The holy month of Ramadan is almost here. To most of us, this beautiful season presents the perfect opportunity to make some positive changes in our lives, one of which is to get ourselves accustomed to a healthier lifestyle.
As we talked about before, fasting has several health benefits. But what you might not know is that there are things you could do to maximize these health benefits you get from Ramadan. We are not talking about any strict restraining diets, on the contrary, with the simple few habits we got for you today, you’ll be able to get out of Ramadan with a healthier happier new you.
Here are the 7 essential health tips to follow for a healthier Ramadan:
1. Have a balanced Iftar
It is important to have a balanced Iftar filled with various nutritional values to recharge the energy your body lost during fasting. Make sure to include protein-rich foods in your Iftar, such as poultry, meat, nuts, and beans. Also, make sure you consume some complex carbs which you can find in whole-wheat or sweet potato. However, try as hard as you can to stay away from refined carbs and fast food which, not only, lacks the basic nutritional values, it will cause you to feel tired and out of energy throughout the rest of the day.
Something else you need to pay attention to is to not to eat too much sweets and desserts after Iftar while hanging out with the family, which is something a lot of us tend to do in the holy month since there are always sweets around. Don’t get us wrong though, you can have a slice or even two of your favorite dessert. But not the whole try though!
2. Stop eating before you’re full
It’s been scientifically proven that eating until you are extremely full could be a very harmful thing to your digestive system and your overall health as it causes acidic reflex, nausea, and feeling sluggish. This is because eating too much makes all the blood rush to the stomach and digestive system, decreasing the blood flow in the more viable organs of the body.
Learning to get off the table and stop eating before you’re completely fit will be a game-changer in your nutritional diet and overall health. It may take some getting used to at first, especially during Ramadan, but once you do, you’ll start feeling lighter, more energetic, and much much healthier.
3. Don’t miss Sohour
Sohour is the substitute for breakfast in Ramadan days. So make sure it is rich on nutritional values to give you the energy and strength you need while fasting for 16 hours. So go for foods that are nutritional but easy to digest, such as eggs, cheeses, and beans.
4. Stay Hydrated
Fasting for 16 hours straight in hot summer days makes you in danger of getting easily dehydrated. So, make sure you keep your body dehydrated by drinking a lot of water. However, don’t drink large amounts of water all at once, drink small amounts of water on repeatedly all throughout Ramadan nights and on Sohour. Drinking a lot of Ramadan drinks is not an alternative to drinking water though as it contains a lot of sugar which can be harmful to your digestive system.
Try to stay away from Caffeine-induced drinks and try to reduce them gradually before Ramadan starts to avoid getting chronic headaches during Ramadan due to the Caffeine withdrawal. Also, avoid salty and spicy foods because it will make you feel thirsty and dehydrated during fasting.
5. Stay Moving
A lot of people struggle to keep a workout system during the month of Ramadan because of the changed schedules. However, it is highly advised to have a mild workout either 60 minutes before Sohour or 60 minutes before Iftar, whatever suits you. Just make sure to stay away from hard or straining exercises, especially if you are going to workout before Iftar. But if you are going to exercise directly after Iftar, make sure to have a light Iftar, and after the workout, you can finish your meal.
6. Get enough sleep
Ramadan is known for sleep-deprivation, from going to work, to catching up with our social appearances and gatherings, to Taraweh prayer, to waking up before dawn for Sohour, it could be really hard to have a regular sleeping pattern. And, of course, as a result to the extreme sleep deprivation, fasting can become quite too tiring. Therefore, try to assign regular hours for sleep everyday, and try to take a short nap anytime you can throughout the day to restore your energy.
7. Give up smoking
Fasting is considered to be very difficult for smokers because of the nicotine withdrawal. However, Ramadan is the perfect chance to cut back on smoking gradually. Since you will already be not smoking for most of the day, start reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke between Iftar and Sohour gradually throughout the month, until you are finally manage to kick off that harmful habit altogether.