By Seyed Mahdi Mirghazanfari, MD, PHD

Health tips for Ramadan

May 30, 2017

Ramadan, the month of mercy for Muslims, began on Saturday in Iran. Despite the long and hot summer days and accordingly long fasting days it might give people a chance to improve upon their physical and mental health.

Though in Islam there are reasons (considering each person’s state of health) that might excuse one from fasting. Those who are suffering medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypotension, or hypertension, may or may not be able to fast depending on their doctor’s opinion.

Ramadan is a brief spell of abstinence as God- who had created us all- has seen fit for human beings to limit their food intake for some days throughout the year. Fasting is also being observed in some other religions or other philosophies as well to some extent by cutting down on foods and drinks.

Fasting, the way it is recommended in Islam by abstaining from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset, is the best method to ensure a healthy body. Likewise, when someone comes down with an illness due to mal-temperament, or as used in Persian ‘Sou-e-mizaj’, the doctor should advise them to abstain from using food stuff that makes them sick in the first place and then start consuming food and drinks which help them to restore health. 

Eat lightly

Those who start eating since the sunset right before going to bed might lose appetite for Suhur -the meal consumed early in the morning by Muslims before fasting- which is an important meal and skipping it might cause problems.

Generally one should eat lightly and try eat less before sleeping.

Wake up early for Suhur

It’s better to wake up early for Suhur (an hour or an hour and a half before the call for prayer) so that one would get hungrier and staying up until the true dawn would be great, therefore one would not feel full.

Let the body decide

If you do not feel eating right after the sunset (such as people with sanguine temperament) it’s fine. Let your body decide the right time to eat.

The digestive tract has been empty for about two-thirds of the day and need to be dealt with cautiously. Besides don’t forget to consume adequate amounts of fruits, milk, wheat and its derivatives, rice, and meat.

Seyed Mahdi Mirghazanfari, MD, holds a PhD degree in medical physiology and is an Iranian-Islamic traditional medicine researcher. He is also an assistant professor in AJA University of Medical Sciences, Tehran.

MQ/MG

(Dear readers, on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan the Iranian traditional medicine series of articles have been brought to a temporary halt and replaced by health tips for Ramadan. The articles will be published soon after Ramadan.)

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