“What you don’t eat” may be your path to a healthier brain, not what you eat; This is happening through intermittent fasting, as an increasing number of research shows that intermittent fasting – in addition to improving digestion – can help the brain perform its functions. Intermittent fasting can be practiced in different forms, for example: some people eat regular meals five days a week, and then drastically reduce their calorie intake on the last two days of the week. For others, intermittent fasting means limiting their food intake every day for four, six or eight specific hours per day.
Intermittent fasting does not mean that you starve yourself, but it does encourage you to eat healthy foods in reasonable quantities. This helps your body do a number of functions:
It allows the body to switch to the fat burning position.
Promotes human growth hormone production; This helps slow down the aging process.
It reduces levels of triglycerides, a type of fat found in the blood.
It modifies your sensitivity to insulin and leptin, which play a role in diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases.
It puts ghrelin at normal levels.
It reduces inflammation and the degree of cell damage associated with free radicals.
Intermittent fasting and the brain:
Improving brain health and protecting it from dementia is one of the many health benefits associated with intermittent fasting, and according to Mark Mattson, a senior researcher at the National Institute on Aging, research has shown that we can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s if we start an intermittent fasting diet in the same period as Middle age in people. For example: A study in December 2015 published in the Journal of Biogerontology looked at the effects of 12 weeks of intermittent fasting on middle-aged mice, and the authors noted improvements in the mice’s motor coordination and learning response, along with reduced harm. Oxidative stress to proteins; They also observed a decrease in regulation of the factor that leads to inflammation. Researchers believe their findings provided an idea of how limited intermittent fasting during middle age could slow or prevent brain disruption.
According to Matson, the reason intermittent fasting is good for the brain is because it is linked to a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Mattson’s research indicates that when you fast every two days and only consume about 600 calories on fasting days, your production of BDNF increases significantly. This protein stimulates stem cells in the brain to transform into new brain cells and activates other chemicals associated with neurological health.
If you combine intermittent fasting with exercise, you can reap more benefits for your brain. This combination activates muscle-regulating factors, which are a type of growth factor that causes stem cells in the brain and sub-cells in muscles to transform into new brain cells and muscle cells, respectively.
Another way – through the gut – intermittent fasting improves brain health. It has been shown that microbes (microorganisms) in the gut affect brain functions, including cognitive function, mood and pain. Intermittent fasting helps support and strengthen the beneficial bacteria that live in the intestine. This not only supports the digestive and immune system, but also supports brain functions, including: attention, focus, clarity and memory.
If you want to adopt an intermittent fasting lifestyle, you must first consult your healthcare provider if you suffer from any chronic health conditions such as: diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, and thyroid problems. Or if you are taking any medications.
Create a plan that meets your needs, then start gradually. Intermittent fasting can be an effective way to support brain health and function, as well as general health.