Six ways to get healthy this Ramadan

Whole fruits are preferred over fruit juices and other fatty sweets since they contain less calories. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 May 2018
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Six ways to get healthy this Ramadan

  • Follow these quick tips to stay healthy — and possibly even lose weight — during the Holy Month
  • Don't worry, you can still enjoy iftar and maintain a healthy diet

JEDDAH: There are some of us who find ourselves piling on the pounds in Ramadan. Follow these quick tips by nutrition expert Myriam Sakr to stay healthy — and possibly even lose weight — during the Holy Month.
Drink water
With the long fasting hours this year, drinking eight cups of water a day (250 ml each) might seem hard. This quantity can be distributed throughout the night, however. Bear in mind that coffee and black tea are diuretics while juices are high in sugar and, therefore, not an adequate replacement for water. If you are craving something hot, try herbal teas, which are a great replacement for water as they help with digestion.
Snack on whole fruits
Whole fruits are preferred over fruit juices and other fatty sweets since they contain less calories and more fibers, which aid in digestion. Have a whole orange instead of orange juice, for example!
Cut the salt
During Ramadan, having high amounts of salt at night will increase your blood pressure, make you very thirsty the next day and will leave you bloated. It is best to avoid foods that are high in salts, such as ketchup, pickles, olives, packet soups and processed meats.
Have a balanced suhoor meal
You should have a balanced pre-dawn meal that contains whole carbohydrates and fat free proteins so that the glucose levels in your blood will remain regulated the next day and you will not feel dizzy.
Be careful at iftar
Again, a balanced meal is the key to maintaining or losing weight during Ramadan. Two dates, a glass of jallab, half-a-cup of lentil soup, two cups of salad and two cups of a homemade stew will leave you satisfied and ensure you remain healthy throughout the month.
Move it, move it
Try to exercise lightly during the day and keep in mind that the body burns more fat during the fasting period.


Expert calls for self-examination for early detection of breast cancer

One in every eight women will suffer from breast cancer in her lifetime. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 October 2018
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Expert calls for self-examination for early detection of breast cancer

  • Women in Saudi Arabia have become more aware of the disease and receive support from their families

JEDDAH: In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Amel Merdad is providing a helpful guide about the disease to women .
Recent statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that more than 1.2 million breast cancer cases are diagnosed worldwide each year. Breast cancer kills more than 500,000 women a year. The disease ranks second in cancer incidence, after lung cancer, worldwide.
One in every eight women will breast cancer in her lifetime.
The evolution of scientific research and increased awareness have contributed significantly to the increase in recovery rates, as a result of early detection of the disease.
Ten percent of breast cancer cases occur as a result of genetic mutations inherited by the generations in a family.
The incidence of breast cancer increases with age, and it usually occurs after age 40. The average age of breast cancer patients in Saudi Arabia is 48 years and it is so worldwide. Dr. Merdad provided her advice on early screening methods. “Periodic self-breast examination helps women to be aware and familiar with their breasts so they can take care of them, being healthy and not only pretty.
Dr. Merdad added that self-breast examination is to be done once a month on the sixth or seventh day of the menstrual cycle from the age of 20 and forward. “In the case of menopause, self-examination takes place on the same date every month,” she said.
She also gave these useful guidelines:

Self testing
Stand in front of the mirror and look at the breasts to check for anything unusual, such as the presence of lumps or differences in the size of the breasts or the presence of swelling or changes in skin or nipple.
Put your hands behind your head to notice in the mirror for any difference in the lower part of your breasts. Put your hands on your waist and bend forward slightly with the pressure of the shoulders and elbows forward to check for any change in the shape or size of the breasts.
Lift your left hand and use three fingers from the right hand to examine the left breast in a circular way from the outer edge of the breast and in the direction of the nipple, focusing on the area between the breast and armpit and area under the armpit.
Repeat this step with your right breast. Press the nipple gently to observe any abnormal discharge. Repeat the previous steps while lying on your back.

Screening
Age 20-40 years old: Self-examination is recommended monthly. Also check with your doctor every three years. An ultrasound is recommended for the breast examination only if necessary.
Age 40-65 years: Self-examination is recommended monthly and check with the doctor every year. Mammograms are indicated once every one to two years for all women.
More than 65 years: Monthly self-examination and check with your doctor annually. Schedule a mammogram every two to five years.
Dr. Merdad said that taking care of a woman psychologically plays an important role in enhancing the cure rate.
“To all women. Protect your health, have a great life, and screen yourselves for breast cancer,” she added.