The month of Ramzan has become a cultural phenomena, there are things that we do habitually e.g. having sharbat, seldom realizing that these small mistakes can inhibit our bodies from reaping the detoxification opportunity that Ramzan provides. Considering the heat in Karachi this year, it is best that we consume foods that optimize hydration through out the day. Here are some of the common mistakes that we need to avoid in the month of Ramzan to ensure that our bodies are cleansed and revitalized and hydrated.
1. Drinking “sweet colored drinks” on a daily basis
Coloured drinks often contain sugars, additives, preservatives and colorants which can actually be dehydrating for the body when had in excess. It is recommended that consumption of these kinds of drinks should be limited to 2 or 3 times a week.
2. Drinking large amounts of water at iftaar time
Surprisingly, even drinking large amounts of water at iftaar time can be damaging for the body. This is because filling the stomach with water is more strenuous to organ than filling it with food. For this, it is recommended to have a few sips of water at iftaar time and then a glass after every two hours to ensure that one stays hydrated.
3. Exercising directly after Iftaar.
Despite the fitness fad and the Ramzan boot camps it is not recommended to exercise directly after iftaar. This is because after a whole day of not consuming food and drink, at iftaar we indulge ourselves, which results in the blood flow of our body being concentrated around the stomach. It is best to exercise after 2 hours of eating so that there is ease of digestion within our bodies.
4. Chewing and swallowing food fast.
This age old maxim of chewing slowly actually has a lot more substance than we think. Chewing food slowly can speed up digestion as the enzymes in our mouth enable the stomach to break down and digest the food faster. This is a great technique to help maintain your weight and also avoid over eating as the brain becomes more sensitive to when the stomach is full because you are chewing slowly and in turn eating less.
5. Having dessert directly after iftaar
Another mistake we all commonly make is gorging on dessert straight after Iftaar. This often results in making people drowsy, sleepy and lethargic. It is recommended that there should be around an hours gap between iftaar and dessert to stay fresh and awake and alert.
6. Consuming foods with high amounts of sodium
Another pertinent problem is that we often consume a lot of sodium (salt) in our foods. The use of sodium triggers thirst through out the fasting hours of the day. To counterbalance this effect, it is recommended to eat foods high in potassium. Such foods retain the water in your body and resultantly suppress your thirst. Bananas, for example, are very high in potassium can aid in controlling thirst levels throughout the day. Other foods that are high in potassium are: milk, dates, avocados, dried peaches, pistachios, pumpkin, peas and dark chocolate.
Paying attention to eating healthily can maximise the physical benefits of fasting – here’s wishing you all a healthy Ramadan.