Having some digestion issues? As the old saying goes, you should listen to your gut, especially because our bellies have a profound impact on our health, wellness, and lives. Yet, if the usual remedies for stomach trouble are failing to provide relief, you might find yourself running out of options. Scientific evidence is now suggesting that what and when we eat can either worsen or improve our gastrointestinal health.
This means that intermittent fasting could help your gut. Here are the reasons why intermittent fasting is good for digestion.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
First thing you must know is that intermittent fasting is not a diet in the grand scheme of things. Intermittent fasting is a pattern. You are making a conscious decision to either limit the window in which you eat food, or you skip a meal (such as breakfast) to limit how much you consume within a set period. You can tailor the pattern to your needs and lifestyle, too, making it available to anyone, regardless of your dietary restrictions.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
There’s a number of reasons why fasting aids with digestion. Intermittent fasting helps with cleansing the body by giving it time to eliminate toxins that have been stored in the body over time. During the fasting period, the body has to transition from using glucose for energy to using fat. This means that any toxins stored within the fat cells get metabolized—and you burn off some extra weight as well.
Furthermore, by reducing the energy needed for digestion, the gut can move from using energy to dissolve nutrients towards a state of repairing and healing.
Fasting reduces the function of insulin, increases the human growth hormone (HGH) function, reduces inflammation and boosts immunity simply because the body doesn’t have to focus on breaking down food. Studies have even found that a 24 hour fast can give a 1500-2000% increase in HGH levels and reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol and blood glucose.
Another reason why intermittent fasting is good for gut health is that your body has a natural rhythm. The gut microbes also have an internal clock, meaning that they can have moments of “sleeping and waking” just like we do. Therefore, if you eat only when the microbiome is awake, your body will be able to process the food instead of leaving it to ferment and cause gas or other discomforts.
Intermittent Fasting Is Not A Cure-All
Remember, just because you decide to skip breakfast and stop eating at 5 PM doesn’t mean your body is going to magically shed weight and lose the bloat. You need to eat nutritious food that feeds your microbiome, too. Processed, fast food will severely harm your gut and also doesn’t help with fasting efforts, because you won’t stay sated for long. Include plenty of fermented and cultured foods in your diet to help your gut heal faster, as well as with the proliferation of beneficial bacteria.
Once you try intermittent fasting, you will be amazed by how much better your stomach feels. By giving your digestive tract some time to process food and to heal, you can find relief from gastrointestinal woes and start living a happier, healthier life.