The Islamic fasting month of Ramadan will begin on Monday 6/Tuesday 7 May 2019 and end on Tuesday 4 June 2019 (depending on the sighting of the moon globally, regionally or locally).
Fasting (Sawm) is one of the five pillars of Islam and Ramadan was the month in which the Holy Qur’an was revealed over 1400 years ago. Its purpose is to provide an opportunity for Muslims to increase their spirituality, self-discipline and compassion towards others.
Fasting at face value means not consuming food or drink during daylight hours (for each day of the month of Ramadan) though its spiritual side carries much more importance. Muslims are expected to fast between dawn (about an hour and a half before sunrise) and sunset.
Healthy eating tips during Ramadan
- Fried and fatty foods. These can upset your stomach and give you indigestion and heartburn
- Foods containing too much sugar, especially just before you close your fast. These can cause your blood sugar levels to drop too quickly and can cause headaches, dizziness and tiredness
- Over eating at suhoor (pre dawn meal). This can lead to indigestion, heartburn and constipation
- Drinking too much tea at pre dawn meal: Tea makes you pass more urine taking with it valuable mineral salts that your body will need during the day
- Slow digesting foods at the pre dawn meal. These last longer in the body thus making you feel less hungry
- Dates are an 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
- Watermelons are excellent for instantly hydrating the body
- As much water or healthy juices as possible between Iftar (breaking of the fast) and Suhoor (pre dawn meal) so that your body can adjust fluid levels in time
- Try carrying a water bottle around with you or have one in your bedroom so that you can continually sip and keep hydrated between the hours from dusk until dawn
(Adapted courtesy Kushmina Begum, South Leeds Life)