Healthy Eating Tips during Ramadan

Fasting is the abstinence from food or drink or both for health, religious, or ethical purposes. The abstinence may be complete or partial, lengthy, short or even intermittent.
Fasting has been promoted and practiced worldwide by physicians, founders and followers of many religions.
One of the greatest joys for someone who fasts is when the time for breaking of fast, arrives.
During fasting, human body loses liquids, which is why one needs healthy drink after or during breaking of a fast to avoid dehydration, which could cause undesirable side effects such as constipation, headache, dizziness, tiredness and dry skin.

Hence, it is now our responsibility to provide our body with its right to nutritious food and restore its energy.
60 –70% of your body is made of water and any reduction in your water intake can affect your body cells and nerves from functioning properly.

Online Editor, Adebukola Aluko in this question and answer session with a physician, Dr. Olaide Oladipupo, throws more light on healthy food intake during fasting.

Q: What does fasting do to the overall health and wellness of individuals?

A:Fasting is not of bad consequence to overall health awareness of individual, particularly if it is not the type of fasting that is too prolonged. Fasting could actually be an advantage because you can use it to control weight,

Q:What percentage of energy does the body loose during fasting?

A:The percentage of energy the body looses during fasting depends on the duration of fast and also the activities done at that time, so it is difficult to say this is the percentage of energy loss, in actual fact, fasting can be used to control weight.
During fasting, some people can actually gain more weight if care is not taken and it may not have much effect in times of weight gained or weight loss on some individuals. Don’t forget that what is even more evident during fasting is dehydration. Imagine somebody that is fasting and still walking inside the sun, such person will be unnecessarily dehydrated if he or she does not take fluid.

Q: What type of food is essential to break a fast, how should the faithful break fast considering the fact that liquids and solids are available?

A:When you want to break a fast, it is advisable to take a lot of fluids, vegetables and fruits because you have been deprived of fluids. You also need food that will supply calorie, protein and natural fat.
Again, when you are trying to break your fast, you do not need heavy food, simply take food moderately and avoid fried foods, take food rich in carbohydrates, protein, water, minerals, fruits and vegetables,

Q: What are the effects of fizzy drinks or cold water on the body
A: Fizzy drinks are not acceptable generally, whether during a fast or not, But frankly speaking, there is nothing bad in taking cold water. There is a general belief that you are not supposed to take cold water. Basically, there is no difference whether you take cold water or water with room temperature, however, it is not good to take hot water as the most important thing to consider in fasting is dehydration as well as deprivation of fluid.

The issue of dehydration is more pronounced during fasting particularly depending on the hours of fasting and the nature of weather during fasting.

Q:What level of activities can people get involved in during fasting?
A:Some fasting goes beyond some certain hours, unlike in Nigeria now, Muslim fast will be around 14 hours. In some countries like Canada, fasts last for about 18 hours. But don’t forget the temperature over there is more friendly. Any fast that is so prolonged, lasting close to 24 hours or more is detrimental to ones health.

Also don’t forget there is auto regulatory system in the body. When you are deprived of fluid, the quantity of urine that you produce will be less, but you may not have much control on the fluid loss through breathing or sweating when you are exposed to hot environment. That is why anybody that is fasting is advised to avoid exposing himself to exhaustion or sun that can dehydrate him.

In summary, fasting if properly monitored, could actually be of good effect on the body.
Drink at least eight glasses of water every day. If you are exercising and you are outdoors in hot weather, you lose more fluids. So make sure you drink more water.

Avoid hot and spicy dishes as it increases thirst

Do not add too much salt to salads and other dishes.

Eat fresh fruits and vegetables because they are rich in water and fibre. They stay in the intestines for a long time and reduce thirst,

Drink fresh fruit juices rather than sweetened juices

Drinking iced water to break your fast does not replenish your thirst but can cause your blood vessels to contract and cause indigestion. For this reason, it is recommended you drink water at room temperature or slightly cold.
Eat right today,” remember you are what you eat”


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