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Wednesday April 17, 2024

Ramadan fasting can help with lower blood pressure, weight loss, better immunity — here's how

Nutrition specialist Dr Shireen Kassam says Ramadan fasting can provide many health benefits

By Web Desk
March 18, 2024
Muslims doing Iftar in Ramadan. — Unsplash/File
Muslims doing Iftar in Ramadan. — Unsplash/File

Health professionals say fasting could come with some major health benefits as billions of Muslims worldwide are taking part in Ramadan this month.

Dr Shireen Kassam, a nutrition specialist and founder of Plant Based Health Professionals UK gave an exclusive interview to The Mirror regarding the health benefits of fasting in Ramadan.

There is evidence to suggest that fasting could have a number of health benefits, including lower blood pressure, improved immune health, and improved blood lipid levels according to Dr Kassam.

People are unlikely to see any "long-term benefits" unless they make dietary changes after their fast, she added.

She said: "There is some evidence to suggest periods of fasting may lead to better immune health, lower levels of inflammation and growth factors, and improve blood lipid levels and blood pressure.”

"Fasting results in beneficial changes to the types of bacteria residing in the gut and this is thought to be one of the reasons for the wide range of short-term benefits seen. However, if outside of the periods of fasting you are not consuming a fibre-rich, gut-healthy diet, it is unlikely that there will be any long-term benefits to health."

"On a basic level, fasting usually results in a reduction in the number of calories you are consuming in a day and so for some people it can be easier to lose excess body weight when fasting is incorporated into a weight loss regimen," she said.