FASTING AND ITS HEALTH BENEFITS
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Although every living being requires food and nutrients for survival, energy and strength, Humans also require fasting for physical and spiritual health and wellbeing.
What is Fasting?
Spiritually: Fasting is a spiritual exercise that involves total abstinence from food for a specific time and purpose. Spiritual fasting does not focus on weight loss goals and physical health benefits, rather it’s concerned solely about building a strong bond with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and it is a period of spiritual alertness and sensitivity, it is called an effective fast when it is done alongside prayer, deep study of the bible/materials and meditation.
Medically: Fasting is a physical exercise that involves total abstinence from food and nutrients. Fasting, medically, focuses on physical health and wellbeing.
SPIRITUAL BENEFITS OF FASTING/ IMPORTANCE OF FASTING
- Bonding of our Spirit with God/Spiritual Intimacy (this occurs when the fasting is done alongside prayer, deep study of the bible/materials and meditation).
- Spiritual sensitivity and Power
- Answers to heartfelt prayers (1 Sam. 16:7; Jer. 29:11-13; Jam. 5:16 )
- Forgiveness of sins (2 Chronicles 7:14)
- Supernatural help (Dan. 10:12;14)
- To Loose the bands of wickedness (Isa. 58;6)
PHYSICAL BENEFITS OF FASTING/ IMPORTANCE OF FASTING
Most fasts occur regularly, while others might be intermittent which may involve few hours to a few days occasionally.
Some of the benefits of fasting include the following:
- Control of blood glucose level
- Diabetes Mellitus occurs usually as a result of increased blood glucose level and has been recognised as one of the diseases with the highest death rate. Fasting helps in the decrease of blood sugar levels and reduces insulin resistance.
- By decreasing insulin resistance, your body becomes sensitive to insulin (the hormone responsible for the reduction/transfer of glucose from the bloodstream to cells) thereby, reducing your blood glucose levels.
- The decrease in levels of Inflammation: Inflammation is a process through which the immune system is able to fight against infections but it turns out to become dangerous when there is a chronic inflammation which may lead to serious health complications such as heart disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Fasting helps in reducing the rate/level of inflammation thereby, helping the body to maintain the normal inflammatory process.
- Improved blood pressure and heart health condition: Fasting helps improve the condition of the heart and reduces levels of cholesterol especially awful cholesterol and triglycerides which are all associated with deteriorating the condition of the heart and blood pressure.
Fasting has been shown from studies to be associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and helps lower blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
- Weight loss: Fasting aids in weight loss since there is a great reduction in calorie intake, at this point, the body tends to make use of nutrients that were stored previously in fat cells as reserves during the period of the fast, this, in turn, increases the rate of metabolism all of which reduces body weight and fat.
Fasting has its numerous benefits but it might not be beneficial to some persons with certain medical conditions, and as such, it is advisable to contact your medical advisor before engaging in any form of fast.