We all know that Ramadan is a wonderful time and that we are blessed to be able to experience it year after year. By wishing blessings on others and donating to help feed the hungry for suhoor and iftar, we know that Ramadan benefits so many of those around us in need. However, Ramadan also offers an amazing array of physical, spiritual and mental health benefits for those fasting – just in case you needed any more motivation to see it through and enjoy the experience!
Check out just some of the reasons Ramadan is good for your health, below.
Digestion, Weight Loss and Physical Health
- Hydration – There is nothing like ensuring you are refreshed and hydrated ahead of drier, summer months. Keeping properly hydrated is even more important during Ramadan, where you need to make the most of the limited time in which you can drink. Take the opportunity as a prompt to choose wisely, with hydrating water instead of diuretic and dehydrating caffeine or bloat-inducing carbonated drinks.
- Energy Source – Keeping your energy up throughout Ramadan is important, and while your body is fasting, you can get your energy from fat stores instead of quick fix glucose. The right food choices will also help, so appreciate the energy boost you will get from your dates and milk at the breaking of the fast and pick wisely for suhoor; slow release, fibrous and healthy foods for your evening meal will fuel you all through the day ahead.
- Better Food Choices – This follows from the need for energy, but making better food choices is part and parcel of Ramadan, and it can set you up for health success in the months that follow. For example, the humble date plays a pivotal role spiritually, but it also boosts energy, provides fibre, aids digestion and provides potassium, magnesium and B vitamins – a one-stop shop for good health. You will also train yourself to eat better, as breaking the fast for iftar with dates and milk is a great way of getting your body ready for food and filling up so you do not overindulge on carb-heavy treats.
- Body Detox – The detox process is a handy by-product of fasting, which almost forces a bodily cleanse. Drinking water, eating healthier and letting your body function properly for prolonged periods between meals will help cleanse your body of toxins, making more room for the nutrients you will get from those improved food choices.
- Overall Health – Fasting and mindful behaviour can even help with more general health issues, reducing cholesterol and glucose, helping to manage diabetes and lowering blood pressure. The NHS has some great ideas for how to keep it healthy this Ramadan.
Endorphins, Concentration and Mental Health
- Happy – There are lots of reasons to be happy during Ramadan, not least because of the effect fasting has on our body and mind. After the initial adjustment period, fasting will increase the level of endorphins your body produces, making you feel more alert and happier.
- Focused – The physical benefit of endorphins is great for your mental health too because you can focus on why you are fasting outside of worldly distractions such as food. Intermittent fasting can actually help to get you more focused, with better brain function and reduced stress levels as a result.
Hitting the Reset Button
- Spiritually – Mentally, you become more meditative during Ramadan, taking more time to reflect spiritually and pray, rather than distract yourself with self-serving, everyday comforts. You also show restraint and self-control, with your faith in Allah (SWT) even stronger as a result – as you entrust in Him to deliver your needs whilst you reject your wants.
- Emotionally – A great benefit of Ramadan and the chance to hit the reset button for a whole month of reflection is the emotional impact. You get peace of mind, contentment, love and happiness surrounding you as you spend time with your loved ones breaking fast, reflecting on the teachings through prayer, serving others, doing good and donating Zakat. A blessed month and blessed life indeed.
- Habitually – While not everyone is aware of their bad habits and addictions, often categorising them into “serious” and “less serious” levels, we all have things we must improve. For some, the challenge of Ramadan is abstaining from these urges and desires, such as smoking, food binges and lying. For those who are not aware of their bad habits, perhaps Ramadan is the perfect time to address unconscious personality traits such as gossiping or backbiting? The Holy month is a privilege to the Muslims observing it and is the perfect time to quit sins and vices, helping you to commit to a better way of life, long after it ends.
Now that you know a little more about the great health benefits of Ramadan, you can make sure you plan and prepare to be your best self and have the most blessed Ramadan 2018!