Boost your brain
No doubt you’ll be aware of the positive effects fasting can have on your mental wellbeing and spiritual focus, but the brain-boosting powers of Ramadan are even more significant than you might think. A study carried out by scientists in the USA found that the mental focus achieved during Ramadan increases the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which causes the body to produce more brain cells, thus improving brain function. Likewise, a distinct reduction in the amount of the hormone cortisol, produced by the adrenal gland, means that stress levels are greatly reduced both during and after Ramadan.
A team of cardiologists in the UAE found that people observing Ramadan enjoy a positive effect on their lipid profile, which means there is a reduction of cholesterol in the blood. Low cholesterol increases cardiovascular health, greatly reducing the risk of suffering from heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke. What’s more, if you follow a healthy diet after Ramadan, this newly lowered cholesterol level should be easy to maintain.
In a group of 750 Ramadan fasting adults in Turkey who were studied by questionnaire, 187 recorded some type of health problem during the fast (Karaagaoglu and Yucecan, 2000). Within this group of people who became ill, 60% were normally taking prescribed drugs and 32% were on diets relating to their health. During Ramadan, 10 and 19% of these two respective groups stopped taking their drugs and did not regularly adhere to their diets. Of 81 Asian Muslim patients questioned, 37 were found to have changed their drug dosage pattern while fasting, 35 had missed doses, eight took their tablets at different times and four took all their medications as one single daily dose after breaking fast in the evening (Aslam & Healy, 1986).