A fast is a voluntary practice in which people go for extended or structured periods without eating and drinking for spiritual, medical, or weight loss reasons. Others fast to protest or raise awareness for causes. Fasts vary widely depending on the type you’re following. Some fasts allow water, tea, coffee, or other fluids during the fasting period, but dry fasts go without. A fast may be intermittent, or it may extend for multiple days.
Fasting is not starvation. For those who fast for health reasons, fasting is just a more structured way of eating. Fasting is sometimes followed by feasting, especially around religious holidays. Some people may find fasting challenging, but there are many types of fasting regimens and protocols from which to choose.
Many of the world’s major religions and cultures have a rich history of fasting. Fasting has long been promoted as a natural means to boost health and deepen spiritual awareness. In some sects of Buddhism, fasting is a regular part of the monastic lifestyle and enhances meditation. In the Judaeo-Christian and Islamic religious traditions, fasting is an act of observance, atonement, penance, self-control, or preparation for rituals or holidays. Therapeutic fasting dates back to Hippocrates, who prescribed it for many ailments. At the time, it was the only successful way to reduce seizures in epileptic children and remained so until the 20th century.
Health Benefits of Fasting
Although much of the clinical research related to fasting is limited to animal studies, the abundance of first-hand accounts from people who fast is remarkable, exciting, and encouraging. Many people find that fasting sharpens their mind and provides mental clarity….