Top Five Strategies for Making the Most of Your Ramadan Fast
Ramadan is a blessing.
And the nutritional science community is only now just catching up. Fasting has incredible health benefits. In fact, intermittent fasting has become the most talked about trend in the health and wellness community.
In an article written by American health guru Dr. Axe, he states “…intermittent fasting is hardly a new concept. It’s been used for centuries during times when food was scarce and it even plays a central role in many major religions. In fact, once a year, Muslims observe Ramadan, a month of fasting from dawn until sunset.
It’s difficult to define intermittent fasting as there’s not just one correct method for how to fast. In fact, there are many different variations of intermittent fasting that are used around the world. Each follows a different eating pattern that is often strictly adhered to in order to achieve physical or even spiritual results.”*
Intermittent fasting is the act of allowing your digestive system to rest for several hours a day, usually 12-16 hours, and allowing for the intake of calories only during the other 8-12 hours. Science is now showing us that this act of fasting puts our metabolism into what is called a state of ketosis. Ketosis is extremely healthy for our brains and our gut health, the foundation of healthy overall immunity.
Muslims have been participating in this health practice for 1400 years while science has only now begun to catch on over the last 20 years or so.
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR FAST
It is so easy for us to lose the benefits of fasting by breaking our fast in ways that are detrimental to our health. This year, you can achieve optimal health by making some intentional choices that will aid in nourishing and healing your body and mind. What have you got to lose? Maybe some inches around your waist and some blemishes on your skin.
- Eat whole foods. Did your food once walk or swim? Did it grow directly from the earth? If the answer is YES, then eat it. Our bodies know what to do with the nutrients that Allah blessed us with. Use whole foods to nourish yourself after a long day of fasting. Your cells will be glad you did.
- Choose Organic. When your foods have been treated with harmful chemicals and pesticides, your liver will have to work extra hard to detoxify. If you have access to organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seed, and animal protein you are more likely to shed fat. Your body protects your from toxins by storing the them in your fat.
- Stay Hydrated. Your body is made up of about 75% water. Dehydration can cause a myriad of health problems that you best avoid. Drink plenty of water. Remember the Sunnah to keep your belly 1/3 full of food, 1/3 water and 1/3 air. Perhaps get some of your caloric intake from fresh juices and smoothies and raw fruits and vegetables that have lots of naturally occurring water content.
- Embrace Healthy Fats. Healthy fat is the food of your brain and nervous system. Don’t neglect it while you are fasting. Make sure you have daily animal protein, snack on nuts and seeds, have a bowl of olives at the table and olive oil on your salad. Your mind will stay sharper as you fast.
- Eliminate Processed Foods. If it comes in a package and was made in a factory, chances are there is not enough nutrition in it to sustain your energy during your fasting period. Say no to white sugary treats.
Ramadan Kareem. May you all have a blessed month and a year of abundant health and vitality.
* Intermittent Fasting Benefits: Lose Weight, Protect the Heart & Brain, + More, draxe.com
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