Top 10 Tips to Maintain the Digestive System during Fasting in Ramadan
Vegitables and Fruits (Illustrations)

Dubai, UAE: The holy month of Ramadan came, to immerse the Islamic world in the spirituality of the month of forgiveness, liberation from the fire of hell, and the revelation of mercies.

In conjunction with welcoming the holy month of fasting, questions abound about maintaining the health of the digestive system of fasting people, and the best steps for organizing food and drink after long hours of food interruption.

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Here are some tips for healthy fasting:

1-  Paying attention to the suhoor meal and not neglecting it to avoid low blood sugar levels, especially after long hours of fasting.

2-  Eating unsalted or roasted nuts, and eating more vegetables that contain fiber, to improve digestion and increase the rate of satiety throughout the fasting hours.

3-  Focus on eating protein-rich foods, such as eggs, yogurt and kefir (fermented milk also known as kefir).

4-  Eat light meals immediately after breakfast, such as soup, then wait about 15 minutes before starting to eat, to avoid indigestion.

5-  Avoid eating high-calorie meals, such as rice, pasta, fried foods and sweets, to reduce the risk of weight gain and indigestion.

6-  Replacing foods cooked with hydrogenated ghee with their counterparts cooked with olive oil, as well as replacing red meat with white meat (poultry) and fish.

7-  Avoid eating fatty sweets immediately after breakfast and replace them with eating one piece of sweets made with milk and cream.

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8-  Replacing one fatty meal with several small and light meals at intervals throughout the period from breakfast to constipation.

9-  Consuming a quantity of water not less than 2 liters, and drinking healthy drinks, such as dairy, soda (mineral water) and chamomile herbs, to replace the body with the fluids it lost during the fasting period.

10-  Doing light home exercises an hour or two after breakfast, and not excessive tea and coffee, as they contain a high percentage of caffeine.

Meal suggestions

Suhoor

  • Oatmeal with a low-fat laban smoothie made with fresh fruit
  • Lentil soup with chopped carrot, celery, and onion
  • Zucchini labneh dip with freshly chopped vegetables

Iftar

  • Chicken, baked with sautéed vegetables and served with chickpeas
  • Baked fish with roasted vegetables and brown rice
  • Baked falafel served with fattoush salad, hummus and pita bread

Making the right diet choices this Ramadan can help you stay as healthy as possible while fasting.

Foods to avoid during Ramadan

  • Deep-fried foods – fried samosas, fried chicken, fried spring rolls and fried potato chips
  • High sugar and high-fat foods – Indian sweetmeats like gulab jamun, jalebi, badam halwa and barfi
  • High-fat cooked foods – oily curries and greasy pastries

Healthy alternatives

  • Baked samosas, baked spring rolls, oven-baked potato chips
  • “Dry frying” – using a non-stick pan or non-stick food sprays
  • Grilled or baked meat, chicken, fish as a healthier alternative – while retaining the flavor and taste of the food

Balanced food and fluid intake is important between the fasting periods. In order to prevent muscle breakdown, meals must contain adequate levels of energy-rich foods, including carbohydrates and a portion of fat. Hence a balanced diet with ample quantities of nutrients, salts and water is vital.

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In the end, the focus shouldn’t be entirely on body weight, but rather on being mindful of how you fast and how you break your fast.

This can help to improve your overall health, and to maintain that behavior – making it a lifestyle that can be continued even after the fast has passed.

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