Intermittent fasting is a buzz word and it is making rounds on the internet. Let us understand the importance of fasting in our life style and little science behind it.
“Langanam Parama Aushadham” is a Sanskrit quote which says “Fasting is a great medicine”
The practice of fasting is observed from ancient Indian history to till date as a religious ritual. Back then, Ancient Rishis (Saints) has experimented with fasting and passed on to generations as a religious ritual. Many religions has been practicing fasting as a part of their religious rituals.
Let us understand in detail what is Fasting and why it is called as a great medicine?
What is Fasting?
Fasting is the willful refraining oneself from eating and drinking for a certain period of time.
So when we fast, we shouldn’t eat or drink anything for a certain period of time(water is an exception).
Why it is called as a great medicine?
That Sanskrit quotation is backed by science now. Japanese cell biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2016 for his research on Autophagy.
Autophagy is the mechanism of cleaning out damaged cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells.
During autophagy, cells destroy viruses and bacteria and get rid of damaged structures by self-eating the damaged cells. It’s a process that is critical for cell health, renewal, and survival.
Scientists have found that fasting for 8 to 24+ hours triggers autophagy process in human body.
In simple terms, when you keep on feeding food to your body, your body will be busy in digesting your food. But when you give some rest to it by fasting, it works on the other things like healing cells.
Animals also practice fasting whey they fell sick. You can observe animals like dogs, they do not eat when they fell sick and this process triggers autophagy in their body there by increasing their recovery speed.
No medicine can kill the bacteria or virus that has attacked our body. Our Immune system or cells has to fight against that bacteria or virus. Medicines just supplement our Immune system to fight against the bacteria or virus.
So when you fell sick with Fever or Common flu or Cold, Fasting(with water) for 8 to 12 hours may help you activate autophagy and it may increase your recovery speed.
By adopting Fasting or Intermittent Fasting once in a week in to our modern life style, We can improve our health and immunity system.
Fasting may also provide following health benefits
- helps in weight loss
- improves thinking and memory
- improves physical performance
- improves tissue health
- reduces the risk of diabetes and obesity
- increases longevity
- improves heart health
- improves immunity system
- reduces inflammation
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Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.