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Why you should consider fasting for Lent

Daniel Kapsis
RD, MSc., PhDc Dietitian – Sports Nutritionist

Regardless of which diet might suit you and your lifestyle most of the time, fasting for Lent is known for offering a multitude of health benefits as well as a change in dietary habits and tastes. Lenten fasting is basically a vegan diet, the only difference being that it also allows consumption of some animal products, such as seafood and honey. We are constantly bombarded with information on the negative effects of the over-consumption of animal products, and religious fasting helps us to turn towards a plant-based diet.

Regarding the proven health benefits of eating plant-based, we know that this diet can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and may improve other risk factors for heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and improving blood sugar regulation. Consumption of plant-derived products can also help to neutralize inflammation through anti-inflammatory products rich in O3. Such products include linseed, chia seeds, macadamia nuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, kale and radishes. While many of these do not form the basis of the Lenten diet that comes to mind, you can certainly incorporate them into your daily meals, creating an anti-inflammatory plant-based diet.

Beyond the health benefits of fasting for Lent, such a change in one's diet can bring about a new, more appealing touch to their daily lives. Even those people who would be willing to switch to a vegetarian diet, fasting for Lent could be an ideal crash test. Experiment, try new recipes, enjoy your meals and take a 40-day challenge to see how you can eat without incorporating animal products in your diet.

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