Muslims in Thurrock can ensure they have a healthy Ramadan by following some useful fasting advice from the NHS.
This year, Ramadan in the UK is taking place from Friday 26 May until Saturday 24 June. Throughout this period, Muslims observe a daily fast by abstaining from food and drink between dawn and sunset.
Fasting during the month of Ramadan can be beneficial to health and also offers an opportunity for those who are overweight to shed a few pounds – provided it is done correctly.
The body enters into a fasting state around eight hours after the last meal, when the gut finishes absorbing nutrients from the food. During a fast, the body will first start to burn the glucose that’s stored in the liver and muscles, and then fat becomes the next source of energy when the body’s glucose supply has run out.
During Ramadan, the body’s energy can be replaced with the pre-dawn and dusk meals. This provides a gentle transition from using glucose as the main source of energy to using fat, and prevents the breakdown of muscle for protein.
The use of fat for energy helps weight loss, preserves the muscles and eventually reduces cholesterol levels. After a few days of the fast, higher levels of endorphins appear in the blood, making you more alert and giving an overall feeling of general mental wellbeing.