top of page
Search

7 Key Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Brain Health


Intermittent fasting is a dietary strategy in which you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. The type of intermittent fasting you practice depends on how often you do it, as well as what kind of foods you eat during these periods. For example, some people will alternate between days where they don't eat anything at all with days where they consume only water or just one meal per day. Other people will skip breakfast entirely but eat three meals per day (typically lunch, dinner, and an afternoon snack).


Fasting can help your brain heal!



When you're fasting, your body goes into a state of ketosis, where it burns fat instead of glucose (or sugar) for fuel. This process has been shown to improve memory and learning abilities in animal studies. In humans, studies have found that intermittent fasting can reduce markers of inflammation associated with Alzheimer's disease and improve mood--both important factors in keeping your brain healthy as you age.



Fasting can help improve your mood and mental health!


Intermittent fasting can help improve your mood and mental health.

Fasting is one of the best ways to improve your brain health, especially if you're suffering from depression or anxiety. Studies show that intermittent fasting can help improve your mood and mental health by balancing hormones and reducing oxidative stress in the body.



Intermittent fasting may improve cognitive function in older adults





The benefits of intermittent fasting for brain health are not limited to young adults. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging found that intermittent fasting may improve cognitive function in older adults.

The researchers compared the effects of two different types of diets on cognitive function: 1) a traditional diet where calories were consumed during all meals, and 2) an alternate-day modified fasting regimen where participants consumed 25% fewer calories than normal on their fast days (400 kcal). On non-fasting days, they ate normally (1300 kcal). The study lasted 12 weeks with weekly tests performed at baseline, 4 weeks into the study and again at eight weeks into it.



Fasting has been shown to increase levels of BDNF, a growth hormone that feeds neurons and helps repair the brain.



Fasting has been shown to increase levels of BDNF, a growth hormone that feeds neurons and helps repair the brain. This is especially beneficial for people who are overweight or obese, as fasting can help mitigate some of the damage caused by excess body fat.

In terms of brain health, BDNF has been shown to have a positive effect on learning and memory by increasing synaptic plasticity (the ability of synapses to change) in areas like the hippocampus--a part of your brain responsible for encoding new memories.


A study published in Nutrition Research showed that intermittent fasting improved the immune response of healthy men and women who were exposed to the flu virus or E. coli bacteria.


A study published in Nutrition Research showed that intermittent fasting improved the immune response of healthy men and women who were exposed to the flu virus or E. coli bacteria. In this study, participants were randomly assigned to either a control group or an intermittent fasting group for 3 weeks. The researchers then exposed both groups to either a live attenuated strain of influenza A (the flu) or heat-killed Escherichia coli bacteria (E. coli). They found that those who had fasted had greater increases in IL-6, TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma and MIP-1b than those who did not fast prior to being exposed to these pathogens.[1]


Intermittent fasting can be a great way to support your brain health

  • Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and support your overall health.

  • It's also a great way to improve your brain health, as it helps to keep your brain young and healthy.


1. Improves Nutrient Delivery to the Brain

The brain is a hungry organ. It's estimated that the brain requires up to 20% of your body's total energy output at any given time, making it an extremely demanding organ to feed. The benefits of intermittent fasting for brain health can be attributed partly to its ability to improve nutrient delivery to the brain and reduce inflammation in this vital organ.

Intermittent fasting causes a drop in blood sugar levels, which stimulates production of growth hormone (GH). GH helps your body heal itself and build muscle mass while also increasing insulin sensitivity--which means you'll be able to better manage blood sugar levels after eating meals with carbohydrates or sugary foods like candy bars or cakes. This will keep hunger pangs at bay while also promoting healthy weight loss by reducing fat tissue around organs such as liver and kidneys; these organs are usually enlarged from being overworked due high amounts fat stored within them (1).


2. Encourages Autophagy (a form of cellular recycling) for Brain Health





Autophagy is a process that occurs in cells to remove damaged or unnecessary components and recycle them for energy. When this process is impaired, it can lead to inflammation and oxidative stress, which can result in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease.

Intermittent fasting has been shown to promote autophagy by increasing production of sirtuins, proteins that regulate cell survival and aging. Studies have shown that the brain benefits from intermittent fasting because it helps reduce oxidative stress by decreasing inflammation throughout the body while also increasing production of BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor).


3. Helps Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Intermittent fasting can also help lower blood sugar levels, which is a benefit for brain health. The reason is that it helps regulate insulin levels and prevent insulin resistance in the body. Insulin resistance is associated with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia because it increases your risk for developing them by up to 2 times!




4. Increases Fasting Insulin Sensitivity

Intermittent fasting has also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, which is the ability of your body to use insulin effectively. Insulin is a hormone that helps turn sugar into energy and store fat. If you have high levels of insulin in your blood, it can lead to weight gain and other health problems like heart disease and diabetes.

As you age, it becomes more difficult for your body to process glucose (sugar) due to changes in metabolism caused by aging--this results in higher levels of blood sugar than normal. Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce these elevated levels by improving how well cells respond when they receive signals from insulin molecules--that means less inflammation!


5. Decreases Oxidative Stress and Inflammation


Intermittent fasting can help you reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Oxidative stress is a process that occurs when there are too many free radicals in your body, which can lead to damage of cells. Inflammation is an immune response that occurs when the body experiences injury or illness, and it's associated with many chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Intermittent fasting may help by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in several ways:

  • By boosting production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF promotes neuronal survival, growth, development, and plasticity; it also helps protect against neuronal degeneration caused by oxidative stress or injury.


Cienfuegos, S., McStay, M., Gabel, K. and Varady, K.A. (2022), Time restricted eating for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. J Physiol, 600: 1253-1264.




6. May Boost Neurotransmitters and Neuroplasticity

Intermittent fasting may also boost neurotransmitters and neuroplasticity, which are the brain's chemical messengers that allow it to communicate with other parts of the body.

Neurotransmitters are like a language between neurons, or brain cells; they send messages from one neuron to another through synapses (gaps between neurons). Neuroplasticity refers to how our brains change over time based on new experiences, thoughts and emotions.


7. Provides Additional Benefits for Brain Health and Overall Wellbeing

In addition to the benefits listed above, intermittent fasting may also help improve your brain health and overall well-being.

  • Improved blood flow: In one study, subjects who followed a 24-hour fast had an increase in blood flow to their brains after just one week of fasting. This can lead to improved memory, concentration and learning abilities as well as reduced risk for dementia (1).

  • Reduced oxidative stress: Oxidative stress is associated with many diseases including Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia (2). By reducing oxidative stress through intermittent fasting or calorie restriction diets like keto or paleo diets--you can lower your risk for developing these conditions later in life!


Intermittent fasting may help protect your brain in a variety of ways

  • It can help you lose weight.

  • It can improve your memory and focus.

  • It's linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

Intermittent fasting may help protect your brain in a variety of ways, including:



Conclusion


Intermittent fasting is a great way to support your brain health and improve overall wellbeing. It can help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation, which are hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. Intermittent fasting can also improve memory and brain function by pumping up production of new brain cells (neurogenesis) in your hippocampus. A study published in Nutrition Research showed that intermittent fasting improved the immune response of healthy men and women who were exposed to the flu virus or E. coli bacteria

1,107 views0 comments
bottom of page