Ramadan Special: Fasting or Feasting?

Ramadan Special: Fasting or Feasting?

Fasting is an age-old tradition that keeps us spiritually uplifted while also balancing our overall health. That does not mean suffering, it is after all a sacred tradition to inbuild habits like self-control against food, impure thoughts and deeds. In fact, it’s a step toward refreshing your body to gear up for the hurdles of life.

On a physical level, fasting is a practice that helps in reducing visceral fat, triglycerides, and insulin levels and increases our cognitive abilities. That sounds like it would be good for us, right?

But, did you know fasting has its own potential risks too! Some of them are weakness, hypoglycemia, migraines, malnutrition, excessive hunger, and insomnia.

As we all know everything comes with its own set of pros and cons, so let me give you a balanced approach when fasting.

  1. Avoid processed foods that have extra salt, extra sugar, and oil. Anything that is heavy for your gut to digest is going to harm your health. If you choose to consume it, be careful about your intake.
  2. To take the best care of your gut, I suggest a Mediterranean diet plan that emphasizes more plant products, with whole grains and moderate use of meat and dairy products. I would ask you to trust my gut when I advise you about your gut health.
  3. As I have noted several of my patients avoid eating well in the non-fasting window thinking it would be a quick way to lose weight but let me inform you it’s quite harmful. Given the summer season, one must eat two meals properly to minimise fatigue and dehydration.
  4. It’s also about the cooking style. Try grilled meat, steamed veggies and soups for dinner after breaking the fast.
  5. Eat slowly when breaking the fast and start with coolants like coconut water, yoghurt, and fruits.
  6. Healthy snacking needs to be included walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, and cashews are rich in magnesium and boost our metabolism.
  7. Avoid overeating food rather try hydrating yourself. Always remember it’s a fast and not a feast in which you have to indulge. Beat the heat, balance the food intake and shower yourself with loads of fluids.
  8. Time management of food — Pre sunrise meal should be a full meal including whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables and most importantly healthy fats and proteins. Evening time food needs to be light and filling.
    Open your fast with dates followed by fruits and coconut water.
  9. Cortisol, our stress hormone also shifts due to our fasting window. It’s observed that it is high in the evening time. Due to this melatonin formation, basal, our body temperature also changes. It results in irritation, drowsiness, weakness, skin and hair issues too. The key to a healthy fasting period is time and lifestyle management.
  10. Avoid excessive exercise when you fast, as it may lead to muscles loss and fatigue. Try to take walks in the open air in the morning or night.
  11. Gastric ailments like indigestion and bloating are quite often seen due to overindulgence in food post fasting window. Try using fennel seeds tea, mint coriander leaves decoction, and ginger juice with lemon in warm water for better digestion.
  12. For those who suffer from migraines, acidity and stress during your fast, my suggestion would be to smell some peppermint oil to refresh nerves or lavender oil to settle the pains. Also, massaging your feet with sesame oil can help relax your body at night.

Take a few precautions and see how you can definitely boost your health during the fasting period. Rest, Reset and Relish, what’s given on your platter and be thankful to God for the blessings — That’s the code for healthy fasting. Make fasting a feast for your soul and indulge in a healthy nutritive spirited mind body and soul.

Dr. Nidhi Agarwal

Dr. Nidhi Agarwal is a connoisseur of the Holistic approach to propagate medicine free lifestyle since last 12 years. She is a Homeopathic physician, lifestyle & Wellness coach, relationship counselor, a holistic healer and the director of Prakash holistic health care centre. A doctor a counselor a nutritionist a healer a philanthropist and an eco-warrior.

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