Ramadan fasting: Eat a healthy, balanced iftar, says WHO

Eat three dates to break the fast. Include vegetables for essential vitamins and nutrients in your food. Photo: iStock/brightstars

The Ramadan fasting is expected to begin on Tuesday (March 12) or Wednesday (March 13) this year and believers are gearing up for the sacred month prayerfully. While it's a period of fasting, repentance, worship and more for the believers, it's also a time when iftar parties become an occasion of celebration and sharing for many. The World Health Organization (WHO) issues guidelines to maintain good health during the month every year and this time too, it has come out with rules for healthy fasting:

1) Keep indoor spaces well-ventilated to protect yourself and others. This will make gatherings safer. Avoid the sun during the peak of the day.
2) Eat a balanced diet and drink enough water. Eat hydrating foods like watermelon, soup and green salad.
3) Stay physically active and take care of yourself, alongside others. For example, go for daily walks.
4) Stay off tobacco and vaping.
5) Replenish energy by eating a healthy, balanced iftar. Avoid processed foods that are high in sugar and fat. Eat three dates to break the fast. Include vegetables for essential vitamins and nutrients in your food.

6) Avoid overeating, eat slowly. The quantity should be appropriate for each individual.
7) Keep drinking water between iftar and suhoor (the meal eaten before dawn). Have a late suhoor to keep going through the day.
8) Control your blood pressure, and stay clear of salt.
9) If you have diabetes, visit a doctor 6 to 8 weeks before fasting to understand your risk category.
10) Once Ramadan ends, visit the doctor again for guidance on your medication when you get back on your previous regimen
11) For more details, check the WHO website

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