Muslims from all around the world observe fast from before sunrise till sunset. Ramadan is known as the month where Muslims focus immensely on all their religious practices such as praying, giving zakat and acting with kindness. If any of these religious activities are skipped, it would become starvation, which is not the aim of this holy month. In fact, the core belief is to not have food, engage yourself in religious activities and realize what underprivileged and people who can’t afford three meals a day go through. It might seem like a whole day of starvation and weakness but fasting has its health benefits which have been scientifically proven by doctors.
Following are the health benefits that fasting offers:
• Detoxification of the body
• Absorption of nutrients
• Lowering cholesterol levels
• Improvement in brain function
• Weight loss and fat breakdown
Ramadan is not only known for cleansing one’s spiritual self, but it also acts as a wonderful detox for your body. Let’s tell you how; a body cannot function properly without having energy, and without any form of food consumption throughout the day, energy is a component unknown. So really, where do you get that energy from? Your body turns to the fat deposits for energy, which releases chemicals from the fatty reserves and results in the eradication of these chemicals through the organs. It cleanses and corrects all the imbalances of the body.
By not eating for more than 10 hours a day during Ramadan, you’ll find your metabolism becoming more efficient, which improves the absorption of food nutrients. This is the cause of an increased hormone in your body called adiponectin, which is the production of a combination of fasting and eating late at night, which results in allowing your muscles to absorb more nutrients.
A decrease in calorie consumption is the most obvious result of Ramadan. Unless, of course you’re binge-eating on Parathas and Pakoras, then you should definitely expect an increase.
However, if you follow a healthy diet in Ramadan or maintain your usual eating habits, you very likely to lose weight. This is especially true in Ramadan, when your source of energy during the fast is mainly fat. Staying lightly active throughout the day helps promote the fat break down.
While weight loss is no doubt the most apparent result of Fasting during Ramadan, it’s just the tip of the ice berg. Meaning, there’s a good number of healthy changes going on underneath. A team of cardiologists in the UAE found that people observing Ramadan enjoy a positive effect on their lipid profile, which means there is a reduction of cholesterol in the blood. Low cholesterol increases cardiovascular health, greatly reducing the risk of suffering from heart diseases. A heart attack, or a stroke. And the best part, following a healthy diet after Ramadan will help keeping up with this newly lowered cholesterol level.
All the fasting, praying and spiritual cleansing creates a positive effect on your mental wellbeing, but the brain boosting powers of Ramadan have a greater significance than this. A study carried out by the scientists in the USA found that the mental focus achieved during Ramadan causes the body to produce more brain cells, thus improving the brain function.
Likewise, a distinct reduction in the amount of the hormone cortisol, produced by the adrenal gland, means that stress levels are greatly reduced both during and after.
Now, armed with this knowledge, go ahead and detox your body, speed up your metabolism, and improve your overall health as you devote yourself to God this month. Happy fasting!