The Health Benefits of Fasting
Did you know our bodies go through an incredible transformation journey in the month of Ramadan?
Watch our video to learn about the detoxification process that occurs during the 30-day fast. We promise, you will not only be inspired by the beautiful way our physical form has been created by Allah (SWT) but also by the powerful opportunity for its renewal in the blessed month.
30-Day Fast: What happens to our bodies in Ramadan?
Detoxification Stage 1: Day 1-2
Stage 1 of detoxification begins on the first day of fasting, which we all know is the hardest. Our bodies enter a fasting state approximately eight hours after our last meal. This is when the gut completes the absorption of the remaining nutrients from our food. Our blood sugar drops, our heart slows down and our blood pressure reduces.
Symptoms of this initial cleanse include:
- Dizziness and nausea
- Bad breath and a heavily coated tongue
- Weakness caused by the drawing of glycogen from our muscles
Detoxification Stage 2: Days 3-7
In the first week of fasting, we begin to feel sluggish and tired. This is because we are working harder than usual. Without food for energy, our bodies use up the glucose stored in our liver and muscles.
When the glucose runs out, we begin using fat for energy. Our bodies start breaking down fat to release glycerol for converting to glucose. We may notice that our skin is oilier than usual, resulting in spots or even a boil. This is due to the purging of rancid oils.
As our bodies embrace the fast, our digestive system will get to take a much-needed rest, allowing it to cleanse and repair itself. Faeces stuck to our intestinal walls will start to loosen. Our lungs and other cleansing organs will also begin a process of healing. Our immune system will be more active than normal at this time.
Additionally, burning fat for energy not only aids weight loss but helps lower our cholesterol levels in the long run. Weight loss can also have positive effects on diabetes and blood pressure, providing better control of both conditions.
Detoxification Stage 3: Days 8-15
The second week of fasting takes us into the third stage of detoxification. We begin to experience clear-mindedness and a boost of energy.
But don’t be surprised if you find old wounds and injuries becoming irritated! As our bodies continue to self-repair, they release substances known as lymphocytes to dissolve damaged cells in the affected tissue. In some cases, this can irritate the nerves in the area and result in aches.
The pain we feel is good because it means scars that healed badly in the past, perhaps due to a poor lifestyle, are now undergoing optimum healing. Muscles may also become tight or sore due to toxin irritation. We will likely get mouth ulcers since we have a lot of bacteria in our oral cavities. To avoid or heal mouth ulcers, gargle with salt and water daily.
Detoxification Stage 4: Days 16-30
The final stage of detoxification happens in the last two weeks of fasting. This is when we feel our best. There will be short periods of cleansing in between many good days where we have lots of energy. We find our breath is fresher and our tongue is pink.
Our bodies have now adapted to fasting and are now completing their work on healing our organs. After day 20, even our minds feel the benefits as higher levels of endorphins appear in the blood. We notice increased alertness and an overall feeling of general well-being along with:
- Heightened clarity
- Emotional balance
- Improved memory
- Improved concentration
Not Able to Fast this Ramadan?
With intermittent fasting continuing to rise in popularity, people are increasingly recognising the potential health benefits of purposefully abstaining from food. For those of us who observe the 30-day fast each year, this does not come as a surprise.
However, like our patients at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, not everyone can join in the fast at Ramadan.
If you are unable to fast this year due to sickness or other reasons, you can still fulfil your obligations by paying Fidyah or Kaffarah and Fitrana donations. As these are time-sensitive, please be sure to pay yours before Eid.Pay Fidyah £6 Pay Fidyah £180 Pay Kaffarah £360 Pay Fitrana £6 Find out More
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