Monday, June 30, 2014

Tips for this Ramadan season, from Children's National

With Ramadan now upon us, two of our experts have provided their tips on staying healthy during the holy month of Ramadan.

Noura Al Dhaheri, MD, is Children’s National’s first Emirati Pediatric resident. Her top tips for this Ramadan are:
    • “Ensure you drink a glass of water every 2 hours from Iftar time until Suhoor.”
    Staying hydrated means drinking between 2 to 2.5 liters of water a day. Muslims will be fasting during the heat of the summer months, making it important to hydrate during the short window between Iftar and Suhoor.
    • “It is better to substitute traditional sweets with fruits and ensure you have salad as part of your daily Iftar meal.”
    After a long day of fasting, we need to replenish and nourish our bodies with nutrients. By simply prioritizing fruits and vegetables at Iftar, you will make a world of difference to your body’s nourishment.

    Faisal Qureshi, MD, General and Thoracic Surgery recommends moderation and activity during Ramadan:
    • “At Iftar, only fill half your plate. Eat, then pray, and if you’re still hungry, have another half plate.”
    We can often overeat at Iftar time due to our hunger throughout the day but we need to be careful in how much and how quickly we consume food after fasting. 
    • “Take a 20-30 minute walk prior to night prayers and engage in at least one sporting activity.”
    It is important that we get exercise and maintain our normal routines during Ramadan. Exercise after Iftar and before night prayers will keep your metabolism healthy and active.
    • “Have a protein dominant diet in the morning prior to the beginning of fasting.”
    Protein can have the effect of making you feel full and reducing your appetite. This is obviously important if you are fasting. At the same time, protein has less of an impact calorically than many carbohydrate rich foods.

    We would like to wish the leadership and the people of the United Arab Emirates a fulfilling, healthy and happy Ramadan.

    Ramadan Kareem!

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