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Fasting relieves tension, anger, boosts feeling of wellbeing, improves brain function: Expert

Post by on Monday, April 11, 2022

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Reducing Mental Stress
Fasting may have an antidepressant effect, thanks to its ability to make feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and endogenous opioids more available to your brain. Fasting and calorie restriction has shown to relieve negative emotions like tension and anger and boost feelings of wellbeing. Likewise, a distinct reduction in the hormone cortisol, produced by the adrenal gland, means that stress levels can reduce both during and after Ramadan. The overall effects of fasting have an impact on the brain similar to physical exercise. 
 
Fasting and Brain Health
Several research studies on rodents have found that fasting could have a powerful effect on brain health and improve brain function, increase nerve cell synthesis and protect against neuro-degenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s. Intermittent fasting results in increased production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which increases the resistance of neurons in the brain to dysfunction and degeneration in animal models of neurodegenerative disorders.  Will fasting keep you from experiencing cognitive decline? The jury’s still out, but research on mice suggests it could have a protective effect, in part because it fights inflammation.
 
 
Dr. Farah K. Usmani, 
Global Health and Development Expert based in New York

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