It’s the month of “greatness”, the month of Ramadan, the month of good deeds, the month of the Quran, the month of bounty and mercy. It is the ninth month of the Hijra calendar and in this month it is mandated upon every Muslim to fast the whole month. Fasting in this month is exempted upon pregnant women, breastfeeding women, children, elderly and the critically ill.
Aside those exempted from fasting as mentioned above, all Muslims are mandated to fast in the month of Ramadan and failure to do so will require feeding 60 needy/orphans for 60 days for every fast missed.
Unfortunately, today Muslims exempt themselves from fasting consecutively due to reasons best known to them. Some of their reasons are; inability to withstand the prolonged period of starvation, stomach and headache, heartburn, muscle cramps and others. In line with these, this article focuses on tips which will help you fast the entire 29 days of the month and even after the month Ramadan.
Clearly, during the month Ramadan our diet, our sleep and daily activities get changed a bit, and this change is not going to be well received by many. Due to this Dr Farouk Haffejee of the Islamic Medical Association of South Africa (Durban) designed a list of recommendations for coping with Ramadhan in a healthy fashion. Below are his recommendations for a friendly Ramadan diet;
You should avoid the following: –
#1.Fried and fatty foods.
#2.Foods containing too much sugar.
#3.Over-eating especially at suhoor.
#4.Too much tea at suhoor: Tea increases your urine output. Getting rid of valuable mineral salts that your body would need during the day.
#5.Smoking cigarettes: If you cannot give up smoking, cut down gradually
starting a few weeks before Ramadan. Smoking is unhealthy and one should stop completely.
You should eat much of the following: –
#1.Complex carbohydrates at suhoor so that the food lasts longer making you less hungry.
#2.Dates are an excellent source of sugar, fibre, carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium.
#3.Almonds are rich in protein and fibre with less fat.
#4. Bananas are a good source of potassium, magnesium and carbohydrates.
He also strongly recommends that you drink water or fruit juice between Iftar (sunset meal) and bedtime to enable your body to adjust to fluid changes.
Dr Haffejee also suggests that in the month of Ramadhan, “our diet should not change much and should be as simple as possible.” Some of the problems faced during the month of Ramadan preventing us from withstanding the prolonged periods of hunger are due mostly to changes in our diet. For example, the head and stomach aches are due to caffeine or tobacco withdrawal and peptic ulcer aggravated by caffeine, cola and spicy foods, muscle cramps, lethargy and joint pain are usually as a result of inadequate minerals and fluid loss of fluid.