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ماہنامہ دختران اسلام > اپریل 2021 ء > HEALTHY RAMADAN
ماہنامہ دختران اسلام : اپریل 2021 ء
> ماہنامہ دختران اسلام > اپریل 2021 ء > HEALTHY RAMADAN

HEALTHY RAMADAN

Kanita Salahuddin

The Holy month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is the time when many Muslims across the world fast during daylight hours for 29-30 days.

Ramadan 2021 is expected to start from the 12th of April,2021.

Ramadan is often seen as a time to practice self-control, self-discipline, and sacrifice to ensure empathy within one's self, for those less fortunate than that of many among us.

Fasting is obligatory on all healthy Muslims (except children), there are exemptions for those who are ill or whose health could be affected by fasting, for example, pregnant or breastfeeding women and people with diabetes.

Ramadan can become a good time to make changes for improvement of personal diet that can make one create sustainable healthy lifestyle.

The below-mentioned simple guidelines can assure one to lose weight, thereby decreasing one's blood pressure and cholesterol. However, over-indulging oneself in Iftar or sehri meals can certainly cause weight gain.

IFTAR:

While breaking the fast, going for plenty of fluids, low fat, fluid-rich foods and foods containing some natural sugars for energy is essential, but avoiding consumption of a lot of foods or drinks with added sugars is necessary at the same time. Below are some examples:

  • WATER: Human body can not preserve water, some amount of water is lost during urination and perspiration. Interestingly, even breathing can cause one to experience mild dehydration. So it is important to drink fluids to replace what one lost during the day (at least 10 glasses). By adding watermelon in one's sehri meal or as sweet dessert after Iftar, one can ensure hydrating foods to maintain one's fluid balance. Green salads, like tomato or cucumber, can also help one in staying hydrated. Likewise, avoiding caffeinated drinks like coffee cola and tea, which may increase the urinary frequency in many people is essential to avoid dehydration.
  • DATES: these are the sources of natural sugar and are an excellent source of fiber, hence, one must use at least three dates to break one's fast. No wonder why this practice has remained a healthy and traditional way for many decades. Incorporation of plenty of vegetables is essential for provision of vital vitamins and nutrients. One should choose whole grains, that provide one's body with energy and fibre. Enjoying grilled or baked lean meat, skinless chicken and fish, is also good to get a good portion of healthy protein. In general, one must avoid fried and processed foods because of their excessive fat or sugar.
  • FRUITS: fruit provides natural sugars, fluid, vitamins and minerals that assures energy. Avoidance of too many sweets after Iftar meal, like sugar syrups, that can add calories to one's diet can leave one with fewer diet options, nevertheless, one can use water containing fruits like watermelon, peach or nectarine to replace them.
  • SOUP: A lighter way to break the fast and provides fluid, nutrients, and energy than many other practices.

Choose whole grains, which provide the body with energy and fiber. Moreover, picking plenty of vegetables for acquisition of vital vitamins and nutrients, alongside enjoying grilled or baked lean meat, skinless chicken and fish, to get a good portion of healthy proteins and mineral can help one to maintain balanced diet. In general, avoidance of fried and processed foods is key to nutritious diet as they contain high values of fat or sugar.

One must try to curtail the consumption of foods rich in fat like fatty meats, pastry, margarine or butter. Instead of frying, one can use other methods of cooking, such as steaming, cooking in sauce or stir-frying in a small amount of oil and baking.

One should eat slowly, and appropriately to one's needs. Heavier meals can cause heartburn and discomfort.

One should ensure physical activity, as much as possible, and should try to maintain activeness in the evenings too. For example, a regular daily walk.

" SEHRI:

it should constitute lighter meals such as greener vegetables, carbohydrates that can be bread or bread roll made of whole wheat, and protein-rich food in form of dairy products (cheese that is not salty) or egg.

  • OATS- these are whole grains and one should choose porridge, as it will also provide fluids due to its milk or water content. One should use fresh or dried fruits, nuts or seeds as toppings.
  • CEREALS: These ingredients provide plenty of fiber, as these are often fortified with vitamins and minerals, thereby providing extra nutrients. Because these are consumed with milk, one also gets fluid and nutrients like calcium, iodine and b vitamins.
  • YOGURT- it is an upright thing to include it for sehri meal, as it provides nutrients like protein, calcium, iodine and vitamins and also contains fluid. One can combine it with cereal and fruit.
  • BREADS: these go with wholegrain options as these provide more fibre, for example wholemeal toast or chapattis. One must avoid combining bread with salty foods like hard cheese, or preserved meats. Instead, one should try nut butters (without added salt), soft cheese, or banana. As bread is fairly dry, one must make assure drinking plenty of water or other fluids alongside. However, one can have fluid-rich foods such as a lentil soup, whose consumption is a traditional food during sehri in some countries.

Sidestep foods containing large amounts of salt. Salt stimulates thirst, thus, it's a pragmatic idea to avoid consumption of a lot of salty foods. Usage of various herbs to enhance the flavor of cooked foods is also a sensible practice to stay healthy.

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