Intermittently eating and then not eating for certain periods of time can improve many chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

But an often-overlooked benefit of IF is gut health. Researchers find beyond its benefits on your body and brain, IF could favorably influence the balance of beneficial gut flora that protect against metabolic syndrome, a traffic jam of issues that include high blood sugar and abdominal obesity. 

Studies show that restoring gut balance can help you lose weight and become healthier. In one such study, researchers put overweight people on a weeklong fasting program followed by a six-week intervention with a probiotic supplement. At the end of the study, they found increased abundance and diversity of gut microbiota with these participants, including a relatively newly discovered bacteria in the genus Akkermansia, which is associated with a healthy gut and normal weight.

This study highlights how powerful even short-term fasting can be for gut health but also the importance of getting sufficient healthy gut bacteria through fermented foods or (as participants here received) a probiotic supplement. Think of regular, consistent fasting as like hitting the reset button on your gut and overall health.

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