Fasting increases resistance to stress

Psychotherapist and internist Dr. Selin Yurdakul provided information on the effects of fasting on the brain and psychology. Noting that fasting increases resilience to stress, Yurdakul said, “The intermittent fasting diet, which has become very fashionable recently, refers to eating for 8 hours after 16 hours of fasting or eating bouts of 4 hours after 20 hours of starvation. Fasting during Ramadan actually means eating for 8 hours. Good example of intermittent fasting. The effects of intermittent fasting on the health of the body have already been discussed. How does this diet affect our brain? During fasting, glucose decreases and uses ketones as an energy source.As a result, the use of ketones increases the levels of BDNF (brain-derived natriuretic peptide).BDNF By activating neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, it restructures the brain and has an anti-aging effect. This result shows that fasting plays a potential role in increasing resilience to stress and maintaining and improving cognitive performance.Another change in the brain during fasting is an increase in serotonin and tryptophan levels. It’s about feeling better and reducing the perception of pain. Released endogenous opioids are also associated with feeling better,” he said.

“Reward leads to positive psychological experiences such as achievement, pride and a sense of control”

Dr Selin Yurdakul also stated that an increase in neuropeptide Y levels was detected during fasting in rodent experiments, adding: “In general, fasting activates protective cellular stress resistance mechanisms that balance the potentially deleterious effects of elevated stress-induced cortisol and catecholamines On the contrary, overfeeding increases neuronal degeneration and hinders neurogenesis. It is associated with chronic neuroendocrine activation. While short-term fasting can cause negative emotions such as irritability and fatigue, it leads to positive psychological experiences such as reward, achievement, pride and feeling. While people who are fasting for the first time may have more negative emotions at first, experienced individuals have more positive emotions. These positive emotions are more common, especially in those who are highly motivated because of their religious connection between fasting and psychological well-being of individuals during Ramadan, it was found that mean values ​​of self-acceptance, autonomy, positive relationships, adaptability to the environment and personal development increased significantly after fasting. . There are also publications on the Parkinson’s disease model and epilepsy that support the positive effects of fasting. However, for people with chronic illnesses, I recommend getting their doctor’s opinion before trying any diets such as intermittent fasting. Of course, another point to consider is making healthy choices during the fasting and sahur periods,” he said.

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