#3 – Mental Clarity & Brain Health
The body uses different sources of fuel during a fast. The first 8-12 hours is typically from undigested food in the digestive tract. The next store of energy is gained from the liver breaking down sugars in a process known as glycolysis. After this period, the body gets most of its energy from a process called ketosis where the body starts to break down fat in the body and studies have shown that ketones in the blood are good for the brain.
Fasting increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a protein that interacts with neurons in parts of the brain that regulate memory, learning, and higher cognitive function. Other studies have suggested that fasting can also help prevent age related cognitive decline and diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and ischemic strokes.