Ramadan has started and we want to ensure those fasting have a healthy Ramadan. To support families to do that, local GP Dr Osman Bhatti recently took time out from his busy schedule to hold a webinar aimed at sharing helpful advice and guidance for families fasting during Ramadan.
During his webinar, Dr Bhatti highlighted some important facts about Islam and the importance of fasting during the Holy Month.
Dr Bhatti said: “During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. They read the Quran and Ramadan provides an opportunity for physical and spiritual reconnection with Allah. There’s also a big focus on nightly prayers, especially during the last 10 days.”
Read on for useful highlights from the webinar where Dr Bhatti gives useful guidance on food choices, fluids, medications, exercise and sleep.
Regarding food choices, Dr Bhatti advised attendees: “When looking at what food to eat during Ramadan. We should try to have complex carbs.” This includes porridge, sweet potatoes, beans and lentils.
A suggestion for plates is to have half a plate with vegetables, a quarter of a plate with proteins such as beef, chickpeas, mackerel and another quarter with carbohydrates.
It is advised to not skip Suhoor, morning meal, and to drink water. For Iftar, evening meal, it is important to have simple energy such as dates and to use portion control.
For drinks, it’s encouraged to drink fluids that will provide hydration such as water and herbal teas. One should avoid sugary or energy drinks, tea, coffee and other drinks with caffeine.
Dr Bhatti shares that “The majority of people taking medication can fast.” If you do take several medications it is advised to consult your GP.
It is important to use compassion and, in some cases, if fasting causes extreme stress it might be best to exempt yourself from fasting.
Light exercise is encouraged with walking being the best form of physical activity. The best time to exercise is before Suhoor. It is advised to avoid doing excessive exercise during Ramadan.
Sleep is also important, and Dr Bhatti encouraged everyone to not neglect it during the holy month. Aim for a consistent routine with sleep. Overeating is discouraged during Ramadan as it will negatively impact sleep.
For further reading on observing a healthy Ramadan, click the following links.