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Posted by on Nov 9, 2007 in Health | 0 comments

American Heart Association: Going Off Food is Good

fasting for health

My grandpa was a health freak, a frugal eater, a moderate drinker and lived upto the ripe old age of 93, virtually without any serious disease troubling him. He would go off food whenever his body indicated symptoms of an ailment. So I was delighted to see the American Heart Association’s recent report that fasting has heart-protective benefit.

According to the report, fasting lowers the odds of being diagnosed with coronary artery disease by 39 percent. While the study doesn’t absolutely prove that fasting is the cause of healthier arteries, it does suggest that it is an important factor. The study’s authors caution that people with diabetes, who are not encouraged to skip meals, should not try this approach until more research is conducted.

Fasting for religious and spiritual reasons has been a part of human custom since pre-history. It is mentioned in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testament, the Qur’an, the Mahabharata, and the Upanishads. Fasting is also practiced in many other religious traditions and spiritual practices.

“Fasting is the complete abstinence from all substances except pure water in an environment of total rest. There has been much contention in the scientific field about whether or not fasting is beneficial to ones health. When properly done, fasting is a safe and effective means of maximizing the body’s self-healing capacities. The body rids itself of the toxins that have built up in our fat stores throughout the years. The body heals itself and repairs all the damaged organs during a fast. And finally there is good evidence to show that regulated fasting contributes to longer life.”

India’s leading TV channel, NDTV, has this to say: “Fasting is the world’s most ancient and natural healing mechanism. It triggers a truly wondrous cleansing process that reaches right down to each and every cell and tissue in the body. Within 24 hours of curtailing food intake, enzymes stop entering the stomach and travel instead into the intestines and into the bloodstream, where they circulate and gobble up all sorts of waste matter including dead and damaged cells, unwelcome microbes, metabolic wastes and pollutants.

“All organs and glands get a much-needed and well-deserved rest, during which their tissues are purified and rejuvenated and their functions balanced and regulated. Most fasters also experience a new vibrancy of their skin and clarity of mind and body.

“The benefits of fasting on health do not stop there but are instrumental in alleviating a number of physical diseases including those of the digestive system such as chronic stomach ache, inflammation of the colon, liver diseases, indigestion and conditions such as obesity, arteriosclerosis, high cholesterol level, high blood pressure, asthma and many other maladies.” More here…

“Many doctors warn against fasting for extended periods of time without supervision. The idea of depriving a body of what society has come to view as so essential to our survival in order to heal continues to be a topic of controversy.”