Friday, 27 December 2019

Intermittent fasting controls blood sugar level, says scientist, The Johns Hopkins University, USA

Fasting.  mythoreligio.com/fasting-in-various-religions
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Many religions do encourage  their followers to go  fasting as part of religious activities  and in the Hindu religion (actually Hinduism is a way of life), fasting is emphasized in many religious festivals, though it is not mandatory. Nor is it a moral obligation on the part of  followers to go on a fast.  But it is looked upon as a ritual duty with an aim to  purify the body and mind, a sort of  self-spiritual cleansing.. Fasting may also be part of a religious ritual during certain popular  festivals such as Mahashivaratri or Vaikuntha Ekadashi.  Normally, Ekadashi, comes  twice a month  on the eleventh day of each ascending and descending moon and, on these days,  devout Hindus observe fasting. During the months of July and August,  tradition has it, many Hindus  strictly follow  a vegetarian diet and fast on Mondays and Saturdays till the evening. Many Hindu women fast on Mondays  to invoke  God's blessings  to be bestowed with  a good husband.  Some Hindus fast as part of pilgrimage to  places of worship, A good example is the annual pilgrimage to Sabarimala temple in Kerala during the Mandala season (November - January). Similarly, devotees of God Muruga (Karthikaya), during Panguni uthiram  festival observe fasting as part of their padayatra carrying Kavadi. Yet another interesting fact is Indian Christians follow this Hindu tradition of fasting when they undertake long barefoot walk -padayatra to attend the  famous annual festival in August at the Velankanni Church, near Nagapatnam town, Tamil Nadu, covering more than 90 km. The church, originally built by the Portuguese sailors centuries ago (16th century), is dedicated to ''Virgin Mary'' (Our Lady of Good Health). 
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Fasting is defined as abstinence or very much limiting  food, drink, or both, for a  specified period of time on one's own will. A total fasting is abstinence from food and liquid for a well-defined period. In some cases fasting may be limited to one meal in the morning as preferred by elders.  Some people may  use discretion and eliminate rice, wheat, barley and lentils and replace them with vegetables or salads.  Some may fast for 8 hours or more and then go for a simple meal. Choice may vary among people,

From Physiological  point of view, frequent fasting is good for the health  as it achieves a beneficial metabolic status of a person owing to fasting previous night  because this promotes complete digestion and absorption of food. Normally, metabolic changes of  fasting state begin after absorption of a meal ( about  3–5 hours after eating).

Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948), who advocated non-violence and satyagraha - total civil disobedience during  freedom struggle against the oppressive British rule using fasting as a tool against the foreign power says  to him, it is a religious conviction - a way of freeing oneself of the constraints of the body to achieve purity of mind. This will result in better focus.
The point  I would like to make here is  fasting, as part of Indian religions - Hinduism, Jainism and  Buddhism, has been around  for centuries. Our forefathers way back knew well that  fasting was good for the health  and promote regular body functions as we give rest to our body frequently by  fasting.  A research study done by one Mark Mattson, Neutro scientist at the Johns  Hopkins University, USA has stated that intermittent fasting may provide many health benefits like controlling of blood sugar level and this may be conducive to better life-style. The diet of intermittent fasting may fall under two groups: daily time-restricted feeding  and  what is called 5:2 intermittent fasting. The first one suggests eating  4-8 hours per day and the second one (5:2 fasting) promotes moderate meal  two days each week. According the review published in the New England Journal of Medicine,  alternating of times of eating and fasting is  good for the over all health as this improves the health of the body cells.. The advantage is, according to the scientist, this metabolic switch is a must  and it improves blood sugar regulation in our body. Further, it  improves resistance to stress and and suppresses inflammation.
This study is in agreement with  the religious fasting as advocated by our saints and sages in ancient India.
https://navrangindia.blogspot.com/2016/05/fasting-and-hinduism-some-facts.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasting
The New Indian Expree (Tiruchy edition). dated Dec. 27, 2019: "Intermittent fasting may be good  for you"'

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