Fasting helps keep the digestive system healthy if done with the right attitude. There is a difference between fasting and starvation; when you fast, your mind is focused outside of your desires in order to achieve a deeper spiritual level. When you are without food or drink for reasons outside of medical or prayer reasons, you are simply starving yourself to death. Just look at the effects of dehydration do if you’ve not had 8-10 glasses of water in a day! You can be sure it can be quite serious for your organs, and you open yourself up to having kidney damage, bladder infections, and even a heart attack or death if you are dehydrated and overheated.
Everyone fasts during overnight hours. From the time you close your eyes at night, to whenever it is you awake, you have fasted. The body is equipped to handle this type of fasting (also known as “total”), but that is why it is imperative you replenish upon waking, otherwise you start wearing out your body before you even truly begin your day! That is why breakfast is so important, for better health and a balanced diet so that you don’t become overly hungry and eat to excess. Many medical tests which require fasting are recommended for mornings to avoid the discomfort that comes from fasting, especially if a total fast is required.
In your waking hours, a total fast can be achieved for any sustained period, based on how well you have trained your body to do so. You can start out with a partial fast for practice, where you abstain from only certain foods, or limit yourself to only liquids, for a set time. Partial fasting is common in observance of religious holidays, such as the period of Lent before Easter. People fast for so many hours, days, or even weeks. The longest historically has been 60 days, when Jesus did while in the wilderness. That period strengthened him to withstand what he was about to face upon the cross and his death.
Fasting itself takes skill, because it involves not giving in to the impulse to eat, and to focus on praying. Personally, I have never lasted more than half a day, and that was with having distractions from outside influences and people. I have yet to devote the total time to fasting, though I desire to do soespecially since fasting has been known to help cleanse and cure the body! Believe it or not, fasting triggers the immune system to healwhich explains why when we are not feeling well, we turn away from food until our stomachs feel better.