Fasting in Ayurveda
Fasting in Ayurveda
Fasting is an effective way to kindle the digestive fire and burn away accumulated toxins from the body and mind. It also eliminates gas, makes the body light, improves mental clarity, and preserves overall health. Ayurveda favors regular, short-term fasting over infrequent, long-term fasting. This could entail fasting on the same day each week or setting a few days aside each month to fast, depending on your constitution and cleansing requirements. According to Ayurveda, abstaining from food or water for extended periods of time depletes bodily tissues, leading to doshic imbalance.
Types of fasting in Ayurveda
-Consuming light foods only (such as Kitchari and Kanjee)
-Consuming fruits, vegetables, or juices only.
-Abstaining from solid foods while drinking water or herbal teas.
-Abstaining from both food and water.
In determining the appropriate type and length of a fast, it’s important to take into account your constitution, digestive strength, level of ama, and overall vitality. It’s never advised to deplete your energy during a fast. If you’re new to fasting or have a chronic illness, we recommend consulting our Ayurvedicdoctors for specifically tailored guidance.
The signs of effective fasting
-Lightness in the body, clarity in the mind, and increased energy.
-Regular bowel movements with no gas or bloating.
-A clean tongue and fresh breath.
It’s best to choose a fasting period in which you’ll be able to follow a peaceful, non-stressful routine. It’s also important always to break your fasts properly. The most important rule to remember is to begin eating again gradually, slowly working your way up to solid foods
Mental effects of Fasting.
Fasting helps to exercise control over mind.
It helps to achieve superior concentration
It boosts confidence.
It helps to keep distractions at bay.
Fasting clears thoughts of mind and helps in organized thinking.
Fasting boosts Satwic nature of mind.
Control of mind is the key for anger management and following abstinence.
- Intention: Motivation or intention to fast affects the condition of the body through a central regulator in the brain. Gastric acid level of people who intend fasting is lower than those who are hungry and they are stronger to starve until the time of fast breaking.
- Dietary intake of nutritious menu
Consumption of nutritious food at supper and fast breaking becomes a source of energy during the day. Do not forget foods that contain carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and balanced minerals in every menu.
- Eating supper
Eating supper serves as an energy reserve in daily activities. Skipping supper will increase the risk of a drop in blood sugar causes the body to be lethargic, sluggish and irritable. When fasting, our bodies do not get the nutrition for about 14 hours So, in order the body to function properly, the body's cells need nutrients and energy in sufficient quantities. For supper menu, we should choose high fibrous foods and protein but avoid consuming too many sugary foods.
- Drink plenty of water
From fast breaking until supper time, we should drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. This gives the body time to collect and concentrate the body fluids for many purposes while fasting.
- Avoid foods and drinks that contain too much sugar
Food and drinks that are too sweet trigger the body to produce insulin and increase the hunger, and cause fatigue and lethargy. When eating supper, increase the consumption of foods containing protein and fiber which can last longer than other type of foods.
- Fast breaking on time
At the time of fast breaking, start with food or drinks that are warm and sweet, like a compote or dates. But, avoid drinks that are too sweet and too cold like soda because it will cause bloating. Within half an hour later, eat foods gradually so as not to burden the digestion. Increase the intake of fruit and vegetables.
- Mild-moderate exercise
One of the causes of rapid fatigue while fasting is exercising in the morning. However, light exercise 1-2 hours before fast breaking will increase vitality and fitness.
- Dental and oral hygiene
While fasting, eating and drinking activities during the day are stopped completely. Thus, reduced production of saliva glands causes mouth becomes acid and smelly. Therefore, it is recommended to brush teeth immediately after eating supper so that food leftovers do not decay in the oral cavity.
- Happy mood and fasting
Being happyis indeed very influential on the quality of fasting. With happy hearts, the body reduces epinephrine and increases endorphins and glucagon activity so that the body is stronger during fasting. Moreover, it turns out that our body organs are very happy to face fasting. Stomach, intestines, kidneys, liver and skin are the 5 organs that are the happiest after being forced to work relentlessly in the previous months.
- Avoid drinking coffee. At the time of supper, drinking coffee will make us dehydrated or thirsty more quickly.
- Initiating fasting with dates and honey.
This can restore blood sugar levels quickly.
- Avoid breaking the fast with a cold drink or ice.
It will cause non-optimal blood circulation.
- Chew food well.
It enlighten the work of digestion.
- Reduce the consumption of fatty foods.
Preserved foods, additive foods, soft drinks and pungent condiments (vinegar, chili and sour foods).
- In the evening also try to drink plenty of water or honey water.
To accelerate blood circulation and prevent dehydration.
- Do not avoid exercising.
Fasting does not mean a total stop of exercising. Instead, physical activity is needed to maintain the smooth circulation of blood so that we do not exhaust easily. However, do choose light exercise that does not require big energy, like a jog or a walk. You should do the exercise before fast breaking time.
- Enough sleep will make the body always fit.