Preparations are well underway for the holy month of Ramadan and those observing the fasts know just how quick paced it can be, but when used correctly, Ramadan can present the perfect opportunity to show reverence to Allah and escape from the pace of everyday life.
The month is of huge importance across the Islamic world and involves Muslims focusing on spiritual gains by guarding their hunger, thirst, frustration, irritation and sexual attraction.
Tips for a healthier Ramadan
The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, highly recommend eating this pre-dawn meal before a day of fasting. While you may want to pass to catch some more sleep, remember that you can always take a catnap while you’re fasting, but you won’t be able to eat or drink. To make it easier, set out utensils and dry food on the table before going to bed so you can quickly eat and go back to sleep after Suhur.
Take a short afternoon nap
Experts say you don’t need more than a 15-minute siesta to really refresh you. During lunch hour, find a quiet spot, set the alarm on your watch/cell phone and nap. This can help your body adjust to the daily Ramadan1 schedule that requires early waking for Suhur.
Follow the Prophet’s golden rule of one-third
This especially needs to be said in Ramadan. We should strive to have no more than one-third food, one-third liquid and one-third air in our stomachs when eating.
A Moderate Iftar
A healthy Iftar goes hand in hand with the traditions: starting with 2 dates, then a glass of water or laban, then start the meal with a warm bowl of soup, a salad and the main course. Of course moderation is key to health.
Keep it balanced
A balanced main dish at Iftar should contain a source of carbohydrates like rice, pasta, potatoes or burghul, as well as some form of protein like beef, chicken or fish, in addition to cooked vegetables. Balance and moderation are the key to health!
Take a walk
Before you fall over from exhaustion after Iftar and dinner, take a short walk around the block or just around your building. The change of environment and exposure to fresh air may just wake you up in time for your prayer.
Drink plenty of Water
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water during the holy month of Ramadan. At least 8 glasses distributed in small quantities so not to feel bloated. To prevent thirst, avoid foods that are too spicy or salty, and consume more fruits and vegetables that are refreshing!
Everything in moderation
Some people tend to eat more during Ramadan and this can lead to weight gain. Eating a healthy Iftar, eating starters and sweets in moderation, choosing more fruits and vegetables, avoiding sweetened beverages, and being active everyday will help you maintain your weight.
Suhoor is a vital meal in Ramadan. It gives you strength and vitality for the day and can make fasting easier and tolerable. Make sure that this meal is rich in slowly absorbed Carbohydrates such as whole grain breads, rice and whole grain cereals that can help maintain your blood sugar levels.
People who suffer from headache or dizziness due to low blood sugar levels during the fasting period should break the fast at Iftar time by starting with 2-3 dates which will help replenish blood sugar levels.