0 In Health

Fasting and the shocking truth of its benefits

Umm Natural | Fasting

Fasting and Islam

1400 years ago a man from the desert, brought people out of the darkness into the light, through the words of Allah (God). This man was unlettered; he didn’t have a PhD or medical background. He wasn’t well versed in anatomy or physiology, yet what he revealed is astonishing. So much so, that science today, is beginning to verify it. This man is none other than the prophet Muhammad (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).

The Qu’ran speaks about health, anatomy, physiology, the environment and so much more. But one thing that is truly profound is fasting. As Muslims, it is part of our faith to fast for a whole month (29-30 days) every year. By fasting that means no food or water from sunrise until sunset. However it’s not just limited to food. It involves refraining from backbiting and foul talk and encourages one to deeply reconnect with their Lord.

We also have another type of fast, where we don’t eat for two days of the week (Monday and Thursday), also known as intermittent fasting. But one thing we learn through fasting, is that our bodies are not designed to consume a lot of food. We can survive on a little and can still be healthy and at our best. As the Hadith says;

Miqdam ibn Ma’d reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, say, “There is no vessel which the son of Adam can fill that is more evil than his stomach, for it is enough for him to take a few bites in order to straighten his back. Yet if he is overcome by appetite, then he may fill it with a third of food, a third of drink, and a third of breath.

[Source: Sunan Ibn Majah 3349]

 

Fasting and our cells

It lowers blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels and reboots the immune system (by regenerating new cells). Not only that but it protects against oxidative stress of the cells (when our cells become impaired because of too many oxygen molecules).

A remarkable study in 2014 found that prolonged fasting actually regenerated new stem cells, in mice who had undergone chemotherapy and reversed immune suppression. Thus drastically reducing the effects of aging (which happens when cells die in our bodies).

 

Fasting and mental health

Depression has been linked to having an inflamed brain, coupled with low Vitamin B levels. So fasting can help with enhancing your mood. A study by Michealson et. al. in 2009, showed that fasting reduced anxiety and the symptoms of depression by 80{5b2e8ceadfa41e85f5e9302f14df892deadda646553bfeb0abeadc839fd84062} A reason for this could be because of the high levels of endorphins released during the first 48 hours of fasting. Another amazing fact about fasting is that it can reduce migraines (provided you have had a sufficient meal before dusk and drink enough water) because of the increase in serotonin levels.

 

Overall benefits of fasting

Fasting can drastically improve cognitive function and reduce inflammation of the brain. Fasting is a challenge so your brain responds by developing pathways that help you cope. The changes that occur during fasting are the same as when you do regular exercise. They both increase the production of protein which is needed to encourage the growth of neurons. Not only that but it helps nerve cells repair your DNA. You can read more here.

 

As a detox therapist I advise clients, who want to lose weight, to fast (if they are medically fit and able to do so, along with medical consent and supervision). Why? Because when a person fasts, their body dips into fat reserves that have been stored over time. By doing so it removes toxins from fat cells that may have accumulated over time. Therefore the liver can do its job of removing toxins from your body more efficiently.

 

There are so many benefits to fasting which I couldn’t quite cover in one post. I would advise you to research the health benefits of fasting.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Feel free to comment. Don’t forget to subscribe for weekly updates.

JazakAllah khayrun (May Allah bless you).

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