Health Benefits Of Fasting

Written by Sumaila Awudu of Amen Scientific Herbal Hospital and Edited by
Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Fasting is a religious and spiritual exercise practiced by the early prophets through whom religions were routed to mankind. Of all the religions it is only Islam that institutionalized fasting as one of the five pillars of the religion. In the ninth month of Islamic lunar calendar each year, all Muslims of age and in good health are required to observe the fast for 29 or 30 days. This practice is followed al over the world by millions of Muslims throughout the word in unison. In this article Mr. Sumaila Awudu a medical herbalist at the Amen Scientific Herbal Hospital in Accra enumerates some of the health benefits of fasting;

Fasting is observed by many as a religious obligation for spiritual upliftment. However they are unaware of the immense health benefits they can derive from the exercise. Research has shown that fasting especially when observed regularly helps to boost the body’s immune system and also improves the general wellbeing of the body. As said earlier this article is meant to enumerate some of the fundamental health benefits one could derive from observing the fast.

1. FASTING PROMOTES DETOXIFICATION

The liver and kidneys are the main organs of the body responsible for detoxification. Toxins are found in additives which are used in processed foods and are stored in body fat when these processed foods are digested by the body. Fasting however burn these fats and thereby releases toxins to be excreted (removed from the body) by the kidneys or liver.

2. FASTING REDUCES BLOOD SUGAR

The body needs energy at all times even during the period of fasting. Fasting increases the breakdown of glucose to release energy in the body. This is done by producing glucagon which breaks down glucose without requiring the prior secretion of insulin thereby allowing the pancreas to rest. The end result of the above processes is the reduction of one’s blood sugar.

3. FASTING RESTS THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

During fasting the digestive system rests but digestive secretions continue at a reduced rate. This ensures a balance in the body fluids. Food breakdown and the release of energy occur in a gradual pattern in the body. However, acid production in the stomach doesn’t stop; this explains why peptic ulcer patients are advised to approach fasting with care.

4. FASTING HELPS REGULATE THE BLOOD PRESSURE

During fasting fats and glucose are broken down quickly, adrenaline and non-adrenaline secretions are reduced preventing the clogging of arteries (atherosclerosis). This improves blood circulation and reduces the blood pressure in the hypertensive.

5. FASTING RESOLVES INFLAMMATORY CONDITIONS

Research has shown that fasting, when observed regularly is able to control or to some extent treat inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatism, ulcerative colitis and some skin conditions such as psoriasis.
6. FASTING PROMOTES WEIGHT LOSS.

It is however not considered a healthy way of losing weight unless it is combined with reduced intake of fats and sugar, increasing fruits and vegetable intake and having enough rest.
To add to the above, one can also talk about fasting boosting the body’s immune system, promoting healthy diet and aiding drug addicts to overcome their addictions.

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