By: Rana Setiawan, Head of Reporter at MINA News Agency
Ramadan fasting is one of the obligations for all Muslims who are able to do it. The commandment of the obligation to fast in the blessed month is mentioned by Allah in the Al-Quran surah Al-Baqarah verse 183.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلون
“O you who believe, it is obligatory for you to fast as it was required of those before you so that you are cautious.” (Surah Al Baqarah: 183)
In addition, in the hadith it is told from Abu Hurairah Radhiyallahu anhu that the Prophet sallallaahu Alaihi Wasallam said: “Have come to you Ramadan, a blessed month. Allah obliges you to fast from him. The gates of heaven were opened to him. The gates of Jahim (hell) are closed. The demons are in chains. Inside there is a night that is better than 1,000 months. Who is prevented from his kindness, then he is really hindered. ” (HR. Ahmad and Nasa’i)
Muslims have been ordered to fast during Ramadan more than 1,400 years ago. Apart from increasing the piety of a Muslim, fasting also has many health benefits.
Today, more and more scientists are uncovering the benefits of fasting for mental and physical health.
Even though the fasting month of Ramadan this time is still in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is no need to worry. Because as long as you apply a good diet, your body’s immunity will be maintained and even get various health benefits.
Various research studies on fasting will have a good effect on our bodies, including in efforts to increase resistance or immunity to disease, as well as in the face of this coronavirus.
Strengthens Body Resistance
One of the studies related to fasting and endurance or the immune system was studied at the University of Southern California. In the study, the researchers found that hunger triggers stem cells in the body to produce new white blood cells that fight infection.
Researchers call fasting the reversing of the regenerative switch that prompts stem cells to create new white blood cells.
The creation of new white blood cells is what underlies the regeneration of the entire immune system. The good news is that the body gets rid of parts of the system that may become damaged, old, or inefficient during fasting. This causes the body to induce changes that trigger the regeneration of stem cells to make new immune system cells.
The researchers also found that prolonged fasting also reduced the PKA enzyme. This enzyme is closely related to aging and hormones that increase the risk of cancer and tumors.
Control Blood Sugar
Several studies have also found that fasting can improve blood sugar control, which is especially useful for people with diabetes. In addition, limiting calorie intake in the body when a person is fasting can also reduce insulin resistance.
A decrease in insulin resistance can increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin, so that the body can transport glucose from the bloodstream to cells more efficiently.
Not only that, fasting can also help keep blood sugar stable because it prevents spikes and decreases in blood sugar levels in the body.
Increase Growth Hormone
Growth hormone is a protein hormone that is important for many aspects of health. This important hormone can affect growth, metabolism, weight loss, and muscle output.
A number of studies have shown that fasting can naturally increase growth hormone levels. the growth hormone can be increased optimally due to the influence of blood sugar and insulin levels which are more controlled during fasting.
Activating Autophagy (Seconds When Fasting)
Another study on fasting in 2016 was conducted by Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi from Japan, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for successfully discovering the mechanism behind the process of these cells, which is known as autophagy.
Autophagy is a Greek term that means “to eat oneself”. Scientifically, autophagy is known as the ability of cells in the body to eat or destroy certain components in the cells themselves.
Through his research, Ohsumi found that autophagy plays a big role in the body. This mechanism plays a major role in controlling important physiological functions in which cell components need to be degraded and recycled.
Most of the tissues in the human body replace their cells with new ones on a regular basis. Each organ takes time to completely renew itself. However, other tissues never replace their cells.
The cells of the human body are destroyed and then recycle their own parts continuously. Ohsumi, a cell biologist, spent years studying how human cells recycle their waste.
In all of his research, Ohsumi applied fasting to stimulate the body to be able to break down toxic cells and get rid of all waste. When a person fasts, the cells in his body will live longer and produce more energy.
His body also had less inflammation. In addition, if he chooses to limit the number of calories he consumes, the nitric oxide levels in his body will increase. These are molecules that help detoxify and rejuvenate the body.
The benefits of this fasting method for human health are numerous and include a reduced risk of heart disease, such as neurological problems and diabetes, as well as a reduction in inflammation, oxidative stress, and blood pressure.
The conclusion of the research suggests that a person can undergo the practice of starving himself (fasting) two or three times a week.
The benefits of fasting should not only be felt during Ramadan. Regular sunnah fasting will stimulate the autophagy process more frequently so that the body will become healthier.
Improve Brain Function
Animal studies have shown that fasting may protect brain health and increase nerve cell production to help improve cognitive function.
In particular, animal studies have also shown that fasting may protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
In addition, the benefits of fasting can also help prevent neurodegenerative disorders.
Make You Happy
In addition, Dr Razeen Mahroof, an anesthetist from Oxford, is helping the National Health Service (NHS) to map guidelines for healthy fasting during Ramadan.
He revealed that there are several health benefits that can be obtained from fasting, including lowering cholesterol levels, diabetes and more controlled blood pressure, so that you can lose weight.
In addition, a few days after Ramadan, the body will begin to adjust to the new diet and drink, so that higher levels of endorphins appear in the blood.
Increased levels of endorphins certainly make those who are fasting more alert, happier, and have an impact on better mental health.
A study also suggests that health benefits may come from a metabolic switch, in which fasting triggers the body to divert its energy source from glucose to fat and ketones.
Ketone production, or ketogenesis, can increase the body’s resistance to oxidative stress and inflammation, with beneficial effects on health and aging. (AT/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)