The safety of different intermittent fasting styles depends on the individual who is performing it. The same goes for the safety of different kinds of food taken during fasting. Among all, here is a list of essential foods to include in an intermittent plan.
Being hydrated is one of the must-dos when maintaining a healthy pattern while fasting intermittently. Glycogen or the sugar stored in the liver is the primary source of energy when we do not eat anything for 12 to 16 hours. While this energy is burned, a large volume of electrolytes and fluid will be used up, or worse dissipate, making a person dehydrated.
Common symptoms like thirst, muscle cramps, fatigue, dizziness, headache, dry skin, and many more will occur if you have dehydration. To prevent this from happening, drinking more than eight cups of water every day. Doing so can also support cognition, blood flow, and muscles during an intermittent fasting regimen.
As long as it is in its natural state, coffee is safe to take during intermittent fasting. Without creamers, syrups, or candied flavorings, coffee is a calorie-free beverage that is great to consume outside a designated feeding window. Instead of compromising fasting, studies show that coffee enhances the benefits of it in a myriad of ways.
Research shows that both coffee and intermittent fasting reduce inflammation, risks of heart disease, and blood sugar. The two can also improve brain function. Other studies discovered that the more natural coffee you take, the lesser the risk of metabolic syndrome you will get.
A total of 400 mg caffeine per day or an average of three to four cups (approx. 710-945 mL) of regular coffee is what most researches indicate as safe for many people. Excessive caffeine intake negatively affects one’s insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, and sleep quality. It is beneficial to include coffee in your intermittent fasting plan but only in moderation.
Sure, the idea that a person has less time to eat and therefore eats less is one of the many reasons why intermittent fasting can lead to a successful weight loss. However, many often forget that caloric deficit in intermittent fasting can result in a risk of vitamin deficiency, making a faster susceptible to many diseases.
In this regards, taking supplements is recommended. Studies show that the longer you are in fasting, the more supplementation you need. Though many of your favorite brands of Multivitamins are incomparable to a balanced diet of whole foods, still it can fill in the missing micronutrients during your fasting.
Vitamin D Fortified Milk
Prioritizing high calcium foods in a limited feeding window is a must. An average adult needs 1000 mg of calcium or three cups of milk every day. Often, there is a scarcity of this recommended intake during intermittent fasting. This leads to hypocalcemia or calcium deficiency, which increases the risks of osteoporosis, cataracts, and dental changes.
To make sure you are keeping your bones healthy while fasting, drink Vitamin D fortified milk. You can be creative and add milk to your smoothies, cereals or drink it together with your meals in your eating window. However, if you are lactose intolerant, you can get high calcium from tofu, soy products, and leafy greens such as kale.
Various kinds of berries are the best to take during intermittent fasting because almost every single type can contain different nutrients. For instance, blueberries are excellent sources of antioxidants, which are responsible for removing free radicals and preventing widespread cellular damage in one’s body.
Another is raspberries. As it is a high fiber fruit, it would keep you regular while you are in your shortened feeding window. Also, it is low in calorie, which is great for weight loss. Hence, a platter of raspberries is a perfect nutrient-dense snack for your fasting.
Many novice intermittent fasters tend to overeat after finishing the final hour of their first fast. This happens to other people who have been doing fasting for a long time as well. The thing is eating in large quantities after fasting would make you bloated and sluggish.
To ease digestion and make bloats manageable, include tropical fruits, especially papaya in your meals. Papayas contain papain, a cysteine protease enzyme, that can break down and turn proteins to peptides and amino acids. You can either have it raw or add chunks of it in a protein-dense meal.
Some individuals are suffering from malabsorption of specific nutrients. When these people avoid these said nutrients because they are fasting, their health would likely to be at risk. It is risky when fasters thought they are successfully losing weight, but the truth is they are suffering internally. Hence, there is a need to do fasting with caution.
A long-time entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast, and Columbia Business School Alum, Kenny has built his career around creating high-quality, reader-focused digital brands.