It is easy to use Ramadhan as a way of adopting a healthy lifestyle. [iStockphoto]

During the Holy month of Ramadan, the fast is broken just after sunset, iftar, and Muslims eat again just before dawn, Suhur.

Adult Muslims are obliged to fast, with exceptions of those who are unwell or whose health could be affected by fasting.

Studies have proved benefits of fasting. Obese people lose weight in addition to improvement in blood flow.

It is easy to use Ramadhan as a way of adopting a healthy lifestyle.

What happens during fasting is that, once all energy from foods consumed during suhoor and Iftar have been utilized, energy stores made from carbohydrates and stored in the liver and muscles are now introduced to the body.

With hydration, the body will conserve as much water as possible. Some end up experiencing mild dehydration and fatigue. In this case, break the fast.

For those who regularly partake in caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee, lack of caffeine at regular times may cause withdrawal symptoms like headaches and fatigue.

This may slowly ease away as the body adjusts. Breaking a fast correctly is vital, it plays an important role in rehydration and nourishment of the body.

The body rehydrates and gains energy from food and drinks, consumed at this time, normally, water and dates are eaten immediately to break the fast before anything else, dates are nutrient-dense and full of energy.

Main meals should be eaten at a slow pace, beginning with refreshing fluids and fluid-rich foods low in added sugars and fats for example fresh fruit, juices, fruits, vegetables, and, soups, fluid-rich foods are vital for fluid replacement of what was lost during the fasting hours.

The meals need to be balanced. A selection from all the major food groups, carbohydrates, proteins vitamins and minerals.

Healthy natural oils are mostly recommended examples are olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, ghee and butter.

Choose low-fat cooking methods like grilling, baking, steaming, stir-frying and broiling. Ramadan Kareem.

-The writer is a clinical Nutritionist in Mombasa

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