Pakoras and samosas are the life of every iftar, especially in Pakistan. Special preparations are made for iftar as Muslims open their fast after abstaining from foods and drinks throughout the day. You may find fried items delicious, but they can harm your health. They contain a large number of calories and can increase your weight. They are also full of oil and can increase cholesterol leading to heart disease.
Staying empty stomach during a fast can also cause acidity and gas, causing you stomach troubles. Changes in everyday routine and food consumption can also result in other stomach issues, such as constipation and other stomach health issues. While some symptoms may be usual and be after-effects of fasting or junk food, some may be more serious and require medical attention from the best Gastroenterologist in Lahore.
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12 tips to improve your digestive health in Ramadan
Stomach issues can be unpleasant to deal with and can shift your focus from other activities that might be in your schedule. It can also make you feel too sick to fast, causing you to skip fasts. Here are a few ways that improve your stomach health during Ramadan.
1. Take time to eat
You may feel hungry as iftar time approaches, which leads you to eat faster at iftar. Take your time to eat your food and savor every bite, which highlights the importance of counting your blessings during Ramadan. Eat in small portions and take intervals while eating, as it takes some time for your stomach to let you know if you are full. It can lead to overeating, which can lead to heartburn and indigestion. Chew your food properly to make it easy on your stomach and improve digestion. To avoid overeating, eat in smaller portions and take breaks to know when you are full.
2. Consume more fiber
Fiber is an essential nutrient for your stomach health. Insoluble fiber cleans your digestive tract, whereas soluble fiber absorbs water and bulks up your stool. It can also regulate bowel movements. Having more fiber during suhoor (pre-dawn meal) can keep you full longer and beat hunger pangs during the fast. Foods that contain whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables contain more fiber, so add them to your diet. Though your stomach needs some fiber, too much can cause adverse symptoms, such as bloating and gas.
3. Replace unhealthy fats with healthy fats
Some amount of healthy fat is vital for your body as it improves the absorption of some vitamins. Most fried food items contain unhealthy fats, which can irritate your stomach by staying in the stomach for too long. Healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, can be easy on your stomach and makes digestion easier. They can also increase unhealthy bacteria in your gut and lead to health issues. People suffering from digestive health troubles, like chronic pancreatitis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), should avoid oily foods in Ramadan as it can worsen the condition and may need evaluation from Gastroenterologist in Karachi.
4. Plan your meals
Keeping a check on your diet is essential for you, as eating too less or too much can both have adverse signs. Keep a journal or diary and note the meals you will have in suhoor and iftar. Divide them into smaller portions after iftar instead of overloading on foods before suhoor. Ensure you keep it healthy by eliminating foods that may damage your health.
5. Take probiotics
Probiotics are necessary to keep your gut health intact, which can improve your immunity and shield your stomach from health problems. You can get probiotics from yogurt, green olives, and some forms of cheese. Probiotics can help regulate bowel movements and prevent illnesses like diarrhea and constipation. Yoghurt has a high water content, and eating it in suhoor can aid in reducing thirst during your fast. It can also prevent stomach issues.
6. Drink herbal teas
Herbal teas can be effective in aiding digestion and treating other stomach issues. You can use different teas according to your requirement. Peppermint tea can improve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), such as gas, bloating, and pain. Fennel tea is helpful in relieving chronic constipation by regulating bowel movements. Green tea can fasten the digestive process. All these teas can enhance digestion and prevent stomach issues.
7. Exercise Regularly
Staying active can have many health benefits, including improving digestion. Try to walk for at least 30 minutes a day. Exercising can increase bowel movements and get rid of heartburn. It can be difficult to exercise when you are fasting and right after iftar. Schedule your walk or exercise a few hours after iftar, as it can help you digest the meal. Other types of exercise, such as yoga, can help clear your digestive system. Low-impact workouts can also be effective during Ramadan.
8. Try lemon water
Lemon water is a fantastic drink that can quench your thirst, especially during Ramadan. It can replenish your body by providing electrolytes and provide energy. Lemon contains citric acid that can get your digestive fluids going and make it easier for your body to digest food. Replace sugary drinks with lemon water and drink it in iftar and suhoor. Be careful about adding sugar to it, as it can upset the stomach and lead to weight gain.
9. Drink water
Water is essential for your body to function, consisting of 60 to 70% water. In Ramadan, people are more prone to dehydration due to fasting for long hours. Ensure that you are taking plenty of water after iftar and before suhoor. Drinks with electrolytes can help increase your energy. Avoid salty foods, as they can also make you feel thirsty. Avoid drinking too much water or drinking too quickly in the iftar.
10. Avoid triggering foods
While some foods can improve digestion, others can irritate your stomach. It may vary from person to person, depending on their condition. If you feel that your stomach is upset every time you consume a dairy product, lactose in the dairy can trigger your stomach. Spicy and oily foods can also disturb your stomach. Avoid soft-drink and other beverages that can cause bloating and gas.
11. Do not skip suhoor
Suhoor is essential for your body to power throughout the day during your fast. Skipping suhoor can cause empty stomach acidity and low blood sugar. Eating a healthy meal at suhoor promotes bowel movements and can enhance your energy level throughout the fast. Have a healthy suhoor and eat less oily and salty foods. Consuming yogurt can also improve your digestive health, so add it to your suhoor menu. Eat a balanced meal with adequate fiber, proteins, and carbohydrates.
12. Shop wisely
It is likely that you will consume the foods that you bring home after grocery. Opt for stomach-friendly foods that help with digestion. Buy natural and fresh ingredients that can create low-calorie and delicious dishes. If you store too much junk food, you may feel the urge to consume it and too much of it can mess with your stomach.
Fasting during Ramadan is a must for Muslims, and while fasting can be beneficial in many ways, it can sometimes cause stomach problems, such as gas, bloating, and acidity. It can be unpleasant to deal with stomach issues when you are fasting. It can make you feel exhausted and disturbed while you are fasting. Most suhoor and iftars contain fried and oily foods, such as paratha, rolls, pakoras, and others, that can lead to stomach discomfort. It increases the importance of keeping your digestive system healthy.
There are many ways that can help keep your digestive health in check. Plan your meals around the Ramadan schedule and make foods easy on your stomach. Avoid foods that can trigger stomach problems, such as oily, acidic, and spicy foods. Add healthy fats and fiber to your diet, as it can cleanse your digestive system. Ensure your suhoor is healthy and provides enough nutrition to go through your day. Probiotics also support digestion and gut health. Drinking water also keeps your digestive system flowing and clean. Herbal teas and other beverages like lemon water can aid digestion, but you should steer clear of fizzy, sugary, and caffeinated beverages as they can cause bloating and gas.
Eat mindfully during iftar and suhoor. Chew your food thoroughly and take your time to eat your meal. You can also divide your meals into portions, making them easier to digest. Keep your suhoor light but nutritious. Add yogurt to your suhoor and drink water in intervals after iftar to keep you hydrated. Staying healthy during Ramadan can help provide your body with essential nutrients and helps you focus on your spiritual self in this holy month.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which diet is best for diarrhea?
The BRAT diet which stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast is the most suitable for people with an upset stomach.
What are the symptoms of an unhealthy stomach?
Frequent stomach issues like diarrhea, gas, heartburn, bloating, and some signs of an unhealthy stomach?
How to keep your stomach healthy in Ramadan?
Eat foods that are good for your stomach, do not overeat, do not skip suhoor, and stay hydrated.