Chhath Puja, the ancient Hindu festival of worshipping the Sun God Surya and his wife Usha, will be celebrated in the northern states of India on November 13 this year. On the sixth day of the Hindu month of Karthik and six days after Diwali, begins the festival of the Surya Bhagwan. People celebrate the festival by fasting and offering respects to the sun god. Since the Vedic ages, Chhath has been observed to thank the Lord for nourishing and sustaining life on the planet. Healthy practices like bathing, early rising, meditating, fasting and sun exposure are part of the tradition, all of which have myriad health benefits. Let’s look at a few of them.
Improved Blood Sugar Levels
Fasting for Chhath improves blood sugar levels. Insulin secretion of the body improves when you fast for longer durations, helping the body absorb glucose in the blood. Many studies have validated the effects of observing fasts in the treatment of diabetes. How to Prepare Delicious Thekuas for Worshipping the Sun God and Chhathi Maiya.
Renews the Immune System
Fasting gives your immune system a necessary boost. According to a study by the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, a three-day fasting helps burn 200 calories per day, which revitalises the immune system at a cellular level.
Improves Brain Functions
Intermittent fasting has proven to be a great tool in fighting cognitive decline. A 2018 study published in Experimental Biology and Medicine proves that fasting could help in protecting against memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
Improves Vitamin D Intake
Exposure to the sun during the puja stimulates Vitamin D production, which wards off diseases like cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and cardiovascular disorders.
Vitamin D is also important for the absorption of calcium, which gives you strong bones and teeth. Sufficient exposure to sun rays in the morning can also prevent bone problems like osteoporosis.
Phototherapy, or sunlight treatment, is quite effective against skin ailments such as psoriasis, eczema and acne. The soft rays of the early morning sun during Chhath delicately heals your skin.
Keeps You Happy
Sunlight also triggers the production of serotonin, your happy hormone. Worshipping the sun during Chhath can help increase the levels of the feel-good hormone, making you feel happy from within.
This shows that even before science validated the benefits of the sun, our ancestors knew that humankind had a lot to be thankful for. Apart from the spiritual benefits, worshipping the sun during Chhath has so many health benefits too.