Sunday, April 02, 2023 | Ramadan 10, 1444 H
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Healthy fasting


@lijucherianoman -

A nutritionist and a dentist-cum-artist have come out with a few healthy tips to be followed during Ramadhan.

Advising healthy fasting, the doctors call upon to achieve physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being by planning and eating healthy.

Dr Hafsa Banu, dental surgeon, White Smile Dental Specialty, says the holy month helps in purifying one’s self, healing in a spiritual way and rejuvenating the mind by being selfless.

Dr Monika Seth, a nutrition consultant, advises ‘to eat right’ during Ramadhan and to cultivate self-control, balance and self-discipline while learning to appreciate the value of food.

As one who specialises in therapeutic diets and obesity, Dr Monika says fasting is a great way not only to nurture spiritually, but also to attain complete physical health. “It is quintessential to take very good care of your body and get the most positive impact of healthy fasting and getting rid of the harmful toxins from the body,” she adds.

Dr Hafsa, who is a nails and strings artist, explains that it has a similar connection to what we feel through art. “Art is a process of liberation of thoughts, which helps us to connect spiritually to find peace in our mind and soul. The sense of liberating ourselves is the connection we feel during the process of creating an artwork and reflecting it onto a blank space or canvas giving an insight into the purity and selflessness of art,” she adds and mentions the beautiful connection of spirituality which is distinct and unique.

Fasting, Dr Hafa says, also brings up healthy dental hygiene and practices as the long hours from Suhoor to Iftar demands special care. “When you abstain from eating and drinking anything for a long time, it causes dehydration which builds the bacteria in the mouth which are responsible for foul breath.”

According to Dr Hafsa, some of the few routine practices which helps maintain good oral health are:

• Brush after Iftar and Suhoor. Use fluoridated toothpaste to prevent cavity formation

• Use a tongue cleaner to get rid of white coating on the tongue

• Floss and rinse mouth with mouthwash

• Reduce intake of coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks

• Avoid fried, spicy and salty food as it leads to dehydration

• If using dentures make sure that you clean them properly using antiseptic solution

• Avoid sticky food such as chocolates, cheese and cereals

• Have fruits and boiled veggies while breaking fast as they have high fibre content which will help in remineralising teeth naturally.

Dr Monika advises a well-balanced and diverse diet will not only guarantee that you get all the nutrients needed, but will also enhance the natural cleansing process and improve your ability to concentrate and work better.

Some of her healthy tips to be followed during Ramadhan are:

• Do not miss Suhoor - this early morning meal helps provide strength and vitality so start the day right with light and nutritious foods

• Eat a varied diet to include healthy choices from all food groups at Iftar to recharge and rebalance the body

• Stay hydrated - replenish yourself with a magical drink namely plain water during the non-fasting hours

• Refrain yourself from too much sugar

• Avoid too much salt, processed and fast foods

• Walk or exercise for at least 20 minutes

Suhoor: Fresh fruits, tomatoes, cucumber, unsalted nuts, low fat milk and milk products, avocados, olives, beans, chickpeas, lentils

Iftar: Whole grain bread, oats, dates, probiotics, low fat milk and milk products, lean cut of meats, grilled chicken/fish, few dates, fresh fruits and vegetables, home-made fruit or honey based healthy sweets.

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