Fasting forms an integral part of many religions around the world. It has been in practice for thousands of years. People put in their faith in this practice of fasting for various different reasons. They obediently keep the fast throughout the day (a lot of days in some cases, as long as a month!), sometimes not even taking a sip of water. Their dedication and motivation is aspiring. Apart from spiritual healing, fasting also has certain health benefits if it is implemented in a right manner. Exploring some of the benefits in the upcoming paragraphs.
On a normal day when you are having the regular meals, the digestive system is always up and doing. It secretes a number of juices responsible for digestion, the breaking up of food and the release of energy. These process are rapid. When you fast, the digestive system gets a rest from the daily race of activities. It does not mean that the secretion of juices stops. It simply means that all the processes in the digestive system happen at a slower rate. The process of breakdown of food and release of energy becomes gradual and steady. It helps maintain the balance of bodily fluids.
It leads to detoxification. A lot of harmful toxins are stored in the body. These toxins are usually stored in the fats. The excessive fat gets burnt during fasting and thus this leads to the release of toxins stored in the fats from the body. This process of detoxification is usually carried out by liver, kidneys etc.
Even when you are fasting, the body needs energy to be up and going. It gets this required energy by increasing the rate of glucose breakdown. It rests the pancreas by reducing the production of insulin. Thus this ultimately results in the reduction of blood sugar levels. Also, at the exhaustion point of the glucose, i.e. when all the glucose has been broken up, a process begins which is responsible for breaking down the fats in order to release energy. Thus it also increases the breakdown of fat.
It keeps cravings for unhealthy snacks in check as when you are fasting, the body actually wants natural products like water, fruits etc. Thus it helps you attain a healthy diet routine. The rate of metabolism gets decreased during fasting. The release of certain hormones also gets reduced. This makes the process of metabolism steady and thus keeps the blood pressure in control.
It would not be entirely correct to say that fasting promotes weight loss. But yes, if implemented correctly i.e. by cutting out on fats and sugars in the diet and increasing the intake of fruits etc. can be a good weight loss strategy. The intake of fruits during fasts or to open the fasts, increases the amount of vitamin and nutrients in the body. This vitamins and nutrients boost the body’s immunity.
Thus, it is evident from the various points mentioned above that fasting indeed is beneficial in certain areas. Not only does it give you a sense of peace and calm in the spiritual sphere, it also provides your body various health advantages.