Strict fasting during Ramzan brings along many spiritual and medical benefits. This holy Islamic month is not only about spiritual cleansing and enhancement, the health benefits could be healing.
According to Dr. Nasser Ahmed, Senior Oncologist and Nutritionist at Al Mana Hospital, Saudi Arabia, “Fasting helps your body to repair its damages. The entire system is strengthened because the body focuses just on healing itself. The damaged cells are repaired, the digestive system is cleansed and the immunity is boosted.” The reason behind this is scientific and simple. During the entire day, half of the body’s energy and functioning is focused on the digestion of the food and less than the other 50 per cent of it is used for repairing and healing the body. “What fasting does is that it allows your body to put your entire physiological functioning in just recuperating the body’s internal damages like the piling up of toxins”, explains Dr. Ahmed.
Researchers at UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz have proved the fasting (during the holy month) can not only help you cut down on your fat but can help reduce cholesterol levels, improve heart health and digestion, counteract obesity and ameliorate mental health and wellbeing.
“Fasting should be practiced by everybody, either weekly or monthly. When we don’t eat our body starts removing the toxins and flushing out the dirt that our system has been accumulating since a long time”, adds Dr. Ravi Seth, Gastroenterologist, Rama Medical College, Hapur. But, if you’ve a compromised immunity or are taking certain medications then you should fast only if suggested by your physician. “When you fast your body glucose levels decrease which can lead to fatigue and reduced concentration. Hence, it is advised not to fast if you’re on heavy medications, pregnant or experiencing weakness”, advises Dr. Ravi. Also, if you’re experiencing nausea and you feel extreme fatigue, dizziness or palpitations, then you should immediately consume sugar based items.
Managing work and Ramzan fast could be wearing. However, the only trick to follow is to practice fasting before the onset of Ramzan. This will help your body condition to the sudden changes. Another added benefit of fasting is that it can lead to the release of BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) in the brain which helps protect brain cells and reduce anxiety and depression. Also, it can stimulate the process of autophagy where the cells of the body self-cleanse and remove damaged and harmful particles.
“During the month of Ramzan there is a transition of the climatic conditions which affect the digestion, hence fasting can help enhance it”, concludes Dr. Nasser.