What is the difference between a religious fast and a therapeutic fast? Every year in late Spring/ early Summer, it’s the period of Ramadan, the annual fast for Muslims. From waking up in the morning until sunset, it is forbidden to drink, to eat, to smoke or to take medication. But when the sun sets, the bellies are filled. In a therapeutic fast, the practice is totally different, and it consists of eating the nutritional minimum for a specified period. Its benefits are numerous!
1) Fasting facilitates digestion
Logically and obviously, fasting gives your digestive system a break. This digestive pause allows the body to burn the energy it has accumulated from before the fast, in helping it to achieve daily tasks.
2) Fasting boosts the immune system
Eating very little for a certain period of time forces the body to delve into its reserves in order to function, and it is the same with the immune system, which reinforces its defenses.
3) Fasting: a total detox
During fasting, it is possible to completely detox the organism: the body eliminates toxins, colonic residue, parasites and heavy metals. The whole digestive system is cleansed, including the colon, the liver, the kidneys and the blood.
4) Fasting: a natural remedy for beautiful skin
After a few days to a few weeks of fasting, it will regenerate the skin and eliminate skin problems such as acne and eczema. You may also notice that your hair has more volume. Thanks to the antioxidants taken in during the fast (primarily from fruit), you can slow down premature skin ageing.
5) Fasting can help with weight loss
When you do a fast, a pause in your usual diet can help you to rapidly lose weight and better control your appetite. What’s more, you learn to get used to eating more healthily and eating smaller quantities, and you are sure to keep on some of these habits after the fast. This will naturally help you stay in shape.
6) Fasting can help combat diabetes
Fasting can treat, if not heal, several health problems linked to excess, such as diabetes or high cholesterol.
7) Fasting can give you more energy
Eating less but more healthily and in smaller quantities for a certain period allows the body to detox and generally feel better, as it has been “cleansed”. Your energy will return as if by magic!
8) Fasting is a natural anti-depressant
By trying to fast for a day, then building up to more, or at least by restricting your regular diet on an almost permanent basis, you can can provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs.
Food and mood are closely linked, and by depriving yourself of certain foodstuffs, you can rebalance your emotions and your mood, in order to better fight off depression, stress or anxiety. This is why fasting has long been considered a spiritual practice.