How Intermittent Fasting Can Benefit Your Gut Health

Intermittent fasting is a popular eating plan in which you eat during a certain time of day or on certain days of the week. An example of a fasting schedule may be eating between the hours of noon to 8 p.m. and fasting the rest of the day. Another type of fasting involves eating a low number of calories for 2 days a week and eating regularly the rest of the week (via Johns Hopkins Medicine).

The benefits of intermittent fasting are numerous, and they include weight loss and reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Intermittent fasting also improves blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and blood triglycerides, all of which can improve your heart health, per Healthline. During a fast, the cells in the body also undergo a process called autophagy that removes waste, and it can help prevent some mental health conditions and cancer. Another little-known benefit of intermittent fasting involves your gut health.

Your digestive system needs time to reset

Your digestive system is like another world that exists in your body. This microbiome has its own rhythm, too, and it behaves differently depending on what you are doing, according to MindBodyGreen. This cycle resets itself every day, and eating several times throughout the day might disrupt this rhythm. Disturbances can lead to an imbalance in gut bacteria, which might raise the risk of some health issues, including insulin sensitivity or obesity.

Fasting gives your gut microbiome a chance to return to normal, and the good news is you don't have to fast for a long period of time to see results. MindBodyGreen notes that positive changes can begin in just a few hours, and your body might experience even greater changes after only a few days of fasting. Fasting isn't for everyone, however. If you have any health issues that could be affected by fasting, check with your doctor before starting a plan.