20 practical health tips for Ramaḍān

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    20 practical health tips for Ramaḍān 

     

    In light of the information above, the following are general pointers related to our fasting. This list is not exhaustive, and I would encourage seeking advice from your GP to make an individualized plan for your fasting.

    1. Begin iftār with dates, providing you with an immediate source of energy. Rehydrate yourself with plenty water.
    1. Isotonic drinks or natural juice drinks when breaking the fast are a good source of minerals, salts, and vitamins.
    1. Resist the urge to feast as much as you can, as quickly as you can! Research has shown that even food-associated words appear much brighter to the hungry.[9] After a day of fasting and discipline, resist this instinct and illusion – aim to eat in moderation.
    1. Avoid high-fat, high-sugar content, and highly-processed food (e.g. white wheat) – fried food, ghee, pakoras, biryanis, Indian sweets, halawas (and the list goes on..!). By iftār time, our bodies are working to preserve as much energy possible. Therefore, excessive fatty food and sugars will be rapidly added to body fat reserves.
    1. Salty food at iftār and suhūr will cause dehydration and make you feel increasingly thirsty.
    1. After Maghrib salāh, have a well-balanced meal containing all of the food groups mentioned in this article.
    1. Meals with slow release carbohydrates will keep you well energised for a night of ʿibādah. Include sources of fibre, which will keep your bowels working and healthy after resting during the day.
    1. Fibre and proteins keep you feeling full for longer – an important part of your meal plan.
    1. Staying well hydrated and eating sources of fibre will help prevent constipation in Ramaḍān
    1. Cereals, salads, fruit and vegetables are excellent replacements for oily curries and fried snacks.
    1. Eat in moderation, a heavy stomach rarely agrees with a night of fruitful ʿibādah
    1. The ḥadīth regarding the breath of the fasting person does not justify poor dental hygiene. Brushing, flossing before tarawīḥ is advised, for the sake of fellow worshippers too! Excessive sugary snacks and drinks are also harmful for teeth.
    1. After iftār, stay well hydrated by taking regular sips of water every half hour, or a cup full or more every hour.
    1. Physical exercise immediately after iftār may not be a good idea, as our blood flow is being directed to our digestive system at that time.
    1. Please be mindful of the sugar content in caffeinated energy drinks. With tea and coffee, again moderation is key.
    1. Take the strength and discipline developed during fasting to give up smoking this Ramaḍān. Smoking cessation services in the NHS can help you reach this goal.[10]
    1. Do not skip suhūr An important sunnah and opportunity to nourish your body with a balanced diet containing complex carbohydrates, fibres, proteins, good fats we have discussed earlier.
    1. Try to fit in adequate time for napping. Planning rest well will allow us to make the most of our time in Ramaḍān. Even sleep can be rewarded if intended to recuperate in preparation for more ʿibādah!
    1. If you are taking any regular medication, have any health conditions, are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is very important to consult with your GP first before planning your fasts. Please make sure you encourage family members to do the same.
    1. Our Deen excuses those who are unwell or ill from fasting. Please spend time learning the fiqh of fasting from a trusted local imām, and ask when faced with any questions.