Many people believe that the benefits of fasting stop at getting rewarded by Allah the Almighty, getting closer to Him and having His protection from the influence of Shaytan. Yes, these facts are very true but fasting helps in so many other ways as well. Besides being spiritual in nature, fasting also helps in the cleansing of the body as well as helping you get fit.
Fasting makes it easier for a person to control his or her weight as well as supporting growth hormones. The long fasting days can be good for your mind and body. If done properly, fasting during the Holy Month of Ramadan can help you get a fitness jumpstart by detoxifying your system. The long hours of fasting can transform your mind and body for the better.
When you fast, your reserves of glycogen are the first to be exhausted as you go without eating or drinking for many hours every day for 29/30 days. . When this happens, your body then switches to a secondary source of energy, which is the fat in your body thus making it easier for you to lose weight. Fasting in Ramadan can trick your body into losing more fat than ever.
When we talk about fats, it is important to know the kinds that exist in our foods.
- Saturated- the kind of fat we should avoid, as it is very dangerous and unhealthy for your heart. It is mostly found in animal food like meat, butter and coconut oil.
- Unsaturated- the kind of fat that is good for your heart. It’s found in seafood, vegetable oils, almonds nuts etc.
- Trans- the really bad kind. They are found in baked goods as well as processed snacks and fried foods.
Fasting can help create proteins called brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in your body. This protein helps you keep your mind sharp by regenerating brain stem cells, boosting memory as well as motor skills.
Fasting can also help you look better and reverse the effects of aging. It also helps in lowering the rate of blood pressure. Some studies have shown that fasting can stop or reduce the spread of cancer and tumors in our body cells.
As Muslims, when we say that fasting is a way to control your weight and protect you from sicknesses, does not mean you have to put all your interest on those benefits alone. This month comes once in a year. It is the only month when Allah the Almighty opens the doors and gives opportunity for Muslims to repent for their sins. Therefore it is advisable for Muslims to put all focus on the spiritual aspects of Ramadan rather than fasting just purposely to earn worldly gain.