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Health Bulletins
August, 2011

Suhur:

 

Suhur is a pre-dawn meal eaten during Ramadan. Surprisingly, it can be healthy and help ease the hardships of fasting. In here, we provide few tips for a healthy, beneficial Suhur meal.

 

A Healthy Suhur:

 

Suhur keeps your energy levels up while fasting, stimulates the digestive system and maintains blood glucose. Having a well-balanced nutritious Suhur will help prevent common symptoms and illnesses that are associated with fasting. The table below provides you with basic guidelines to a healthy Suhur:

Spirituality of Ramadan

 

Ramadan is a time of reflecting, believing, soul searching and worshipping God. It is a month long festival of sharing and giving. This article looks at the benefits of fasting in raising the spiritual value of Muslims.

 

1. Fasting heightens consciousness of God:

Fasting helps you to become less preoccupied with bodily appetites and enables the heart and mind to become free and reflect over deeper spiritual matters such as your relationship with God and with fellow human beings. It enables a person to develop sustained consciousness of God.

 

2. Fasting increases compassion and well being of others:

When fasting, you should think of those in need who may be fasting but have no food at the start or the end of their fast, those whose tiny children are also having to go hungry, out of poverty.

 

3. Fasting connects and raises the community’s spirit:

During Ramadan the one who fasts has heightened concerns for the wellbeing of the community. Community spirit is promoted as people start fasting at the same time and break their fast at the same time, they reflect together

through longer prayer and deeper devotions. It is greatly encouraged that families invite each other to break their fast together.

 

Therefore, fasting is more than just giving up food and drink and hoping to lose a couple of pounds. By fasting a person reflects, acts and betters his or her character.

Medical Tests and Ramadan

By: Dr. Hussein Saleh Ali

Lab Director at Jordan UniLabs

 

Surprisingly, Ramadan can be a suitable time for doing your annual medical tests. Conveniently so, Islam does not prohibit the withdrawal of blood or the collection of bodily fluids (e.g. urine) from the human body.

 

Ramadan is considered to be a deviation from normal eating habits. Thus to study the effects of fasting on the body and its well being individuals should do their medical tests during that period. In this article, we will provide you with some of these essential tests.

 

Testing for analytes such as Cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides can diagnose digestive illnesses (bloating, indigestion) and weight gains during Ramadan.

 

Testing for metabolytes such as proteins, carbohydrates and uric acid (known to be related to Gout) is important since they are associated with metabolic diseases; their levels depend on the time and type of meals.

 

Creatinine urea and salt levels depend on water intake. So it is essential for people with kidney disease to monitor the effects of dehydration associated with fasting on these essential nutrients.

 

While fasting, vitamin (B12, D, etc) levels fluctuate and may lead to hormonal imbalances and fatigue. Thus, if you are having mood disturbances or feeling tired then you should test for these nutrients.

 

In conclusion, medical tests are essential for monitoring the body’s well being during Ramadan.

 

Wishing you a happy and healthy Ramadan!

Fawazeer Ramadan:

 

Try to solve the following Ramadan Crossword:

The words are:

Omra, Islam, Atayef, Moon, Soup, Water

Ramadan in Different Cultures

 

The World of Islam is diverse and multicultural. With over 1.2 billion Muslims in more than 71 countries and with two denominations, Sunna and Shiite,

 

Ramadan is celebrated differently around the globe. The majority of Muslim population lives in Asia, but they are also found in the Western Hemisphere and countries in the far north like Greenland, Norway, Canada (Northwest Territories). In this section, we will observe Ramadan in the Western Hemisphere and unusual countries like Greenland.

 

1) Western Hemisphere: Ramadan in non-Muslim countries can be more challenging as Muslims try to navigate the requirements and recommendations of Ramadan while juggling the full schedule of work/school and family. In North America, most mosques host daily community Iftar where Muslims can break their fast together during Ramadan. Others have Iftar in their homes and then relax after Iftar.

 

2) Midnight Sun Countries: Midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs during the summer in which the sun is visible for a continuous 24 hours. Muslims living in the far north are known as Inuit Muslims. So how do Muslims fast if they do not have clear days or nights? According to Shafiyah fatwa made by scholars; Muslims should follow the schedule of his/her native country or a close country with fastable time zone.

 

Did you know? In Egypt, lanterns are known to be a symbol of Ramadan. They are hung across the cities of Egypt, part of an 800 years old Fatimid Empire tradition.

Dos

Dos Don’ts

Eat complex carbohydrates and fiber.

Foods: Whole wheat, grains, fruits

Benefits: You will feel full for up to 12 hours.

Avoid caffeine!

Foods: Coffee, tea.

Harm: Caffeine is a diuretic and stimulates water loss through urination.

Advice: Drink lots of fluids.

Fluids: Water, Amr Al Deen

Benefits: Water prevents dehydration.

Amr al Deen is rich in calcium and magnesium.

Avoid fried and fatty foods!

Foods: Atayef, Samboosek

Harm: They cause bloating,

heartburn and weight problems.

Options for a Meal of Suhur:

Example 1:

1-2 servings of oatmeal + cup of milk, 1 cup of fresh fruit juice and 50g nuts.

Example 2:

Chicken (boiled) sandwich + whole wheat bread, 1 bowl salad, 1 cup water and 1 tsp honey.

 

Keep it light you will feel bright!

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