The holy month of Ramadan is the time for detox and abstinence; however it can be hard on your stomach if you don't watch your diet. Here is everything you can do about it...
The ninth month of the Islamic calendar - Ramadan is a sacred time for Muslims around the globe. It is a month of observing abstinence from all kinds of indulgences; starting sunrise to sunset.
This holy month is designed to help Muslims practice self-discipline, abstinence, self-restraint and generosity. It is also a month of cleansing and detox; both physically and spiritually. The fasts are meant to train your metabolism to actually burn fat and use it as energy. Obviously then, Ramadan is an ideal time to lose weight and get your health in order.
However, when you fast for long periods of time; it can damage your system by breaking down some crucial muscle proteins for energy which obviously isn't good for your health. To prevent this from happening, it is crucial that you consume the right portions of carbohydrates, fats and proteins when consuming iftar and suhoor.
Plan your Iftar meals and post - Iftar routine wisely:
Given that your body is now accustomed to not eating for hours; it is important to not overwhelm it with heavy fatty foods when breaking your fast. You might want to go easy on your stomach with vegetable juices, green smoothies, raw fruit, flaxseed oil, fish and vegetables. This way you can ensure you provide your body with the essential nutrients that it needs to make the most of your fasts.
This however doesn't mean that you can't indulge in delicacies during Ramadan. The NHS suggests that you opt for healthier alternatives like baked samosas, boiled dumplings, grilled meats and vegetables, fruit based desserts or date smoothies.
Here are some healthy foods that you can try to consume during and after Iftar meals to ensure a balanced diet and good health:
- Fruit and vegetable juices
- Raw fruits
- Vegetable or bone broths
- Unsweetened yogurt
- Lettuces and spinach
- Cooked vegetables
- Vegetable soups
- Raw vegetables
- Grains and beans
- Nuts and eggs
Dates are a Ramadan staple for Muslims and the good news is they are packed to the brim with the goodness or iron, fibre and antioxidants. You can make the most of this super food by using it as a sweetener in your desserts, smoothies or just on its own!
Whilst you remember to pay attention to your diet and nutrition intake; also ensure you stay hydrated. The human body tends to dehydrate during fasts and losses water through perspiration and urination. So make sure you consume enough water through drinks and fruits.
Ease yourself into exercise:
We understand it can be hard to work out during Ramadan as you are already running low on energy. You can however stay active with gentle exercises like walking, stretching or yoga. While it is important to be active and stretch during Ramadan; make sure you don't do any intensive exercises. Simply stay consistent and keep active whilst also saving your energy reserves as your body recovers from fasting.
Quit smoking for good:
Smokers who intend to quit, Ramadan is an ideal time for you to gradually curb your cigarettes. Start by limiting your cigarettes to one or two a day, after Iftar and gradually wean yourself off smoking entirely. Once you have cut this harmful habit out of your lifestyle; you simply have to have the will power to be strong and refrain from this bad habit.
Watch your digestive health:
Amongst all other things you need to be careful of in Ramadan; you also need to ensure your digestive health is taken care of. Your body clock changes in Ramadan and so do your meal timings. This can throw your digestive health into turmoil and cause an upset tummy.
To ease your stomach into this new Ramadan routine, you can try adding a probiotic supplement to your daily regimen as they can help improve gut and intestinal health. Studies have shown that probiotics can also help keep colds and infection at bay, help improve female health and speed up your metabolism. So it's a win, win!