Not just Spiritual: 7 Physical Benefits of Fasting

The holy month of Ramadan is already here. Approximately 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide will abstain from eating and drinking during one month. The spiritual benefits of this month are almost uncountable, but what about our body? One might ask if it’s really this healthy to deprive the organs of nutrition. Through different studies fasting appeared to be more beneficial than we first would think. Here’s a brief list of some benefits of fasting on the body.

1. Blood flow

When you’re fasting, there’s less blood going from the heart to the digestive system, which means more blood flowing to other parts. Blood vessels can be purified faster: no bad cholesterol levels, which in turn decreases the chance of heart diseases with 58%

2. Lungs

When we breathe, we absorb toxins of the environment constantly. Fasting helps removing these from the lungs.

3. Digestion

Since the stomach and the intestines are less active for a month, they cleanse and regulate themselves to allow a more efficient digestion afterwards.

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4. Kidneys

When you’re fasting, the kidneys increase the process of eliminating non-useful materials (salt and water), which in turn decreases blood pressure.

5. Brains

Fasting increases brain activity, because it stimulates the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This protein activates brain stem cells and convert them into new neurons. It also protects the stem cells from changes associated with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

6. Immune system

Fasting also improves the immune system because it reduces free radical damage and starves off cancer cell formation.

7. Metabolism

Fasting encourages a faster and more energetic metabolism since the digestive system is resting. This allows to burn calories and fat faster. It slows down ageing and could even add years to your life.

Have a healthy Ramadan!

Sources: Lifehack, The Telegraph, Skinverse, NBC News