How to stay healthy during Ramadan
With the Holy month of Ramadan upon us, adapting to the fasting season can be a little tough - especially in the first few weeks.
With people refraining from eating and drinking during daylight hours the idea of a keeping a healthy diet can often be pushed aside for something glutonous to break the fast with come iftar. But maintaining a healthy diet can actually help with the fasting process by keeping your energy levels up and, according to Chef Vladimir Niza from Health Factory, it's easier than you think:
It almost sounds too easy, but let's face it, choosing a good variety of food isn't the most challenging of tasks. At the pre-dawn Suhoor, it is good to include some complex carbohydrates that will prevent your blood sugar from dropping during the day, that way you will have more energy.
The body has an immediate need to fuel itself at iftar, a good source of immediate sugars can be found in dates of fruit juices. Following that fresh soup and vegetables are a great source of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and dietary fibres. Try to stick slow digesting foods (perferably ones with a good source of fibre) such as whole cereals, legumes and vegetables.
Quit the coffee
Too many cafinated drinks such as coffee and tea will make need to go to the toilet more often. This means that you will be removing some valuable mineral salts that your body will need during the day. It is best to stick to water and decafinated drinks for Iftar and Suhoor. Also, look to avoid eating foods with high percentages of water content such as melons and cucumber.
Get some rest
When you're sleep deprived, your body overproduces the appetite-stimulating hormone and under-produces ones that suppress the appetite which can therefore lead to overeating, bloating and indigestion.
Do a little exercise
As we're all well aware, a balanced diet is vital to a healthy lifestyle, as is the addition of excercise. Granted, during Ramadan, you are not expected to run a marathon (please don't!), but a little light excerise can be very important. Perhaps go for a 30-minute walk an hour after dinner, or if it is too hot outside then do some stretching and deep breathing excerises.