Ramadan is known to have a positive impact on your spiritual wellbeing, but that doesn’t mean that the upcoming Holy Month can’t enhance your physical wellness, too. Fasting decreases the levels of sugar in your blood, uses stored fat for energy, and eliminates harmful toxins. Abstaining from food for a set amount of time can drastically improve your health, and the list of physical and mental benefits of fasting is a long one. Here are 6 ways that fasting can improve your state of health—and mind—this Ramadan.
A team of cardiologists in the UAE found that those who fast during Ramadan benefit from a positive effect on their lipid profile, which means that there is a reduction of cholesterol in the blood. Low cholesterol improves cardiovascular health, which greatly reduces the risk of suffering from heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke. The best part? If you continue to follow a healthy diet after Ramadan ends, this newly lowered cholesterol level should be much easier to maintain.
Addictions or bad habits can come in all shapes and forms, and Ramadan is a prime opportunity to abandon them. While you abstain from vices—such as smoking and indulging in sugary foods—your body will gradually acclimatize to their absence, until your addiction is banished for good.
REDUCE YOUR APPETITE
One of the problems with extreme dieting is that any weight lost is often quickly put back on, but this isn’t the case when you fast during Ramadan. The reduction in food consumed throughout fasting causes your stomach to gradually shrink, meaning that you’ll need to eat less food to feel full.
Fasting may be an act of spirituality, but the social traditions that accompany the practice carry just as much benefit. During Ramadan, families sit down together to break their fast each night, and this continuous communal aspect has been proven to impact mental health in a positive way. “Engaging in fasting can bring families and social groups closer together,” said psychologist Susan Jones. “This often helps people suffering from depression and loneliness by reassuring them that they are not alone,” she added.
DETOX YOUR BODY
Detoxification is a regular process whereby the body neutralizes or disposes of any accumulated toxins. When food is not being consumed, the body turns to fat deposits for energy, which releases chemicals from the fatty reserves.
ABSORB MORE NUTRIENTS
By not eating throughout the day, you’ll find that your metabolism becomes more efficient, meaning the amount of nutrients you absorb from food increases. This occurs as a result of fasting and eating late at night.