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The Unexpected Benefits of Fasting: 1. Brain Function

The first piece in my mini-series on the not-so-well known benefits of fasting.

I am a fasting expert. There are not many that can make that claim. That is a statement I could not have made just three years ago, and becoming an expert on the topic of fasting was not a goal I set for myself. Rather, I became a fasting expert without any actual intention to become one. “Fasting” entered my life after I made a casual decision to participate in a marketing survey on the topic. That fateful decision ultimately gave me entrée into what was then an alien world to me, and led me down the path to my fateful meeting with the guru of fasting and timed eating and all things nutritional, Professor Valter Longo. Professor Longo is a the world renowned developer of the amazing fasting mimicking diet, which at the time of this writing I can say – I’ve personally it done 11 times! My relationship with Professor Longo ultimately resulted, more than a year later, in my becoming a medical advisor for the company spawned from his research.

ProLon, standing for “promoting longevity,” is a five day program involving specific consumption of designated foods, sold in a prepackaged format. The foods are very tasty and include nut bars, soups, olives, kale crackers, and delicious cocoa crisp bars, along with teas and a power beverage on days 2 – 5.

As I am became deeper enmeshed in the world of fasting and the fasting-mimicking diet, I quickly came to learn of the innumerable healthful benefits. Perhaps you are familiar with at least a few of them yourself.

Fasting has positive implications for conditions such as metabolic syndrome, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. But there are other, lesser known benefits – ones less studied to date. As published studies on these benefits to humans are limited, you will need a healthy dose of optimism washed down with a glass of science to embrace these attributes. What I can share with you, is that I have seen them in my patients, experienced them in my own body, and know the science and animal studies which support what I say. Human studies will come, and many are all ready in the works. In the meantime, why wait to experience what so many already have learned for themselves. So come with me on a journey into scientific data, if not human-studied fact.

The first unexpected benefit of fasting is improved cognition and mood! In studies performed on mice, the researchers noted improved memory––short and long-term––as a result of fasting. They also noted improved motor coordination and the creation of new nerve cells, a process known as neurogenesis.

But what about us humans? First my own tale: as I arrive at the fifth day (the final day) of the fasting-mimicking diet, I feel fantastic. My cognition is crystal clear, my reasoning is sharp and my memory is fabulous. I feel like my mind has been supercharged in a fantastic way. I don’t have any cognitive issues (that I’m aware of!), yet on ProLon, the fasting-mimicking diet, my brain, quite simply, feels smarter! In my patients, this feeling of mental sharpness may be delayed until the fasting mimicking diet has been done about three times. I mention this, as I don’t want you to give up if you feel your same foggy-brained self after one or two times of doing the fasting-mimicking diet. For some, the brain needs some for the cognitive benefits to manifest. Perhaps the brain needs a little more time to heal …

so be a little patient.

For my patients who’ve stayed with the program and have done ProLon multiple times, they feel as I do––super smart on day five––and beyond. Though the super-smart label may fade a bit, you’re likely to stay more on your game, and maintain your youthful mojo! I recommend that most healthy adults from age 21 onwards, who qualify, do ProLon regularly ( anywhere from 2-4 times annually) for many reasons, but most importantly, for the nurturing of their amazing brain health. For those with specific problems, the frequency of use of ProLon can be as often as monthly.

More surprising facts and benefits on fasting will be coming regularly to you. The world of fasting yields so many advantages beyond reducing diabetes and metabolic dysfunction, that your life will never be the same again, and as with me, fasting (or the fasting mimicking diet) will become an integral part of your life––and your life will be a thousand times better for it.

Click here to find out more about the ways fasting can change your life! 

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