Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The benefits of fasting - the month of Ramadhan

It's the month of Ramadhan (the fasting month for muslims all over the world). I'm back in the village for Ramadhan which accounts for why this blog has not been updated for some time. The internet reception here is somewhat problematic.

Anyway a bit about the fasting month. Ramadhan is a month where muslim all over the world fast for a whole month from sunrise to sunset. They'll break their fast when the sun sets by eating and drinking and later at night perform the terawih prayers.

I personally look forward to ramadhan every year. It's a time when families and friends get together to break fast and afterwards perform the terawih prayers. It's a time when muslims share the hunger pangs of the poor and destitute, so that they'll be grateful for what they have.

Anyway, fasting is not as bad as one might think. Fasting actually has lots of health benefit among them are :

  • It helps in losing weight
  • It reduces Fat & Cholesterol
  • It improves the removal of toxins in the body
  • It improves the immunity system of the body
  • It slow down the aging process
  • It rejuvenates and overhauls the whole body

The benefits of fasting is further explained in an extract of an article by Will Carroll below :

During a fast, energy is diverted away from the digestive system due to its lack of use and towards the metabolism and immune system. The healing process during a fast is precipitated by the body's search for energy sources. Abnormal growths within the body, tumors and the like, do not have the full support of the body's supplies and therefore are more susceptible to autolysis.

Furthermore, "production of protein for replacement of damaged cells (protein synthesis) occurs more efficiently because fewer 'mistakes' are made by the DNA/RNA genetic controls which govern this process." A higher efficiency in protein synthesis results in healthier cells, tissues and organs. This is one reason that animals stop eating when they are wounded, and why humans lose hunger during influenza. Hunger has been proven absent in illnesses such as gastritis, tonsillitis and colds. Therefore, when one is fasting, the person is consciously diverting energy from the digestive system to the immune system.

In addition, there is a reduction in core body temperature. This is a direct result of the slower metabolic rate and general bodily functions. Following a drop in blood sugar level and using the reserves of glucose found in liver glycogen, the basal metabolic rate (BMR) is reduced in order to conserve as much energy within the body as can be provided. Growth hormones are also released during a fast, due to the greater efficiency in hormone production.

Finally, the most scientifically proven advantage to fasting is the feeling of rejuvenation and extended life expectancy. Part of this phenomenon is caused by a number of the benefits mentioned above. A slower metabolic rate, more efficient protein production, an improved immune system, and the increased production of hormones contributes to this long-term benefit of fasting. In addition to the Human Growth Hormone that is released more frequently during a fast, an anti-aging hormone is also produced more efficiently. "The only reliable way to extend the lifespan of a mammal is under-nutrition without malnutrition."

So you see, fasting has lots of benefits, it's not so bad once you get use to it. Try fasting in the daytime and break your fast at night. You might feel tired but at least for that day you're giving your digestive system a rest, so that the extra energy is used to improve other body function such as boosting one's immunity system. Till next time have a great day.

1 comment:

  1. I agree fasting is a great way to remove toxins from the body. A even better way is to fast with the master cleanse

    -Master Cleanse Guide