Top tips to stay healthy during Ramadan

Mum-of-three Shamshad Akhtar says she will be changing the types of food she eats during Ramadan. Credit: Stoke-on-Trent City Council

People observing the holy month of Ramadan are being encouraged to take good care of their health while fasting.

It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, when Muslims refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours.

Ramadan is a really good discipline for a month. But it’s not just about eating and drinking, it’s about the community as well – giving support to others while it takes place, and continuing to do so afterwards.

Shamshad Akhtar

It runs from May 26 until June 24 this year, and in order to stay healthy, Stoke-on-Trent City Council has issued the following advice:

  • Drink plenty of water when having meals.

  • Eat breakfast, and have it nearer to sunrise – instead of midnight – as this spreads out your energy intake more evenly.

  • Eat normal sized, nutritious meals based on complex carbohydrates (oats, wheat, cereals, lentils, rice and grains). These foods help release energy more slowly so you feel fuller for longer.

  • Aim to keep meals simple by including lots of fruit and vegetables.

  • Reduce/limit foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar.

  • Stay active and aim to avoid excessive exercise during fasting times, try walking or doing other gentle exercise.

  • If you smoke, then try to stop.

Dr Lesley Mountford, the city council’s director of public health and adult social care, said Ramadan can be a great opportunity to focus on bringing in a healthy lifestyle.

We are advising residents who will be observing Ramadan to drink plenty, have a balanced diet during the pre-dawn and dusk meals, and to reduce their strenuous activity levels during the hours of fasting.

Dr Lesley Mountford