Fasting is the voluntary abstention from eating for some time. In a physiological context, fasting can refer to the metabolic state of a person who has not eaten for some time, or to the metabolic state achieved after complete digestion and absorption of a meal. Various metabolic adjustments occur during fasting.
Ramadan is the holy month of the Islamic calendar and a time when many Muslims fast during the day for 29-30 days. It involves abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking, and sexual intercourse from sunrise to sunset, hoping that it will lead to increased “taqwa,” or God-consciousness.
Muslims were ordered to fast during Ramadan more than 1,400 years ago. The old Greeks prescribed fasting to knit the body. Today, some scientists advocate a fast that is modified for its physical and mental benefits.
Is Fasting Good For Health?
Some specialists say curbing food consumption through the day of fasting can help prevent health problems and improve mental health. Fasting allows the intestine to cleanse and strengthens its lining. It can also stimulate a process called autophagy, where cells self-limit and remove damaged and dangerous particles. Our body can concentrate on eliminating toxins by not consuming any food since we give the digestive system a rest.
Doctors have also been studying the link between diet, gut health, and mental well-being. Fasting can lead to the release of BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor) in the brain. It has been shown to protect brain cells and may reduce depression and anxiety and the risk of developing dementia.
Many people who have embraced fasting have also found that done correctly; it has helped them lose fat and gain lean muscle mass.
How Does Fasting Affect The Body?
During fasting hours, when neither food nor drink is consumed, the body uses its carbohydrate and fat reserves to provide energy. Depending on the climate and the time of the fast, most women who fast through Ramadan will undergo tempered dehydration, which can cause hemicranias, tiredness, and difficulty focusing. However, studies have suggested that this is not detrimental to health, provided that enough fluids are consumed after breaking the fast to replace those lost during the day.
What To Eat And Drink During Fasting
Milk, Water and Juices
Water provides hydration without additional calories or added sugars. Milk and fruit-based beverages provide some natural sugars and nutrients; these are also good for breaking the fast, but avoid drinking a lot of drinks with added sugars after breaking the fast, as they can provide too many sugars and calories.
Traditionally consumed to break the fast since the time of the prophet Muhammad, dates are an excellent way to break the fast, as they provide natural sugars for energy, minerals such as potassium, copper, and manganese and are a source fiber. You can also try other dried fruits like apricots, figs, raisins, or prunes, which also provide fiber and nutrients.
A traditional way to break the fast in South Asian cultures, fruit provides natural sugars for energy, liquids, and some vitamins and minerals.
Fiber-Rich Breakfast Cereals
It provide plenty of fiber and are often fortified with vitamins and minerals, providing additional nutrients. Because they are consumed with milk, you also get fluids and nutrients like calcium, iodine, and B vitamins from milk.
This can be an excellent food to include in your fasting diet since it provides nutrients such as protein, calcium, iodine, and B vitamins and also contains liquids. You can combine it with cereal and fruit, as in the previous examples.
Choose whole-grain options as they provide more fiber, for example, whole grain toast or chapattis. Avoid combining bread with salty foods like hard cheese or canned meats. You can try nut butter (no added salt), soft cheese, or banana. Since the bread is quite dry, be sure to drink plenty of water or other liquids together, or you could have liquid-rich foods like lentil soup.
If you decide to fast, keep in mind that the quality of the diet is crucial. It is not possible to eat junk food during feeding periods and hope to improve your health. Fasting is a weight-loss tool that works for many people, although it does not work for everyone.Some people believe that it may not be as beneficial for women as it is for men. It is also not recommended for people who have or are prone to eating disorders.