When breaking your fast, avoid foods that are too spicy or salty, and consume more fruits and vegetables to prevent getting thirsty.
Experts say timed periods of fasting are beneficial and can boost immunity while controlling intestinal inflammation.
Fasting has been around for centuries, and even Hippocrates used fasting as a means of promoting weight loss. it is known that fasting for health reasons for upwards of six to 24 hours at a time is popular as lifestyle and especially in the fitness world.
Among primary benefits of fasting are weight loss and immunity strenghtening. Fasting not only lowers risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes, but also causes significant changes in a person’s blood cholesterol levels.
If you are fasting during this period, you can utilise the opportunity to cleanse and detox your body.
Studies have shown that reducing typical calorie consumption, usually by 30 to 40 percent, extends life span by a third or more in many animals.
A large portion of data supports the idea that limiting food intake reduces the risks of diseases common in old age and lengthens the period of life spent in good health.
While medical advances have championed the idea that intermittent fasting lowers the risks of degenerative brain diseases in later life, faith proponents have long maintained that fasting is good for the soul, but benefits on the body were not widely recognised until the early 1900s, when doctors began recommending fasting to treat disorders such as diabetes, obesity and epilepsy.
Fasting weekly is the best way to maintain a healthy body and slow down the aging process. The best way to fast is to prepare the body to it.
Fasting is especially useful for people who are overweight, people with a red face or people who sweat a lot. Fasting is useful for stress reduction and increasing diet.
Preparation: Preparing for a fast the right way will help to reap the benefits of proper cleansing and detoxing.
According to one expert, one of the ways to get through fasting successfully is to watch and control not just what you eat but also how you eat,
Each food has its own energy level which affects our bodies in various ways. Some foods are warming, drying, cooling or hydrating; each food contributes its own particular property to the overall health of our body. In order to stay healthy we have to make sure we eat a balanced meal, which supports the health of the body.
Before starting the fast avoid consumption of food that is very hard to digest, such as red meat. Also limit foods such as crackers, sugary drinks and patries as well as salt and coffee.
Avoid sweet desserts which make you thirsty and lower your blood sugar after a few hours (which will make you crave more sweets).
Diet: Best food to eat before fasting is food that has been properly cooked. Such foods are considered to be strengthening foods that preserve energy for longer periods of time.
Good examples are beans and legumes, soups rich in orange vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, squash, pumpkin).
A good tip is to avoid overeating during the last meal before starting the fast, which will make you hungry faster. Smaller meals throughout the day before fasting are best.
Drink enough water to keep hydrated on the day of the fast. If you are fasting, nutitionists recommend a nutrient dense meal such as pap (Ogi) topped with milk.
Many persons tend to be confused about what to eat after the fast.
The digestive system is very weak after a fast and therefore it needs a cooked warming meal which is easy to break down, and will compensate for the loss of energy.
Don’t break with a heavy meal, instead start with a light meal of fruits such as watermelon, bananas, pawpaw.
Mechanisms: Fasting alters body mechanisms for the better, says Dr. Courtney Peterson, an Assistant Professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Centre. “Fasting lowers levels of inflammation and puts the body into repair mode. Production of antioxidant enzymes increases, and that helps repair and recycle cells.” Traditional medicine Researchers from Emory University Atlanta, USA, say that “Caloric Restriction” in the form of fasting has been used in traditional medicinal practices such as homoeopathy, naturopathy, ayurveda for treating various ailments.
For instance, it is fact that the less you eat the longer you will live. Studies show how the lifespan of people in certain cultures increased due to their diets. A primary effect of ageing is a slower metabolism, a younger body metabolises faster and more efficiently, so the less less older persons eat, the less toll on their digestive system.
Regulation; Fasting helps to regulate hormones in the body so that you experience what true hunger is. Nutritionists say the longer you fast, the more your body can regulate itself to release the correct hormones, so that you can experience what real hunger is.
Fasting can help clear the skin because the body is temporarily freed from digestion and able to focus its regenerative energies on other systems. Not eating for just one day helps the body clean up toxins and regulate the functioning of the liver, kidneys and other parts.
Fasting for as little as three days can not only strengthen a person’s entire immune system but potentially extend the person’s life span.
In view of this, persons with compromised immune systems have been urged to fast regularly in order to boost their immunity.
Chemotherapy: Researchers at the University of Southern California discovered that people undergoing chemotherapy treatment or with autoimmune deficiencies that cause damage to their immune system, can reverse such negative effects simply by fasting.
According to findings, fasting as little as eight days a year could help bodies become healthier. Fasting two to four days at a time every six months causes stem cells to awake from their normal dormant state, and start regenerating.
Cell replacement: Fasting in this manner, potentially replaces old and damaged cells with new and healthier cells, effectively renewing the immune system.
The study, which is first to show that a natural intervention has capacity to trigger self-renewal, revealed that fasting causes production of new white blood cells, making the body more disease resistant.
Valter Longo of the University of Southern California Davis School of Gerontology, notes: “When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged.”
When a person fasts for 48 to 96 hours, the body starts to consume stores of fat, glucose and ketones (created when fats are broken down for energy). After a period of fasting, human immune systems generate new blood cells when nutrients start flowing back into the body.
“If you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.”