March 29, 2022

Fasting during the month of Ramadan

Fasting during the month of Ramadan can be good for your health if it’s done correctly.

Fasting not only burns fat reserves but also rids your body of potentially hazardous poisons stored in fat deposits. Your body naturally detoxifies after a month of overhauling your digestive system, allowing you to continue living a healthier lifestyle after Ramadan. If you’re overweight, it can be an opportunity to lose weight provided you eat healthily when you break the fast.

What happens to your body when you fast?

The changes that happen in the body during a fast depend on the length of the continuous fast. The body enters into a fasting state eight hours or so after the last meal when the gut finishes absorbing nutrients from the food. In a normal state, body glucose, which is stored in the liver and muscles, is the body’s main source of energy. During a fast, this glucose store is used up first to provide energy. Later in the fast, once the glucose runs out, fat becomes the next source of energy for the body. With a prolonged fast of many days or weeks, the body starts using protein and breaking down protein for energy. This is the technical description of what’s commonly known as “starvation. You are unlikely to reach the starvation stage during Ramadan because the fast is broken daily,” says Dr. Razeen Mahroof, a consultant from Oxford.

The gentle transition from glucose to fat

As the Ramadan fast only lasts from dawn till dusk, the body’s energy can be replaced in the pre-dawn and dusk meals. This provides a gentle transition from using glucose as the main source of energy to using fat and prevents the breakdown of muscle for protein. The use of fat for energy helps weight loss. It preserves the muscles and eventually reduces your cholesterol level. In addition, weight loss results in better control of diabetes and reduces blood pressure. After a few days of the fast, higher levels of endorphins appear in the blood, making you more alert and giving an overall feeling of general mental wellbeing. Balanced food and fluid intake is important between fasts. The kidneys are very efficient at maintaining the body’s water and salts, but these can be lost through sweating. To prevent muscle breakdown, meals must contain enough energy food, such as carbohydrates and some fat.

Increasing mental capacity

Fasting can also help us be more productive in the brain. Fasting causes our brains to become stressed, prompting them to create a protein called a brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, which helps to stimulate brain stem cell regeneration, according to a study conducted by US researchers. Fasting may help prevent the beginning of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, according to toa study undertaken by the National Institute of Ageing in the United States.

AlthoughRamadan is known for its fasting, it is not limited to the holy month. Many faithful Muslims follow the Prophet’s advice and fast on Mondays and Thursdays, as well as on Arafat Day before Eid Al Adha.