With Ramadan being around the corner, this is the ideal time for us to start preparing our bodies and minds for the month-long fast we are about to start!
Intermittent fasting has become such a buzzword recently and the benefits of fasting has re-emerged as a trending topic. For Muslims, Ramadan is a time where we partake in Time-Restricted fasting. Similar to intermittent fasting, we limit the length of time we are able to consume food. Yet, we usually consume food and water during an 6-8 hour window and fast 16-18 hours (sometimes even longer depending on where you live).
Now let’s get to it, there are a lot of health benefits to this type of fast including:
1. Blood sugar regulation
Improved insulin sensitivity! What does that even mean? Well, basically that means the cells in your body are acknowledging and taking in glucose in a more appropriate way.
2. Blood pressure
It helps to reduce blood pressure, also helps with bodyweight management (but that of course, depends on the foods that you are breaking your fast with).
3. Digestive system
Fasting allows the gut to cleanse! It can also stimulate a process called autophagy, which is where cells self-cleanse and remove dysfunctional proteins.
4. Brain health
Scientists are now also studying the link between diet, the gut and mental health. Fasting can lead to the release of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which is a protein in the brain and spinal cord and it’s important for learning and memory. So the more BDNF we have the more protected our brain is. There’s even some research on BDNF potentially lowering the risk of anxiety, depression and risk of developing dementia!