Foods that beneﬁt and foods that harm
The fasts of Ramadan can improve a person’s health, but – if the correct diet is not followed – can possibly worsen it! The deciding factor is not the fast itself, but rather what
is consumed in the non-fasting hours. To fully beneﬁt from fasting, a person should spare a great deal of thought to the type and quantity of food they will indulge in through the
blessed month. As mentioned in the section on spirituality (see pages 12–13), overeating can not only harm the body but it is thought also to interfere with a person’s spiritual growth during the month.
A diet that has less than a Norma amount of food but is sufﬁciently balanced will keep a person healthy and active during the month of Ramadan.
The diet should be simple and not differ too much from one’s normal everyday diet. It should contain foods from all
the major food groups, as shown below.
Complex carbohydrates are foods that will help release energy slowly during the long hours of fasting. Complex carbohydrates are found in grains and seeds, like barley
wheat, oats, mullets, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal
ﬂour, basmati rice, etc. Fibre-rich foods are also digested slowly and include
bran, cereals, whole wheat, grains and seeds, potatoes with the skin, vegetables such as green beans and almost all fruit, including apricots, prunes, ﬁgs, etc.
What could you gain from fasting?
Fasting is not only a physical but also a
spiritual exercise that has many lasting
beneﬁts. 1. Heightened consciousness of God Fasting helps you to become less preoccupied with bodily appetites, and gives the heart and mind the freedom to reﬂect upon deeper spiritual matters, such as your relationship with God and with
fellow human beings. It enables a person to develop sustained consciousness of
2. Healthy lifestyle A fasting person learns restraint, and
only responds to hunger and thirst in the heightened level of consciousness and
discipline. Through fasting, a person begins to appreciate the value of food. In
the Qur’an “healthy and wholesome food” is described as the best of provisions. Thus fasting helps a person to choose a healthier lifestyle by making small yet
lasting changes to their daily diet.
Muslim ramadan health guide