Find out how to keep to your beliefs, fast, without developing health complications or worsening your health problems.
Its the Ramadan, a time for physical and spiritual cleansing when people observe a dawn-to-sunset fast which is marked by piety, compassion and self-control.
Christians, catholics, also have Lent, a season of the Christian Year where Christians focus on simple living, prayer, and fasting in order to grow closer to God.
However, not everyone can totally participate in the fast due to specific medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, asthma, cardiovascular disease, pregnant women and those breastfeeding.
In order to still abide by your beliefs, that is fast, without complicating your health , do the following.
Eat light food and vegetables.
Push back meal time.
Gently ease into fasting mode.
Eat oats, fresh fruits, as they provide a sense of fullness due to the fact that they are rich in fibre and nutrition.
Drink plenty of water and sugar-free beverages but avoid caffeine as it can be dehydrating.
Talk to your health-care provider ahead of time, so you know how far to go without hurting yourself.
Get a proper meal plan as it allows you to focus on getting the maximum spiritual returns.
For pregnant women:
Dr Muna Tahlak, obstetrician and gynaecologist says:
“It is difficult for women to fast in the first trimester when they have morning sickness and in the last trimester when the baby presses against the vital organs in the abdomen making the woman breathless. Those in the second trimester usually find it easy to fast. But women in any trimester can fast under guidance from their gynaecologist and if they do not have any other health-related complex complaints.”
Concerning their diet, she says:
“Expecting mothers should have high protein and dense carbohydrates such as harissa, tarid (stuffed vegetables with meat stew), or grilled chicken that will keep them full as they are slowly digested. They should avoid anything salty or fried that can make them feel thirsty during the day. The ideal weight gain throughout pregnancy should not exceed more than 15kg and the maximum weight gain happens after 28 weeks. An expectant mother should make sure to have small frequent bites after iftar that keeps her nutrition steady. After ending her fast with dates and buttermilk, she can have a light soup, then have a well-balanced dinner after a gap of an hour. She can have a post-midnight snack of a fruit, walnuts or labneh and then a suhour meal.”