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Ramadan 2020; Health Benefits of Fasting

by Samuel Akpa

Ramadan 2020 is here; As the holy month of Ramadan begins today, millions of Muslim faithfuls in Nigeria and the world over are expected to fast from sunrise to sunset. While it is believed that the month of Ramadan bequeaths numerous spiritual blessings on Muslims, the abstinence observed during the holy month of Ramadan also holds a number of health benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of fasting.

Weight Loss

One of the more obvious results of fasting is reduced weight. The supposed reduced calorie intake during the month of Ramadan leads to weight loss. Fasting, if done correctly can help lose fat and gain lean muscle mass.

Lower cholesterol level
It has been established that high cholesterol level can impede blood flow by blocking the arteries. Fasting can help the lower cholesterol level by prompting enzymes in the liver to break down cholesterol and fats and convert them into bile acid.

By abstaining from all foods, the body is able to concentrate on detoxifying and improving the function of organs whilst we keep a cleansed digestive system. Fasting can also aid a process called autophagy, which is where cells self-cleanse and remove damaged and dangerous particles.

Improved mental health
Researchers over the years have been able to establish a link between diet, gut health and mental well being. Fasting can stimulate the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the brain. The BDNF has been shown to protect brain cells and could reduce depression and anxiety, as well as the risk of developing dementia.

There are some concerns about the sick, aged and immunocompromised people fasting. While fasting can generally be advantageous, sick and immunocompromised patients are adviced to fast only under a medical doctor’s supervision.
Ramadan Kareem!

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