Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) has said, "When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.”
For some years now fasting hours have gotten longer and the weather is hotter which may cause some difficulties.
However, the Iranian traditional medicine has provided us with some useful tips which both help to rid the body of waste material built up in body for several months by giving it a complete break from food and move towards a healthier life.
Fasting gives people a chance to improve their physical and mental health.
Fasting, the way it is recommended in Islam by abstaining from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset, is the best method to ensure a healthy body.
Similarly, when someone comes down with an illness the doctor normally advises them to abstain from using foodstuff that makes them sick in the first place and then start consuming food and drinks which help them to restore health.
Starting to eat from the sunset right before going to bed might lead to losing appetite for Suhur -the meal consumed early in the morning by Muslims before fasting- which is an important meal and skipping it might cause problems.
One of the most important rules to keep healthy during Ramadan is to eat lightly and try to eat less before going to sleep.
It’s better to wake up early for Suhur (an hour or an hour and a half before the call for prayer) so that you would get hungrier. If possible, it is better to stay up until the daybreak so that you give time to your body to digest the food you had.
Not having Suhur is a huge mistake. The human digestive system converts food into nutrients that the body needs and once there is no food digestive acids eat away at the lining tissues of the stomach and lead to stomach ulcer and painful sores in the stomach lining or small intestine.
It is important not to fill the stomach with heavy food and drinks once fasting hours end. Because of the impacts of fasting on emptying of the digestive tract during long fasting hours the Iftar meal- when people end their fast at sunset- should not be heavy and filled with foods and drinks.
It is normally advised to break the fast with some lukewarm water, weak tea, warm milk, or warm honey water and date and then have a light meal 20 to 30 minutes later.
If you do not feel eating right after the sunset it is fine. Let your body decide the right time to eat.
Do not forget to include sufficient amounts of fruits, milk, wheat and its derivatives, rice, and meat in your diet during this month.
It is better to avoid consuming or cut down on fatty, salty, spicy, and fried foodstuff and fizzy drinks both at Suhur and Iftar.
Generally, the meals eaten during the month of Ramadan ought to be small in quantity and rich in nutrients.
Avoid these foodstuffs:
Try to cut back on some vegetables such as leek, tarragon, and onion, especially for Suhur meals as consuming them might work up a thirst during the day. It is better to eat salads, especially lettuce with cucumber for Suhur.
Try to avoid consuming too much Ash-e reshteh (a type of thick soup featuring reshteh (thin noodles), vegetables, beans, chick pea, and lentil) or beef which are all considered as heavy meals.
Drinking cold water at the Iftar is the worst possible habit. In simple terms, the stomach has gotten pretty hot due to long hours of fasting and being empty. Therefore, drinking cold water can cause damage both to the stomach and the liver (which is in close proximity of the stomach). It is like pouring cold water inside a hot glass container which could break or damage it.
It is better to cut back on sweets such as halve (a dessert made with flour, rosewater and oil), Sholezard (an Iranian traditional saffron rice pudding dessert), or Zulbia and Bamiyeh (traditional deep-fried sweets) as they are rich in sugar and fat and consuming them in large quantities might work up thirst, cause poor digestion, spoil appetite and increases risks for obesity.
It is better to eat them in very small quantities and two hours after Iftar.
Eating food data-x-items which are sour, have cooling characteristics on the body and are high in water content (with regard to one’s temperament) such as lemon, barberry syrup, pomegranate juice, and fresh tamarind are recommended during the month of Ramadan.
To complete the Iftar meal after drinking lukewarm drinks you can have some toasted bran bread, cheese, and walnuts or some vegetables. If you do not wish to have cooked meals for Iftar can have some butter, bread and their favorite jam instead.
Smell apple, cucumber, lemon, and rosewater, washing or spraying face and neck with cold water and rosewater, avoid spending long hours outside, do not involve in mental and physical activities especially in hot places, rub violet or almond oil on the belly, cheeks, forehead and behind the ears, and take rests in dark and cool places with cool scents may help to avoid sever thirst.
Consuming too much tea, water, and watermelon at Suhur does not quench thirst, it rather leads to increased urination and inevitably increases thirst during the day.
To prevent constipation, it is recommended to consume lettuce, cucumber, dried fig and plum at Suhur meal.
In general, fasting would shrink the stomach, decrease the appetite, and result in weight loss. Therefore, insisting on eating as much as one used to eat before holy month of Ramadan might cause nausea, Acid Reflux, etc.