Fasting has existed in our lives since ages. Fasts clean you spiritually as well as physically. But you should take care never to overdo them. Here I would give you some important health benefits of fasting so that you can use fasting as an effective tool to improve your health and fitness. Fasts are a means of internal cleansing, physically and spiritually. Fasts not only purify the gastro-intestinal tract and surrounding organs, but also normalize the metabolic components and give rest to the intestines.
Religious fasting is a very popular concept in India. Fasts during ‘Navratri’, a religious festival in India which goes on for nine days, are observed all over India. While some people fast for a day or two, others fast for the entire nine days. Some strictly adhere to a fruit diet, while others abstain from salt, where as some love to have special fruit treats. Whatever your style maybe, take care not to overdo it. Be very careful and attentive to what and how you eat, and how it will affect your health.
Follow the following diet plan to get the right health benefits of fasting without adversely affecting your health –
Fruit And Milk Diet:
Milk is a complete food, as you know it is a great source of calcium, vitamin and proteins, it is in itself a complete source of necessary nutrients required by a body for survival, new born babies survive entirely on mothers milk only, hence you can very well understand the dietary value of milk and its benefits. Fruit is a great cleanser, they contain lot of dietary fiber which helps in digestion and some fruits are a good source to help in constipation. They supply energy, minerals and vitamins. A fruit and milk diet is a great cleanser and energizer too.
Special ‘Fast Diet’:
The special ‘fast diet’ often consists of sago, trapa flour, sweet potatoes, potatoes, colocasia, select vegetables and nuts. Many people use these fasts to indulge themselves in tasty treats made out of these dishes, but a word of caution here, before selecting your fast food you should be very careful and consider their affects on your health and fitness. If you have acidity and heart burn problems, you must not stay on empty stomach for a long time. Try to have small portions every few hours as it helps keep acidity away. You should also avoid too much heavy and fried food also. Take cold milk and cream as they act as antidotes for acidity, bananas and curd are also recommended to cure acidity. Persons suffering from diabetes or high blood sugar must avoid the intake of sago, trapa, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. Fruits like bananas and sapota should also be avoided. Diabetics should also avoid fried foods. Instead they should take gourd, pumpkin, leafy vegetables, salad, apples, skimmed milk, citrus fruit. People suffering from low blood pressure, low pulse rate, ketosis, should not starve. Overweight people should also keep a watch on how much and what they eat. Nuts have a high fat and calorie content and should be taken in moderation. Fruit, skimmed milk, salads and vegetables should be taken. Be careful and take filling meals and avoid starchy and fried dishes. Fruit and milk are always a good choice to have. Take in plenty of liquids to cleanse the toxins in the body. Potatoes have high carbohydrate content, but it also contains good quality proteins and vitamins B and C. These are destroyed on deep frying, therefore potatoes are best roasted or boiled. Sweet potatoes are very effective in lowering your bad cholesterol, LDL. Coriander and green chilies are a good source of vitamin C, which is destroyed on heating and on exposure to air. Tomatoes, gourds, pumpkin, cucumber etc. are high in fibre. Do not peel apples pears etc. Their peels provide the much needed fibre. Vitamins and minerals also concentrate near peel.
Maintaining The Balance:
Heavy and rich diets may lead to lethargy, which may affect your daily health and fitness regime, therefore the tact here is to balance your diet in a way so that you derive maximum benefit out of it. The ideal fasting diet should contain a balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Even if you do not eat cereals and pulses, you can balance your diet by taking in the other food groups in appropriate amounts.
I hope the above information on the health benefits of fasting would equip you to make fasting an effective tool in your daily health and fitness regime.
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