Saturday, August 3, 2013

11 Health Benefits of Fasting

by Mush Panjwani

We are discussing here some incredible health benefits of fasting. What is fasting? Fasting is primarily an act of willing abstention from all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. In Islam, fasting for a month is an obligatory practice during the holy month of Ramadan, from fajr (dawn), until maghrib (sunset). Muslims are prohibited from eating, drinking, and engaging in sexual activity. They are also encouraged to refrain from negative emotions such as anger and addiction. Fasting in the month of Ramadan is one of the Pillars of Islam, and thus one of the most important acts of Islamic worship.

Fasting is not only a religious obligation but it has many health benefits. Fasting is a good practice, if properly implemented. It promotes elimination of toxins from the body, reduces blood sugar and fat stored. It promotes healthy eating habits and boosts immunity. Research suggests there are major health benefits of fasting to caloric restriction. Benefits include reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, insulin resistance, immune disorders, and more generally, the slowing of the ageing process, and the potential to increase maximum life span.

There are enormous amounts of material when I started looking for the health benefits of fasting. It seemed that every expert in medicine, health and fitness had something to say about the benefits of fasting. But the following piece from Dr. Cinque summarizes it all very well:

* Fasting promotes detoxification. As the body breaks down its fat reserves, it mobilizes and eliminates stored toxins.

* Fasting gives the digestive system a much-needed rest. After fasting, both digestion and elimination are invigorated.

* Fasting promotes the resolution of inflammatory processes, such as in rheumatoid arthritis.

* Fasting quiets allergic reactions, including asthma and hay fever.

* Fasting promotes the drying up of abnormal fluid accumulations, such as edema in the ankles and legs and swelling in the abdomen.

* Fasting corrects high blood pressure without drugs. Fasting will normalize blood pressure in the vast majority of cases, the blood pressure will remain low after the fast, if the person follows a health-supporting diet and lifestyle.

* Fasting makes it easy to overcome bad habits and addictions. Many people have overcome tobacco and alcohol addictions by fasting, and even drug addictions. Fasting rapidly dissipates the craving for nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and other drugs.

* Fasting clears the skin and whitens the eyes. It is common to see skin eruptions clear while fasting, and the whites of the eyes never look so clear and bright as they do after fasting.

* Fasting restores taste appreciation for wholesome natural foods. People say that their taste buds come alive after fasting and that food never tasted so good.

* Fasting is the perfect gateway to a healthful diet and lifestyle. Going on a fast gives you the motivation and enthusiasm to make a fresh start.

* Fasting initiates rapid weight loss with little or no hunger. Most people are surprised at how little desire for food they have while fasting.

Here’s another article on the health benefits of fasting.

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