The science of fasting: Ramadan way
To make the most of the intense detoxification process that takes place during fasting, it is crucial to understand what goes on in your body when you fast. With no food or water being consumed by the body for an average of 14 hours during the Ramadan fast, it is important to take precautions against dehydration and ulcers, a medical professional warns. "When we fast, our body undergoes an intense detoxification," says Dr Chandy George, an ayurvedic doctor at Balance Wellness Club. "Fats metabolise faster, muscle tissue starts breaking down, the cells get dehydrated, activity slows down, toxins are released…" To counteract these effects and make the most of the detoxification, it is crucial to understand what goes on in our bodies while we fast. A fasting person tends to sweat and urinate more, says Dr George. "This is the first sign that the body is detoxifying itself." However, losing liquids so rapidly may pose a threat to the body, if not handled adequately, he warns, stressing the importance of consuming 3.5 to 4 litres of water per adult, per day, in the hours from iftar to suhour. Importance of Suhour
Suhour should always be the lightest meal, he advises. A glass of milk, juice and four to five dates is all the body needs, he says. "Although food such as corn and oatmeal are permissible, the body does not require them to sustain itself through the fast. Overeating at suhour means the person begins the fast feeling sluggish: the result of the body's digestive system working overtime to digest a midnight meal." Dr George warns of the dangers of skipping suhour. "Assuming a person goes to bed at 10pm, skips suhour and then ends his fast near 7pm, he starves and dehydrates his body for 21 hours at a stretch. The human body is not equipped to fast for 21 hours. It is dangerous and subjecting the body to this behaviour may lead to various complications, including stomach ulcers," he says. While ending the fast at iftar, the...
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