Nuffnang Ads

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ramadan and Health

Ramadhan Mubarak everyone! May this Ramadhan be the Best ever for you... I'd like to share this article, hope it will have benefit for you. Take care :-)

Ramadan and Health 

During Ramadan, our diet should not differ greatly from normal and should be as simple as possible. We should be able to maintain our normal weight, neither losing nor gaining. However, if one is over-weight, Ramadan is an ideal time to lose weight.

We should aim to consume slow digesting food including fibre-containing food. Slow-digesting food last up to 8 hours, while fast-digesting food last only 3 to 4 hours.

Slow-digesting food are food that contain grains and seeds like brown rice, barley, wheat, oats, semolina, beans, lentils, whole meal flour, etc. (complex carbohydrates).

Fast-burning food are food that contain sugar, white flour, etc. (refined carbohydrates).
Fibre-containing food are bran-containing food, whole wheat, grains, seeds and vegetables like green beans, peas, sem (papry), marrow, mealies, spinach, methie, fruit with skin, dried fruit especially dried apricots, figs and prunes, almonds, etc.

Meals should be well-balanced, containing food from each food group, i.e. fruits, vegetables, meat/chicken/fish, bread/cereals and dairy products. Fried food should be limited. They cause indigestion, heart-burn, and weight problems.

• Fried and fatty food.
• Food containing too much sugar.
• Over-eating especially at sahur.
• Too much tea at sahur. Tea makes you pass more urine taking with it valuable mineral salts that your body would need during the day.
• Smoking cigarettes. If you cannot give up, cut down gradually starting a few weeks before Ramadhan.

• Complex carbohydrates at sahur so that the food last longer.
• Dates are excellent source of sugar, fibre, carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium.
• Almonds are rich in protein and fibre, with less fat.
• Bananas are a good source of potassium, magnesium and carbohydrates.

As much water or fruit juice as possible between iftar and bedtime so that your body may adjust fluid levels in time.
Problems & Remedies

Constipation can cause piles (haemorrhoids), fissures (cracks in anal canal) and indigestion, with a bloated feeling.
Causes: Too much refined food, too little water and not enough fibre in the diet.

Remedy: Avoid refined food and increase water intake.

Causes: Over-eating. Excessive fried and fatty food, spicy food, and food that produce wind e.g. eggs, cabbage, lentils and fizzy drinks like Cola.

Remedy: Do not over-eat, drink fruit juice or water. Avoid fried food.

• LETHARGY ('low blood pressure')
Excessive sweat, weak, tired, lack of energy, dizzy especially getting up after sitting down, pale and faint feeling are symptoms associated with "low blood pressure". This tends to occur towards the afternoon.

Causes: Low salt intake.

Remedy: Keep cool, increase fluid and salt intake.

Caution: Low blood pressure should be confirmed through a blood pressure test when symptoms are present. People with high blood pressure may need their medication adjusted during Ramadan. They should consult their doctors.

Causes: Caffeine and tobacco-withdrawal, too much exercise, lack of sleep, hunger, usually occur during the day and worsen towards the evening. When associated with "low blood pressure", the headache can be quite severe and can also cause nausea before Iftar.

Remedy: Cut down caffeine and tobacco slowly starting a week or two before Ramadhan. Herbal and caffeine-free teas may be substituted. Reorganise your schedule during Ramadan in order to have adequate sleep.

Weak, dizzy, tired, poor concentration, perspiring easily, feeling shaky (tremor), headache, and palpitations are symptoms of low blood sugar.

Causes in non-diabetics: Excessive sugar consumption i.e. refined carbohydrates especially at sahur. The body produces too much insulin causing the blood glucose to drop.

Remedy: Eat adequately during sahur and limit high sugar-containing food and drinks.

Caution: Diabetics may need to adjust their medication during Ramadan. Please consult your doctor.

Causes: Inadequate intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium food.

Remedy: Eat food which are rich in minerals such as vegetables, fruit, dairy products, meat and dates.

Caution: Those on high blood pressure medication and with kidney stone problems should consult their doctors.

Increased acid levels in an empty stomach aggravate the above conditions. It causes a burning feeling in the stomach area and can extend up to the throat. Spicy food, coffee and Cola drinks worsen these conditions.

Medications are available to control acid levels in the stomach. People with proven peptic ulcers and hiatus hernia should consult their doctors well before Ramadhan.

Causes: Extra sholat during Ramadhan may give additional pressure on the knee joints. For the elderly and those with arthritis, this may cause pain, stiffness, swelling and discomfort.

Remedy: Lose weight so that the knees do not have to carry any extra load. Exercise the lower limbs before Ramadhan so that they can be prepared for the additional strain. Being physically fit allows greater fulfilment, thus enabling one to be able to perform sholat with ease. Those with severe physical limitation may opt for performing sholat either siting on the floor or chair.

Improper eating/drinking and physical activities may cause minor health problems during Ramadan, especially in the first few days while the body is adjusting to the fasting regime.

Source: Dr. Farouk Haffejee
Islamic Medical Association of South Africa - Durban