TIP #19: PRACTISE INTERMITTENT FASTING: enjoying the health benefits of a common religious practice.

Abstaining from food, especially when done on alternate days — one day fasting, next day fast-free, then one day fasting, and a fast-free other day, and so on — has such miraculous health benefits, it could make a person live longer!

Prompted by the fact that some devout religious people live long and strong, scientists are beginning to ask questions. And answers are coming. Fasting has a role to play.

We are not talking about excessive fasting, or starving oneself, or unintelligent refusal to eat here. We are talking about an informed abstaining from food (preferably while taking some water and light fruits alongside) for a limited time, say a 24-hour period. Fasting for long periods is not advisable medically. And some people must consult with their doctor before fasting, for example, people with diabetes, “ulcer”, psychiatric disease, chronic diseases, and people on certain drugs. Fasting is generally not required for pregnant and breast-feeding mothers.

Fasting improves general well-being and decreases the likelihood of falling sick! It reduces the risks of cancer, diabetes, and stroke. It helps people who have problem with “blood fat” and “bad cholesterol”. It helps in weight control and in obesity. It improves the curing power of some drugs. It increases a person’s ability to cope with stress. It slows down the aging process and has the potential of increasing a person’s life-span! And so on.

So, next time you are fasting for a religious purpose or as a spiritual exercise, remember you are also improving the health of your body and mind. You are killing two birds with one stone! Fasting, healthy fasting, is powerful! It affects the spirit, the soul, and the body!

Fast.

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Dr. 'Malik Haruna King is a practicing Nigerian Medical Doctor and Sex Therapist. He helps people with sensitive health issues find answers to questions they are too ashamed to ask!