Not Just Another Ramadan Article!
Not Just Another Ramadan Article!
It’s that time of year where articles on how to have a better Ramadan are to be found everywhere. I’m guilty of having written one too.
I could tell you to stay hydrated, eat lots of salads and fruit and stay away from white sugar.
But you already know that.
Have you taken a deeper look at the practice of fasting?
At the effect it has on your body?
Rather than focusing on what you cannot have all day, have you tuned into what you are gaining from it?
Lets’ decode the bigger impact fasting has on you and why you will positively embrace it to reap the benefits.
Did you know all cultures and religions have a form of fasting practice?
All cultures and religions practice one form or another of fasting. Fasting means you voluntarily abstain from consuming certain types of food or all foods and liquids for pre-determined lengths of time.
Why? Because fasting has a positive impact on our spirituality, body and brains.
Brains? That’s a new one. Keep reading and you’ll find out why.
Since we are in Ramadan, I’ll start with Spirituality. When you practice self-restraint, it leads to higher spirituality. Spirituality strengthens your discipline. This leads to heightened awareness and enlightenment and is a catalyst to being in tune with your needs and to leading a healthier life.
Physically –you lose weight! Daily reduced caloric intake leads to significant weight loss. If that is one of your goals, beware of downing all the konafa and basbousa you can get your hands on the minute you break your fast. But there is more to fasting than the intent to lose weight. Fasting gives your body the break it needs from digestion.
Over the years, your body accumulates toxins from the foods you consume, medicine you take and the chemicals and pollutants you are exposed to in your daily life to name a few.
When the body is not busy digesting, it is able to get rid of toxins. Allowing the body to cleanse means it is able to heal itself. Practitioners and patients have reported fasting to have a healed digestive disorders and reduced or cured symptoms linked to it, like regulation of bowel movements, reducing acne, bloating, join pains, allergies and headaches to name a few.
Now for brain function – studies have shown that bouts of fasting are essential for the brain to clean itself and create new neurons and communication lines. This means a sharper brain, better memory, and more powerful mental acuity.
So the next time you want to rush through Ramadan or any other fast, get thinking.
Make sure you consume the right foods, in the right quantity and at the right times as that means you can have energy to focus on your daily tasks, sustain an active lifestyle and attain the full benefits.
Now the science part!
Normally, the body uses glucose from it’s last meal as it’s main source of energy. When it doesn’t need to use it, it stores it in the liver and muscles. The stored form is called Glycogen.
When you fast, once the glucose runs out, the body first uses up stored glycogen. Once the glycogen runs out then fat becomes the next source of energy.
Many toxins are stored in the body’s fat. When you burn fat, the toxins are dissolved and removed from the body.
Make it past the first few days and you’ll experience higher levels of endorphins (feel good chemicals) which make you more alert and give you an overall feeling of mental wellbeing.
This Ramadan be aware of why you are fasting and perhaps make a conscious effort of not joining everyone’s chorus of bemoaning going through fasting.
Think about it, if you are going to do it in all cases, you might as well do it while reaping its benefits and being aware of how you are getting better at it every day.
Yasmine is a Nutrition and Health Coach whose rich professional expertise is complemented by a caring, fun and integrative approach to nutrition and wellbeing. Through Healthytude, her nutrition and health coaching business, Yasmine offers a unique transformative experience. Her talent is making her clients’ nutrition needs reachable while helping them identify the life areas they need the most support with– physical, mental and emotional. As a result, her clients reach the healthiest, happiest, and most productive version of themselves. Follow Yasmine’s journey on Instagram and Facebook.