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    Tips for Healthy Fasting During Ramadan


    Ramadan is a holy month for all Muslims and falls on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It’s a time where certain values are encouraged, such as self-restraint and focus, typically achieved through fasting. You have to refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk during Ramadan, meaning it’s vital to ensure that you make healthy choices and engage in practices that promote good nutrition.

    This is because fasting can carry the risk of dehydration or be harmful to your health if not done properly. To maintain an active lifestyle and still be able to achieve your goals during these days of fasting, make sure to always eat right!

     

    Ramadan 2016

    This year, the month of Ramadan begins June 6th and ends July 5th or, as the lunar calendar indicates, it begins during a new moon and ends when the new lunar cycle begins. This means that you have 30 long days of fasting ahead of you, from sunrise to around 9:45pm when the sun sets, so you have to be prepared.

    Maintaining Your Normal Daily Activities

    For Muslims, fasting during Ramadan is a highly symbolic act. It means that if you can achieve the necessary focus and strength to have a highly-functional daily life despite the fact that you’re fasting, you’ll be able to achieve a higher sense of spirituality. Maintaining your awareness at an optimal level, however, can be challenging, especially because fasting can decrease your concentration skills.

     

    Don’t Skip Suhoor or Iftar

    Because you won’t be able to eat or drink anything from the moment the sun rises to when it sets, it’s important that you have your pre-dawn meal, or suhoor, every single day, even if you feel like sleeping a few more moments instead. It will give you strength to face the day, since your body will need the nutrients – this way you’ll minimise the risk of exhaustion.

    Likewise, iftar, or dinner, needs to be a well-balanced meal that you should never skip. Because you’ve been fasting all day it’s normal to want to overeat, although this should be avoided at all costs. High-fat foods, like deep-fried dumplings, are also something you should consider avoiding, opting instead for healthier choices.

     

    What Should You Eat?

    For your suhoor, you’ll want to eat foods that release energy throughout the day, so that you can avoid feeling dizzy or tired. Fruits, like bananas, are an example of this; the same can be said for nuts and seeds, such as almonds and chia seeds. Oatmeal also makes an incredibly filling pre-dawn meal, so it’s always a good option if you’re unsure how to begin your day.

    While many people enjoy a good bowl of cereal with an orange juice first thing in the morning, the nature of these ingredients make them improper to be consumed together. The acid of the orange can easily curdle the milk and give you indigestion – carefully thinking about your diet is vital during this period, then.

     

     

    The same special considerations to your nutrition should be kept while breaking fast after sunset. Starting with a light, healthy soup can replenish fluids in your body, comfort your stomach and prepare it for iftar. Different countries have different customs, but you can find that iftar tends to focus on nutritional meat and vegetable curries, healthy soups, kebabs, sweetened drinks and carbohydrate-heavy dishes. A good way to think about your diet during Ramadan is to focus on one protein at a time, which helps your digestive system.

     

     

     

    Drink Water

    While you have to refrain from drinking water during the day, it’s important that you remain hydrated at all times, so make sure to get your fill during the allotted hours. Caffeinated drinks have a diuretic effect, meaning you actually lose fluid instead of keeping it in your body – so you should invest in water and avoid other drinks, especially because they can make you feel thirstier.

     

     

    Learning how to eat healthily at suhoor and iftar will give you the nutrition you need to face the day and maintain your usual lifestyle, be it at work or school; it will also help you feel good. By avoiding processed, fatty foods and making healthier choices instead, you’ll have the strength to remain focused throughout the month of Ramadan – and feed your spirit and soul.

     

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