How to have a heart-healthy Ramzan


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
How to have a heart-healthy Ramzan

Heart-friendly tips on fasting during the holy month of Ramzan

Ramzan is the holy month of fasting, charity and devotion observed by Muslim communities across the world, but for people suffering from heart ailments it's a challenge to fast without deteriorating their health.

Dr Pavan Kumar, cardiovascular surgeon at Lilavati and Nanavati hospitals, says, "If you suffer from any heart disease or other health problems, consult your doctor especially if you are on regular medication since fasting can interfere with their therapeutic practice. One needs to consult the doctor to reschedule the dosage of medicine. For patients who have suffered heart attacks earlier, fasting becomes a challenge, but if they follow a proper diet and medical routine they can successfully complete their fasts for the holy month."

What to eat:

1. In the morning, before starting the fast one should consume slow-digesting, high-fibre foods rather than fast-digesting foods. This will help to maintain the energy level in the body during the long hours of fasting. Slow digesting foods contain grains and seeds like barley, wheat, oats, millet, beans, whole meal flour and unpolished rice.

2. Eat green beans, green peas, spinach, beetroot, apple, banana, amla and dried fruits, especially dried apricots and almonds.

3. Break the fast with dates or lemon juice, which regulates the sugar level of the body.

4. Before and after the fast, drink plenty of water in order to avoid dehydration.

5. Fruit juices are beneficial.

6. Choose boiled food over fried food.

What not to eat:

1. Avoid too much salty and spicy food before the fast as salt will make the body retain water, giving you the feeling of being bloated; spicy food increases thirst.

2. Sweets and sugary foods are fast-digesting foods and last only for 3-4 hours. They turn into fats and increase cholesterol levels.

3. Fried and oily foods cause indigestion, heartburn and acidity.

4. Drinks with high proportions of caffeine like tea, coffee and soda should be avoided as caffeine extracts calcium from the body, making one feel hungry.

5. Avoid tea in the morning before the fast as it increases salt excretion in urine, which is needed for the body while fasting.
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