I’ve already discussed the remarkable health benefits of fasting. But unfortunately, during Ramadhan many people miss out on a golden opportunity to detoxify and rejuvenate their physical health. They offset the benefits by breaking the fast with fried foods and sugary treats. They then continue to stuff themselves throughout the night with more empty calories.
If you are gaining weight during Ramadhan, THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG!
Here are some tips for how to have a healthy Ramadhan (and for the rest of the year as well!):
- Put down that fried sambosa and luqaimat! Avoid fried foods and foods high in sugar. Limit your sugar intake to dates and fresh fruits.
- Instead, choose lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and healthy fats. Avoid highly-processed, artificial fats, such as vegetable oils. Read more here about which fats are beneficial for your health.
- Eat only when you feel hungry.
- I repeat, eat only when you feel hungry! Just because you fasted all day, doesn’t give you the justification to gorge yourself continuously until Fajr time!
- Drink lots of water throughout the night, and try to avoid caffeine and colas.
- Light exercise between Asr and Maghreb time can help you burn excess body fat.
Specific health issues you may face during Ramadhan:
- Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet to avoid becoming constipated.
- Try to drink a lot of water throughout the night.
- Eat more healthy fats, such as olive oil, coconut oil, pure butter (preferably grass-fed), fish, avocados, nuts, and flax seeds.
- Increase your population of healthy gut bacteria with probiotics, fermented foods, and apple cider vinegar.
Most people think that heartburn is caused by too much stomach acid, but in most cases it is actually caused by too little.
During digestion, the stomach produces acid. This acid causes a muscle which separates the stomach from the esophagus to close. The closing of this muscle prevents food from returning to the esophagus. When there is not enough stomach acid, this muscle will not close tightly, letting acid and undigested food return to the esophagus, causing heartburn. Medications from the pharmacy offer temporary relief from the acid in the esophagus, but can actually worsen the underlying problem of low acid in the stomach.
Some natural remedies for heartburn include:
- Dietary changes: Avoid fried and processed foods. Cut out unhealthy oils like canola, corn and soybean oil. Fill your diet with meats, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats.
- Eat smaller portions of food spaced throughout the evening, rather than one enormous feast at Maghrib time.
- Digestive enzymes: these can be very effective taken before meals.
- Betaine HCL: this supplements the stomach’s own production of acid.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This is my favorite remedy and works well for us. Mix 1-2 teaspoons into a glass of water and sip on it every few minutes.
- Probiotics: to restore your natural healthy gut flora.
- Ginger or chamomile tea: can sooth the digestive system.
Urinary Tract Infections
If you become dehydrated while fasting, your system will not have enough water to flush the bacteria out of the urinary tract. The bacteria can then adhere to the wall of the urinary tract and cause symptoms of infection.
It is important, especially for pregnant women, to drink lots of fluids during the evening after a fast. Drinking cranberry juice may help prevent urinary tract infections.
May Allah سبحانه وتعالى accept our prayers and fasting this Ramadhan, and forgive our sins.