What are the benefits of fasting?

Fasting is the willing abstinence from food or drinks, or both, for a set period of time. Some people still have water and black coffee while fasting.

In Islam however, and during the month of Ramadan in particular, fasting is one of the Five Pillars in which they abstain from certain habits as well as all food and drinks from sunrise to sunset — including water.

The practice is intended to remind Muslims of the suffering of the less fortunate and to strengthen their faith.

Whether you are fasting for faith or health, here are five benefits of fasting:

Promotes blood sugar control

Intermittent fasting and alternate-day-fasting can improve blood sugar control. They are also as effective in reducing insulin resistance as limiting calorie intake.

Fights inflammation

Studies say that inflammation may be involved in the development of chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

A significant decrease in inflammation was found in some people after fasting for 30 days.

Enhances heart health

Improving diet and lifestyle is one of the most effective ways to reduce risk of heart disease.

Studies found that fasting helps reduce blood pressure and levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) in the body as well as blood triglycerides.

Aids in weight loss

Studies found that fasting can help boost metabolism and is as effective as calorie restriction in inducing weight loss.

In addition, it was found to be more effective than calorie restriction at increasing fat loss while simultaneously preserving muscle tissue.

Helps boost immune system

Fasting for 30 days can stimulate the production of new white blood cells and underlies the regeneration of the immune system.

This helps strengthen the body and helps ward off bacterial and viral infections and other diseases.