Health benefits of Ramadan fasting  

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To begin with, we thank the Almighty Allah for the “blessings” of Islam. Alhamdulillah! Medical researches have since proven the health benefits of fasting in the month of Ramadan to Muslims. During Ramadan, muslims basically miss “Lunch” and take an early “Breakfast” and do not eat until “Dusk”. It has been proven that abstinence from water for 10  to 11 hours is not necessarily bad for health. In fact, it causes concentration of all fluids within the body, producing slight “dehydration”.The body has its own water conservation mechanism; in fact, it has shown that slight “dehydration” and water conservation, at least, in plant life, improves its longevity.

Accordingly, the effect of fasting includes lowering of blood sugar, lowering of cholesterol, and lowering of the systolic blood pressure. Ramadan fasting would be an ideal recommendation for the treatment of mild to moderate, stable, non-insulin diabetes, obesity, and essential hypertension. Alhamdulillah for gift of being Muslim.

In 1994 the first International Congress on “Health and Ramadan”, held in Casablanca, entered 50 extensive studies on the medical ethics of fasting. While improvement in many medical conditions was noted; however, in no way did fasting worsen any patient’s health or their baseline medical condition. Alhamdulillah! In a narration of Abu Nuaim, Prophet Mohammad (SAW) said: “Fast and be healthy.”

Even science has proven that Ramadan is a month full of blessings. The International Congress on “Health and Ramadan” which was held in Casablanca in 1994, covered 50 studies on the medical ethics of Ramadan and noted various improvements in the health conditions of those who fast.If any negative effects were seen at all, it was in those who over-indulge in food at iftar or do not sleep well at night. You should also keep in mind that if fasting will be dangerous to your health, such as in Type 1 Diabetics.

Another study conducted in 1997 in the Annals of Nutrition Metabolism demonstrated that fasting lowered bad lower Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels by 8 percent, triglyceride by 30 percent, and increased good High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) levels by 14.3 percent thereby protecting your heart from cardiovascular disease.This can be explained by our eating and exercise habits. Alhamdulillah!

In Ramadan, people tend to go for healthier options such as dates, nuts, lentil soup, and home cooked meals. Studies have noted that overall saturated fat consumption, usually found in butter, lard, fatty meat, and fast food, is reduced in Ramadan. Alhamdulillah!

In addition, the night prayers of “Tarawih” may provide an adequate level of physical activity equivalent to moderate physical activity which, for some, may be more than they usually exercise. It may help you overcome addictions,

addictions can come in all shapes and forms and Ramadan provides an excellent opportunity to ditch them. Ramadan teaches you self-restraint for most of the day, you will come to realize that forgoing your addiction all together may not be as hard as you think! Choose one addiction to drop in Ramadan. It could be an addiction to smoking, lying, or even gossiping and say good-byes.

Ramadan promotes fat breakdown and weight loss. Calorie consumption is overall decreased in Ramadan. However, if you maintain a normal eating habits, you are very likely to eat less amounts of food and lose weight. This is especially true in Ramadan, when your source of energy during your fast is mainly fat. Trying to stay lightly active during the day can promote even more fat break-down.

Ramadan may be the perfect opportunity to re-train yourself and get back on track of eating healthy. When you fast, you learn to control your cravings. As a result, by the end of Ramadan you will have stronger will-power and you will have re-gained the strength to say no to tempting food. Alhamdulillah!

May Allah bless us with all the blessings of Ramadan.

Nurudeen Dauda, 

Kaduna, Kaduna state

[email protected]

[email protected]

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