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5 Tips On Healthy Fasting During Ramadan

Ramadan fasting has spiritual, physical, psychological and social benefits. However, there can be serious physical problems if fasting and...

Ramadan fasting has spiritual, physical, psychological and social benefits. However, there can be serious physical problems if fasting and the breaking of fast are not carried out sensibly.

Here are 5 key tips for fasting that can help minimize discomfort and promote nutritional health:

1. Eat in Moderation

  • During a fast, the needs of the body are reduced. Fasting automatically triggers the body to adjust its metabolism to slow down and switch to using fat reserves so less food is needed. This is not a time to intentionally diet to lose weight. Eating in moderation helps to ensure adequate nutrition while avoiding indigestion, constipation, and lethargy.
  • Eat simple, healthy foods in small quantities.
  • Include variety for a balanced diet that includes breads, meats, dairy, fruits and vegetables
  • Limit sweets. Fruit jams, fruit & nut bars and dried fruits are good choices.

2. Eat for Satiety

  • Hunger is common at the start of Ramadan while the body adjusts to fasting. Eating adequate protein and fat as well as staying hydrated will help with feeling full. Too many carbohydrates from sweet foods will work against feeling full because they are digested too quickly to be satisfying over time.
  • Choose nutrient-dense foods that promote satiety especially at Suhur. Include dairy drinks, cheeses, meat, luncheon meats, nuts and healthy fats (olives, olive oil).

3. Stay Hydrated

  • In 2010, Ramadan occurs during one of the hottest months of the year. Staying well-hydrated is important for avoiding fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, and constipation. Drink adequate fluids, mainly juice and water, each day between Iftar and sleep.
  • Make water and juice your preferred drinks
  • Choose fluid-containing foods such as soups, juices, fruits, melons, vegetables, and dairy drinks
  • Limit sodium (salt) as it increases the body’s need for water
  • Avoid caffeine, which is dehydrating

4. Limit Physical Activity

  • Do not exercise aggressively during a fast as your body is low on energy, electrolytes (minerals) and fluid. Sweating causes additional loss of fluids and salts that may cause cramping, muscle aches, headache and light headedness or fainting. Some activity may help maintain energy levels, lean muscle strength and promote bowel regularity.
  • Engage in light activity 1-2 hours after eating when your body has been refreshed with nutrients and energy.

5. Health Concerns

  • If you have chronic health problems (diabetes, cancer, heart disease etc.), are pregnant or lactating, or are over 65 it is advisable to seek medical attention before starting your fast.Medications often require some adjustment. Vitamin and mineral supplements may be added to help ensure nutritional adequacy during fasting. In addition consider:
    • Adequate fiber helps reduce gastric acidity and maintain regularity. Include dates, granola, fruits and nuts.
  • To minimize heartburn and indigestion avoid spicy foods and greasy high fat foods.
  • Eat small portions and space your courses over time to minimize blood sugar and blood lipid fluctuations
  • Avoid overeating of sweets and high sugar foods which may interfere with blood sugar control and alertness

Ramadan is an excellent time for beginning and maintaining proper balance in your life!

*Nothing in this document should be construed as taking the place of the recommendations of your personal medical professional.

Source + Halal Healthy

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