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Yet another year has passed, and the holy month of Ramadan is almost here again. Ramadan 2022 will begin on April 2nd in the evening and will continue till the sundown of May 1st. The fasting that takes place during Ramadan attracts the most attention from practitioners of Islam as well as people practising other faiths. However, Ramadan fasting is more than just skipping meals during the day and then binge eating midnight snacks.
This holy festival holds much more value in terms of both physical and spiritual realms. On top of that, when practised properly, one can reap several health benefits from Ramadan 2022 prolonged fasting. This piece is dedicated to helping you pave way for a healthy Ramadan 2022, introduce this splendid festival of self-reflection, and ensure that you get mental and physical health benefits to the greatest extent possible.
The month of Ramadan is a commemoration of the time when Prophet Muhammad received the revelation of the Holy Quran. The revelation lasted for a total of 30 days which explains the 30-day duration of Ramadan. Practitioners of the Islamic faith fast during the month of Ramadan. Besides showing their respect towards this holy event, this fast is also undertaken by Muslims to re-purify and rejuvenate themselves.
Ramadan fasting is also about reminding yourself of the less fortunate, praying for their well-being, and thanking Allah for providing you everything from food and shelter to peace and solace. Moreover, the month of Ramadan includes introspection, self-reflection, and abstention from all negative actions. The whole experience of fasting during the daytime, abstaining from all that is a sin or evil even in the slightest and exchanging greetings of Ramadan Kareem and Ramadan Mubarak is often described as transcendental.
Intermittent fasting is another form of discipline followed by several people for the betterment of their health. Intermittent fasting is seen as a great way to not only boost weight loss, but also as something to improve metabolism, improve blood circulation, and be an immunity booster.
Ramadan fasting and intermittent fasting are similar in several regards. While intermittent fasting can range anywhere between 10 to 16 hours, Ramadan fast can range between 12 to 20 hours. A key difference lies in the motive. Whereas intermittent fasting is solely about losing body mass and improving the BMI and overall health, Ramadan fasting holds cultural significance.
Another aspect where these two diverge is the notion of water. Intermittent fasting allows the consumption of water since it doesn’t contain any calories. On the other hand, Ramadan fasting restricts drinking water to remind them of the importance of water and show their gratitude for the availability of such a precious resource. However, the bottom line here is that both Ramadan fasting and intermittent fasting offer the practitioners several health benefits when done correctly.
While we are on the subject, let’s discuss the speculated link between Ramadan fasting and health benefits. Given below are some of the top ways Ramadan fasting may prove beneficial for you:
Ramadan fasting has been associated with several misconceptions for a long time. From myths about the length of the fast to the activities permissible, many doubts surround the holy month of Ramadan. Given below are some of the most common myths related to Ramadan fasting and health concerns:
Many are surprised by the fact that people practising Ramadan fasting continue with their daily routines. Working at your job, business, or home is common during Ramadan (and safe too). While fasting does introduce a few changes in the schedule, it doesn’t hamper work in any considerable manner. As long as the fasting person takes good care of their health, continuing work is safe.
While it is rare to see people from the Islamic faith opting out of Ramadan, the scenario is not entirely impossible. People can easily choose not to fast as per their health conditions and need of the hour. Similarly, some people are excused from fasting by default. For instance, children yet to hit puberty, women who are menstruating or pregnant, and others are not required to have fast during Ramadan. Even older people with have frail bodies and ill people are excused.
The holy month of Ramadan is not just about refraining from a meal or two. It is also about maintaining a distance from all the things classified as evil or sin and cleansing the soul in the process. Ramadan is the month of self-introspection and realisation, and it calls out the believers to thank Allah for every good fortune and support they have had in the past months and to seek forgiveness for all the negativity they have partaken in.
The month of Ramadan represents both physical and spiritual cleaning of the person. Notably, it makes people realise that many are not as fortunate as them. With such gratitude induced, they are recommended to pray for others’ well-being.
While people do fast every day for one month of Ramadan, the fasts don’t last 24 hours. Ramadan fasting only lasts for a few hours during the daytime, with the duration being anywhere between 12 and 20 hours. One should note that it is rare to have a fasting time as long as 20 hours. Usually, Ramadan 2022 prolonged fasting hours are just about 12.5 hours. And while Ramadan 2021 was between April 13th and May 12th, the average fasting hours were similar, i.e., 13-14 hours.
Munching on all your favourite foods throughout the year and suddenly fasting for a month straight may prove challenging for several people. Even when Ramadan 2022 prolonged fasting is not to be held for the whole day, getting through the day while completing all your obligations at home and work could be tiring.
This is why we have prepared a small list of some effective ways in which you can ensure that your Ramadan 2022 is as healthy as it can be:
Leading a healthy Ramadan 2022 revolves around the food you eat after Iftar and before Suhoor. While staying hydrated, getting enough sleep and light exercise is crucial, consuming a healthy diet is equally important to stay in good shape during the month-long fasting period. While there is a whole spectrum of different food options you can experiment with in Ramadan 2022, we have taken the liberty to prepare a small list comprising all the healthy foods you can consider for Suhoor and Iftar.
Since Suhoor meals mark the beginning of your day, ideal choices would be edibles that keep you energised for the whole day. Morning meals can be a little tricky because eating right at the dawn isn’t something that most people look forward to. Not to mention the woes of cooking elaborate meals immediately after you wake up. Here’s a list of food options to resort to for starting your day:
Suhoor tips for People Who Exercise: If you work out in general and plan to keep at it during Ramadan 2022 as well, consider working out before your Suhoor meal. This way, all the protein, vitamins and fibres you have at Suhoor will work to your advantage.
The purpose of the Iftar meal is to replenish the energy lost during the day, fasting. So, you must aim at consuming a wholesome meal that has items from major food groups – proteins, carbohydrate and fats. This can include raw fruits and vegetables, protein-rich foods and dietary fibres. Given below are some options from each of these food groups to prepare a balanced Iftar meal:
Some people break their Iftar meals into two halves which is pretty smart indeed. Breaking your Iftar into two will ensure that your stomach isn’t suddenly burdened by a lot of food after several hours of fasting; leading to spike in sugar levels. Consider eating a small meal with fruits, dry fruits and date palms when you break your fast. Leave the major food groups like protein-rich foods and grains for the Iftar dinner.
Whether it is a new lifestyle you are trying to get on, dropping a few pounds, gaining inner peace and command of your thought, or needing help in quitting an addiction, the month of Ramadan is the perfect time for all. We have established that Ramadan health, fasting, and immunity indeed have a strong connection. However, another thing clear from this discussion is that Ramadan is more than just a way to promote physical health. It also includes aspects of growing and evolving into a better person, practising gratitude, demonstrating appreciation for your conditions, etc. The month of Ramadan, as widely described, is an essential cleansing of the soul.
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