Ayurveda and naturopathy recommends fasting. But if you are following a proper diet and eating right, there is no need to put the body through a fast for cleansing the stomach. In this case fasting may instead induce imbalances in the body. Eat less, eat every 3-4 hrs, chew thoroughly and consume nutritious food than going in for a fast. The benefits are similar.
Food is not only fuel for the body, but it also provides nutrition required to run various internal body functions. So it is not just about energy or fuel. The body is actually made of billions of other cells which are separate living creatures. They also need nutrition and fuel. It is only if all the cells are healthy that we are able to function properly.
When we eat, the food is processed in stages. Very broadly, food is processed in four stages:
Stage 1 – The first stage is chewing. Most of the digestion actually happens in the mouth. If you chew your food well, digestion and absorption is much better. Not chewing your food well creates a lot of problems.
Stage 2 – Food then enters the stomach. The stomach is quite flexible and can comfortably hold between one to two liters of food and drink. It can also hold up to four liters of food and drink if you have overeaten. However, it cannot contract properly to digest the food thoroughly. This is why you should not over eat.
Stage 3 – The digested food then enters the intestines. The intestines absorb the required nutrients. Whatever the body thinks may come in use later is also retained and gets stored as fat.
Stage 4 – Elimination. After digestion and absorption, all that is not required or non-digestible is eliminated from the body.
The Concept Of Fasting
There are various schools of thought which recommend fasting. It is supposed to cleanse the system or give it a rest.Ayurveda and naturopathy also suggest fast based on your body’s state. It could be either a fruit-fast or only liquids fast or a total fast. The role of fasting in Ayurveda is related to preventive and curative purposes for certain types of conditions. Some people fast once a year for a few days for religious purposes. Some fast by eating one meal a day. There are various such combinations.
Is Fasting Necessary?
There are benefits to fasting. However, the question is why do we need to fast in the first place. Is it necessary to cleanse and give the stomach a rest?
The answer is, if we are eating correctly, we do not need to fast at all. Not only that, we actually bring in imbalances in the body by fasting.
As seen above, we have seen the role of food and how it nourishes billions of lives. The problem starts when we eat incorrectly. That is why the digestive process is explained here. If we eat correctly, nothing unwanted builds up in the body and nothing goes wrong. In fact, you can eat every day of your life without missing a single meal and be much healthier than people who fast.
How To Eat Correctly
-Eat less at every meal
-Eat every three to four hours
-Chew thoroughly. If this goes wrong, everything else goes wrong.
-Your last meal should be early and the lightest meal of the day.
-Eat healthy and nutritious food.
-Eat a balanced meal with a combination of all nutrients.
If we follow all of this, the body does not build up any unwanted bacteria, fat or toxins. You will always remain in a state of health. It has been found by yogis and now corroborated with evidence, that if you eat correctly, you do not need any cleansing or fasting.
Why trouble the body if it is not required?
I love to fast. Along with detoxification, I get very glowing skin, my spiritual growth goes to a whole new level, and I can definitely feel more kindness towards the mankind who has no food.