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  • 8/14/2010

Health tips for Ramadhan (Part 1)


Ramadhan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the month of fasting, in which Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk. Fasting is intended to teach Muslims about faith, spirituality, self-accountability and self-restraint.

Apart from strengthening the willpower and developing one’s appreciation of values such as patience and humility, fasting improves eating habits. By reducing the three daily meals to two, it rests the stomach and the other organs in the gastrointestinal tract.

Adopting a healthy and balanced diet based on an individual’s condition, daily function and underlying disease plays an important role in helping them enjoy the considerable advantages of fasting. Many individuals, however, ruin their efforts by overeating in the morning or at night.

There is no need to binge during Ramadhan as fasting intends to regulate the body mechanism. Adopting a healthy and balanced diet during Ramadhan can help regulate blood lipid levels, reduce extra weight, excrete the poisons from the body and control blood pressure levels.

An appropriate diet for Ramadhan should include all the five food groups. It should be planned in a way to prevent any weight gain or loss during this month. Following a low calorie diet, however, provides obese individuals with a great opportunity to lose their extra weight in this month.

Considering the fact that this year’s Ramadhan has coincided with summer, certain tips should be kept in mind to help individuals who want to fast endure the long summer days without food and water. These individuals are recommended to have two major meals (Sahari and Iftar) and a snack consisting of fruits and drinks before sleeping.

Suhoor or Sahari -- the food those who fast eat before dawn -- is believed to have an importance equal to breakfast, as it provides the body with the energy and nutrients required for studying, working and doing the daily routine.

Individuals, therefore, are recommended to wake up to eat Suhoor in order to avoid burnout at the end of the day.

Fasting without Suhoor may lead to halitosis, headaches and muscular pain as the body would be required to use fat deposits as its energy source.

Many individuals skip Suhoor, saying they do not have any appetite at that time in the morning. Setting the table for Suhoor is believed to be effective in improving the appetite.

Eating a meal rich in fat for Iftar is the main cause of appetite loss at the time of Suhoor. Individuals therefore are recommended to have a light meal rich in calories if they intend to fast the following day. Having a fatty meal for Iftar -- the food those who fast eat after sunset -- may also lead to fatigue as a lot of time is needed for fat to be digested.


Eating too much for Suhoor, on the other hand, is not recommended as it is of no help in fighting hunger usually experienced at the ending hours of the day. Such heavy meal only imposes a heavy burden on the stomach, leading to symptoms such as indigestion, heartburn and bloating.

Sleeping early at night and waking up at least 90 minutes before dawn also helps the digestion process. Individuals are also recommended not to sleep after Suhoor in order to reduce reflux, when acid from the stomach leaks up into the esophagus.

Source: presstv.ir

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