Fasting for Ramadan is difficult

Corona - higher risk of infection through fasting in Ramadan?

In the month of fasting, Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. They break the fast after sunset. There are around 16 hours in between.

A healthy body usually gets used to the change without any problems and goes into starvation mode. So it gets by with less energy and still works. Going without food isn't that dramatic. A bigger problem is the lack of fluids. People who are already sick need a lot of it because fluids help the body deal with an illness or get healthy.

It has not been researched whether fasting leads to the immune system being weakened and whether it is easier for the corona virus to enter the body. After all, the corona situation is new for everyone - including science.

Beware of previous illnesses

People who already have health problems need to think carefully about the extent to which they can tolerate the fasting and speak to their doctor beforehand. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises COVID-19 patients to discuss with a doctor and, if necessary, to refrain from fasting this year. Ultimately, only medical professionals can judge whether a person is too sick or too weak or whether the risk of infection is too high.

There will be no large gatherings this year due to the risk of infection

Islamic religious communities generally advise postponing fasting if there is a life-threatening risk or if there is a risk that the healing of an illness will be delayed. There will be no big gatherings this year either, the breaking of the fast will mainly take place at home and with the family.

The exceptions

Old, sick and frail people, pregnant women and travelers have always been exempt from fasting. Women who are breastfeeding or menstruating as well as children before puberty also belong to this group. You don't have to stick to the strict rules of Ramadan. The chronically ill, for example, need the energy to fight the disease in question. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), however, healthy believers could carry out Ramadan just as they would every year. The WHO does not draw a connection between fasting and a greater risk of infection.

Fasting is not the same as fasting

Fasting during Ramadan is different from many forms of fasting that are used, for example, to lose weight, purify or detoxify the body. During the daily breaking of the fast after sunset, Muslims are allowed to eat and drink as much as they want. In this way, the stores in the body are refilled - until the next evening. So it is not a complete renouncement of food and fluids.

According to the WHO, healthy believers could carry out Ramadan just as they would every year.

A healthy person can bridge the fast between sunrise and sunset well. The WHO also addresses the health requirements necessary to participate in fasting. She has put together a page with tips for Ramadan. There it says: "Healthy people should be able to (...) fast as in previous years." The organization does not see any restrictions or special risks and dangers due to fasting.

The problem starts in the throat

Researchers and doctors now know that the viruses can establish themselves in the throat and multiply. This is also where smears are taken for testing for COVID-19. According to previous knowledge, the viral load is greatest in this area after an infection.

The viruses can then spread further through droplet infection when sneezing or coughing. Keeping the throat area moist - i.e. drinking a lot - was therefore a recommendation that many medical professionals made at the beginning of the Corona crisis. This would make it more difficult for the viruses to multiply.

  • About superfoods and superpowers

    Açai

    Açai comes from South America. It has slowly spread as an insider tip all over the world because it makes - as they say - slim. In addition, it is said to be a fountain of youth and prevent wrinkles because of its abundant antioxidants. Athletes expect the small, blue power fruit - for example in such an açai bowl - to give themselves an extra boost of energy.

  • About superfoods and superpowers

    avocado

    The avocado is one of the most fatty fruits in the world, but that doesn't make it fattening. Because their fat is valuable unsaturated fatty acids that have a positive effect on the cholesterol level and the cardiovascular system. The pear-shaped fruit also contains many vitamins that are supposed to be good for skin and hair, for the immune system - and for the nerves.

  • About superfoods and superpowers

    Chia seeds

    The small seeds are advertised as real all-rounders: They have a high protein content and are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The Mayas and Aztecs are said to have appreciated this 5000 years ago. However, the small seeds are not really tasty, but rather tasteless. Chia fans eat them as pudding, gel or straight - simply sprinkled over the food.

  • About superfoods and superpowers

    Goji berries

    Superlatives can hardly be avoided with superfoods, so here's the next one: The goji berry is said to be one of the healthiest fruits in the world. It should strengthen the immune system and heart, help with high blood pressure, donate energy - and keep you young, for example, be good for eyes and skin.

  • About superfoods and superpowers

    Kale

    The kale is slowly turning from an outsider to a trendy vegetable. The kale has had a good reputation in the USA for a long time. There are kale smoothies, kale salad, kale everything. Kale is a vitamin bomb: 100 grams are enough to meet our daily vitamin C requirement. There is also plenty of vitamin A and minerals such as iron and calcium.

  • About superfoods and superpowers

    blueberries

    The season of the dark blue berries begins in July in this country. Blueberries are considered to be anti-inflammatory vitamin bombs. The ancient Greeks and Romans are said to have used them against intestinal diseases. In contrast to the South American açai fruit, they are low in calories and hardly any fat. But: They should have the same anti-aging effect.

  • About superfoods and superpowers

    ginger

    In the case of gastrointestinal diseases, ginger mainly has a warming effect. This is supposed to improve the blood circulation in the intestine. Inflammation can heal and the intestinal lining recovers. The warming effect of ginger comes into its own when dried. When it is fresh, its spiciness comes into play, which is particularly important for strengthening the immune system, for example.

  • About superfoods and superpowers

    turmeric

    Turmeric has been one of the most important Indian spices for millennia, including a component of curry powder. The ginger-like plant is considered sacred and belongs to almost every meal, as it makes the food more digestible and aids digestion. But turmeric is said to be able to do even more: lower the cholesterol level, have an antioxidant effect and be good against inflammation.

  • About superfoods and superpowers

    Almonds

    If you want to do something good for your health, you should nibble a few almonds every day. This is supposed to prevent hunger pangs, have a positive effect on the heart and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. In addition, the fat of the almond is just like that of the avocado: of the good variety!

  • About superfoods and superpowers

    Quinoa

    Quinoa (pronounced "kienwah"), which comes from South America, is also called Inca grain, Andean millet or Peru rice. It is considered to be one of the best vegetable sources of protein in the world. The small grains contain all nine essential amino acids, disease-fighting antioxidants, are gluten-free and rich in minerals.

    Author: Hannah Fuchs