Fasting is mostly associated with spirituality. But, there's more to it. It can enhance one's health and bring about a change in one's mental attitude.
Food items such as chocolates, pastas, pastries, burgers and sweetened colas overload our digestive system. As the body begins to slow down, we begin taking stimulants in the day and sedatives in the night. This has a direct impact on our mood and state of mind. And a negative state of mind further ruins the equilibrium between the body and mind, leading to mental stress. If stress persists over a period of time, it ages us from within. The body is intimately linked to our mind. Is it any wonder, then, that we need to cleanse our systems?
Who needs to fast?
Almost everybody needs to fast at least once a week, and give their digestive system a break from the daily schedule of three fancy meals. A person, who consumes a diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts and seeds, needs to fast less frequently. However, a diet rich in fried foods, meat, dairy products, fast foods has a lot of chemicals. Therefore, cleansing through fasting becomes more important.
After a cleansing fast, you may become more centered and creative. The most stringent form of fasting allows drinking only water throughout the day. A more liberal fast allows the diet of raw fruits, vegetables, juices and herbal teas. Individual reactions to fasting vary according to the condition of the body. For some it may prove to be very intense, whereas others may find it energising and uplifting.
Why should we fast?
Fasting helps to achieve a high level of detoxification. I personally feel consuming juice while fasting is better than only having water as it supports the body nutritionally with a lot of antioxidants while cleansing it at the same time. It helps maintain energy levels while still allowing elimination of toxins. Fasting is known to be a quick cure for many conditions ranging from mucus congestion, bronchitis, constipation and cold. Regular fasting helps to address these problems and aids the elimination of toxins.
People with medical conditions should not fast; if at all, they should do so under medical supervision. Others can safely fast for a day or two beyond which they too, would need medical supervision. Nutritionally, fasting helps cleanse and purify the body. Mentally, it helps improve clarity and focus. Overall, it can be a very uplifting experience.