Fasting seems to be catching on lately. Every type. From juice fasts to water fasts and even intermittent fasts. Medical professionals and health aficionados alike swear by the advantages of intermittent fasting and studies are proving them right. Read more here
- Helps with weight loss
- Prevents degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- Decreases risk factors for diabetes,cancer and cardiovascular disease
- Helps treat autoimmune diseases,asthma and even cardiac arrhythmias.
Fasting is not a new phenomenon by any means. It has its roots in all the major religions of the world. The Quran, Bible and Torah all have some form of it present. In fact, Philippus Paracelsus, one of the fathers of Western medicine has even called it “The greatest remedy-The physician within”
God has said in the Quran,
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous – 2:183
Muslims world over fast in the month of Ramadan (the 9th month in the lunar calendar) from dawn to dusk. Apart from food, sexual relations are also prohibited. The stress being on worship and strengthening ones ties with God as well as empathizing with those less privileged than us.
I was introduced to the practice way back in my childhood. I would see my parents and other elders fast and would want to fast with them. It was almost a challenge. I recall keeping my very first fast when I was all of eight years old ( This was just a practice run. I was free to break my fast whenever I so wished). Fasting becomes obligatory at puberty for Muslims. But the fascination with this ritual was too strong to be denied. The pre dawn breakfast (suhoor) was a whole production. A feast if you will.
The celebration I knew was to come at the end of the day, was another motivation. I remember my grandmother sewing a brand new outfit for me to celebrate the occasion, my twin brother and I being treated like royalty throughout the day.
Fast forward thirty odd years. Although fasting for most of my adult life, I barely even gave a thought to the many other advantages that came with it.
Having been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (read more about my journey here.) it really excited me that science was reinforcing such an important religious ritual. One sadly, only an annual exercise for most Muslims. I started to fast as often as I could. Sometimes twice a week, as was the routine of the Prophet (pbuh)
I have no doubt in my mind that fasting did my body a whole lot of good and had a big role to play in healing my gut, ridding it of the bacteria and bringing me back to optimum health.
Have you tried fasting? How has it made you feel? Please comment below, I would love to hear from you!