The health benefits of fasting Ramadan are:
-Fasting promotes detoxification. As the body breaks down its fat reserves, it mobilizes and eliminates stored toxins.
–Fasting gives the digestive system a much-needed rest. After fasting, both digestion and elimination are invigorated.
–Fasting promotes the resolution of inflammatory processes, such as in rheumatoid arthritis.–Fasting quiets allergic reactions, including asthma and hay fever.
–Fasting promotes the drying up of abnormal fluid accumulations, such as edema in the ankles and legs and swelling in the abdomen.
–Fasting corrects high blood pressure without drugs. Fasting will normalize blood pressure in the vast majority of cases, the blood pressure will remain low after the fast, if the person follows a health-supporting diet and lifestyle.
–Fasting makes it easy to overcome bad habits and addictions. Many people have overcome tobacco and alcohol addictions by fasting, and even drug addictions. Fasting rapidly dissipates the craving for nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and other drugs.
–Fasting clears the skin and whitens the eyes. It is common to see skin eruptions clear while fasting, and the whites of the eyes never look so clear and bright as they do after fasting.
–Fasting restores taste appreciation for wholesome natural foods. People say that their taste buds come alive after fasting and that food never tasted so good.
–Fasting is the perfect gateway to a healthful diet and lifestyle. Going on a fast gives you the motivation and enthusiasm to make a fresh start.
–Fasting initiates rapid weight loss with little or no hunger. Most people are surprised at how little desire for food they have while fasting.
And as we know, other religions have prescribed fasting as a means of getting closer to the Al-mighty God, but obviously( just calling a spade a spade, not by virtue of being a Muslim), fasting, the Islamic way would be more medically effective, because it is more frequent-both annually(a whole 30 or 29 days of the month of Ramadan), monthly(some days in some months) and weekly(Mondays and Thursday). And it is only those who can (religiously) observe these prescribed periods of fasting that can effectively benefit from the health advantages of it as mentioned above.
The radical change of lifestyle during Ramadan fast has shown to affect cardio metabolic risk variables in adults. In youth however, no studies are available. We aimed to evaluate the effect of Ramadan fast on Body Mass Index (BMI) and cardio metabolic profile of obese adolescents. A prospective cohort study was conducted. We measured weight, height, body composition, waist circumference, blood pressure, heart rate, glucose, insulin, total-, low-density lipoprotein (LDL)- and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, triglycerides and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels before, during the last week of Ramadan and at six weeks after Ramadan ending. Twenty-five obese adolescents were included. BMI and glucose metabolism did not change after Ramadan or at 6 week after cessation of Ramadan. At the end of Ramadan, a significant decrease in body fat percentage was observed, while significant increases in heart rate, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and hs-CRP were found (all P < 0.05). Six weeks after Ramadan, all parameters returned to baseline levels. In this sample of 25 ethnic obese adolescents transient cardio metabolic changes were observed during Ramadan fast. Since most of these changes were reversible within six weeks, there seems no harm or benefit for obese adolescents to participate in Ramadan.
The physiological effect of fasting includes lowering of blood sugar, lowering of cholesterol and lowering of the systolic blood pressure. Decrease of cholesterol level in blood. Several studies proved that cholesterol level in blood during fasting, as well as the rate of precipitating on the walls of arteries have decreased. This in turn reduces the chances of cardiac and cerebro vascular accidents, and prevents the raise of hypertension. Shortage of fats in blood helps reduce stones of gallbladder. Lower cholesterol.We all know that weight loss is one of the possible physical outcomes of fasting during Ramadan, but there’s also a whole host of healthy changes going on behind the scenes. 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 disease, a heart attack, or a stroke. What’s more, if you follow a healthy diet after Ramadan, this newly lowered cholesterol level should be easy to maintain.
Dr. Mohammad Azizur Rahman
Consultant Chest Disease