How Ramadan helps you become healthier?
Ramadan, the festival of fasting and Offering gratitude to Allah comes during the 9th month of the Muslim Calendar. Now it is mentioned that this was the month when the phrases or the teachings of the holy Quran were first revealed to the people. Hence this month is celebrated and most of the teachings of Allah are refreshed and practiced during this month.
Even though it is a religious festival observed by the Islam Community in various parts of the globe, directly or indirectly it helps one to reap benefits in 2 areas of one’s life. One is Man's relationship with Food and the second achieving better health by the end of the Fasting period.
There goes a famous phrase “Eat to live, do not live to Eat”. In today’s world, Eating food has less to do with fuelling health but more to do with relishing the taste and keeping oneself feeling overfull.
Here are some ways Ramadan helps you to consciously increase your relationship with food. Check them out
Prayer and Activities centric day, not Food centric:
During Ramzan, a Muslim focuses more on his 5 times/day prayer schedule and ensures he is committed to this as it is one of the Core principles of Islam. Besides this, his day is structured normally. He does all the other activities like going to work, household activities, socializing, etc. as usual. Now here is a time wherein he is less focused on food as the entire feel-good factor revolves around offering gratitude to Allah for the gift of life and asking pardon for all the sins committed in the past or this lifetime. It is said that Ramadan is the time of the year where when one who fasts for Allah is rewarded with good health and good life filled with basic necessities. Hence a man is keen on chasing more of these rewards and blessings, never food.
Eating how much is needed, not wanting more:
Since the eating schedule spreads across odd hours of the day like the early morning before 4 am and evenings, these are not the regular hunger hours. There is a need to eat, break the fast and fuel the system for the next day. One cannot overeat during these hours and also there is no fantasy to overindulge in food. This way, one follows the “eats to live, not live to eat” policy and also consumes a limited quantity of food where he feels almost full and never overfull.
Sharing is caring:
During this season, we always see Muslim brothers, breaking fast together at Ifthaar parties and most of the time sharing food. The act of giving food to one who needs it the most is emphasized here. Also, they indulge in cooking delicious food like biryanis, samosas, sweets, and fruit salads and always eat it as a family together at the dinner table. They ensure every family member's need for food is taken care of.
Control over hunger:
They keep themselves indulged in thinking and learning the teachings of God and hence also work indirectly towards conquering the feeling of hunger or thinking about food. They end up having a great amount of patience and control over food cravings and hunger. Also during Ramadan, the whole day is structured around all other activities, thinking less about food. When it is time to eat, due to continued starvation in recent hours, the body automatically starts to offer you a lesser appetite. One feels that one’s stomach is shrunk and he cannot eat much. The portion control happens at this phase.
What happens to the body during Fasting and how one can achieve better health?
Keeps blood sugar the control and decreases insulin resistance:
When there is a decrease in insulin resistance in the body, the glucose transport in the bloodstream gets more efficient and better. The glucose levels here also get stabilized and there is a chance of a decrease in diabetes.
Fasting is a great way of cleansing one’s system of unwanted waste or toxins. When you keep yourself away from food for a specific number of hours, the body uses this opportunity to complete all pending tasks and starts to cleanse the system. This way when one gives break to the body, it repairs, recovers, and starts flushing out all toxins. With the flush of toxins after a month, one starts to observe clear skin and happy gutt. Your gutt is your second brain and if maintained well can contribute to overall well-being.
High metabolism and Weight loss:
When the human body is undergoing the process of starving, it feeds on the body fat and stored energy. The liver comes into the picture in this process. The liver generates enzymes that convert the cholesterol or the fat into bile acid. This is further converted to heat which stimulates metabolism faster. Fasting when incorporated properly can help aid weight loss.
Control of hunger hormones and release of happy hormones:
Over a period of time, hunger hormones start showing a relaxed attitude and low appetite. You will atomically have control over the amount of food consumption and you start becoming more aware of what you eat and in how much quantity you eat.
Also during fasting, the happy hormones Endorphins start to take over and you start feeling happier not just mentally but also physically because now you start seeing lesser signs of obesity. The body turns out to be more active and flexible. The effect of fasting on human hormones is almost the same as exercises on the body.
If practiced in the right way, fasting can give us great health benefits than the ones just listed above. Also, it is important to know that fasting may not be suitable in case someone is suffering from some ailments, under medications, or during pregnancy. It is not recommended to follow any fasting during such conditions instead ensure one has regular healthy food and regains back to normal health.