Fasting during the month of Ramadan is mandatory for every healthy Muslim who has reached puberty. Nevertheless, exemptions are made for those travelling, not of sane mind, menstruating women or women having post-childbirth bleeding.
For thousands of years, Muslims across the globe have successfully observed Ramadan, however, many fear that fasting for a long time comes with harmful consequences to health. If you’re among those people, we have listed down certain health benefits you’ll enjoy by fasting during Ramadan.
A study conducted at the University of Texas found that time-restricted fasting helped in reducing inflammation, improving blood lipids and aiding weight loss. According to Dietician Archana Baju, “During fasting, cells are put in stress and this can help to lose weight as fat is used as a source of energy. This helps to maintain the blood sugar and cholesterol levels.”
It’s a known fact that weight loss is one of the outcomes of fasting. A team of cardiologists in the UAE found that people fasting during Ramadan, enjoy a positive effect on their lipid profile, which lowers the level of cholesterol in their blood. Reduction in the cholesterol level signifies improved cardiovascular health, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, if the Ramadan fasting is followed by a healthy diet, lowered cholesterol levels are easier to maintain.
If you’ve been wanting to start the habit of healthy eating, then Ramadan is a great time to begin. After the period of fasting, you will notice that your appetite has lowered significantly than it was before. By the end of Ramadan, you’ll be far less likely to overeat.
Detoxification and Restores Metabolism
If a good metabolism rate is not your strong suit, then fasting during Ramadan will be beneficial for you. Fasting gives you the chance to reset your metabolism by causing the body to work harder when there’s no food. Due to this, the stored up fat is used and toxins are expelled from the body.
Pro Tip: If you break your fast with healthy, nutritious food and make carbohydrate-heavy choices for Suhoor, it will set your metabolism in a way that you get the most nutrients from the food you consume.
Improves Brain Power
A study conducted by US researchers found that fasting causes the brain to stress out, making it produce a protein called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. BDNF promotes brain stem cell rejuvenation, thereby improving brain function. Similarly, another study revealed that fasting could have an effect on the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Goodness of Dates
For spiritual reasons, three dates are eaten at the start of Iftar every day during Ramadan. Dates are a superfood, loaded with fibre, high levels of potassium, magnesium and vitamins thus making them one of the healthiest fruits.
Bye Bye Bad Habits
Ramadan serves as the perfect time to say bye bye to your bad habits- especially smoking, drinking and indulging in sugary foods. When you abstain from these habits, your body learns to survive without them. Apart from this, it is also easier to quit bad habits in a group, which should be easy to find during Ramadan.
Fasting during Ramadan comes with various health benefits like you have already seen. One of the key elements of observing the Ramadan fast is that you must have the “intention to fast”. Observing the Ramadan fast is an act of the heart, which does not need to be revealed.