The month of Shravan holds special significance for Hindus. Many Hindus fast during Shravan, abstaining from eating on Mondays to appease Lord Shiva. Some also observe the Mangala Gauri Vrat on Tuesdays in honour of Goddess Parvati.
According to the Hindu calendar followed by people in the northern part of India, today is the first Sawan Somwar or Shravan Somwar (Monday) of the highly auspicious Shravan month.
Notably, fasting cleanses the body system. People fasting should take lots of fruits and liquids. While fasting is a practice that dates back centuries, being an integral part of many cultures and religions, it is usually performed over a period of 24 to 72 hours. Most importantly, fasting has been shown to have many health benefits, from increased weight loss to better brain function.
Here are a few health benefits of fasting:
Promotes Blood Sugar control by reducing Insulin resistance: Studies have found that fasting improves blood sugar control, which could be especially be useful for those at risk of diabetes.
Short-term intermittent fasting significantly reduces blood sugar levels while, both intermittent fasting and alternate-day fasting were as effective as limiting calorie intake at reducing insulin resistance.
Promotes better health by fighting inflammation: Studies have found that fasting could decrease several markers of inflammation. Furthermore, it may be useful in treating inflammatory conditions, such as multiple sclerosis.
May enhance heart health: Fasting has been associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and may help lower blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
May boost brain function and prevent neurodegenerative disorders: Since fasting helps relieve inflammation, it could also aid in preventing neurodegenerative disorders. Animal studies show that fasting could improve brain function. Furthermore it may increase nerve cell synthesis and protect against neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.
Help lose weight: Research has also found that short-term fasting may boost metabolism by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which could enhance weight loss.
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