The ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Ramadan is a vitally important time for Muslims around the world. From increased time for prayers to fasting during daylight hours, Ramadan is observed in a variety of ways.
However, for those observing the fast, it can be a challenge to stay healthy throughout the month. Despite this, if you commit to maintaining healthy habits, there is no reason not to stay fit and healthy during Ramadan.
If you need some help staying healthy throughout Ramadan this year, here are some top tips and ideas to help you keep healthy during the fast.
There is nothing more important than water when it comes to hydration. The human body is 60% water and therefore, it is essential to keep your fluid levels up and stay hydrated – especially when preparing for the day’s fast. While drinks like coffee and sugary juices may be tempting, it is important to remember that water is the best way to ensure your body is sufficiently hydrated for the day ahead.
No matter how convincing it may be, you should never skip suhoor – the meal eaten in the morning at dawn before beginning your fast – during Ramadan. It is important to eat both suhoor and iftar – the meal eaten at sunset to open the fast – every day that you are fasting in order to ensure that your body receives all the nutrients it needs for the day ahead.
Eat the Right Foods
While fried or sugary food and fizzy drinks may seem appealing, the reality is that they will not provide your body with the necessary fuel for the duration of the fast. If you indulge your cravings, the chances are that you will quickly become hungry again, not to mention suffering from a lack of energy and lethargy once the sugar high wears off.
Instead, you should try to stick to a balanced diet of fruit and vegetables, protein and slow-release carbohydrates in order to keep yourself feeling your best throughout the fast. In addition, much fruit and vegetables also have a high water content which can help to keep your body hydrated and stave off the threat of dehydration when you break your fast.
Take it Slowly
As Ramadan this year is taking place when the days are long and the nights short, the hours of fasting are therefore longer. When you do come to break your fast, it can be tempting to try and cram in as much food as possible to try and compensate for the fasting period, but this can cause further problems and should be avoided where possible. Break your fast with a smaller meal for iftar, or alternatively, snack on dates and water to settle your stomach before your evening meal.
Of course, it is important for the soul to fast as well as the body. During the hours of the fast, you should try to abstain from thinking impure or sinful thoughts, as these can toxify your mind and keep you from the true purpose of the fast. It is also important for Muslims to follow the teachings of the Holy Qur’an during Ramadan – including being generous and giving to loved ones and those in need. See here for more information about the role that charity plays in Ramadan.
So, whether you are a Muslim observing the fast yourself or are simply looking to support those who are currently in the middle of their fast, these tips should help you to stay healthy while making the most of the benefits and rewards that Ramadan can bring.