x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Fasting provides health benefits

A reader says forgoing food is good for your spiritual and physical health. Other topics: Americans say thanks to the UAE and food inspections.

Americans say thanks for hurricane help

I am writing in response to UAE gives $4.5m to US schools hit by hurricane (July 17).

As a US citizen who experienced the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and was blessed to see the generosity of so many who helped the Homestead-Miami communities in Florida to recover, I am particularly touched by this generous gift of the UAE to yet again help people in the US recover from a great loss.

This donation to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund is another reminder to me of the kindness and compassion of the UAE government.

Barbara Huntley, Abu Dhabi

I am an English teacher who has worked in Abu Dhabi since August 2009.

But long before I arrived here, I taught for several years in the New Jersey public school system.

I am overwhelmed to see this outreach on behalf of this great nation where I now live and work, and which I have become to think of as my home.

The best commonality between NJ and the UAE: the support of parents for their children's education.

I remember the level of involvement of my NJ students' mothers and fathers, even aunts and uncles, and I see the same commitment here. Schooling is a team effort.

Education does not only prepare students for future success, it connects countries around the world regardless of religion or race.

The UAE has been very generous to many people in the US.

I say: thank you to the UAE for looking after students across the oceans, as well as in their own country.

Name withheld by request

Non-Muslims feel welcome in UAE

I refer to Sikh temple symbolises UAE's tolerance (July 3).

I know the Sikhs world over appreciate the big-heartedness of the UAE in allowing this Gurudwara to be built.

With all the different religions, including Hindu and Christians, here, I think the UAE is not just tolerating people of other faiths, it is welcoming them.

Balvinder Kaur, Abu Dhabi

Fasting provides health benefits

It appears to be the consensus among the right-minded that the sanctity of fasting should be observed with reverence and indulgence avoided.

Fasting is an act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, sex or both for a period of time.

It is shunning the basic carnal desires which obstruct the attainment of religious and spiritual heights.

Individuals the world over observe fasts based on personal beliefs and local customs.

Almost all religions preach fasting: Islam (Ramadan), Christians (Lent), Hindus (Shravan), Jains (Paryushan) and others.

Research suggests fasting provides health benefits due to calorie restrictions. Benefits include reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, insulin resistance and immune disorders, as well as slowing the ageing process, and the potential to increase the human lifespan.

A team of cardiologists in the UAE found that people observing Ramadan enjoy a positive effect on their lipid profile, which means there is a reduction of cholesterol in the blood.

These results suggest a possible positive effect on the obesity levels of individuals who adhere to these fasting periods.

In terms of cancer risk, there is no human evidence to date of the effects of fasting.

However, animal studies have found decreases in lymphoma incidence, longer survival after tumour inoculation, and lower rates of proliferation of several cell types.

CS Pathak, Dubai

Food inspections keep us all safe

I was delighted to read Al Ain inspectors destroy 160kg of expired food (July 17).

These stringent measures are required to ensure food safety in the UAE.

Many people die or fall ill every year during the summer months after they consume stale or rotten food.

I am surprised that restaurants are not better prepared for these inspections. I think inspectors should visit food outlets throughout the year.

Hopefully, the number of food-related illnesses will drop this time.

Cyrus M, Abu Dhabi