Knowledge of the benefits of fasting

Eating frequency is very important in human health. Normally, on non-fasting days, it is recommended to eat large meals with a lot of meat at noon and light meals for breakfast and dinner.

Today, nutrition science has well recognized the role and positive effect of fasting on human health.
Of course, it is certain that in addition to the beneficial physical effects that fasting brings to the fasting person, abstinence from eating and drinking also has a tremendous effect on the soul and spirit of people. Fasting physical benefits and

It contains a lot of soul for a human being and fasting heals the body and also rehabilitates the human soul. Research proves that proper fasting, which is associated with a 20-30% reduction in food consumption, leads to results such as reducing stored fats, reducing blood fat and cholesterol levels, and activating the body’s immune system.

In order to know the benefits of fasting and the points that fasting people should pay attention to during the holy month of Ramadan, we have conducted an interview with Dr. Ahmad Reza Darshti, a nutritionist and faculty member of Tehran University of Medical Sciences, which follows.

Does fasting cause changes in the digestive system?

During feeding, a lot of blood flows to the digestive system, which is why lethargy and reduced mental activity occur as soon as the meal is over. Fasting helps the health of the body a lot by giving rest to the digestive system and sending enough blood throughout the body, especially to the brain and nervous system, and creating enough opportunities for intellectual activity as well as constructive worship. At the same time, the idea that fasting should not lead to a little lethargy and hunger is wrong. These conditions occur naturally during fasting in healthy people and should be tolerated. Of course, in an unusual situation or unnatural pressures created on the body, consultation with experts is absolutely necessary.

What are the positive effects of fasting in weight loss?

The human body always stores some fat as energy storage in different places to maintain its health. Over time, these fats can store some of the carotenoids eaten by the person and change their color. In addition, if these fats remain in the body for a long time, they will become compressed and the possibility of the body using the fats located in their center will decrease. Even in those who are thin or of normal weight, fasting gives the body time to burn these fats and replace them with fresher and more suitable fat after the fasting period is over. For people who have excess fat stored in their body, there is also a great opportunity to consume some of them to produce energy and reduce their excess weight.

What is the effect of proper sleep on the nutrition and growth of children and teenagers during Ramadan?

Adequate and adequate sleep is one of the needs of all human beings. It is known that late and irregular sleep, especially in children and teenagers, can lead to a decrease in height, obesity or excessive thinness and damage to health. For children, at least 8 hours and for teenagers at least 7 hours of sleep during the night (starting from the beginning of the night) are recommended. Of course, sleeping an extra hour is also suitable, but it is better for children to sleep no more than 10 hours and teenagers no more than 9 hours. Obviously, people who have special conditions may have more or different sleeping hours with the advice of the relevant specialist. Since Laila Qadr in the holy month of Ramadan is one of the most cherished times and generally those who are fasting (and even those who are prohibited from fasting for some reason) want to understand the benefits of these nights, it is recommended that people (and especially children) have an alternative sleep during the day. and teenagers) should be considered to help maintain people’s health and physical strength.

Is fasting considered a method of psychotherapy and behavior change?

Fasting in patients suffering from depression and mild diseases, in addition to fulfilling a religious duty, is considered as a method of psychotherapy and behavior change and strengthens mental health. Fasting also increases the willpower, decision-making and executive power of these patients. Of course, patients suffering from mental disorders, in addition to proper nutrition during fasting days, should also have a special plan for taking their medications during Iftar and Suhr. It should be remembered that if these patients do not have proper nutrition during the recovery stages, they will perform weaker in terms of psychological adjustment mechanisms and will not be able to cope well with the resulting changes in daily life style in this month; As a result, they face recurrence or exacerbation of disease symptoms, which is why it is recommended that such patients refrain from continuous fasting for one month.

What should be the way of eating in the holy month of Ramadan?

Having 2 snacks in the morning (in the form of a fruit) and in the evening also helps to control the body’s appetite and metabolism and reduces false appetite. This is why, in addition to the type and amount of food consumed in Iftar and Suhoor, it is very important to observe the frequency of eating during Iftar until Suhoor. When fasting days coincide with hot and long days of the year, since the time between Iftar and Suhoor is short, it is recommended to consume 2 main meals (in the form of Iftar and Suhoor) and a snack (until bedtime) in the form of Fruits and drinks. Of course, it is recommended to drink fluids at the right temperature and in large quantities during all the hours between Iftar and Suhoor. When fasting in the cold months of the year when the nights are long, you can have 3 meals and a snack. For example, it is appropriate to start Iftar with light food such as bread, cheese, walnuts, vegetables, dates, and milk. After 2 to 3 hours (depending on the physiological conditions and appetite of the person) and when he feels that he is hungry enough again, it will be appropriate to eat dinner similar to lunch on normal days. Between dinner and breakfast, it is recommended to have a snack that includes some healthy snacks and sometimes (not always) some good quality sweets, as well as fruits and drinks.

Is fasting necessary for people with special conditions?

If a person is very thin or has a harmful disease or certain physiological conditions that, according to the doctor’s opinion, fasting leads to harm to his body, he should not fast due to physical conditions; For example, some people with diabetes are forced to follow a special diet due to severe changes in blood sugar, which requires them to eat some food every few hours, and failure to follow the nutritional standards causes serious damage to their health. For this reason, it is necessary for people suffering from any type of disease to consult with a specialist doctor related to the field of their disease and fast under his supervision.

What is the effect of intense physical activity on fasting?

Intense activity that leads to high energy consumption as well as profuse sweating during the day, if not accompanied by feeding and drinking compensatory fluids, can lead to malnutrition (mild to severe). Therefore, it is strongly recommended to 9-12-year-old girls, as well as to adolescents who are at even the lowest risk of malnutrition, and to all patients and even apparently healthy people who fasting leads to severe physical symptoms, including great weakness, to consult with a specialist. Fasting for nutrition. The human body needs proteins to make new cells (for growth or to replace cells that are destroyed on a daily basis). In addition, if the amount of energy that reaches the body from carbohydrates (either simple carbohydrates such as sugar or complex types such as starch found in bread, rice, potatoes, corn, and oats) and fats (both animal and vegetable types, including liquid and solid oils) is sufficient. If not, the body inevitably turns to burning valuable proteins and, as the famous saying goes, it burns the flesh of the body. It should be noted that the protein that is lost in the body may take a long time and proper food to replace it. In the same way, if fasting leads to intense burning of proteins in the body, it is necessary to carefully review and control the diet of these people.

What should pregnant women observe during fasting?

The same rule can be said about pregnant women, nursing mothers and the elderly. Some mothers have sufficient and appropriate health and nutrition and may be able to fast in some cases, while others harm themselves, their fetus or their young child by fasting, and such people are certainly prohibited from fasting. Regarding the elderly, it is also necessary to remember that the digestive system of the elderly is somewhat weakened by the passage of time, and therefore the ability to absorb nutrients in them decreases to some extent. The feeling of thirst in this group is impaired and as a result the perception of thirst is somewhat impaired. For this reason, these loved ones are strongly advised to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day without waiting until they feel thirsty. Of course, in very hot weather, it is recommended that these people drink more than 8 glasses of water.

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