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What are the benefits of fasting in Ramadhan according to scientific findings?

Shafaqna English | AI & HI adopted Content- Fasting during Ramadan, a practice observed by millions of Muslims worldwide, involves abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs from dawn until sunset. This religious observance has garnered attention from the scientific community for its potential health benefits, which seem to extend beyond the spiritual domain. Here’s an expanded overview of the potential scientific benefits of fasting during Ramadan:

Weight Management

Fasting during Ramadan can act as a natural method for managing weight. By eating only during the early morning (Suhoor) and after sunset (Iftar), participants inherently reduce their overall calorie intake. This reduction can lead to weight loss or help in maintaining a healthy weight. Studies have observed changes in body composition, including reductions in body fat percentage, which is crucial for overall health. The disciplined eating schedule and reduced meal frequency encourage the body to utilize stored fat for energy, potentially improving weight management and metabolic health.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin sensitivity refers to how effectively the body utilizes insulin to lower blood glucose levels. Enhanced insulin sensitivity reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a significant health concern globally. Some research suggests that the intermittent fasting aspect of Ramadan can improve insulin sensitivity. The fasting periods prompt the body to adjust hormone levels to maintain blood glucose within a healthy range, improving insulin’s effectiveness and potentially lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Cardiovascular Health

Heart disease remains a leading cause of death worldwide, and fasting during Ramadan may offer protective benefits. Studies have shown that fasting can lead to lower levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as reduced blood pressure. These factors are critical risk indicators for heart disease. By influencing these parameters positively, Ramadan fasting might contribute to improved cardiovascular health and a reduced risk of heart-related conditions.

Brain Health

Emerging evidence suggests that fasting during Ramadan could have beneficial effects on brain health. This practice may enhance brain function, potentially improving cognitive performance, memory, and concentration. Moreover, fasting has been associated with a lower risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The mechanisms behind these effects might include the reduction of oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, both of which can contribute to neurodegeneration.

Cellular Repair

One of the most intriguing scientific findings regarding fasting is its ability to trigger autophagy, a process where cells clean out damaged components. This cellular “housekeeping” is crucial for the removal of dysfunctional proteins and organelles, promoting cellular health and longevity. During Ramadan, the fasting-induced activation of autophagy may help in detoxifying cells and combating the aging process, contributing to better health and potentially extending lifespan.

Spiritual and Psychological Benefits

Aside from the physical benefits, Ramadan fasting holds significant spiritual and psychological value. It is a time for self-reflection, increased devotion, and spiritual renewal. The practice fosters a sense of community, empathy for the less fortunate, and discipline. These aspects can contribute to improved mental well-being, reducing stress and enhancing life satisfaction.

Need for Further Research

While these benefits offer a promising outlook on the practice of fasting during Ramadan, it’s crucial to acknowledge that individual responses can vary significantly. Factors such as pre-existing health conditions, the intensity of daily activities, and nutritional intake during non-fasting hours can influence outcomes. Furthermore, much of the research to date is preliminary, and more comprehensive studies are needed to fully understand the long-term health effects and optimize the practice for health benefits.

This text is generated by AI, based on Shafaqna’s question. Shafaqna does not endorse the views expressed in the article.

Featured image is created by Copilot Designer. 

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