KARACHI: Ramazan is a month of blessings for Muslims throughout the globe; a time for religious revival and a chance to get nearer to at least one’s Creator. All through, thousands and thousands of Muslims follow fasting from dawn to sundown.
However since it’s greater than merely abstaining from meals and water, there’s a widespread perception amongst observers that fasting is understood to have quite a few well being advantages for the human physique.
The Specific Tribune lately talked to docs and nutritionists about the advantages of fasting for the human physique however all of them added that the follow is simply helpful insofar individuals don’t bask in gluttonous behaviour at iftar and cling to a reasonable, balanced food plan.
How is fasting good to your well being?
Talking of the advantages of time-restricted fasting – whereby observers go intervals with little or no meals – Dr Mamoona Shafiq, affiliate professor of physiology on the Islamabad Medical and Dental School, defined that it has a number of advantages for the human physique.
“Analysis has proven that fasting might enhance blood sugar management, which might be notably helpful for people who find themselves prone to diabetes,” she stated. “Happening for intervals with out meals may additionally assist decrease blood stress, triglycerides and levels of cholesterol.”
Based on Dr Shafiq, fasting may additionally lower a number of markers of irritation and be helpful in treating inflammatory situations akin to a number of sclerosis.
“If accomplished proper, the follow of fasting may also assist an individual drop some weight by limiting the consumption of energy and boosting metabolism,” she added.
Zoha Matin, a Karachi-based nutritionist and MSc in Human Diet and Dietetics from McGill College additionally agreed that fasting is helpful for well being.
She added that there are lots of scientific research which present that going with out meals for 12 or extra hours can promote well being and longevity.
“Fasting has been proven to enhance insulin resistance, improve mobile restore, enhance metabolism and it might even assist stop most cancers,” she stated.
Sheikh Ehsan Noor, an authorized nutritionist from the Worldwide Sports activities Sciences Affiliation (ISSA) stated that fasting will not be solely necessary for Muslims but it surely additionally practiced in different cultures and religions in numerous methods. In actual fact, it has been utilized by individuals for 1000’s of years to heal the physique.
Noor cited the instance of Hippocrates –the daddy of contemporary drugs – who additionally advocated it as a therapeutic mechanism. “Fasting is nice for well being as a result of it helps detoxify our our bodies. By choosing common fasts, waste parts are drained out and the intestines are saved wholesome,” he defined.
Docs and nutritionists, due to this fact, largely agree that fasting is nice for well being however self-discipline in what we eat earlier than and after the fasting interval is essential in making certain that.
Iftar: re-energising the physique vs gluttony
It’s not unusual to see individuals indulging in scrumptious meals for
iftar. Be it conventional snacks like fried rolls and fritters or parathas and biryani, individuals be certain to ‘replenish’ their our bodies with as a lot meals as they will instantly upon breaking their quick.
However Dr Shafiq pressured upon the necessity to undertake a more healthy food plan throughout Ramazan and stated that whereas time-restricted fasting may have numerous well being advantages for people, the custom of consuming giant portions of deep fried and oily meals – which is nearly at all times devoid of dietary worth – may cause well being downside as a substitute.
“Individuals quick all through the day and immediately bask in fried and fatty meals. Not solely that however additionally they overeat, believing that consuming an excessive amount of would make up for the fasting interval,” she shared.
Consequently, many individuals develop bloating, gaseous distension, gastritis, reflux signs and might even expertise vomiting. Matin added overeating, particularly meals excessive in fats and sugar – learn pakoras, samosas, and sugary drinks – may cause lethargy together with weight achieve.
“Extra carbohydrate consumption additionally results in elevated sleepiness and lethargy after iftar and as a substitute of boosting their metabolism, most individuals find yourself gaining weight throughout Ramazan by overindulging in high-calorie meals.”
So what ought to one eat at ‘sehri’ and ‘iftari?’
Whereas many individuals are conscious of the hazards of consuming oil-rich meals every day all through the month, they’re principally clueless relating to making more healthy meals decisions.
Based on Noor, individuals eat solely two meals in Ramazan so it’s mandatory to decide on objects from all meals teams. “One should make
certain to eat a balanced food plan in order that they don’t find yourself affected by any vitamin or mineral deficiencies because of fasting,” he stated.
For sehri, Matin prompt that to be able to make sure that the meal is filling and gives sufficient power for a lot of hours, one ought to go for meals which have a low glycemic index (GI).
“Low GI meals are people who include carbohydrates that break
down extra slowly, releasing power extra steadily to your physique and serving to preserve your blood-sugar ranges regular.”
She recommends high-fibre breakfast cereals with
milk, ideally one that gives no less than 5 grams of fibre per serving.
“Examine completely different cereals – learn the labels and select one that’s increased in fibre and decrease in sugar,” she really helpful.
Noor prompt choosing eggs, wholegrain roti, a bowl of veggies and a glass of milk or a cup of tea with out sugar if the objective is to drop some weight in a wholesome method.
As for iftar, Matin prescribes breaking the quick slowly to offer your physique sufficient time to digest the meals.
“Begin by ingesting loads of water, which helps rehydration
and reduces the possibilities of overindulgence. Then, eat one or two dates earlier than beginning your principal meal,” she stated.
Dates are an awesome supply of power for the physique as they assist in secreting digestive enzymes in preparation for the upcoming meal.
In addition they present pure sugars for power, minerals like potassium, copper and manganese and fibre. Matin additionally defined that one doesn’t need to go utterly chilly turkey relating to scrumptious meals and prompt more healthy methods of cooking to satiate
“Baking or air-frying many objects which are historically deep-fried can
assist one minimize down the oil and energy tremendously,” she concluded.
Fasting for prolonged intervals of time
Contemplating its well being advantages, some individuals go for fasting past the month of Ramazan. Shedding mild on the matter, Dr Muhammad Zafar, guide household drugs with NHS Worcestershire, UK, stated that there are a number of theories and blended opinions about prolonged intervals of fasting. Whereas some contemplate it regular, others are of the view that it may have adverse results too.
“Whether or not fasting for greater than 30 days is nice or unhealthy depends upon what an individual intends to attain from it,” he defined. “Intermittent fasting – a well being and health development involving consuming patterns that cycle between intervals of consuming and fasting – is frequent lately and apparently good for well being.”
Dr Zafar, nonetheless, added that an individual’s physique will solely proceed to thrive if it is supplied with sufficient energy and the suitable steadiness of meals sources, together with carbs, proteins and fat.