Muslims continue Ramadan – the month of compulsory fasting, which prescribes abstinence from food and drink during daylight hours. Many are convinced that such strict restrictions are not very good for health. We found 7 reasons to be convinced otherwise.
Fasting in Ramadan is intermittent dry fasting, which is pure biohacking (see the new book Ramadan for Biohackers for evidence ). Experiencing this practice and discovering fantastic health benefits can not only Orthodox Muslims, but everyone. In the era of a pandemic, this is more relevant than ever: intermittent fasting is not only about beliefs but about healing, immune unloading, and protection from viruses. And if you combine it with ketration – about a full reboot of the body.
Improving brain performance
Humanity has starved at all times and in all religions and spiritual movements to purify and develop the strength of the spirit. Purification of consciousness at the spiritual level cannot happen without the physical – these things are deeply interconnected. Ramadan hunger practitioners report spiritual focus and improved mental capacity. A study demonstrates that increasing concentration during Ramadan increases the level of BDNF, a neurotrophic factor in the brain that stimulates the development of neurons. If we fast based on keto, then the “gears” in our head work more quickly.
Rejection of bad habits
Any post is ideal for getting on the rails of a healthy lifestyle and getting rid of bad habits forever. Smoking, sugary foods, time at the screen of gadgets – as long as you refrain from addictions, the body will gradually adapt to their absence. You will feel a different quality of life, and at the end of the fast, the tendency towards old habits will weaken or disappear forever.
So great is fasting’s help in killing bad habits that the UK’s National Health Service recommends Ramadan as the ideal time to quit smoking.
Reducing general inflammation
Background inflammation in the body acts like a gray cardinal: for years, it accumulates imperceptibly in us, grows and sticks its nose wherever he is not lazy (yes, if you systematically have a headache or aching back, then it is not a fact that the problem is localized in the head or back). Fasting has a beneficial effect on the immune system by decreasing the general inflammation that can occur in the body’s cells.
“Fasting is thought to put the body in an ‘energy-saving’ mode ‘because of a lack of nutrient intake,” explains Amir Khan, MD, and senior lecturer at a university in the United Kingdom. – To conserve energy, the body recycles many of its old or damaged immune cells, which subsequently promotes new, healthy immune cells when the fasting period ends. These new cells fight infections faster and more efficiently, so overall immunity improves.”
By the way, inflammation is triggered by stress, smoking, sugar, and high-carbohydrate meals. Fasting copes with the first, and dietary correction towards LCHF copes with carbohydrates and sugar. By the way, it is much easier to switch to a fatty style of eating during intermittent fasting: you limit the time you eat, which means you are already forcing the body to produce ketones.
Loss of excess weight
Amanda Salis, professor and obesity researcher at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Center, believes hunger in Ramadan can help you lose weight. “We know from research that Ramadan usually leads to weight loss. This has been shown in many clinical trials: people often lose weight without any intervention, says Salis. – This study highlights that people lose weight, fat, and muscle mass during Ramadan. But after fasting, everyone tends to return to their previous values over the next six weeks. So, weight loss is temporary. Looking ahead, I think the next step is to find ways to prolong these effects. ”
And we kind of transparently hint to Professor Salis that everything was found long ago: excess weight goes to keto and does not return.
Those who follow a regular carbohydrate diet in Ramadan and cut down on their calorie intake will narrow their stomachs and feel full faster. Yes, the appetite will be moderated, but this will last only until the end of the fast – then both hunger and dependence on food will return. We break this vicious cycle on a low-carb diet because fats break down longer and fill them better – goodbye, eternal hunger!
In addition to being meant to be spiritually cleansed, Ramadan acts as a fantastic body detox. If you do not eat and drink during the day, the body gets the rare opportunity to detoxify the digestive system for a month.
When the body begins to absorb fat stores for energy, it simultaneously burns all the harmful toxins present in the fatty deposits.
Effective absorption of nutrients
During dry intervals, fasting in Ramadan, metabolism becomes more efficient: the absorption of nutrients from food is improved. This is due to increased hormone adiponectin levels, which is produced by fasting and eating late at night and allows muscles to absorb more nutrients. This hormone is not as simple as it seems: it protects against diabetes, obesity and plays an essential role in metabolic processes.
And Dr. Andrey Beloveshkin confirms this: “To increase the level of adiponectin, it is enough to do two simple things: interval abstinence and clean intervals between meals (eat only with hunger and appetite) and a sufficient percentage of fat in food. Low-fat diets suppress adiponectin secretion.”
If you want to experience intermittent fasting without water for the first time, it is better to listen to the opinion of a specialist:
“The best option for those looking to try dry fasting is intermittent dry fasting. This is giving up food and water for a short period – less than 24 hours. This option is good because it is easier for the body to tolerate. In a short period, as a rule, dehydration does not have time to develop. Accordingly, unpleasant symptoms in the form of headaches, dizziness, and a drop in blood pressure. The exception is hot weather and sun exposure. In this case, you still need to be very careful. The development of overheating of the body is possible, – says endocrinologist Olesya Bruslik. – As for the benefits of short-term dry fasting, it is not evident before the usual intermittent fasting.
From the point of view of ketosis development, dry fasting has advantages – the state of ketosis occurs faster than with wet fast. But it would help if you also were careful with it because, with a pronounced fluid deficiency, ketosis can disrupt the ph of the blood (lead to a decrease in ph, acidosis). That negatively affects the state of health and can be dangerous for the health of patients with diabetes. I don’t recommend them to try dry fasting.”