New Delhi: Fasting for religious purposes is common in India. The month of Shravan has just concluded and the month of Ramzan is on - in both of which fasting is an integral part. Doctors say the practice does more than just appease the gods: it also benefits your body, if done with care.Priyanka Rohatgi, chief clinical nutritionist of the Apollo Hospital, Bangalore, believes that religious fasting is one of the best traditional practices, since it teaches one to learn to curb one`s desires and check against transgression and extravagance."Fasting fosters a strong will, teaches patience and self-discipline, the ability to bear hardship and tolerate hunger and thirst. Medically, it`s good because it detoxifies your body and gives a break to your digestive system," Rohatgi told IANS.In fact, many doctors recommend fasting for the overall goodness of your health. Ritika Samaddar, head dietician of the Max Hospital, for instance, said that it`s healthy to fast once a week."Fasting cleanses your system and boosts the good cholesterol of the body. It`s actually very healthy to fast once a week. You can have some low calorie food, like fruits and vegetables, and lots of liquid.The overall calorie consumption should be 800-1000 calories," Samaddar told IANS.Partial fasting and a restricted diet are also recommended by dieticians for those who want to lose weight.The problem, however, begins when fasting is not done with care."Fasting followed by feasting is an open invitation to trouble. Unhealthy, fried, processed food after a day-long fast can cause problems like bloating, craving and lethargy," Rohatgi warned."A sudden supply of food after a fast can cause problems in digestion, so it`s better to break your fast with some light food, like fruits, and only after some time, eat more," she added.
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