In Holy month of Ramadan Muslims all over the world start fasting daily for 30 days. But some people worried that fasting during Ramadan will harm health. If you’re one of those worriers then check out the following health benefits you’ll enjoy from fasting.
Ramadan is 1 of the 5 pillars of Islam. The holy Ramadan is the 9th month according to Islamic calendar. In this month Muslims across the world Fasting for 30 days to better their connection with Allah and to change their character for the good. Muslims believe that Ramadan fasting improves self-discipline, and inner peace, and awareness of poor communities who frequently go hungry without choice.
As Muslims, we fast for Allah (SWT) and therefore focus on religious obligations. but during this Holy month of Ramadan, fasting has untold health benefits, too.
Muslims around the world were commanded to fast during Ramadan more than 1,400 years ago. However, today’s scientists recommend fasting to heal the body – it has many physical or mental benefits. Various studies showed that Ramadan fasting has health protective effects on the human body.
If you’re unaware of the amazing health benefits of Ramadan fasting, take a look at some of them below:
1. Immune System
Fasting promotes healing in the human body as it applies core focus to its immune system and metabolism as opposed to focusing on digestion.
Our immune system is consists of white blood cells and fasting helps our body to recycle any old white blood cells which results in a stronger immune system. Our body regenerates stem cells that consist of red and white blood cells along with your platelets once your body consumes food again.
Furthermore, several studies also suggest that Ramadan fasting is beneficial for the improvement of the immune system.
“In our daily lives, we consume so much food, our body takes a lot of time to digest them. During fasting, the digestive system works less, that allows the body to focus on other areas like strengthening the immune system and diminishing the levels of infections,” says, a Turkish nutritionist.
2. Re-setting your metabolism
Fasting during Ramadan results in stimulating faster metabolism. Fasting gives people a chance to reset their metabolisms, forcing the body to work harder during the hours without food and drink, using up fat sources, and ridding it of toxins.
Fasting also decreases the appetite which lowers the hunger hormone levels in the human body. You find your portion sizes being much smaller following a period of fasting. Additionally, some studies have shown that fasting for short periods can increase your metabolism, not slow it down.
As well as cleaning yourself from sins, holy Ramadan acts as a fantastic detox for your body. By not eating or drinking the whole day your body get a rare opportunity to detoxify your digestive system throughout the month. Abstaining from all matter of solids and surviving on liquids for some days is a great way to cleanse your body and detoxify. Fasting can improve the function of organs and cleanse your digestive system. It also improves blood circulation all over the body. This body cleanse will leave a healthy impact on your life.
Fasting also has many positive impacts on your brain. During the fasting process, blood in the human body is filled with more endorphins, which gives you a feeling of great mental health. Likewise, the stress level is greatly reduced during and after Ramadan.
According to US scientists, during Ramadan the mental focus increases the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which allows your body to produce more brain cells, thus it improves the functioning of the brain.
Another study by the National Institute of Ageing in the United States found fasting could have an effect on the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
4. Blood Pressure
Fasting can reduce insulin and improve weight loss, as a result, both can improve blood pressure. Some studies show fasting is associated with reduced systolic blood pressure.
According to various studies, fasting helps people reduce their cholesterol levels and lower their excessive fatty tissue. Fasting also helps in decreasing the risk of heart-related diseases and strokes.
5. Weight Loss
Weight loss is one of the possible outcomes of fasting during Ramadan. During the fasting process, the body turns to fat to utilize and burn any stored energy first.
Fasting in Ramadan helps to reduce weight – particularly for loss of fatty tissues in the body, leading to better physical structure overall. While daily fasting in Ramadan will promote greater fat loss with quicker results. While fasting, the conditions of your liver also improve significantly as fasting decreases its fat.
A team at the University of Texas found that fasting– reduces inflammation, improves blood lipids, and helps in weight loss.
The clinical dietician from Abu Dhabi said: “During fasting, cells are put into stress and this can help to lose weight as fat is used as a source of energy”. Additionally, he said, “Fasting helps to maintain the blood sugar and cholesterol levels in the body.”
6. Cut out Bad Habits
In Ramadan, while people fasting during the day, it is the best opportunity to avoid bad habits. Their bad habit includes smoking, eating of sugary foods, overeating, etc. This will be beneficial all around the body.
It’s also much easier to quit your bad habits during Ramadan. Fasting help you cut out bad habits is so significant that the UK’s National Health Service recommends it as the ideal way to ditch smoking.
7. Blood Sugar
Fasting can help lower blood sugar. Several studies have found that fasting can improve blood sugar control. Fasting can help to reduce at risk of diabetes. During the fasting process, glucose levels are stabilized which can prevent two types of diabetes. However, diabetes patients must consult their doctors who want to fast during Ramadan.
Another study found that that fasting for three weeks can significantly lower blood pressure, levels of blood triglycerides, total cholesterol, as well as “bad” LDL cholesterol.
When you take less food, it means levels of insulin (a hormone, which controls the amount of sugar in the blood) is reduced in your body and also reducing fat,” According to Kucukvardar a Turkish nutritionist.
8. Absorb More Nutrients
While fasting you will find that your metabolism becomes more efficient and the amount of nutrients improves that you take from food. This is because of an increase in a hormone known as adiponectin produced by a combination of fasting and eating late at night. Additionally, Fasting allows your muscles to absorb more and more nutrients. Thus many areas of the body use nutrients as per their need to function effectively.
9. Lower cholesterol
Fasting can help lower cholesterol in the body. A team of cardiologists in the United Arab Emirates found that people who fast in Ramadan have a positive effect on their lipid profile, which means a reduction of cholesterol in the blood.
Low cholesterol increases cardiovascular health in your body. Thus increase in cardiovascular health will reduce the risk of heart diseases such as strokes or heart attacks. If Muslims follow a healthy diet even after Ramadan, they should have no problem with lowered cholesterol levels.
10- Radiant Complexion
It is said that fasting could slow down the aging process, keeping you younger and fitter for longer. Fasting could also potentially increase life expectancy. Fasting leads to the production of restored tissues and cells within the human body, also gets rid of weak cells in the body, letting them die off by not giving them energy. This enables you to produce collagen, leading to healthier and more glowing skin.
Fasting can activate a metabolic switch from glucose, which increases longevity, and a decreased incidence of diseases.
When Not To Fasting Ramadan
While fasting has great health benefits, there are risks to fasting as it is not suited to everyone.
Those who should not fast include:
- Children and teenagers.
- Women having pregnancy or feeding their babies.
- Those who have type 1 diabetes.
- Those who are physically or mentally incapable of fasting
- People who have eating disorders.
There is the possibility that Fasting hurts people with other medical problems. Thus people having different medical issues should consult a doctor, he determines whether it is right for them or not.