The Health Benefits of Fasting, Backed by Science

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - 10:26

As the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, Ramadan involves abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking, and etc., in the hopes that it will lead to greater "taqwa", or consciousness of God.

According to an ISCA report, the ancient Greeks recommended fasting to heal the body, and today some scientists are advocating a modified fast for its mental and physical benefits. Fasting has been shown to have many health benefits, from increased weight loss to better brain function. Scientists believe that by not consuming any food, our body is able to concentrate on removing toxins, as we give the digestive system a rest.

Promoting blood sugar control by reducing insulin resistance, enhancing heart health by improving blood pressure, promoting better health by fighting inflammation, controlling triglycerides and cholesterol levels, boosting brain function and prevent neurodegenerative disorders, aiding weight loss by limiting calorie intake and boosting metabolism, increasing growth hormone secretion, which is vital for growth, metabolism, weight loss and muscle strength, it could delay aging and extend longevity and aiding in cancer prevention and increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy are some benefits of fasting proved by science.

Despite the long list of possible health benefits associated with fasting, it may not be right for everyone. If you suffer from diabetes or low blood sugar, fasting can lead to spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels, which could be dangerous. Additionally, fasting is not generally recommended without medical supervision for older adults, adolescents or people who are underweight. If you decide to try fasting, be sure to stay well-hydrated and fill your diet with nutrient-dense foods during your eating periods to maximize the potential health benefits. Additionally, if fasting for longer periods, try to minimize intense physical activity and get plenty of rest.


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