‘The Healing Benefits of Ramadan’

Main Photo  Ramadan is a time for attaining greater spirituality, performing charitable deeds and spending time in prayer and contemplation. It’s also a time when fasting Muslims are relentlessly bombarded with messages from their stomachs that it is time for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

However, there are numerous health benefits to fasting, including detoxification, with any toxins stored in the body’s fat being dissolved and removed, and the fact that the body uses fat (as opposed to glucose) for energy, which helps weight loss and reduces your cholesterol level. In addition, weight loss results in better control of diabetes and reduces blood pressure.

Third ParagraphTo take full advantage of fasting, you need a gentle transition from using glucose as the main source of energy, to using fat. To achieve this, eat Sohur just prior to sunrise, but do not overeat. Concentrate on taking in foods that are plentiful in complex carbohydrates and protein, fruits or vegetables, and lots of water. For example, an egg on wholegrain toast, a small number of crackers with peanut butter, a few orange slices, and two glasses of water.

Foods to stay away from are the heavily processed, fast-burning foods that contain refined carbohydrates (sugar and white flour), as well as fatty food (for example cakes, biscuits and chocolates).

Fifth ParagraphThe best way to deal with overeating is to follow the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed and break your fast with a date and a glass of water. Following prayers, eat soup or a small serving of food. After an extended period of fasting, you need to bring your fluids and blood sugar level up gradually.

During the evening hours, resist the temptation to drink tea, coffee, and soda. When visiting friends or relations, ask for a glass of water. Sip on water throughout the evening. Plan to drink eight glasses by bedtime.

Last ParagraphBut the real value of Ramadan is the power it has to transform your relationship with Allah into something truly personal. After all, no one can know if you’ve furtively taken a drop of water or mouthful of food. The awareness you’re directly answerable to Allah, and that only Allah and you are in on this personal experience of fasting, can genuinely transform your life.

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