Have you ever considered the health benefits of fasting during Ramadan? Can certain bad habits keep us from enjoying these benefits? Or, more specifically, can certain habits help us in reaping these health benefits? Let’s find out the answers together.
Health benefits of fasting
Although many individuals believe that the health benefits of fasting include weight loss. But fasting can have many health benefits, such as:
1. Lower bad cholesterol
A recent study found that fasting also affects the level of fats in the blood. It lowers cholesterol, which may help protect you from heart attacks, strokes, and other diseases!
2. Decrease your appetite
Ramadan fasting helps to positively affect your lifestyle and digestive system by allowing the body to get used to consuming less food, giving the digestive system time to relax, and eventually shrinking the stomach size. Which result in decreasing your appetite, and its effects can last longer than many popular diets!
3. Detoxing the body
Fasting not only burns body fat but also cleanses the body of toxins. This step, along with the good changes that occur in the digestive system, contributes to the natural removal of toxins, allowing you to continue living a healthy lifestyle after Ramadan.
4. Mood improvement
Studies show that fasting can make the brain more resilient to stress, more able to adapt to change, and can improve mood, memory, and even the ability to learn!
To enjoy the health benefits of fasting
Despite the numerous health benefits of fasting, several habits may limit your body’s ability to reap these benefits, so try as much as possible:
1. Eat a healthy Iftar
Try to start your Iftar with three dates with water to give your body instant energy and strong hydration before your main meal. Soups are also a great choice to start with as it helps you hydrate.
Choose fish and lean cuts of meat, whole grains, or brown rice and pasta, and definitely don’t forget the vegetables.
2. Try to avoid fried foods
Try to limit your intake of heavy, creamy, and fried foods as well as salty and sugary dishes.
3. Wait before eating desserts
Do not eat desserts immediately after Iftar. Wait until your stomach relaxes, also try to avoid eating a lot of sugar.
4. Eat slowly
Imagine that a simple step like eating slowly will help you digest, prevent weight gain, and avoid overeating.
5. Make well-balanced Suhoor
The Suhoor meal is no less important than Iftar because it gives you the energy needed for fasting the next day, so do not forget it and devote more attention to it. Eat balanced Suhoor with foods rich in nutrients such as oatmeal, cheese, labneh, fruits, and vegetables.
6. Stay hydrated
You may get a little dehydrated during fasting hours, which is normal. With that, you can keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids at Iftar and Suhoor. Drink 10 glasses of water during non-fasting window time.
You should limit your intake of coffee or soft drinks, as these are diuretics that dehydrate the body.
7. Exercise moderately
Of course, fasting and dehydration might make you feel tired, but try to stay active because Ramadan is supposed to be a time of activity.
Drinking drinks and exercising moderately will keep you active, reduce exhaustion, give your body the strength to keep going, and help you lose weight. But avoid exercising during fasting hours to avoid dehydration. To get the most out of your workouts, do it shortly before Suhoor or a few hours after Iftar.
8. Follow healthy habits
Ramadan is the best opportunity to quit smoking. Also, try to continue the healthy habits that you started in Ramadan, such as eating more vegetables, drinking more water, and exercising regularly.