Importance of fasting for human health

The human body needs food as its fuel to function every day and it sources its food from various sources such as plants, poultry, milk and meat from animals. Humans need at-least 3 balanced needs to provide its body the nutrients it needs. But many spiritual and religious practices have always advised to include fasting in ones life. Different religions observe fasting for doing penance for their sins, self-discipline, improving clarity and focus of spiritual thoughts.

Regular fasting has been very common in Hinduism. In Hinduism, fasting is known as Vrata. Vrata is a Sanskrit word that means to take vow or to make resolve and it is observed in both Hinduism and Jainism. In these religions one can perform Vrata any day of the year by abstaining from food and/or water. They then break their fast after sunset after performing prayers seeking the health and happiness of their family.

Catholics observe fasting such as Sundays of Lent and Eucharistic Fast at various times of year. The idea behind observing these fasts is to decrease the intake of food and refrain from eating meat. Church preaches to do penance for ones sins and maintain self-discipline.

Every year Muslims also observe fasting during the month of Ramzan. Fasting in Islam is known as Rozeh or Sawm. Islam also preaches to develop self-discipline, penance and compassion towards the deprived. 

In essence every religion considers fasting as a way of developing self control, patience, strengthening faith and attitude, spiritual enlightenment and appreciating all the things God has provided us for living a comfortable life.

Most would connect fasting with spiritual enlightenment and one’s faith in religion but fasting also many health benefits. Our body is made up of cells, tissues, organs that work together to function as a healthy human body. To maintain this body we provide food to our body but during our lifetime we tend to eat things that are not healthy for our system and this can put our body at risk of getting sick. Sometimes we abuse ourselves by putting these unhealthy things like fast foods in our body knowingly because it fits our busy our modern life. But sometimes we eat unhealthy food unknowingly such as certain fats that are part of our common daily meals. 

It is very important to give our body and our perpetually functioning digestive and cognitive system a break. One way to do this is to practice the age-old way of doing fasting. Fasting in any form helps the body to get a break from processing daily food and work on flushing out toxins from the body. It also forces the body to utilize the fat deposits that have been stored in fat cells thus helping with weight loss. Fasting has been known to prevent osteoporosis and its effects. 

Like every type of exercise and diet is not for everyone similarly fasting is not for everyone as fasting can have serious consequences and can cause dehydration due loss of water. It can also cause headaches, migraines, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, sleep problems and tachycardia. So its always important to understand your body’s needs and is recommended to consult your doctor before doing fasting.

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