Muslims fast throughout Ramadan to concentrate on their faith and spirituality. However, fasting during Ramadan offers several bodily benefits. Recent scientific research indicates that it can restore the immune system.
Fasting during Ramadan produces several physiological, biochemical, metabolic, and spiritual changes in the body. Ramadan fasting increases red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), platelet (PLT) count, and High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-c), while decreasing blood cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-c, and VLDL-c (VLDL-c).
Furthermore, it lowers body weight, waist circumference, BMI, body fat, blood glucose, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and anxiety levels.
While scientists continue to investigate the remarkable advantages of this ancient religious custom, here is a guide to what happens in our bodies throughout the Holy Month, as well as the good impact of fasting when done correctly.
Hour-by-Hour Effects of Fasting
0 to 4 Hours:
During this period, your body is utilizing the energy from your last meal to support cellular and tissue growth as well as to give energy for your present activities. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and helps the body utilize glucose for energy.
4 to 16 Hours:
This is the stage of breakdown. All of the extra nutrients from your last meal are being converted into energy. When this energy is depleted, the body will resort to stored fat for energy. The body breaks down fat and burns it for energy. For energy, this process produces molecules known as ketone bodies. During this stage, autophagy begins, which means that the dead or damaged cellular material in your cells is cleared away.
*If this contaminated material is not removed, it can lead to ageing, sickness, and even cancer.
16 to 24 Hours
Things pick up pace in the body after 16 hours. Glycogen in the liver and muscles, as well as glucose in the cells, begin to deplete fast, forcing the body to rely on stored fat for energy. Although enormous changes are occurring throughout the body at this period, you are not aware of them on the outside. You can stroll, communicate with others, and engage in physical activities without being overly tired. During this stage, a molecule known as AMPK (activated protein kinase) is produced, which raises the pace of autophagy throughout the body. Other stages occur in your body between the 24-hour and 72-hour mark, which is important for individuals who want to fast for health or other reasons.
Metabolism and Benefits of 30 Days of Fasting
Detoxification Stage 1 (Days 1-2)
The body's blood sugar level lowers and blood pressure drop during the first day of fasting. Glycogen is drawn from the muscles, causing weakness, as well as nausea, headaches, and dizziness. During this period, hunger pangs might be fairly strong.
Detoxification Stage 2 (Days 3-7)
The body begins to adjust to the fast on the third day. Because the digestive system receives the rest it needs, the body's resources are focused on detoxification and repair, leading immune system activity to rise. At this point, fats in the body are converted to glucose for energy. Rancid oils begin to expel from the body, causing pimples on the skin for a few days. This is a natural component of the cleansing process.
Detoxification Stage 3 (Days 8-15)
Old injuries and wounds may become sensitive and painful after a week of fasting. This is because the existing scar tissue may not have had an opportunity to heal in the past, but fasting optimizes the body's healing process, so the previous injuries and inflammatory regions try to heal in the absence of extra toxins. Toxins tend to collect in the legs, thus the muscles in the legs are more vulnerable. Despite the pain and toxin removal in the body, you may realize that you have more energy and a clearer mind.
Detoxification Stage 4 (Days 16-30)
By this point, the body has become habituated to fasting and learns how to eliminate toxins in small bursts, resulting in reduced downtime and higher vitality in the body. There is also an improvement in mental clarity. The organs' repair job is accomplished by the third week or so. The mind is favourably influenced after around twenty days. As a consequence, improved mental clarity and emotional equilibrium are experienced, which aids with memory and focus.
These are all the incredible changes that our bodies go through during fasting! Fasting starves our stomachs to feed and nurture our minds and spirits, but it also purifies our physical health and well-being.