Short-term fasting can be beneficial for overall health if done correctly and intermittently.
And lots of people are starting to hop on the intermittent fasting bandwagon.
For example, intermittent fasting can increase insulin sensitivity, which makes your body less likely to store fat, suffer from spikes and crashes, and control blood sugar. Intermittent can also increase testosterone levels and improve your diet control. If you train during an intermittent fast, you also burn belly fat faster than you would if you were to eat before you train.
Honestly, that’s just the beginning of what intermittent fasting can do for you…
And what most people don’t know, is that intermittent fasting can do wonders for your brain performance. And that’s what I’m going to tackle in this article for you.
Here are three natural mechanisms backed by scientific studies that describe how intermittent fasting boosts brain performance:
#1. Increased Autophagy
The body is an impressive system. One of it’s most impressive features is the mechanism that flushes out dead cells called autophagy. It’s a natural process to eliminate dysfunctional cells and reuse them in a positive way.
A study by Alirezaei et al, demonstrates how intermittent fasting might represent an inexpensive way to induce neuronal autophagy. Basically, your body knows when to eat up bad cells and use that energy or when to recycle molecule material to regenerate stronger and healthier cells.
In other words, your body is its own healer. It knows how to use its own natural processes to boost your overall health. For example, autophagy helps regenerate your skin when you get a sunburn. A body that can’t correctly complete this process is at greater risk of disease. It works the same for your brain…
According to studies, autophagy clears out waste materials and plaque that accumulate in the brain, maintains neuronal integrity and function, helps the brain recover after an injury, promotes learning and memory, slows down aging brain cells and mitochondria, and reduces oxidative stress in the brain.
Another in vitro study from Capital Medical University in Beijing, China showed similar results. Researchers concluded that high calorie intake resulted in the development of neurological disease, due to suppressed autophagy, and low caloric intake may prevent age-related learning ability impairment.
#2. Reduced Brain Oxidative Damage
When there is an imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS), the body suffers from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is related to mortal diseases like Parkinson’s disease, heart failure, and cancer. It has also been theorized and there is some research that suggests it’s one of the causes of brain fog, due to brain cell damage.
Reactive oxygen species production can be increased by certain factors. It can be because of things like stress, excess smoking, drugs, obesity, and radiation exposure. Plus, being overweight or obese increases levels of stress which can turn it into a more vicious cycle.
However, reactive oxygen species are natural components in men, so we have biological processes to keep these levels controlled. And we can take measures to prevent an overproduction of ROS. Simple things like an exercise routine, reducing polyunsaturated fats, and increasing antioxidant intake can go a long way.
Of them all, intermittent fasting is among the best.
One in vitro study from the University of Virginia demonstrates how intermittent fasting improves overall brain functions and structures. Even when the subjects of the study presented with obesity.
Another study published in the journal, Free Radical Biology and Medicine, found that by simply fasting every other day, you can reduce markers of oxidative damage and inflammation, which reduces cortisol and boosts clarity and brain performance.
#3. Increased BDNF Levels
In our brain, we have an important protein that helps the survival of existing neurons, and the growth of new neurons. This protein is the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that is present in many parts of the body. In the brain, you can find it in the hippocampus, cortex, and basal forebrain.
Some research has already been done linking the deficits of BDNF to major diseases and disorders like Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. And they suggested that manipulating BDNF may be a viable treatment for neurological and psychiatric disorders.
In the case of intermittent fasting, some in vitro studies demonstrated an increased production of brain-derived neurotrophic factors. Some scientists even theorize that fasting improves brain function because it sets off a “survival chemical reaction” that basically tells your brain it needs to work faster and better in order to find food to survive.
No matter the reason, seasonal fasting will give you a significant boost to your brain.
Brain health is as important as physical health.
In fact, many people believe that having a strong mind is more important and beneficial than being a beast in the gym. Without a focused mind, you would never be able to reach your goals. Because of this, taking time to improve your brain health should be a major priority.
Intermittent fasting is one of the best ways to get the job done. It helps you by increasing autophagy, reducing reactive oxygen species and preventing oxidative stress, and increases BDNF levels in your body.
But, if you don’t like the idea of cutting out food for 16-24 hours, or you want an extra edge without changing your diet or anything like that, check out my brand new 100% natural nootropic supplement, Man Brain.
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They won’t make you jittery or wired like a lot of other focus supplements will. Instead, this one keeps you dialed in so you can think and perform best when it matters most.
So, go ahead and give intermittent fasting a shot if you want…
And take your brain power to the next level.