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8 Benefits Of Fasting | Healthy Habits To Follow During Ramadan

Ms. Ayesha Nasir

5 min read

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Fasting is a spiritual obligation for Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan. Most people focus on spirituality this month and abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset. While fasting during Ramadan may provide spiritual benefits, it also has many physical benefits that can improve your overall well-being. If you have any health conditions, consult a General Physician through video consultation that can adjust your medications according to the fasting schedule.

Health Benefits of Fasting

Fasting can positively impact your health in the following ways.

1. Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Diabetes Type 2 is a health condition that increases insulin resistance and disturbs blood sugar levels. Your body converts glucose or sugar as a source of energy instead of fat. It can enhance insulin sensitivity, reduce insulin resistance, and lowers blood sugar. It can also promote weight loss, which can help control insulin resistance. A study concludes that fasting during Ramadan can reduce blood sugar levels by 10% and decreases insulin resistance by 12%.

It also promotes weight loss by lowering blood sugar levels, which may indirectly improve Type 2 Diabetes. However, you must monitor your blood sugar levels as there is a risk of extremely low blood sugar or hypoglycemia while fasting for diabetic patients. Consult the Best General Physician in Lahore to adjust your medications according to your health condition.

2. Weight Loss

Ramadan can be an ideal time to lose weight if you follow healthy eating habits. Fasting promotes weight loss as it may lead to lower calorie consumption. It also enhances metabolism and promotes weight loss. A study shows that intermittent fasting can boost metabolism and is more effective in achieving your weight loss goals than diets that restrict calories.

Fasting alone is not enough because consuming fried and fatty foods at iftar or suhoor can increase calorie intake and lead to weight gain. Follow a balanced diet with a mix of carbs, protein, or fiber to see a visible change in weight. Add exercise to your daily regime before or after iftar to reduce weight. Exercising helps with other bodily functions, such as digestive health.

3. Improved immune system

Fasting can play a role in boosting your immunity by regenerating white blood cells and rejuvenating your body. It can also have an anti-inflammatory effect on your body that lowers inflammation and may prevent obesity. It also improves the immune system and helps fight your body against infections.

While fasting may help boost immunity, having well-balanced meals and protecting yourself from contagious diseases is also a must to fend off diseases, especially when Coronavirus cases are on the rise again. Fasting also improves gut health, which also enhances immunity.

4. Reduces inflammation

Chronic inflammation is the culprit for many diseases, including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Studies show that fasting lowers the levels of inflammation markers. Reduction in inflammation can prevent severe illnesses and improve gut health. It can also prevent early aging and aids weight loss.

5. Improved brain function

The anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects may help enhance brain function. It can reduce swelling in the brain and improve the brain’s overall health and functioning. It also boosts learning and memory, improving cognitive function.

Many studies on animals show the effects of fasting on animals, though more research is required to conclude the impact of fasting during Ramadan. Fasting may also increase the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that plays a crucial role in promoting the growth and maintenance of brain cells. It can also help prevent diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s due to its neuroprotective effects.

6. Improved Heart Health

Fasting can reduce inflammation which can improve blood circulation in the body. Fasting also helps in lowering your blood pressure. It also lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol. It helps relieve plaque formation in the arteries and makes the heart pump blood more efficiently. It strengthens the heart muscles and allows the heart to pump blood more efficiently.

However, eating oily foods, such as pakoras and samosas, may not only make you gain weight, but they may also damage your heart. Fasting during Ramadan may also reduce stress and improve heart health. 

7. Detoxifies body

Fasting can detoxify your body by removing harmful toxins that can damage your body. Fasting from dusk to dawn during Ramadan can give the body time to heal. During fasting, your body detoxifies and cleanses itself through autophagy. Autophagy is a process through which the body breaks down damaged cells and other cellular waste. Fasting enhances the autophagy process because it burns fat and proteins in your body.

New and healthy cells can improve many conditions in the body, such as skin issues, tiredness, puffy eyes, menstrual problems, and bloating. It can also improve your mental health and helps relieve stress.

8. Prevents cancer

Fasting can reduce cancer markers and reduce cancer risk, especially breast cancer. Evidence suggests that fasting increases the level of antioxidants in your body, lowering oxidative stress and cancer risk. The studies regarding the effects of fasting during Ramadan are limited, and research can show the impact of fasting on cancer.

Healthy habits to follow during Ramadan

While fasting may have some potential benefits, following unhealthy practices may mitigate the benefits. Developing habits that are beneficial for your health can improve your overall quality and longevity of life. Such habits can also enhance the benefits of fasting and give your body time to heal and replenish. Following are some practices that can improve your health during Ramadan:

1. Eat a balanced diet

Proteins, vegetables, and other foods contain nutrients that are helpful for your body. Each nutrient has a different function, so eating a balanced diet can provide you with various minerals and vitamins and helps your body. Check with a nutritionist as to what portions you should eat. Ensure that you eat stomach-friendly foods to your diet to improve the condition of your stomach.

2. Stay hydrated

Hydration is vital to keep your body working smoothly. Abstaining from water during Ramadan can lead to dehydration and other unpleasant symptoms, such as dry skin, muscle cramps, and fatigue. Keep drinking water after iftar and add foods with a high water content to your diet.

3. Exercise

Exercising has many advantages for your body. Weight loss is one of the beneficial effects of exercising. Pairing exercise with fasting can be an effective way to lose weight. Exercise may also improve mood and help keep you active.

4. Avoid unhealthy foods

Junk, spicy, and oily foods can all adversely affect your body. Too many such foods can cause weight gain, heartburn, and other stomach issues. Add whole foods to your diet instead of refined foods. Refined foods have a lot of calories and do not offer nutrition, so it is best to avoid foods that are not good for your health.

5. Do not skip Suhoor

Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) is a critical meal during Ramadan as it can give you the energy to go through the day. Skipping suhoor can lead to lethargy, hunger, and thirst, so it is best to have nutritious foods during suhoor.

6. Get plenty of sleep

The Ramadan schedule may vary from the other months, and you may need to change your sleeping habits this month. You need proper rest for your body to heal and rest. Getting quality sleep can also help you feel fresh during the day.


Fasting has been a spiritual obligation for Muslims for centuries, but recent findings on intermittent fasting highlight that it may be helpful for your health, apart from the spiritual benefits, such as stress relief.

Fasting during Ramadan can be advantageous in many ways. It reduces inflammation in your body, which can have numerous benefits for your body. Ramadan is also a great time to lose weight as fasting, along with a healthy diet and exercise. It can also reduce oxidative stress and lessen cancer risk. Fasting can also decrease bad cholesterol against good cholesterol and lowers blood pressure, improving your heart health. It can also detoxify the body by regenerating cells and eliminating toxic agents from your body, Fasting can also have a neuroprotective effect and improve brain function. It can also increase insulin sensitivity and help diabetic patients.

Ramadan is a time for self-reflection and doing good deeds. It is also fantastic to adopt healthy habits. Developing habits good for your health can boost the advantages of fasting. Eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, and staying hydrated can improve your health. Avoiding foods that are oily or spicy can be damaging to your health. Sleeping well can also keep you energized throughout the day. Fasting requires extended periods of abstaining from food and water, so check with your doctor if you are in a good shape to fast.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should diabetes patients fast during Ramadan?

Yes, diabetes patients can fast during Ramadan, but they need to talk to their doctor in order to adjust their medications and diet accordingly.

What foods should you eat during Ramadan?

Proteins, complex carbohydrates, and fiber in your diet provide energy, fullness, and combat fatigue.

What foods should you avoid during Ramadan?

Avoid sugary, oily, and spicy food as it can harm your health.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Ms. Ayesha Nasir
Ms. Ayesha Nasir - Author Ms. Ayesha Nasir is a very well known dietitian and nutritionist in Lahore thanks to her numerous television appearances and a stellar reputation. She has appeared on City@10 as an expert guest numerous times and is also currently regularly seeing new patients.

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