a task.
It is also important to note that intermittent fasting is not suitable for everyone.
- If you suffer from an eating disorder, you should not attempt to fast. In these situations, intermittent fasting may trigger negative emotional and mental responses.
- Women who are pregnant should not try to fast as their bodies require more calories during pregnancy.
- The same is true for children and adolescents, whose growth and development depend on balanced nutrition.
- Some elderly people may not be able to tolerate intermittent fasting due to underlying health conditions.
You should consult your doctor before starting any fasting plan if you are unsure about its suitability.
Intermittent fasting mistakes to avoid
It is very important to ensure you are doing intermittent fasting properly in order to get the most benefit from your efforts. Making typical mistakes during an intermittent fast can hinder your progress.
Common mistakes to avoid with intermittent fasting include:
- Skipping meals or snacks,
- Not drinking enough water throughout the day,
- Eating high amounts of sugary or processed snacks when it is time to eat,
- Having too large portion sizes once you start eating,
- Not sticking to the same fasting window each day,
- Relying on caffeinated beverages for energy throughout the day,
- And not allowing yourself a break.
Avoid making these common mistakes so that you can maximize the benefits of intermittent fasting and reach your health goals.
Studies indicate that maintaining overall health, including brain health, requires eating a healthy, well-rounded, and well-planned diet. The MIND diet, for example, emphasizes eating certain types of foods in order to strengthen the brain and prevent cognitive decline associated with aging.
Intermittent fasting can help you maintain strong brain function. It will also enable you to enjoy all aspects of a satisfying meal plan. As a result, it will be easier than ever to prioritize the health of the brain for the long term.