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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Have a healthy Ramadan

This year Ramadan is to fall during the month of August, which is the hottest month of the year, so good preparation is vital.

Throughout the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims from all around the world abstain from eating and drinking from the hours of sunrise to sunset. Ramadan is a very special time for Muslims, when community and family come together.

This year, as it falls in August this means that schools are closed and there will be extra family time spent together enjoying traditional dishes and a sense of togetherness.

Preparation the week before

Start by planning meals and making shopping lists so that you have your Ramadan eating plans sorted out ahead of time. This means that you can settle into a relaxed routine once Ramadan starts. A healthy body will carry you through the period when you are fasting. So start today to make your body strong by cutting out junk food and eating three balanced healthy meals a day. If you are unsure of what makes a balanced healthy eating plan e-mail me guidean@ardenhealth.com for my healthy eating guide.

Now is also a good time to cut down on the amount of tea, coffee and other fizzy drinks that contain caffeine. Try to limit yourself to only two of these per day so that during Ramadan you do not experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches. Start now to make sure your body is hydrated, by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water through the day.

Ramadan is also a time to take care of yourself so that you feel well. It is not a time to think of losing weight but being calm and healthy. If you have any new health issues throughout the last year prepare for Ramadan by discussing these with your doctor and take his advice on how best to help your body cope with fasting.

Take good care of yourself

Keep up good eating habits by eating balanced meals with fruit and vegetables.

Try not to eat too quickly when breaking your fast.

Start gently with traditional dates or figs and a glass of water or a simple soup or rice pudding with apricot jam.

Be sure to aim for 2 liters or more of water daily and lots of fresh fruit juices. Try to drink enough to avoid dehydration and headaches during the day. If you are not drinking enough water your urine will be dark; this means you need to drink more water. Drinking lots of water will help you avoid constipation.

Avoid drinking more than two cans of cola or two cups of coffee or tea as they can keep you awake at night, and they also have a diuretic effect on the body. If you give them up completely in Ramadan you will experience withdrawal symptom such as headaches

Exercise. It is important for the circulation to maintain some kind of exercise. Get into the habit of taking an evening walk along the beach or in the park after Iftar, or just to get some fresh air.

Sleep well. A good night’s sleep is necessary to ensure balance the next day especially for those who go to work or study. Lack of sleep can express itself in the form of nervousness, bad headaches and digestive problems.

Take an afternoon nap as this will give you energy and refresh you so that you can enjoy your evenings.

Suhoor: I highly recommend eating this pre-dawn meal before you start your day of fasting. While you may want to pass to catch some more sleep, remember that you can always take a nap in the afternoon while you are fasting, but you won't be able to eat or drink. To make it easier, prepare a light breakfast before going to bed so you can quickly eat and go back to sleep. Try to eat a meal that will give you energy to enjoy your day and experience Ramadan to the full. As the weather is warm drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Source: The Arab News

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