How To Make The Most Of Ramadan And Your Health

Ramadan plays a major role in the lives of Muslim people every year. It is a time when Muslims can focus on their faith and duties to Allah (SWT).

This is a time set apart from normal everyday life since you need to fast throughout the hours of daylight.  Eating and drinking can only be undertaken at sunset.

Throughout this period, you can experience both spiritual
and health benefits.

Weight Loss

Obesity is very much a problem of modern day society.  We often don’t exercise enough, eat the wrong foods and spend too much time sitting down in front of computers.

Even if not obese, most people put on some weight during their normal life.

Fasting can make a major difference since it helps your body shed fat.  It is not a matter of giving up food completely as that would make you ill – but simply eating fewer and
better meals.  Intermittent fasting throughout the day as we do at Ramadan can make a difference. 

“There is nothing else you can do to your body that is as powerful as fasting”, says Dr Michael Mosley author of the New York Times bestseller, The Fast Diet.

This is due to the fact that when we fast, our main energy source – glycogen – is turned off.  We create glycogen when we consume carbohydrates, but if glycogen is not being produced our bodies uses stored fat to burn energy.  As a result, we lose weight, which leads to reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Take care not to overeat when breaking your fast as this will undo any health benefits you have incurred during the fast.  Eat healthily during Suhoor and Iftar in order to maintain levels of health & nutrition.  Drink plenty of water with the meals so as to stay hydrated.

There is nothing else you can do to your body that is as powerful as fasting
Dr Michael Mosley

Strengthening the immune system

Fasting will help your immune system.  Within three days of starting the Ramadan
fast, your immune system will have already experienced a positive outcome.  Fasting encourages the development of new
white blood cells, essential for the development of a healthy immune system.

Healthy Diets and Lifestyle

When we fast, it offers an opportunity to think about the exact type of food we need.

Diets become immediately much more healthy since you are eating food designed to sustain you
throughout the day instead of snacking and consuming sugary foods.  Grains and other high fibre foods eaten during fasting are much slower to convert into glucose. 

Many people also use fasting as a time to make their lifestyle more healthy on a long term basis by stopping smoking.

Spiritual, Mental Health and Wellness

It’s a hard world in which we live and it can be very depressing.

Mental problems are all too common. The Ramadan fast can make a difference to our overall wellbeing.  As the Quran points out:

Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest

Quran 13:28

Fasting is a time when we can restart our lives and develop a much more healthy mindset.  Focusing on helping others, undertaking good actions, worshipping and paying attention to our spiritual needs will help reduce negativity and replace it with a much more positive frame of mind.  Reciting the Quran, memorising sections will make your memory better and give you time to recalibrate your life, becoming closer to Allah (SWT).