Fasting is when a person abstains from food for a certain amount of time. There are different types of fasting, including water fasting, intermittent fasting, and juice fasting, all of which have their benefits and provide differing results.
Fasting has been practiced for thousands of years and is just as popular today as ever.
What Are the Benefits of Fasting?
You might wonder, why do people fast in the first place? If humans need food, why deprive yourself of it? The truth is that fasting provides a wealth of health benefits, including:
- Blood sugar control
- Fat loss
- Improved heart health
- Mental clarity
On top of the health benefits, many spiritual and religious folk fast to strengthen their belief. Want to learn more about water fasting and its benefits? Click here: https://lifeapps.io/fasting/water-fasting/.
As you can see, fasting has a wealth of benefits, which is why it has been around for so long. Below, you can find out the history of fasting, from the practices in Ancient Greece to the modern day.
Ancient Greece and the Classic Period
Ancient Greece is cited as the birthplace of fasting. It’s important to note, however, that at this time, fasting was practiced all over the globe for various reasons.
In Ancient Greek times, Pythagoras (579-490BC) was a brilliant mathematician and philosopher. Upon enlisting in an Egyptian school, he was ordered to fast for forty days before entering. Pythagoras completed this fast and entered the school to expand his knowledge. The reason for this fast was that the Ancient Egyptians believed fasting increased a person’s intelligence.
Hippocrates (460-357BC) was another philosopher that fasted throughout his life. He didn’t just fast, though – he taught it as a medical treatment. Instead of recommending fasting for religious purposes, Hippocrates taught it to cure sickness and disease. Other philosophers around this period that recommended fasting included Socrates and Plato.
Fasting and Religion
It is no secret that fasting and religion are heavily linked and have been for thousands of years. Fasting is frequently cited in the Bible, with scriptures such as:
‘23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.’
These writings often influenced Christians to fast to be closer to God. Although, Christians were never explicitly told to fast by their God.
Fasting is also a considerable part of Islamic teachings, with Ramadan seeing Muslims fast during the day for a month straight. It started during the second year of Hijra in 624CE. Then, it was seen as a sacred act to get closer to their God – Allah – and is still practiced for those same reasons today.
Fasting in the Modern Day
While fasting has stuck with humans for thousands of years, some cases of modern fasting show how it has evolved. For example, the term intermittent fasting first came about during the 1940s, which is when people only eat within a specific window each day. When intermittent fasting, one might fast for sixteen hours and then eat within an eight-hour window.
On top of some new fasting methods, knowledge about fasting has dramatically improved. After countless studies during the 20th and 21st Centuries, people know that fasting is a genuinely excellent method for preventing illness and aiding weight loss. Plus, it is now easier than ever due to access to fasting apps, fasting groups, and tons of information online.