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Ramadan 2021: What are the benefits of fasting?

Today marks the start of Ramadan 2021 for all Muslims. A holy month during which followers will have to fast from sunrise to sunset. A purifying rite of the body and mind, which we propose to study beyond the sole religious aspect.

First of all, it is important to understand that we are talking about “intermittent fasting”, that is to say, fasting for a certain number of hours per day while allowing oneself to eat whatever one wants during the remaining hours. 

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First benefit: weight loss?

Technically, your body does not enter a “fasting state” until about eight hours after your last meal. That is, about the time your intestines finish absorbing the nutrients in your food. Soon after, the body turns to the glucose stored in the liver and muscles, with the ultimate goal of continuing to provide energy. Once glucose stores are depleted, if fasting continues, then fat becomes the body’s next source of energy. Of course, if fasting is intended to help you lose weight, then there is absolutely no question of spending the night eating to excess. 

Lowering cholesterol and diabetes 

These two important medical benefits are direct consequences of the above mentioned phenomenon. When the body begins to burn fat, it will naturally begin to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of diabetes. But beware, the drop in blood sugar levels can lead to physical weakness and a sort of lethargic state. Fatigue can then become very heavy. But the habit makes it possible rather quickly (3 days approximately) to take again the top. 

An undeniable “detox effect”

In case of prolonged fasting (more than 15 days), nutritionists argue that since the body has completely adapted to fasting, key organs such as the colon, the liver, or the kidneys are in full detox (the skin as well). According to Dr. Razeen Mahroof, consultant in anesthesia and intensive care medicine at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, this could even have concrete applications at the cognitive level: “Your memory and concentration could improve and you could have more energy

A “renovated” digestive system

The liver and the walls of the intestine regenerate, the pancreas and the stomach are put to rest and the intestinal flora is rebalanced” explains Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo, a nutritionist and director of a specialized clinic in Überlingen, in southwest Germany. A beneficial process, therefore, from which many benefits can be derived, such as a reduction in sebum production, which leads to skin regeneration and hair strengthening.

So many benefits that make us say that adopting an intermittent fasting practice can be extremely beneficial for the body, provided that it is not done in a completely random way! 

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Published on 13 April 2021