With millions of Muslims around the world starting to fast for Islam’s holy month of Ramadan over the next few weeks, Boots Pharmacy Services Manager and Pharmacist Khuram Ahmad shares his top self-care tips to help you feel your best until Eid celebrations.
Ramadan is the most important event in the Muslim calendar, with a month of fasting to encourage spirituality and reflection.
Khuram is also observing Ramadan, so here are his wellness tips to help put self-care at the top of your agenda:
- Freeze don’t fry: Avoid heavy, fried foods and instead opt for something a little healthier. After a long day of fasting, eating a lot of spicy, fried foods may contribute to heartburn and indigestion, so stock up on vegetables, salads and fruit and batch-freeze healthy meals to save time.
- Help reduce ‘Ramadan breath’: It is not something many people talk about, but ‘Ramadan breath’ is one of the downsides to fasting. During fasting, our mouth produces less saliva and not drinking means it is not being washed away. No matter how tired you are, try to brush and floss twice a day, and even use a tongue scraper, which can be more effective on bad breath than brushing.
- Eat your H2o: Long hours without food or drink can mean that it is more difficult to stay hydrated. So, make sure you drink lots of water at sehri and then come sundown, eat slowly, and include fluid-rich foods such as yoghurt, soup, cucumber and watermelon to help you stay hydrated.
- Get that precious shuteye: One of the hardest things to deal with is the lack of sleep after waking for pre-dawn meals and prayers. But a 30 – 40-minute power snooze at lunchtime could be the answer. A short nap can help refresh you but any longer than 40 minutes and you are likely to go into a deeper sleep and wake up groggy.
- Soak up skincare: Washing before prayers five times a day can dry out skin, so it is all about skincare products that increase hydration. Stock up on long lasting moisturisers to keep skin looking and feeling nourished. If you’re struggling with dry and chapped lips, opt for a lip balm that soothes and locks in moisture.
Khuram added: “For those people with diabetes, fasting can aggravate complications associated with the condition, including heart or kidney disease. Anyone living with diabetes and observing Ramadan should speak to their diabetes team, pharmacist or GP for advice on how best to observe Ramadan, and ensure they are managing their diabetes safely.
“If you would like more information about how to safely fast during Ramadan or advice on any healthcare needs or concerns during this time, you can pop into your local Boots pharmacy store and speak to a member of our team.”