According to Wikipedia, fasting is the willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time.
An absolute fast or dry fasting is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually 24 hours, or a number of days.
The Christians do observe their annual fasting during the Lenten period, which usually falls between March and April, while Muslims follow the lunar calendar to observe their Ramadan fasting.
The Muslim faithfuls all over the world have been observing their annual fasting since May 17, 2018.
Here are some health benefits of fasting (as listed by www.lifehack.org):
Fasting helps weight loss
Fasting can be a safe way to lose weight as many studies have shown. If controlled within a set number of hours, it allows the body to burn through fat cells more effectively than just regular dieting.
Intermittent fasting allows the body to use fat as its primary source of energy instead of sugar. Many athletes now use fasting as means to hitting low body fat percentages for competitions.
Fasting promotes longevity
Believe it or not, the less you eat the longer you will live. Studies have shown how the lifespan of people in certain cultures increased due to their diets. However, we don’t need to live amongst a foreign community to reap the benefits of fasting. One of the primary effects of ageing is a slower metabolism. The younger your body is, the faster and more efficient your metabolism. The less you eat, the lower toll it takes on your digestive system.
Fasting helps your brain to function well
Fasting helps the brain to function better by boosting the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
BDNF activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons and triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. This protein also protects your brain cells from changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Fasting improves your immune system
Intermittent fasting improves the immune system by reducing damage caused by free radicals, regulating inflammatory conditions in the body and starving off cancer cell formation.
In nature, when animals get sick they stop eating and instead focus on resting. This is a primal instinct to reduce stress on their internal system so their body can fight off infection. We humans are the only species who look for food when we are ill, even when we do not need it.
Fasting clears the skin and prevents acne
Fasting can help to clear the skin. With the body temporarily freed from digestion, it is able to focus its regenerative energies on other systems.
Skipping meals for just one day helps the body to clean up toxins and regulate the functioning of other organs of the body, such as the liver, kidneys and other parts.