Living healthy does not necessarily mean absence from diseases or weaknesses but a state of physical, mental and social well-being. Living healthy is what everybody craves for in life. Ramadan is a noble month full of physical, spiritual, social and religious activities and requires adequate and stable health condition for Muslims to maximize the enticing rewards therein. Therefore, in order to stay healthy during this month of Ramadan and any other periods of fasting, City People reveals lifestyle you need to adopt to stay healthy.
(1) DO NOT SKIP SAHUR
Eating Sahur is important sunnah and opportunity to nourish your body with a balanced diet. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In the same way, the meal that is eaten before dawn, Sahur, is essential during Ramadan. The meal fuels your body and helps your body stay hydrated until your next meal at ‘iftar’. It will also keep you from overeating when you break your fast at sunset. Let your meal at Sahur be well-balanced. It should contain complex, slow-releasing carbohydrates like oats, wheat or lentils that will give you a feeling of fullness for the rest of the day and keep your blood sugar steady. The meal should also be high in fibre (cereals, fruits and vegetables), and proteins (eggs, meat, yoghurt and cheese) to keep you hydrated and energised throughout the day.
(2) BEGIN IFTÂR WITH DATES
Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which is grown in many tropical regions of the world. It’s sold in virtual every market space around. Dates provide you with an immediate source of energy. Rehydrate yourself with plenty water.
(3) ALWAYS TAKE ISOTONIC DRINKS OR NATURAL JUICE DRINKS WHEN BREAKING THE FAST
These are good source of minerals, salts, and vitamins.
(4) RESIST THE URGE TO FEAST AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AND AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN
After a day of fasting and discipline, resist this instinct and illusion eating much food. Aim to eat in moderation.
(5) AVOID HIGH-FAT, HIGH-SUGAR CONTENT, AND HIGHLY-PROCESSED FOOD:
Foods like white wheat, fried foods, Animal fat, Barbecue (BBQ) sauce, Ketchup, fruit juice, sports drinks, chocolate milk, flavoured coffee, canned fruits, Breakfast cereal and many others. By Iftâr 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.
(6) SALTY FOOD AT IFTÂR AND SUÛR:
These will cause dehydration and make you feel increasingly thirsty.
(7) AFTER MAGHRIB BALÂH, HAVE A WELL-BALANCED MEAL CONTAINING ALL OF THE FOOD GROUPS’ NUTRIENTS IN A BALANCED DIET.
Eat Meals with slow release carbohydrates. They will keep you well energised for a night of ¿Ibâdah (worship). Include sources of fibre, which will keep your bowels working and healthy after resting during the day.
(8) FIBRE AND PROTEINS KEEP YOU FEELING FULL FOR LONGER
Take them as important part of your meal plan. The meal should be high in fibre (cereals, fruits and vegetables), and proteins (eggs, meat, yoghurt and cheese) to keep you hydrated and energised throughout the day.
(9) STAY WELL HYDRATED BY DRINKING A LOT OF FLUIDS BETWEEN THE PERIOD OF IFTAR AND SAHUR
This will help you stay hydrated during your fast. Although milk, soup and juices are sources of fluids, water is the best choice. Make sure to drink at least 8 cups of water every day and consume other drinks in moderation. Also eat foods that contain of fibre will help prevent constipation in Rama.
(10) CEREALS, SALADS, FRUIT AND VEGETABLES ARE EXCELLENT REPLACEMENTS FOR OILY CURRIES AND FRIED SNACKS
Heavily processed foods that contain refined carbohydrates like white flour and sugar are high in fat and low in nutrients. They should be avoided during Ramadan as your body needs all the nutrients it can possibly get.
(11) EAT IN MODERATION: A HEAVY STOMACH RARELY AGREES WITH A NIGHT OF FRUITFUL IBÂDAH
It is very tempting to overindulge in all the foods you may have been craving during the day, but it is important to break your fast slowly. Start with some water and a few dates, which are a good source of energy for the body and help, secrete digestive enzymes in preparation for your main meal, which you can eat after waiting a while. Let your main meal contain a lot of vegetables, proteins and carbohydrates. Avoid fats and heavy oils; make sure you eat your meal slowly to give your body time to digest the food.
(12) MAINTAIN GOOD DENTAL HYGIENE
The hadith (Prophetic traditions) regarding the breath of the fasting person does not justify poor dental hygiene. Brushing, flossing before taraweeh is advised, for the sake of fellow worshippers too! Excessive sugary snacks and drinks are also harmful for teeth.
(13) AFTER IFTÂR, STAY WELL HYDRATED
You can achieve this by taking regular sips of water every half hour, or a cup full or more every hour.
(14) AVOID WORKING OUT WHEN FASTING
It is best to leave your working out until after the fasting hours. This is to avoid dehydration. We suggest that you work out after iftar when you can rehydrate as often as possible and your energy levels are up. Before you begin your exercise session, give your body enough time (about two to three hours) to digest the food properly. Don’t forget to hydrate throughout your workout and drink a lot of water afterwards. Staying hydrated is important during exercise as water regulates the body temperature, lubricates the joints and transports nutrients throughout the body. Also avoid doing Physical exercise after Iftar. Physical exercise immediately after Iftâr may not be a good idea, as our blood flow is being directed to our digestive system at that time.
(15) AVOID CAFFEINATED DRINKS. CAFFEINE IS A DIURETIC.
What this means is that it stimulates faster loss of water and that leads to dehydration. Avoid caffeinated drinks like strong tea, cola or coffee, or drink them in moderation.
(16) Take the strength and discipline developed during fasting to give up smoking this Rama
ân. This goes for ardent smokers.
(17) TRY TO FIT IN ADEQUATE TIME FOR NAPPING:
Planning rest well will allow us to make the most of our time in Ramaân. Even sleep can be rewarded if intended to recuperate in preparation for more ¿Ibâdah! Get adequate sleep for it helps to get sick less often, stay at a healthy weight, lower your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease, reduce stress and improve your mood as well as think more clearly and do better in school and at work.
(18) CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU HAVE A PHYSICAL CONDITION.
Before Ramadan, older Muslims, pregnant women, children, individuals taking medication and others with medical conditions should consult their doctors and adapt their fasting to the advice given. If you are taking any regular medication, have any health conditions, are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is very important to consult your physician first before planning your fasts. Please make sure you encourage family members to do the same.
(19) ISLAM EXCUSES THOSE WHO ARE UNWELL OR ILL FROM FASTING:
Please spend time learning the fiqh of fasting from a trusted local Imâm, and ask when faced with any questions.
(20) MUSLIMS LIVING WITH MEDICAL CONDITIONS AND RAMADAN CONSIDERATION
Muslims with peptic ulcer disease should avoid spicy foods, tea and coffee, fatty or fried foods, avoid carbonated drinks, take yoghurt or milk and get long-acting ulcer medication after Sahur. Also Muslims with Diabetes stay away from food with high glycaemic index, avoid sugary fizzy drinks, medication that can lead to low sugar in the blood, talk with their doctor to prescribe medications that won’t lead to low sugar, monitor their blood sugar regularly and reduce too much carbohydrate diet during Iftar.