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May 18, 2018

Fasting improves body functions


May 18, 2018

Rawalpindi: Islamic fasting has great benefits for both physical and mental health and it brings a wholesome physiological rest for the digestive tract and central nervous system that certainly normalises metabolism and as well improves functioning of the body systems. Fasting in the holy month of Ramazan gives complete rest to the stomach, intestines and colon enabling the systems to repair damaged structures while it also helps breaking addictions to harmful substances and is a mean of conquering one’s anger and maintaining self-discipline.

Piles, colitis, and gastritis etc. speedily recover under the fast while the alimentary tract becomes practically free of bacteria during fast and the small intestine becomes sterile. Head of Community Medicine at CMH Lahore Medical College Professor Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Chaudhry expressed this while talking to ‘The News’ on Thursday on benefits of fasting.

He said fasting improves the process of decomposing and eliminating waste toxic materials and helps curing cardiovascular and circulatory diseases, diseases of the digestive system, diseases of locomotor system, including rheumatism, respiratory system diseases including asthma, and the early stages of malignant cancer.

As metabolism is improved through fasting, the body recuperates the capability to assimilate proteins, fats, carbohydrates, starches, sugars, minerals, vitamins and all other essential nutrients necessary because all organs work properly during fasting in Ramazan, he said.

Dr. Ashraf said fasting lowers blood sugar, cholesterol and systolic blood pressure and it can be said that fasting in Ramazan can be an ideal recommendation for treatment of mild to moderate, stable, non-insulin diabetes, obesity and essential hypertension.

He added that fasting is a natural way to normalize body weight as it dissolves all unnecessary and unnatural fat deposits from all over the body and the body is relieved of a tremendous burden.

Talking of psychological effects, he said there is a peace and tranquillity for those who fast during the month of Ramazan. Personal hostility is at a minimum and the crime rate in Muslim countries falls during the month. Fasting is a means of conquering one’s anger. During fasting, recitation of the Holy Quran not only produces a tranquillity of heart and mind, but also improves memory, he said.

Dr. Ashraf explained that stress increases the blood glucose by increasing the catecholamine level and any tool to lower the stress that is biofeedback or relaxation improves diabetic control. Thus, Islamic fasting during Ramazan has a great beneficial effect with regard to diabetic control, he said.

Giving benefits of ‘taraveeh’, he said there is a beneficial effect of extra prayer at weight. “This not only helps with better utilization of food but also helps in energy output.” Fasting may help breaking addictions to harmful substances like tobacco, drugs, alcohol, tea, coffee and other habit-forming beverages, he said.

He, however added that the maximum benefits of Islamic fasting in Ramazan can only be achieved through healthy diet at ‘Iftar’ and ‘Sehar’ such as ‘fruit chaat’, vegetable salad, macronis, simple ‘chapati’ (a loaf of bread), pulses, boiled rice, potatoes and peas etc.

He said unhealthy diet such as deep-fried foods including ‘samosas’, ‘pakoras’, ‘kachoris’, ‘jalabis’, and ‘parathas’ should be avoided because all these foods increase your blood LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), which is bad for your health and for your heart. The persons fasting can eat deep-fried food for taste but belly full of these could never be recommended, said Dr. Ashraf.

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