Spiritual and Physical Benefits of Ramadan

During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, refraining from food, drink, and other physical needs. Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, and it is considered a way to demonstrate devotion and submission to God.

However, fasting during Ramadan is not only a spiritual practice but also has potential physical, mental, and nutritional benefits. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting, such as that practiced during Ramadan, can lead to weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and better cardiovascular health. Fasting has also been linked to improved mental clarity and cognitive function.

In addition, the pre-dawn meal (suhoor) and the meal that breaks the fast (iftar) provide opportunities for Muslims to make healthful choices and ensure they are consuming a balanced and nutritious diet. These meals can be rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats to help sustain energy levels throughout the day.

The health benefits of Ramadan, this month has been known since at least the 7th century, making it especially important now in the midst of the deadly pandemic.

According to Murat Alemdar, an assistant professor of neurology at the Medical School of the Sakarya University, “if an individual cares about having a regular sleep, a regular nutrition, and other regular movements of life, he/she will capitalize on the benefits of fasting in Ramadan more than others.”

Fasting during Ramadan can have health benefits, but Alemdar warns that those with sleep and nutritional problems won’t reap the full rewards.

Alemdar has studied the effects of fasting on brain activity and has concluded that it has significant health advantages for individuals who adopt it.

The fasting month of Ramadan is a mental aid.

Fasting has been advocated for its purported ability to aid metabolism renewal and kick-start the body’s natural detoxification processes by scientists of varying religions and philosophies since antiquity.

Fasting has been linked to the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is essential for the production of stem cells, suggesting that this reform process may be even truer for brain processes.

These cells are the fundamental building blocks of human metabolism, serving essentially as the body’s healing division due to their ability to divide and proliferate. In addition, they enable the immune system to fight off exterior threats by creating new white blood cells.

According to Alemdar, “there are links between fasting and increasing levels of secretion in the BDNF activity, augmenting the production of brain stem cells.” Having more brain cells will also improve the function of the brain and spinal cord.

According to Alemdar, when eating, drinking, smoking, and related activities are prohibited during Ramadan, the body’s other organs, including the brain, can relax.

To help the brain rest a little more during times when fewer nutrients are taken in, Alemdar explained, “other organs send much less signals to the brain” (where more than 100 billion nerves communicate with each other constantly to ensure the body functions properly).

Spiritually speaking, the brain celebrates when the nervous system concludes that a necessary condition of life has been satisfied due to the fast, according to Alemdar.

Improved Concentration

Since fasting in Ramadan involves more than just cutting out food and sex, it also encourages refraining from negative thought and reimagining one’s life, relationships, and family issues from a spiritual perspective, which has been shown to improve cognitive performance.

Reduced anxiety during Ramadan is attributed in part to the fact that fasting “liberates the brain from many other daily activities,” as noted by Alemdar.

He cautions, however, that fasting is not a panacea for mental health and urges people to make the most of the time between iftar (the nighttime meal at which the fast is broken) and sahur (the breakfast eaten just before dawn).

Between iftar and sahur, we need to normalize our resting and eating schedules. Alemdar argues that establishing healthy Ramadan habits can improve cognitive performance.

During Ramadan, Muslims’ sleep is fragmented because they must get up at midnight to consume sahur. Alemdar, however, stresses that this should not lead to people staying up late or getting less sleep than usual during Ramadan.

Alemdar recommends taking a short nap in the middle of the day, which he calls “Qailulah” in the Muslim faith and “siesta sleep” in other cultures, to “relieve the brain for the implementation of its functions.”

Fasting benefits the human body as a whole, not just the intellect.

Good diet and fasting: a winning combination

When you fast, your body is forced to use fat reserves to keep operating in the absence of nutrition, killing harmful toxins stored in fat deposits; this has the added benefit of improving your digestive system and making you feel better overall.

Because of the large amounts of food we eat on a regular basis, our bodies must devote considerable resources to the digestive process. “During fasting, the digestive system works less, allowing the body to focus on other areas, like strengthening the immune system and reducing infection levels,” says Turkish nutritionist Ceren Kucukvardar.

According to Kucukvardar’s research, “fasting can also help the body fight conditions like oxidative stress, which can increase the possibility of cancer, slowing the speed at which cancer cells can spread.”

However, according to Kucukvardar, weight reduction may be the most significant benefit of fasting for many nutritionists.

“When you take less food, it means you also decrease the levels of insulin [a hormone, which controls the amount of sugar in the blood], reducing fat,” Kucukvardar says.

According to Kucukvardar, the fat content of the liver decreases during Ramadan, greatly improving its health.

Multiple studies have shown that fasting can help people reduce their LDL cholesterol and excess fat, thereby lowering their risk for cardiovascular illnesses and strokes.

A hormone named adiponectin helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels and cardiovascular function. This hormone is said to be elevated during fasting, according to Kucukvardar’s research.

Therefore, fasting safeguards cardiovascular health, as Kucukvardar puts it.

However, she stresses the importance of being mindful of what people consume during the fasting month of Ramadan.

She warns that overindulging at iftar can cause health problems in the digestive tract and proposes splitting the meal into two parts.

Start by taking a 15-minute break during which you consume some low-calorie foods like soup and cheese. She then suggests we proceed to the main meal.

Here are seven surprising health benefits of fasting during Ramadan

Ramadan has not only spiritual but also physical benefits.


Eaten for spiritual reasons, dates also provide a great source of energy due to their high carbohydrate content. They are also high in fiber, potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins, making them one of the healthiest fruits.

Brain Boost:

Fasting during Ramadan can increase brain function by raising the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which produces more brain cells. It can also reduce stress levels by lowering the cortisol hormone.

Quitting Bad Habits:

Ramadan is an excellent time to quit bad habits, such as smoking and consuming sugary foods. With fasting, your body will adapt to their absence, making it easier to kick addiction. It’s also easier to quit in a group, which is readily available during Ramadan.

Lower Cholesterol:

Fasting during Ramadan can help reduce cholesterol in the blood, decreasing the risk of heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke. Maintaining a healthy diet after Ramadan will help maintain this benefit.

Lasting Appetite Reduction:

The reduction in food intake during fasting causes the stomach to shrink gradually, leading to eating less food to feel full. This habit can be beneficial in adopting a healthy eating habit after Ramadan.


Fasting throughout the day offers a rare chance to detoxify the digestive system throughout the month, which is great for spiritual and physical cleansing. Burning away harmful toxins that might be present in fat deposits is a perfect stepping stone to a consistently healthy lifestyle.

Nutrient Absorption:

The efficient metabolism during fasting leads to better absorption of nutrients from food. A hormone called adiponectin, produced by fasting and eating late at night, allows muscles to absorb more nutrients, leading to health benefits throughout the body.

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