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How to: Benefit from Fasting & Avoid Processed Foods in Ramadan

Done correctly, Fasting promotes the following key health benefits to the body: 1. Fasting Helps to detoxify the Body It’s spring-cleaning ...

Done correctly, Fasting promotes the following key health benefits to the body:

1. Fasting Helps to detoxify the Body

It’s spring-cleaning time for the body. Just as we need to overhaul a car every now and then to maintain the car so that it can function optimally, so does our body.
One month of Fasting during Ramadan does just that to our body – It overhauls the body. In other words, it detoxifies the body and helps the body get rid of toxins.
Detoxification is a process where toxins are eliminated or neutralized through the organs of the body. It starts when food no longer enters the body and causes the body to use energy reserves such as fats that is stored in the body. Due to large amounts of processed foods, stress and other environmental factors, large number of toxins get stored in these fats deposits and as we fast and fats gets eliminated from the body so does the toxins.

2. Helps Improve Health & Reduce the Risks of Chronic Health Diseases

Most Chronic Health Diseases such as Heart Diseases, Stroke & Diabetes are mainly diet related. Fasting helps to manage our diet and thus helps to reduce the risk of such Chronic Health Diseases if we observe the proper eating guidelines during suhoor and iftar. 

3.  It also Aids Healing & Improves the Immune System

The digestive system is given a break, thus allowing the body to focus its energy to the immune system. The body has time to rest and repair itself when digestion is not going on.
Since we are taking a break to help detoxify the body it is important to ensure that we do not “contaminate” the body during Sahur or Iftar else it defeats the nutritional health benefits of fasting.

Foods to Avoid or Reduce during Suhoor or Iftar

  1. Processed foods such as Hot Dogs, Corned Beef, Nuggets, Fries, Burgers
  2. Avoid all types of processed meat – such as burgers or nuggets or hot dogs from fast food joints as they contain saturated fats and some have preservatives which are known carcinogens = cancer causing agents
  3. Saturated Fats are fats that contributes to heart related diseases & stroke
  4. Remove the Skin to remove the Fats as it contains saturated fats
  5. This is a great time for those with health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart related problems to give a good break to the body
  6. If there is a taste for meats, then opt to consume red meat not more than twice a week.
  7. Reduce the intake of Fried Foods. Opt for healthier cooking methods such as grilled foods.
  8. If there is a need to fry – use NON hydrogenated oils to fry and do not re-use the oil to fry when the oil has changed its colour as these are unhealthy for the body)
  9. Carbonated Beverages (It depletes good nutrients for the body, for instance, it depletes calcium absorption in the body)
  10. Refined Sugar such as Pastries, Cakes, Donuts, Ice cream (especially during sahur as it gives a spike in energy and an energy crash causing tiredness)
  11. Refined foods also has low fiber which makes the body hungry after a while. Foods that are low in fiber will make us feel hungry easily.
  12. Coffee (Avoid Coffee during Sahur as it causes dehydration)
  13. Reduce amount of High Sugar & High Saturated Fat Foods such fats from meat sources, dairy (Choose low fats milk or non fat milk, low fat yogurt)
Summary
As a general rule, keep up with some sort of light activities such as simple breathing & stretching exercises. Have enough rest and maintain a well balanced diet with the guidelines given above. May we have a blessed Ramadan that gives us better spiritual and physical health. Ameen!
About the Author:
Suria Mohd is a Nutritionist & Motivational Speaker on Nutrition, Entrepreneurship & Personal Development. She is the author of “9 Greatest Weight Loss Secrets” and creator of the Speed Slim program. She offers a FREE Webinar on Best Weight Loss tips at http://www.speedslimsecrets.com


Productive Ramadan

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