How to eat during Ramadan

Published 15.06.2017 01:18
How to eat during Ramadan

Throughout Ramadan, especially when the holy month falls in the summer months, which requires fasting for long hours, it is of utmost importance to be careful of what you eat, choosing the right foods and consuming enough water to optimize your fast, while implementing methods towards recovery from illnesses, such as bad cholesterol

While carbohydrates and starchy foods can quickly satiate your hunger pains during Ramadan, it is of crucial importance to consume protein-rich foods to satiate your hunger for the long-term during the month of Ramadan. A balanced consumption of milk, dairy, meats and protein-rich foods is key to maintaining healthy vitamin levels in the body, while keeping in mind that over-consumption of protein-rich foods can harm the kidneys by increasing nitrogen levels in the body. To purify the body of a nitrogen overload from excessive protein intake, water consumption must be increased alongside increased protein intake. Break your fast with a cup of yogurt, a bowl of soup or maybe a little milk and let your body absorb these foods for 30 to 45 minutes before going on to consume your regular menu. Studies show that the fat in yogurt satisfies hunger cravings, while Vitamins A and D aid the body in improved absorption of other key nutrients. The fat in yogurt also regulates acidic lactose levels and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Moderate salt and spice consumptionOn the condition that you eat the right foods, you will neither feel hunger nor get disturbed while breaking your fast in a short span of time. For acid reflux sufferers, it's important to avoid eating overly salty, spicy or fried foods, as these can increase acid reflux while also increasing thirst and water retention. Long-term hunger will affect the bowels and your entire body. Consuming a cup of yogurt at iftar (fast-breaking meal) and sahur (the early-morning meal before sunrise) both keeps you satiated and protects your health. Dairy products relieve the digestive system, keep the body satiated and decrease your thirst. It is scientifically proven that yogurt decreases the daily caloric requirement by about 500 calories, programming the body for fasting and preventing thirst to keep the bowels healthy. Long-term hunger results in halts and slowdowns in the bowels, while bacteria in the colon increases as a result of decreased stool flow. These bacteria may cause several diseases. The best food to balance this cycle is yogurt.

Increase your water intake Fasting during the summer months can exceed 18 hours. Fat reserves function as the third reservoir and myolysis gets delayed. After long hours of starvation, the body can start to lose burn muscle. For example, we first start to burn fat when hungry. If this goes on for a longer period of time, you start losing muscle tissue. However, fasting for a period so long that you start losing muscle has not been ordered in any religion. In other words, no fasting can cause the body to burn itself, to lose muscle tissue. Food consumption doesn't pose an obstacle for preserving metabolic functions during fasting; however, liquid consumption must be taken into consideration. The amount of liquid a person's body requires is directly proportionate to that person's body mass index (BMI).

In other words, the more overweight and taller you are, the more water you have to consume. Although those who fast have limited time for drinking water in Ramadan, the total amount of liquid consumed should be extended over a period of time. That is, it would be harmful to drink a liter of water at the last minute before fasting starts. Liquid consumed this way will be instantly turned into urine and your daily liquid reserves will be in danger. Another factor affecting the body's natural water stores is hot weather, which results in involuntary loss of fluids. The most comfortable and safe temperature interval for the human body is 18 to 22 degrees Celsius and the human body sweats less if it is between these degrees. You must keep the heat you are exposed to between these limits as much as possible especially when fasting in the summer. This advice is intended for healthy people. Islam doesn't recommend fasting for the terminally ill, pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers. If you have any diseases or take pills, you should definitely talk to your doctor before fasting.

Peppermint leavesYou can find my article on the benefits of black tea, rather than herbal teas on the archive. You can use herbal teas for aromatizing your black tea both in Ramadan and in your normal daily routine. Fresh peppermint leaves will add splendid flavor and taste to black tea and also ease digestion. You can also use lavender tea or sage.

Syrup from dates, alternative to sugar

Dessert consumption results in sudden spikes in blood sugar and alters the hormonal balance in the body. In addition to causing you to put on weight during Ramadan, desserts also cause people to feel exhausted. No matter how markets offer herbal sweeteners, I'm suspicious of sweeteners all the time. You may prefer date syrup instead of sweeteners.

Fasting decreases LDL (Bad cholesterol)

Many publications, which evaluate the health of those who fast, and some scientists, indicate that even Muslims and Baha'i's' not smoking during Ramadan affects the body in the positive way. In addition to this, intensive prayers and meditation generally accompany fasting for religious reasons. This type of fasting, free of other factors, affects the health in a positive way. Let's look at some studies conducted on those observing the fast.

A study published in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences in 2007 shows that fasting helps with weight loss in people with a high BMI, and the obese. Another study conducted by the American Cancer Society and published in the journal of Cancer Causes Control shows that fasting in intervals decreases long-term cancer risks. Research conducted by the National Institute on Aging shows that fasting makes normal cells more resistant to other agents like chemotherapy. Furthermore, Mayo Clinic and Harvard Science say that fasting is beneficial for heart health. The possible reason of this is that the body metabolizes cholesterol and sugar during fasting. An enzyme called sirtuin is reduced during fasting and bad cholesterol synthesis is decreased. According to a study published in Science Translational Medicine this year, intelligence rates increase during fasting. The report shows that limited calorie intake protects the brain against degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Suggestions this RamadanSahur is an important meal for filling up your body with fuel required for the day. If you are fasting, do not ignore sahur. Non-complex carbs like white bread, pasta and rice offers short-term satiety. For this reason, it is advised that you consume complex carbs like muesli and whole-wheat bread at sahur. Such carbs keep you satiated for up to eight hours. Milk and dairy products must be consumed in low-fat form. You should consume an egg, as it contains 2 grams of pure protein and functions as the most important and the longest lasting fuel for the human body. Sleep on your right side especially when you go to sleep on a full stomach. As the anatomic form of the stomach requires, sleeping on the left side of the body with a full stomach can close the area needed for heart and liver function.

The most important meal of Ramadan in terms of health is iftar. Normally, the human body experiences non-stop digestion. However, the digestive system really slows down while fasting. The only option for starting that healthy functioning again is a proper iftar. A mild liquid is essential for breaking the fast. Never take soup off of your iftar menu. Take at least a 10-minute break for your bowels to start working properly. Drink water, especially over meal breaks. Stay away from fizzy drinks, as they are harmful for human physiology. Consume fruit or dessert 1 to 1.5 hours after the meal. Please do not avoid consuming water throughout the night.

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