Fasting has always been related to tradition. For ages, fasting has been followed by people on specific occasions which mainly relate to religious celebrations. It is a practice where people go without eating for a specific period of time. Even though many still follow the tradition, many have stopped practicing fasting citing various reasons.
This mainly because people had so far blindly followed the tradition without understanding the health benefits of fasting. They think fasting is superstitious and it ruins our health. But the truth is far from that. Fasting, when followed in the correct method, maintains good health rather than deteriorate.
This article brings to you the health benefits of fasting and what are the right ways of fasting.
Benefits Of Fasting
Is fasting good for you? You will have the answer once you have finished reading the points listed below:
1. Fitness Improvement
The fatty tissues accumulated in the body can be naturally thinned by fasting at regular intervals. Fasting has a unique way to reduce fat through metabolism and hormones.
2. Blood Pressure Reduction
Healthy maintenance of blood pressure is imperative for a good health. Fasting reduces salt intake and when combined with urine output leads to lower levels of blood pressure especially during the first few days of fasting.
3. Improved Cardio Health
The immediate cardio benefits of fasting are well known. Fasting improves the blood composition, cardio function, optimized blood pressure in the heart.
4. Healthy Aging
Though scientists are still studying the correlation between fasting and ageing, fasting, in general, has proven to be improving life expectancy. Regular fasting has a natural way for the body to maintain the balance needed and improve lifespan.
5. Healthy Stress
While stress is generally a bad word that comes in the way of maintaining your health, stress at times is actually good. Fasting induces healthy stress which actually helps your body fight through adversities and makes you more confident.
6. Reduction in Blood Sugar
Regular intervals of deliberate fasting have proven to reduce sugar levels in the blood. Maintaining sugar balance is a must and fasting usually starts dropping sugar levels first before stabilizing during the course of fasting.
7. Prevent Cancer Growth
Though not proven scientifically, regular fasting is said to prevent further growth of dangerous cancer cells. Especially during Chemotherapy, the body is tuned to fighting side effects that may otherwise have an impact.
8. Normalizes Insulin
Patients with Type-2 diabetes can help normalize their insulin content through fasting. Fasting helps optimize blood glucose levels and normalizes sugar content.
9. Gives You Flawless Skin
During fasting, the old skin cells get regenerated. New cells are formed giving you a youthful skin. This is made possible because, when fasting, the body takes energy from fat and dead tissues. Hence out goes the old ones and in comes the new!
10. Boosts Your Immune System
Fasting works wonders on your body. The process flushes out the old cells and regenerates new healthy cells in your body. You will be well equipped to fight frequent occurring sickness like common cold and fever. So now you don’t have to worry about getting wet in the rain!
Now let me ask you the question. Is fasting good for you? Ensure you are shouting YES at the top of your voice.
Next step of course starts. But keep in mind that mindless fasting is rather harmful. Many people think fasting means starving and is a wrong notion. So, to get maximum health benefits of fasting, you need to know how and the various types of fasting.
Types Of Fasting
1. Dry Fasting
It means literally that. Not eating or drinking anything for the entire period of fasting. It should not be undertaken for a long period of time since it might lead to dehydration and exhaustion.
2. Fasting Through Water Intake
Purely water intake at regular time intervals. Sometimes vitamin and mineral supplement are added to water so that any deficiency can be balanced.
3. Restricted Food Fasting
Restricted intake of specific calorie-heavy food. This fasting is more like a diet which involves fruits, proteins, and pulses.
4. Intermittent Fasting
This method is fast gaining popularity for it various fasting benefits. It involves alternating the period of fasting and eating. It could be followed every other day and can be undertaken for a long period. Fasting from morning to evening and having meals only in the evening is an example and followed for many religious fasts. Many athletes, bodybuilders and dieters make use of intermittent fasting to get the best health benefits of fasting.
5. Alternate Day Fasting
It is an intense fasting method and followed by people who want to lose weight. This should be taken by fasting for at least 24 hours. During the days of fasting, plenty of water intake should be there.
Points To Be Considered For Fasting Safely
Planning and preparing yourself for fasting is very essential to get maximum benefits of fasting. These pointers need to be kept in mind as a guide for novice fasters.
- Be realistic about your fasting goals. Begin small and easy.
- Make sure that stress level and nutrition is not compromised.
- Hydrating yourself during any type of fasting is very essential.
- When beginning to fast, you might experience a slight headache, exhaustion, and irritability. Few days of practice will help to adjust.
- People who are pregnant, lactating, children, diabetics must not do fasting.
- In case of medical problems such as hypertension, heart disease, thyroid etc, avoid fasting.
- You must retrain from overeating after the fasting period. Eat normally in small quantities.
FAQ On Fasting
There are always doubts and queries regarding the right way for getting the best out of fasting benefits. Here are some common questions and answers.
1. Can I drink coffee while intermittent fasting?
Ans. Coffee and tea are ok as long as it is had plain without sugar, milk or cream.
2. Can I do exercise while fasting?
Ans. Intense workouts need energy to burn and to get energy you need to eat. So heavy trainings should be avoided. A walk or running twice or thrice a week or a gentle workout is ok as long as your body can handle it. Keep monitoring the exhaustion level.
3. What is the safe way to break my fast?
Ans. Best way to break your fast is by drinking warm lemon water. The citric acid in the lemon helps produce the digestive enzymes in the gut. Wait for a few minutes for it to do its job. Then start with a meal low in carbohydrates and gluten.
4. Will fasting restrict growth?
Ans. Fasting does not mean starving. It addresses the nutrition needs of people and helps in detoxifying the body. It also helps in generating new healthy cells and get rid of old damaged cells. So fasting benefits growth and not restricting.
5. Can women fast during menses?
Ans. It is advisable for women to restrain from fasting during their periods. Since hormonal imbalances are common during this time, fasting may aggravate the mood swings.
I am happy to have shared this valuable information on fasting health benefits. Now it is clear that the tradition of fasting comes with its own pros. Please keep in mind to understand your body requirements and potential to choose the right method for you and enjoy the health benefits of fasting!
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