Ramadan has come with a unique set of challenges this year. Not only are we experiencing the first year that Mecca is closed for Umrah, but it’s also the first time in our lifetimes that we are unable to be with our families and friends for the duration of the Holy month.
Whether you’re isolated with your immediate family, or alone for the sake of protecting vulnerable members of your family – the essence of Ramadan can still be achieved. Even if, for you, it’s just about scrolling through ridiculous Ramadan memes as a coping mechanism.
If you’re fasting, the temptation to break your fast if you’re solo can be even harder this year. But before you cave in, let’s look at five incredible health benefits of Ramadan fasting. During a pandemic, gearing up your immune system and reducing inflammation is key – so even if you’re not religious – the health benefits of fasting are worth it.
Balance out your metabolism
Intermittent fasting is proven to make your metabolism more efficient – which means that when you do break your fast, your body absorbs the nutrients, more effectively.
It’s a natural detox
Forget green juice detoxes – fasting is the oldest trick in the book. By pausing your eating habits, it allows your body enough time to detoxify its digestive system.
You would think that fasting would mean you would over-eat as soon as you break fast – but by the time you actually eat, you realise you didn’t need to eat as much as you’d thought.
Lower your cholesterol
As well as weight loss, according to a team of doctors in the UAE observing Ramadan also decreases your cholesterol (which in turn promotes a healthy heart).
Reduce anxiety levels
As well as being spiritually uplifting, fasting during Ramadan creates a reduction in the amount of cortisol in the body (the hormone produced by the adrenal gland that creates a feeling of anxiety), meaning that it’s a natural alternative to anti-anxiety meds.