How To Stay Healthy And Beautiful During Ramadan
This year, Ramadan coincides with the summer’s most suffocating month of July. As temperatures, accompanied by wilting levels of humidity, bob in the high 30’s and 40s, the very real danger of dehydration confronts most people who will refrain from eating & drinking from sunup to sundown. So, please make sure you drink adequate amounts of water during suhour, iftar and post iftar times.
July’s midsummer 15 hours of daylight also leaves lot of room for sun exposure (UVA & B related skin damage), sweating (prickly heat & heat rashes) and potentially dangerous loss of fluids (dehydration & heat stroke) as believers on the fast resist the urge to compensate with a refreshing drink for as long as the sun stays up. Poor & infelicitous food choices during suhour and iftar can result in fat and cellulite exacerbations. Eating fried, sugary and unhealthy food can make skin overtly oily and acne prone (open pores, papules, pustules, black and white heads) resulting in unattractive & blemished complexion.
Today, we will focus on how to take care of our health & skin during this blazing summer month of Ramadan as our lifestyle and eating habits change.
- Low intake of liquids while fasting can lead to dehydration. Effects of dehydration on skin include dull and lifeless complexion. In mild cases dehydration can be uncomfortable but, in severe ones it can be life threatening.
- The important thing is to drink enough water. The recommended amounts are 1.5 to 2 liters, but do so slowly so as not to feel sick.
- Avoid drinking carbonated and sugary beverages, such as soda and juices as well as drinks that cause water loss like tea and coffee (as, both are diuretics and can potentate dehydration).
- Some people don’t like drinking plain water, they can experiment with some natural additives like: lemon or rose essence. Another healthy alternative could be zero calorie vitamin or fruit water.
- During the holy month of Ramadan, our diet should not differ very much from our normal diet and should be as simple as possible. The diet should be such that we maintain our normal weight, neither losing nor gaining.
- The food you eat can also play a role in staving off dehydration during the day. Eat lot of fruits and vegetables that contain plenty of water – they also help with digestion.
- The fruits also help fight the constipation that many suffer from during the first days of Ramadan as a result of limited water intake, altered eating schedule and reduced physical activity. Regular bowel movements reflect as healthy complexion and constipation reflects as dull complexion with breakouts.
- Avoid excessive sugar, carbohydrates, fatty and deep fried foods. Most people gain several extra pounds in weight each Ramadan by being over indulgent in their food choices.
- Also try to avoid excessive salt as it worsens dehydration, causes skin to appear dry and potentials cellulite.
Foods That Make Your Skin Glow
- Eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin C such as blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes; they all help to produce collagen that strengthens the capillaries that feed the skin.
- Make sure you get enough omega-3 and omega-6, both essential fatty acids. You will find omega-3 in oily fish, but plant sources like linseeds and flax oil are excellent too. For omega-6 try safflower, sunflower and corn oils.
- Eating foods that contain sulphur can help to keep skin smooth – garlic and onions are ideal.
- Go for foods rich in vitamin E, such as almonds, avocado, hazelnuts, pine nuts and sunflower and corn oils.
- Zinc-rich foods, such as wheatgerm, liver, pumpkin seeds, sardines and oysters, help to repair skin damage and keep it soft and supple.
- Foods rich in vitamin A help make new collagen in skin. Liver, eggs, milk and oily fish are good sources along with fortified cereals and margarines.
- Eat a few dried apricots every day. They’re full of iron to help improve your skin tone. So are sesame seeds – add them to cereals and muesli.
- Vitamin B complex is vital for great skin, especially vitamin B2 or riboflavin helps your skin glow. Best sources include beef, cheese, eggs, liver and Marmite.
Safe Outdoor Exposure & Physical Activity
- In addition to paying close attention to your diet, during fasting try to limit your outdoors activities, especially during peak sun hours (11a.m. until 4 p.m.).
- Add exercise routine after iftar to maintain your physical health & body in shape.
- Wear light cotton clothes and cover up your head to avoid heat stoke and heat rashes.
- Wear your UVA & B sun block when outdoors to avoid sun burn and skin cancer risk.
- Use skin appropriate moisturizers to keep skin hydrated, supple and healthy.
Ramadan is the perfect time to quit smoking. Smoking is not only bad for health, it is also really bad for your skin. Smoking causes early aging in the form of poor & blotchy skin tone, broken capillaries, collagen & elastin damage with sagging skin, hair loss, gums and teeth damage in addition to other life shortening cardiovascular problems.
Fasting when done appropriately can be healthier than the usual dietary habits of most people, so enjoy Ramadan and opt of a healthy body and a healthy spirit. Ramadan Kareem!!