Fasting has been known to improve the functioning and productivity of the brain. Research according to Patrick Flynn and Kellyann Petrucci, the authors of Paleo Workouts For Dummies, show that fasting helps the brain to get rid or reduce chances of getting neurodegenerative ailments.

However, many people think that fasting is advantageous to those who want to lose weight and gaining muscles, but the brain gains a lot. The brain grows stronger and becomes more active while stress levels decline. In addition, fasting improves the nervous system and enhances focus and concentration. Let’s look about some facts to find out if fasting is good for your brain:

Objection of fasting

Many people believe that fasting is not recommended as it deprives the body essential nutrients required in maintain all the functions. That is a false notion to many because they believe that fasting will affect the concentration of a person when one is hungry. This might be true at the beginning but in the long run, it has no effect. It has been proven that those people who adopt a serious program of fasting improve their attention, concentration span, focus and alertness.

Fasting regenerates the brain

Fasting improves the brain health and the nervous system as a whole. In addition, it increases a protein known as BDNF (Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor). This type of protein is vital in preventing stressed neurons from being inactive or becoming altered. A low level of BDNF is discouraged because it can lead to cognitive disorders and dementia.

The growth of new active brain cells is encouraged by fasting through the process known as neurogenesis. This, in turn, will help in improving the cognitive abilities and brain function.

Boosts Productivity

Food has been known to be the greatest distractor of the brain. It consumes a lot of time in a person which could have been used to work and increase on productivity. This means fasting helps a person to concentrate and focus on what he is doing. It sets a steady mind because one will not be thinking what he/she will eat at lunchtime or breakfast. Some researchers believe that from morning and during the day, people should be expending energy working and when night comes, it should be the time to eat. This is the time when people are relaxing and recuperating from the hustle of the day.

Brain Trauma

Research that was recently conducted in the United States shows that fasting is an effective and efficient way to fight physical trauma that affects the brain. Fasting has been known to reduce oxidative stress and cognitive malfunctioning that results from brain trauma. This repels trauma by generating a magical powered-ketone that helps in repelling the effects of trauma. Brain enhancing supplements can be taken with the doctor’s recommendations because they are effective in reversing traumatic experiences you faced in the past.


Ischemic stroke, being the most common type, occurs when oxygen and nutrients cannot reach the brain. This can cause permanent brain damage which can result in inflammation of the brain cells. Fasting has been shown to be effective and efficient in fighting stroke because it increases cognitive functioning and health of the brain. In addition, fasting has been known to increase neuroprotective proteins while reducing inflammatory substance known as cytokines. This is critical in reducing the chances of brain damage that can cause stroke.

Beneficial for Heart Health

Fasting has been proven to reduce certain risk factors that can contribute negatively to the health and function of the heart. It helps in lowering high blood pressure and inflammatory markers while maintaining healthy triglycerides and cholesterol levels. In other words, fasting on a regular basis will go a long way in averting certain risk factors of the heart diseases.

Prevention of cancer

Fasting has been known to reduce the chances of cancer development. Cancer is a worldwide dreaded disease which is characterized abnormal and uncontrollable growth of cells. Fasting has some benefits especially on metabolism that reduces the risk of getting cancer and related ailments.

Having regular patterns of not taking food is important in enhancing this. Note that your brain regulates nearly every function in your body, including growth of cells. It also stimulates elimination of unwanted cells.


This is a mental disorder that is increasingly becoming popular across the world. While it has many risk factors like trauma, use of illicit drugs and many more, researches have shown that low levels of BDNF can trigger depression. On the other hand, fasting has been shown to be effective in fighting depression by regulating BDNF level and in promoting neurogenesis.


Fasting has been known to have many benefits to the health of a person. It activates the brain and makes a person alert all the time. Though fasting has been used by many people to cut or reduce their weights, its benefits to the brain can’t go unrecognized. But for how long you should fast? It’s good to check with your doctor.


Author's Bio: 

Sara Biston, a freelance article writer by profession. She has written numerous articles, online journals on health disorders, workouts, exercise and diet plans. She is also passionate about beauty and fitness. She has 6 years of experience in health and medical writing for beauty and medical communication industries. She also holds an education in Psychology that complements her belief of inner health. Her mantra is "Change your life by changing your mind. Today is a new day!"