The holy month of Ramadan is all about enduring daily life while fasting and avoiding all foods and drinks. Muslims fast throughout Ramadan for a number of different reasons. Yet fasting has traditionally been associated with several physical rewards in addition to the obvious religious and spiritual benefits. To support the claimed health benefits, we have gathered scientific research that proves that fasting can alter one’s lifestyle to a healthier one.
Reduce Body Fat
Weight loss, delay aging, and muscle gain are all goals that we aspire to achieve. Who doesn’t want the perfect build or waist measurements. All of those can come easily during Ramadan since research has found that a whole-day of fasting could reduce body weight by up to 9 percent and significantly decrease body fat over 12–24 weeks. it was also proven to be more effective than calorie restriction diets, especially at increasing fat loss while simultaneously preserving muscle tissue.
HGH & Aging
Fasting is connected to increasing Human Growth Hormone “HGH” which leads to growth, metabolism, weight loss, and muscle strength. A study conducted on 11 healthy adults showed that fasting for 24 hours significantly increases levels of HGH, automatically helping with muscle growth and complete rejuvenation of the body. However, delaying aging is still in the works to be proven. Studies on rats showed that fasting every other day increased their longevity in living by 83 percent which is very promising if proven generally.
As to our internal systems, fasting does wonders to our bodies. When it comes to the cardiovascular system, it is a common fact that a healthy balanced diet helps in reducing the risk of getting heart disease. As a result, a study showed that eight weeks of alternate-day fasting can reduce harmful levels of cholesterol and blood triglycerides by 25 percent and 32 percent.
In another study, 110 obese adults showed that fasting for three weeks under medical supervision significantly decreased their blood pressure as well as levels of cholesterol. The less these levels are, the better the health of our hearts and vascular systems become.
Another major system that scientists are trying to connect to fasting is the nervous system and our own mental health. While research on this particular field is limited to animal testing, a study on mice found that practicing intermittent fasting for 11 months improved both brain function and brain structure up to the point where it can prevent neurodegenerative disorders and protect against conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.
Fasting can trigger autophagy, which is a “self-cleaning” process that clears out old, damaged cells and proteins to make room for new, healthy ones. Based on research, autophagy comes with a number of potential benefits, including enhanced brain health, blood sugar control, and sometimes…glowing skin.
All and all there is still so much research to be conducted in many fields to get to the bottom of this. One thing is for sure, no matter what reason you fast for…the benefits are undeniable. Whether its physical or even mental benefits, fasting will surely lead you to. a better healthy lifestyle that you can follow even after ramadan.