Ramadan Fasting can be helpful in improving a person’s health but only if the diet is followed in a correct way. Improper diet and over eating can actually worsen the situation. Fast does not decide how healthy your Ramadan can be but what you intake during the non-fasting hours is the key thing. If a person wish to gain the best for his health during the month of Ramadan he should work a little on what type of food he should eat and how much to consume. In the following article we will discuss 20 tips to fast healthy in Ramadan and help you to stay healthy and fit during the blessed month.
1. Avoid overeating: Even if the amount of food is less in the diet but is well balanced in nutritional value, it will keep you active and healthy in the month of Ramadan. The diet should not differ much from the normal days of your routine and try to keep it simple. Overeating not only disturbs the digestive system and the body but it also hinders a person’s spiritual development in Ramadan.
2. Include the following foods in your diet: Foods that discharge energy slowly during the fasting period should be included in your diet. Complex carbohydrates like lentils, oats, basmati rice, wheat, grains are some examples of foods which have a slow breakdown rate. Besides these some foods which are rich in Fiber are also digested slowly. Almost all fruits like figs, apricots are rich in fiber. Bran bread, Green beans, potatoes with skin; cereals etc. can also be included in your healthy Ramadan diet.
3. Avoid the Following food: To stay healthy in Ramadan you should avoid the fast burning foods, fried items, Fatty foods such as cakes and sweets, carbonated drinks tea and coffee. The reason behind avoiding drinks containing caffeine is that it stimulates loss of water faster through the urination process.
4. Healthy Sehri tip: When a pre-dawn meal is planned to start your fast it should be enough to provide you with the adequate energy during the fast. The fiber rich and complex carbohydrate food items discussed above can make a perfect combination for a Sehri meal as it digests slowly and provides you the energy throughout the day.
5. Healthy Iftar tip: When you break your fast at the time of Iftar the food intake should provide you with instant energy and refreshment. Breaking the fast with dates, which is our Prophet’s Sunnah and it provides our body with instant energy. Having a bowl of fruits or a glass of fresh juice with no added sugar is also a healthy iftar nutritious idea. Keep a balance in whatever you eat and try not to fill your stomach with the junk and fried stuff.
6. Monitor the blood sugar level: In the month of Ramadan many people face the problem of low blood sugar level. Especially the diabetic patients are advised to keep a regular check and monitor their blood glucose as this can be dangerous for your health and can even lead to fits
and fainting. Feeling dizzy, panicked and releasing sweat are a few symptoms of a disturbed blood glucose level. Consult your doctor immediately if anything abnormal happens and take care of your health during Ramadan.
7. Rehydrate yourself: When you observe a fast the body is deprived of food and water intake. On the other hand the loss of water from the body continues through urination and sweating. If the weather is hot the body loses more water and the chances of dehydration are more. Other factors that may lead to dehydration include the amount of water intake before keeping the fast and the physical exertion you do during the fast. To stay healthy during Ramadan and avoid dehydration issues you should keep yourself rehydrated by drinking adequate amount of water from the time you break your fast till sehri time and avoid going out in sun without an important reason.
8. Immediate Re hydration tip: Dehydration can leave you dizzy and you may feel heavy headed, muscle cramping and body pain. If the situation is worsen and you are unable to stand up properly you need to take a mixture of salt, sugar, lemon drops well diluted in a glass of water. Regular intake of this drink will provide you with instant rehydration. Warning: Consult your doctor if the things are not under control.
9. Exercise time in Ramadan: Exercise is essential to stay fit and healthy. During Ramadan people normally avoid workouts due to the different daily routine and time shortages. If you manage your time well you can easily take out 35 min from your daily routine for your healthy body. There are three options for the Ramadan exercise timings. One is before the Sehri meal which is easy to manage if you wake up half an hour early than your sehri time and the second is in the afternoon which is suitable mostly for the housewives as you can rest a little after exercising and regain your energy again. The third time is between your iftar and dinner which can be managed by taking a light iftar such as fruits, dates, steamed and baked food. You can then exercise after your prayers and have dinner later on as exercising after a heavy meal reduces the fat burning effects.
10. Avoid Sweet cravings by Dates: Sweets and sugary intake is not good for health and messes up the production of energy in your body and lead to an unfortunate weight gain. If you feel irresistible sugar cravings you can replace the pastries and chocolates by dates (in moderate quantity). Dates provide you with fiber, carbohydrates, potassium and vitamins which combine to be a great source of energy and nutritional supplements.
11. Training Advice: When you are in a fasted state, your main goal is to maintain lean muscle so your metabolism and immune system do not get weaker. Having lean muscle aids both these functions.
The best form of training is challenging (for your fitness level) resistance training because it accomplishes these goals. Ideally, you are on a proper training program! But even if you are not a member of a gym, get in some push-ups, squats and chin-ups at least three times per week.
12. Way of cooking to be avoided: If you want your Ramadan to be healthy than you should avoid deep frying and extra use of oil in cooking.
13. Cooking method to be used instead: If you shallow fry, steam, bake and grill your food it can be a healthy and tasty way to avoid extra calories.
14. Fight your smoking craving: You can take advantage of this holy month and get rid of your bad habits such as smoking. During the day time you will be fasting and cannot smoke. This means you have to stop yourself and will learn to get control over the cravings in the day time then why not do the same at the night too when you are not fasting? You just need to be determined and once you decide and motivate yourself you can easily quit smoking. For a few days it will be difficult but if you slowly cut down the cigarettes, your target will be easy.
15. Tips to avoid heartburn: Fasting makes your digestion better as the acid produced in stomach is reduced but if you over eat or consume oily and spicy food than you can face the heartburn issue. To control the stomach ache and heartburn avoid fried and spicy food, reduce smoking and decrease your caffeine intake as this will help you to avoid heartburn especially during Ramadan.
16. Handling constipation issues: Eating healthy and including fiber rich foods and fruits like bananas and papayas can help you in keeping you motions regular.
17. Avoiding headache during fast: This is a common problem when you are fasting and the reasons for headache in Ramadan are lack of sleep, change or routine, dehydration or cravings of addictions. Try to take proper sleep and take small naps during the day is you get a chance. Avoid exposure to sun and keep yourself hydrated when you are not fasting.
18. Urination issue during Ramadan: People often face urination issue during Ramadan. Some have the problem of unlimited bathroom trips and the others feel dehydrated and have discomfort in passing urine. First of all keep a check on the color of the urine. If it is pale like a straw than you are fine on the fluids but if it’s darker in color you need to increase the liquid intake and this will solve the problem of getting dehydrated. If you drink a lot of tea it will cause you frequent trips to bathroom and extra urinating means the body’s minerals and salts are lost during the fasting time. So try to add the correct amount and type of liquid in your diet for a healthy Ramadan.
19. Brush your teeth: Taking care of your teeth is also important during Ramadan. Brush your teeth after every meal to keep them healthy.
20. Special Health tip for Women: Try to include dates, clear soup, fruits, skimmed milk, fresh salad, protein based foods and things that will provide you balanced nutrition. Try to take some rest in the day time and take small naps if possible. Do not spend extra hours in kitchen work and keep a balance so that you get time for religious activities.