Most of the health problems plaguing our modern world have one thing in common: inflammation. Heart disease, autoimmune conditions, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, digestive problems, anxiety, depression, brain fog, and hormonal problems can all be traced back to the inflammatory response—in one way or another. And as a functional medicine doctor, I see the impact inflammation has on the health of people around the world every single day.
In the past, I’ve shared my favorite foods, elixirs, mind tricks, and science-based tools to balance out inflammation, and now I want to share with you another powerful tool to drive inflammation levels down. I personally use this tool on a weekly basis and have seen it work for countless patients. That tool is intermittent fasting (IF), and it has the health blogosphere all abuzz. Here’s what you need to know.
What is intermittent fasting and how can it fight inflammation?
Intermittent fasting is a general term for a period of time in which you limit food intake or don’t eat at all. Why would anyone want to put themselves through periods of starvation? Well, studies have shown that IF could significantly bring down markers of inflammation. In fact, research is showing a few fascinating ways that intermittent fasting calms different types of inflammation:
1. Brain inflammation.
Mental health problems like anxiety, depression, and brain fog are on the rise, and studies are showing that IF improves brain function and mood, having a sort of antidepressant effect. Neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s—as well mood disorders such as depression and anxiety—are known as neuroinflammatory conditions and IF looks promising for these as well. Other studies have shown that IF may actually protect neurons from genetic and epigenetic stress factors, meaning it can essentially slow down brain aging!
2. Lung inflammation.
In one study, fasting every other day was shown to decrease asthma symptoms and markers of oxidative stress and inflammation.
3. Hormone-signaling inflammation.
Intermittent fasting decreases insulin resistance, a hormonal problem that affects a staggering 50 percent of American adults! It also increases production of beneficial enzymes that increase your body’s ability to adapt to stress and fight chronic diseases like diabetes.
4. Chronic pain inflammation.
Intermittent fasting improves something called neuroplasticity—or the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections in response to new information—which researchers are studying for the role it may play in managing chronic pain.
Various studies have looked at the promising connection between intermittent fasting and reducing the risk of breast cancer.
6. Autoimmune conditions.
Fasting every three days has been shown to reduce symptoms of autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis and lupus.
7. Gut inflammation.
In my practice I’ve seen what a great tool IF can be for inflammatory bowel issues like stomach pain, IBS, colitis, diarrhea, and nausea. Research also reflects the benefits of fasting therapy for gut health.
Link Original: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/ntermittent-fasting-to-calm-inflammation-free-yourself-from-food?utm_campaign=a-30517&utm_medium=apple-news&utm_source=apple