This article aims to explore the health benefits associated with Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat – waterless fasting – and its potential positive impact on overall well-being. It discusses the detoxification effect of abstaining from food and water, the implications for digestive health, and the influence on mental clarity and focus. Furthermore, the article offers expert advice on maintaining proper hydration and nutritional balance during the fast. Dr. Priyanka Rohatgi, Chief Nutritionist at Apollo Hospitals, provides her professional insights to address key questions related to this topic.
Detoxification, Cleansing Effects and Impact on Digestive Health
Dr Priyanka Rohatgi, Chief Nutritionist at Apollo Hospitals emphasises that the detoxification and cleansing effects claimed by waterless fasting have limited scientific effect supporting them. Dry fasting is an extreme practice that can be potentially dangerous, and it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional before considering such fasting methods. According to Dr. Rohatgi, “waterless fasting can have a significant impact on digestive health. When individuals abstain from both food and water during a fast, digestive processes are temporarily halted, bowel movements decrease, and the gut microbiota can be disrupted.”
Ensuring Hydration, Balanced Nutrition and Caution for Specific Groups
For those observing a waterless fast, ensuring proper hydration is crucial. Dr. Rohatgi recommends consulting with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate hydration methods. Additionally, maintaining a balanced nutritional intake before and after the fast is essential. She says, “Those with medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, electrolyte imbalances, and pregnant or breastfeeding women should approach this fasting method carefully. Precautions include consulting with a healthcare professional beforehand.
Waterless Fasting affect mental clarity and focus
Dr. Rituparna Ghosh, a Clinical Psychologist at Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai, discussed the influence of waterless fasting on mental clarity and focus. She pointed out that “the existing scientific studies on this topic are limited, and there is not enough evidence to firmly establish the impact of waterless fasting on mental clarity and focus.” While some advocates propose that ketosis, a metabolic state attained during waterless fasting, could potentially enhance cognitive function, further research is necessary to verify these assertions and comprehensively comprehend the effects of waterless fasting on cognitive abilities.
Nutritionist Ruchita Rupani Shah provides tips on post-fast dietary plans, gradual reintroduction of foods, and the importance of hydration and nourishment. It also emphasises the need for proper breaking of the fast, balanced meals, portion control, and mindful eating practices to prevent digestive issues.
Transitioning guidelines after Waterless Fasting
Nutritionist Ruchita Rupani Shah says, “After observing waterless fasting we would advise not to start with grains or any heavy meal, you should ideally break your fast with simple fruits juices, smoothies, jaggery water which are less in fibres and will also release toxins without placing pressure on your stomach all of the sudden.” She also advised focusing on natural and unprocessed foods, eat slowly, chew your food, give some time to your digestive system to adapt back to your regular eating pattern.
Preventing digestive issues after fasting
Nutritionist Shah said, “Breaking your fast with foods that are high in sugar, fat and even fibre can be difficult for your body to digest which can lead to discomfort and bloating and it can spike the blood sugar and insulin levels which can give headaches, nausea and make you feel jittery. You can prevent this discomfort by starting to consume limited amounts of fresh fruits and vegetable juices but it should be freshly made and should not contain any preservatives.
Overall, while waterless fasting may have gained popularity as a means of detoxification and weight loss, it is crucial to approach this practice with cautions. Our medical experts strongly advise consulting, precautions to be taken before attempting waterless fasting. Prioritising safety, hydration, and balanced nutrition is key, and special considerations are necessary for individuals with specific medical conditions.