Krista Varady, a nutrition professor at the University of Illinois, says that weight loss is one of the most supported benefits of fasting. However, it also increases focus, reduces the risk of heart disease, prolongs life, and more. With several studies supporting the positive impact of fasting on the body, it’s no longer a surprise that many people want to try it. There are many fasting foods which can encourage your journey, which triggered the interest in many.
The problem with intermittent fasting, however, is that metabolism does not stop when you cease eating. So how do you ensure that your body still has the right nutrients it needs while you go on a fast?
Fasting Foods You Can Eat for the Optimal Results
The best way you can monitor your health while you are practicing fasting is to determine what to consume during your eating window and fasting window. While there are no strict restrictions or specifications about what and how much food you can eat during intermittent fasting, experts suggest that you don’t constantly do it with junk foods.
High-fiber, unprocessed, and whole foods which offer flavor and variety can bring out the best benefits of fasting. Here’s intermittent fasting foods list which is recommended by Mary Purdy of Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine:
Avocado has 160 calories, the highest among all fruits. It might seem counterintuitive to eat this fruit during your eating window. However, it contains monounsaturated fat, which can satiate hunger effectively. One study shows that adding a slice of avocado to your meal will keep you full for several hours, thus helping you get through your fast.
You probably know cruciferous vegetables as those power vegetables that help support detoxification and kill cancer. These include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens, brussel sprouts, and arugula. All of these are rich in fiber, which your body needs. Fiber helps prevent constipation and can make you feel full.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommends that a person eat at least 8 ounces of seafood a week for a good reason. Fish contains low-fat quality protein, omega 3, vitamin D, and riboflavin. It is also rich in zinc, iron, iodine, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Packed with nutrients and minerals, it is the perfect food to eat for those who are fasting. After all, you’ll want to give your body as many nutrients as you can.
In one study, it has been found that eating legumes at least four times a week can help you lose significant weight. Legumes include black beans, kidney beans, green beans, snow peas, and peanuts. These are all low-carb foods. Eating them will not disrupt your calorie-restricted lifestyle.
While potato chips and fries are not advisable fasting foods, the potato itself is a good source of energy. Potatoes have 110 calories. However, research conducted by Randolph, et.al. has proven that potato intake can’t cause weight gain, especially when it’s given as a dietary prescription.
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries are good sources of vitamin C, which is essential in boosting the immune system. While this is a good enough reason to add berries to your intermittent fasting foods list, they offer more. They are also rich in potassium and flavanols. A study found that foods with flavonoids contribute to weight maintenance of adults. They can also refine your dietary plan as they prevent obesity.
Whole grains like wheat and oatmeal are full of protein and fiber. These are often touted for their multiple benefits including the enhancement of insulin sensitivity and the reduction of diabetes risk. What’s more, research found that whole-grain intake, when paired with fasting, can refine your metabolism.
How to Handle Food Cravings While Fasting
During your fasting window, it’s normal to feel hungry. You will especially feel the need to eat food during your first few days of fasting. It’s not advisable to starve yourself, even when you are fasting. However, there are healthy ways of addressing your food cravings.
First of all, you have to make sure to pick which intermittent fasting foods are there to help your journey. During your eating window, choose foods that will give you enough energy to help you get through your fast. But what if you still feel hungry a few hours after your meal? The best thing to do is to drink water, black coffee, or plain tea. These are low-calorie drinks that will fill your stomach without ruining your fast.
More often than not, the hunger you feel is the cause of the hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin is appetite-stimulant and is dependent on your meal patterns. In other words, if your body is used to eating at 12nn, ghrelin will send signals to your body every noon to inform you that you need to eat. After a few fasts, your body will adjust to your new eating schedule and will produce less ghrelin. It will then be easier for you to control your need to eat.
People who want to get the full benefits of fasting foods should focus on eating nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, whole grains, beans, seafood, and more.
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