Fasting has been an age-old concept with Indians. All our scriptures are loaded with different ideas of renunciation which were considered to the paths to achieve salvation. Fasting being one of such important paths. But there is a lot more reason and logic behind fasting.
SELF-DISCLIPINE-We often tend to forget that we eat to live and not the other way round. Our system needs a certain amount of food for sustenance and our stomach is only able to take that much. But somehow we tend to forget this and overindulge in many ways. Fasting is perhaps the best way to impose some restrictions on ourselves and bring about self-discipline.A controlled diet, restricted timings are actually a blessing for our system as they also get a break from overburden of work.
DETOXIFICATION-Regular and short-term fasting help our system to cleanse. Controlled and regulated intake of proteins gives the kidney the much required break to free itself from all the toxins it has been piling up. A change from the regular wheat & rice diet has a soothing effect on the liver. Monotony is also broken which makes the system work with more enthusiasm when we are back on our regular dietary regime.
NUTRITION- Buckwheat flour and water chestnut flour have a cooling effect on the stomach. They are higher in protein and fiber and low in carbohydrate as compared to wheat and rice. Water chest nut flour is rich in manganese and zinc. Buckwheat has been found to lower cholesterol apart from being rich in zinc copper, phosphorous, iron and vitamins B-complex. Both these grains are known for having weight loss properties. Both are low on glycemic index and gluten-free. Water-chestnut flour reduces water retention and is good for fetal growth too.
As we may see that the benefits of fasting is not only a matter of religion or spirituality but has a positive impact on our health too. The only down side is when we try to go overboard and go on a no-food diet or 'nirjal' fast, as that makes the body lose out on vital nutrients. Otherwise it is a good change and break for the system and has many positive sides to it.