Hinduism is known for it's vibrant and lavish festivals and celebrations, but a major part of these traditions is the customary fasting on auspicious days. From childhood we have known this fact and we've seen our mothers, grandmothers and even the males of the family keep a fast during Navratri or Mahashivratri, etc. And over the time we have inculcated the same traditions in our life.
But have we ever pondered over why we keep a fast on these specific days? Cause I know for sure God doesn't want us to starve ourselves in order to prove our loyalty to him (:P)
For those absolutely clueless about what I'm talking, fasting is basically a process where we do not eat anything for half day or a day. It is observed in almost all religions.
But there is more logic to this than we know. Fasting in Hinduism indicates the denial of the physical needs of the body for the sake of spiritual gains. According to the scriptures, fasting helps create a connection with the universe by establishing a harmonious relationship between the body and the soul. This is thought to be compulsory for the well being of a human being as it nourishes both his/her physical and spiritual demands.
There are scientific benefits to fasting too. Fasting is used as a treatment in Naturopathy as well as Ayurveda. Modern science has also started taking it seriously. Fasting some right in scientific way can be very useful, it helps to detox the body of all the harmful components that accumulate in our system because of the irregular diet pattern and lifestyle that we follow. Fasting in a healthy way is also prescribed by many doctors and dieticians for keeping weight and health in check.