Ramadan implies health [Archives:2004/783/Community]

October 21 2004

Fasting has many medical benefits and it teaches Muslims to take care of their health and to build strong bodies. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, “A strong believer is better and is more beloved to God than a weak believer, and there is good in both.”
Fasting has been used in medicine for medical reasons including weight management. Doctors recommend fasting because it has favorable effects on the body. The physiological effect of fasting includes lower of blood sugar, lowering of the cholesterol and lowering of the systolic blood pressure. Fasting can also be a good treatment of mild to moderate stable non-insulin diabetes, obesity, and essential hypertension.
The original meaning “sawm” is to be at rest. Fasting gives a break to the digestive system and liver. The digestive system is constantly working all the time. There is quite a bit of left over waste products in your system that basically stay there forever. When you fast, it gives your body a chance to loosen those up and clean the walls of the system and eliminate some of the stuff that might not get a chance to be eliminated.
Fasting is an additional safety device for the repair processes of the body and the brain. Sleeping during Ramadan is much deeper than in other times. Two hours of sleep during Ramadan are more satisfying and refreshing than more hours of sleep otherwise.
During fasting, serum magnesium is increased. Magnesium has cardio-protective effects and it is being used in prevention and treatment of heart attacks. It has anti-platelet properties and prevents extension of the clot, and prevents cardiac and cerebral dysrhythmias. It also prevents the formation of atheroma as well as dissolves atheromatous plaques, which are responsible for heart attacks and strokes. Hence, fasting takes an active part in the rejuvenating processes of the body.
During fasting, there is increased secretion of the growth hormone by the pituitary gland. It is an anabolic hormone for synthesis of proteins and collagen, which produces a positive nitrogen balance.
Moreover, fasting helps synchronize the biological clock. This means less liability to jet lag and health problems of shift workers.
If the right dietary lessons learned during Ramadan are carried on after it, it is beneficial for one's whole life.