Updated: Jun 7, 2020
If you follow the Muslim faith you will be looking forward to the end of Ramadan just about now. One of my Muslim friends asked me about the nutritional benefits of fasting; if it was good nutrition and how it might effect someone’s nutritional balance and overall good health. A really interesting question and an area of nutrition where opinion has changed over the last couple of decades. It is now the general consensus that there is real benefit to be had from intermittent fasting which is supported by good science. I’d love to hear from you if you are interested in this facet of nutrition and will provide links to sources on request if you want to find out more, just drop me a message.
Simply put the benefits are:
Assists a number of heart conditions by lowering cholesterol and blood triglycerides.
A decrease in (chronic) inflammation levels.
Promotes good blood balancing and helps decrease blood sugar levels.
Aids weight loss and boosts metabolism.
Fasting sounds a lot like dieting doesn’t it, restricting your intake what else could it be? But that doesn’t have to be the case. It’s not about eating less it’s about eating at different times than you might normally. One of the easy changes I’ve found to be effective at keeping those pounds off and charge my metabolism while reaping the benefits of fasting is to simply have breakfast later and dinner earlier. In effect conducting intermittent fasting you just need to be a bit more disciplined about snacking but an early night and sleep helps me with that. Just doing this twice a week can have a big impact.
It’s not just the Muslim faith either, fasting has been a part of many religions for a long time. Christianity has Lent, which used to be 40 days of fasting and morphed into “giving something up for Lent”. Buddhism has many different forms of fasting and so on. I do believe that our metaphorical grandparents (see what I did there) were not stupid and they worked out that fasting brought them health benefits, it’s now with the aid of modern science that we understand why.