Most of the experts on the field, fitness experts, doctors and spiritual experts, would agree as to the effects of fast on the soul and our body. Most striking is the article written by Gabrielle Lim when she summarized the benefits into five simple yet unforgettable sentences. In an excerpt from the article, she gives the 5 benefits.
1. Retune your digestive system
Not many people know this but fasting can be a way for you to give your digestive system a tune up. According to Dr. Naomi Neufeld, an endocrinologist at UCLA, “You re-tune the body, suppress insulin secretion, reduce the taste for sugar, so sugar becomes something you’re less fond of taking.”
What happens is that the body eventually uses up the stored sugar (glycogen) so that less insulin is needed to help the body digest food. And that gives your pancreas a rest.
2. Reduce your intake of free radicals
Mark Mattson, a scientist with the National Institute on Aging, has reported that fasting can reduce your intake of free radicals, which can cause cancer. In fact, according to Mattson, “These free radicals will attack proteins, DNA, the nucleus of cells, the membranes of cells. They can damage all those different molecules in cells.”
Even just reducing your calorie intake can have the same effects as a fast. In a study amongst rats and mice, it was noted that those who were fed very little and restricted in their food intake had a reduction in disease compared to those who were fed normal daily diets.
3. Speed up your journey to self-discovery
We are all creatures of habit. And eating, just like smoking and sleeping, is a habit. What happens during a fast is that by taking away such an essential part of your daily routine, you mess up your whole schedule. This sounds bad but it’s not. It’s really a time to reflect on your routines and give you a pause to think about how you want your life to move forward.
By fasting, you become more conscious of yourself and you can take the time usually spent eating to meditate, journal, or do any other form of reflection.
4. Increase your gratitude
How could you not be grateful to break your fast? And after each day when you do break fast, it’s a celebration. It is a celebration for a completed day of fasting, reflection, and persistence. So, rejoice and celebrate your success! Show gratitude to yourself and others.
And when you break your fast, you will be very happy to taste food again. And contrary to some beliefs, you won’t binge on food. In fact, you will be more conscious of what you allow into your body and feel gratitude for the food you receive.
5. Launch yourself into your ideal life
Sounds like a pretty big benefit for something as simple as fasting. But it’s true. When you begin your fast you can take this time to break old patterns, examine your current situation, and use it as the starting point for a whole new life.
Kinds of Fasting
Fasting can be done in many different ways. Below is a list of the different types or categories of fasting that is commonly practiced.
· Complete Fast: In complete fast, every two hours you drink a glass of water
· and a glass of warm water together with some lemon juice is taken an hour after. The main purpose of taking lemon juice in warm water is to prevent gas formation. If one needs some energy during this period, then a spoon of honey may also be taken with lemon juice in ordinary water also. Water of a tender coconut may also be taken during this fasting.
· Milk-Banana diet- In his kind of fast, one cup of skimmed milk and a banana is taken alternatively three to four times a day. Added to that honey and lemon juice and lemon juice in warm water may also be taken.
· Fruit diet: In this kind of fast, a person lives only on fruit and fruit juices. Again, in this fast, water and lemon juice in water can be continued. But his fast must not exceed 6-7 days; otherwise the body will become deficient of essential enzymes and amino acids.
· Fruit and Vegetable diet: In such a diet, lightly boiled or steamed vegetables can also be taken besides fruits. But the use of salt must be avoided. This fast can also not exceed more than 6-7 days at a stretch.
· Traditional Fast: In this kind of fast, a light meal is taken only once a day. This meal may contain a little of salt, sugar and fat. But one does not take any fruit, vegetables, tea, juices besides that meal. Ordinary water or lemon juice in warm water may be taken alternatively. This kind of fast is traditionally kept on full moon day or on the first day of the solar month.
· Water Fast: You can fast from 1 to 40 days. Try to drink 2 litres of water or more per day. The ten-day water fast has become a recommended number of days. Ten days on water will cause the same weight loss as 30 days on juice. But water fasting is far more difficult, especially if you have a fast metabolism. Water fasting cleanses the body aggressively removing toxins rapidly. Water fasting can be more beneficial than juice fasting in combating more persistent forms of cancer, cleansing the tissues more aggressively.
Water fasting demands mental preparation, the less pressure and responsibility you have during water fast the better. Think of it a holiday away form the normal patterns of living. Some recommend that the week before your fast, you drink fresh juices and eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables to cleanse the body so that the detoxification during water fasting will be less aggressive. Water fasting should always include two of three days of juice fasting before and after the water fast. This alternating between juice and water fasting is the most effective method of achieving a full cleansing through fasting.
· Juice fast: Juice fasting is safe and can allow the body to clean itself of toxins while greatly improving conditions for health. A benefit is that your energy level is high because you are receiving sufficient nutrients from the juices, so you can carry out normal activities. A juice fast takes some burden off the digestive system and frees up some energy for accelerated healing though water fast does much better in that regard.
Also, juices can make available extra quantities of nutrients that a person might lack. Juices are easy to assimilate and take hardly any digestive energy from the body, allowing the body to put more energy into healing and rejuvenation. Packed with vitamins, minerals, living enzymes, antioxidants, photochemical, yet low enough in calories to force the body to cannibalize on its filthy waste, propelling you to vigorous physical health and clarity of mind.
Have you ever fasted? Share your experience!
To your Health,