Let the Fast Begin!
Here fast doesn’t mean complete avoiding eating. Fast means avoiding some specific food and eating other specific food for one or more days either for health benefit or other custom, faith reason.The fast is considered to be one of the ways to help you go closer to the god while u perform puja or rituals . It has got much importance in many traditions and cultures specially in Asian countries .From ages we are eating the food famous and widely accepted for the fast which pushes stomach to work hard for digestion. .Ideally the fast should enhance the overall health by giving rest to the stomach.But most of the times wrong methods and food chosen leads to health problems like hyper acidity , flatulence ,head aches and indigestion .
You will be amazed to see the benefits of fast done properly in right intervals . Fast should be suitable to your body type(prakriti), health , age and lifestyle. Your Ayurveda physician will guide you about the frequency , type , food etc if you wish to fast for your health benefits or for any traditional , spiritual , faith purpose also.
Health benefits of fast:
- Liver starts using stored fat.
- Micro digestion is improved (micro digestion is the process where the digested food form is used to feed body elements like lymp, blood, bones, bone marrow, fat etc)
- The inner layer of digestive track get healed and regenerated.If any inflammation or ulcers it heals faster
- Regular practice help to loose weight.
- The Agni(digestive power) is increased which improves the overall metabolism
- increased quality of digestion due to proper fast reflects on skin and other organs.
- Body and five senses are replenished and feeling of wellness and energetic lightness is observed
- In some diseases Ayurveda recommends fast (Upwas)as major part of treatment e.g. Rheumatoid arthritis, skin diseases, gout, diabetes,obesity and many other.
To gain this benefit from fast, the food on fast should be
- Light to digest
- Non greasy
- Non spicy
- Small in amount.
- Suitable to body type and dosha (eg. little amount of pitta dosha increasing peanuts are OK for Kafa prakriti person but pitta Prakriti person should avoid them and in stead go for coconut or walnuts.)
If you are not on any spiritual or custom related fast then these food are recommended including all above mentioned food too.
- Yellow mung dal and rice khichari
- Green mung dal n bhakari (Indian jawar/ bajra/ millet bread)
- Vegetables like pumpkin, bottle gourd, okra, lal math , sweet lime pickle
- Cereal soup with garlic and ginger
- plain soft rice with cow ghee and rock salt(saidhav)
- Avoid day time sleep
- Warm water to drink
Food that should be avoided:
- Sago (Sabudana) ( if must avoid the fried patties (vadas )and go for sweet sago desert (sabudana kheer) boiled in milk .
- Potatoes,and dishes from potato like fried chips , chivda etc.
- Sour curd
- Peanuts ,other nuts in large quantity.
If you are not on any spiritual or custom related fast then foods to be avoided including all above mentioned food too.
- Greasy , heavy gravies n curries
- Sprouted pulses(as heavy to digest)
- Junk, fried food, bakery items
- Fermented and leftovers, ready to eat or hotel food
- deserts and sweets
- Alcohol, smoking
Unfortunately we use to gorge on them on fast due to their taste and our habits .The above mentioned food is heavy to digest , can increase acidity, can produce flatulence and other symptoms like head ache , belching etc .
What are the good option food?
- ‘Varai (Barn yarn millet) ‘ in form of ‘thalipith’ or rice .
- Sweet potato is the best food one can eat on fast.
- Cow Ghee , Buttermilk +rock salt+dry ginger
- Coconut to replace peanuts
- Rajgira in various forms
- Seasonal fruits preferably whole and not in juice or milkshake or smoothy forms.
- Milk with a pinch of dry ginger powder in stead of tea and coffee
- Dry fruit laddu , coconut laddu,
- Red pumpkin soup or salad
- dry figs, dates, blackcurrants,
Get the super benefits of fast and ..let the fast begin … !!!!!!
Please feel free to ask ,suggest and take time out to express your views in comment section.
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Dr.Rupali Panse,’Aadyam Ayurveda’
(The above write up belongs to the author Dr.Rupali Panse.The act of sharing the knowledge with due credit to the blog author will be appreciated.)