Do you fast? Most Indians fast
once a week, for religious purposes. But did you know that fasting, if
done right, can be great for the health too?
We tend to underestimate our Indian
culture in our desire to ape the West. While the benefits of fasting are
now being realized by the West, Indians have been fasting for millennia.
We need to appreciate that our Indian religion is very scientific. While
it may have a religious focus, the activities our religions call for, have
enormous health benefits. Why do you think some of our sages live to be
300 years old? Not because God stops them from dying, but because their
bodies are young, fit and healthy. While we can't drop everything and go
and meditate in the Himalayas, there are definitely certain things we can
imbibe, and one of them is fasting.
Here are tips on how to fast,
to get your health back in shape.
While some people fast for ten days
to a month at a time, you could begin with one day a week, or even one
day a month, and move on from there.
Our toxins are stored in the body in
the form of fat. So while fasting will definitely get rid of the fat, it
will also mobilize the toxins which have been latent so far, and release
them into the body all at once, rendering your body unable to cope, especially
if you have suddenly gone on an extended fast. Thus, it makes sense to
start out by a day at a time.
When we stop eating, our system gets
a break from the junk that we consume, but it also stops getting the nutrients
it needs. Thus, your fast should include intake of nutrients in some form.
This need is best served by consuming juice.
Freshly squeezed fruit juices are the
best bet. You could also have vegetable juices like carrot or beet juices,
diluted with distilled water.
Drink lots of liquid. Your body will
be losing water, and you need to replace that.
No tea, coffee or alcohol during a detox
fast. Avoid milk as well. As mentioned before, all your liquid intake should
be in the form of fruit or vegetables.
As this is an extremely low calorie
form of diet, you will barely be taking in protein or carbohydrates and
will not be taking in any fat. It is thus likely that you feel week and
disoriented. Don't do anything physically or mentally strenuous, as you
would be straining your body. If possible, rest at home on the day you
Juice fasts help rejuvenate the body
as your stomach will get a break from all the impure forms of food that
you have been consuming. The bonus is that you will lose weight quickly
- and safely, if you fast right, as your calorie intake will drop.
A good idea would be to consume the
juice of that fruit which is beneficial for the particular ailment you've
been suffering from. Thus, if you've got a weak liver, consume as much
grape juice as possible during your fast.
Ease back into solid foods slowly, especially
if you've been on an extended fast that lasted more than a day. Breaking
a three-day long fast with butter chicken, paneer makhani and naan is a
bad idea to say the least. Eat something light the day after your fast.
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