Ramadhan is approaching. Most of us will be starting to get ready for the holy month when food and drinks will be haram for us to take during the day. However, did you know that it is better for our body if we maintained a fasting routine regardless what month it is? In Islam, fasting on Mondays and Thursdays is a sunnah, meaning it is highly encouraged as Prophet Muhammad SAW used to do this. Let me share to you five benefits of fasting that would probably make you think of following the Sunnah of the Prophet.
Fasting relaxes your digestive system, thereby increasing its metabolism.
When you fast, you are giving an ample time for your digestive system to relax. When it is relaxed, its metabolism will increase and can do more when you eat again. So maintain a habit of intermittent fasting!
Fasting is one way to lose weight.
When you don’t eat, how will you gain weight? Well, fasting is one of the many ways of weight loss but not limited to it alone. Stored glucose, fats and protein will be used by the body. If these stored substances are used by the body, there is no reason of getting high amount of cholesterol, fat and whatnot in your body. Thus, you are able to achieve a healthy one.
Fasting improves and boosts your immune system.
In connection to the aforementioned benefits, your immune system will improve since unwanted cholesterol and fat are eliminated and digestive system can do more. This means, all the vitamins and minerals you take after fasting will be absorbed by our cells easily.
Fasting is believed to be helpful in the regeneration of stem cells.
I’ve read yesterday that fasting can actually be helpful in the regeneration of stem cells. Why? It is still connected to the previous benefits mentioned. When your immune system is strong and your body organs have high metabolism, cells are likely to regenerate and be as young as possible. In effect, you can actually look fresher and youthful when you fast.
Fasting improves your brain function.
Lastly, this is my favorite benefit of fasting. We all know that the brain controls everything in our body. So when it has an improved function, it can work better. When we fast, our system boosts the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF.) This protein, in connection to the fourth benefit I mentioned, activates the brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, and triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health.(source) And when our neural health is at its optimal level, the brain cells are actually protected from diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Those were just five of the many benefits of fasting. So, don’t let go of fasting even if it is not Ramadhan. Keep it as a hobby. Actually, all these benefits are just secondary benefits to oneself. The primary benefit is your connection with the Almighty and your self-actualization.