Fasting is an integral part on all Indian festivals and holds the key to optimal health. Some of us do it for religious reasons, while some do it to cut down on calories and lose weight. Whatever be the reason, it’s essential that fasting should be done in a healthy manner.
Scientifically fasting helps in detox body. Detoxification is a body process of eliminating toxins. Fasting precipitates this process because,when food no longer enters the body, this turns its fat alternates for energy. When the fats are used for energy during a fast, they release the fatty acids into the system and are consequently eliminated through organs. Another benefit of fasting is the healing process.During a fast, energy is diverted away from the digestive system, (since there is no food ) towards the metabolism and immune system.
Even Ayurveda recommends that everyone should fast once a week or twice a month. Fasting or liquid diet day is an easy to follow and effective habit. Fasting not only reduce toxins and also support a strong digestive fire. Fasting one day a week means a day you consume very few calories.
Theory says on fasting days, we think about restricting food and many times emotional cravings end up with overeating food but one should not remain hungry for a very long period. Remaining hungry for too long can reduce the body’s supply of nutrients. Too much fasting can also affect the immune system.Specially pregnant and nursing women need more calories and proteins for development of the child and for the child each meal counts.
Therefore eating at short intervals is important, you can usually eat fruits and dry fruits, one can drink milk, coconut water, juices and milk products like lassi, buttermilk, milk shakes, and can enjoy curds or fruit yoghurts.
Its true fasting is a good way to detoxify your body and cleanse your mind but remember these tips to help you achieve your purpose… There are no fixed rules for fastingwhen you fast, you have to keep your body’s wellbeing in mind.
1) Do not starve yourself. Eat small meals to maintain blood glucose levels.
2) Drink lots of fluids. Apart from water, juice, coconut water, lemon water and buttermilk.
3) Try to avoid high carbohydrateslike potatoes and sabudana (widely used in fasting). avoid these foods or don’t overeat. Replace potatoes with sweet potato.
4) Avoid deep-frying food, instead try to bake, roast food items.
5) Prefer freshly cut fruits and juices.
6) Use variety of atta which are allowed during the fasting period like rajgira, singhara etc. They are easy to digest and are a good combination of carbohydrates, protein and other nutrients.
7) Regular snacking can prevent you from feeling low. Snack healthy by eating nuts and date.
The right way to break or end a fast, is to drink fluids first and then eat a light meal. Do not eat a heavy meal immediately upon breaking a fast.
Overall, fasting is good for the mind and the body.It purifies the system, besides making you feel light and good. Medical research proves that the habit of fasting prolongs life and keeps the body in good shape.Personally, I follow fasting once a week with some religious belief and in a healthy manner.