How to stay healthy during Ramadan by making necessary changes in lifestyle

How to stay healthy during Ramadan by making necessary changes in lifestyle
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Apart from spiritual advantages, fasting offers several health benefits. However, depending on one’s health, every individual should adapt to this routine in their own way. (SPA)
How to stay healthy during Ramadan by making necessary changes in lifestyle
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How to stay healthy during Ramadan by making necessary changes in lifestyle
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Updated 03 May 2020

How to stay healthy during Ramadan by making necessary changes in lifestyle

How to stay healthy during Ramadan by making necessary changes in lifestyle
  • From diet to exercise, experts offer simple health tips for the holy month

JEDDAH: Around the world, Muslims’ eating habits and sleeping patterns change during Ramadan with the obligation to abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours.
However, this sudden shift in routine needs to be handled carefully since our bodies are not used to this lifestyle.
Apart from spiritual advantages, fasting offers several health benefits. However, depending on one’s health, every individual should adapt to this routine in their own way.
Several weeks before the holy month, people began circulating health tips on social media, including hints on weight loss, detoxification, ways to fight fatigue and dealing with bad breath.
Experts frequently warn people against blindly following online tips because of the health risks. In many cases, these suggestions lack scientific proof, and are accompanied by exaggerated claims and testimonials.
Arab News caught up with some health experts to discuss common misconceptions during Ramadan and asked them to provide helpful tips for healthy fasting.

Chance to lose weight
People often view Ramadan as a chance to lose weight because their food intake is lower than usual.
Dr. Mohannad Badghaish, a senior registrar in internal medicine, agrees that fasting can help shed extra weight and offers several guidelines.
“Eat three balanced meals a day, including breakfast, dinner and sahoor. Each meal should consist of 30 percent protein, 15-20 percent fat and 50 percent carbohydrates, while also maintaining daily workout,” he said.
Clinical and sports dietician Sundos Malaikah advises against aiming for rapid weight loss, suggesting a gradual behavioral change that can be maintained during and after Ramadan.
“Weight that is quickly lost will most probably be quickly regained. It is scientifically proven that such diets often fail. I always try to promote improving your relationship with food first, learning about hunger and satiety cues, while gradually changing eating behavior,” she told Arab News.
People often adopt an “all-or-nothing” approach to changing habits, while taking things step by step is more sustainable and healthier, Malaikah said.
She suggests people avoid eating processed foods and rely on natural sources.
According to Malaikah, weight loss is simple if a person eats natural food and makes sure their food intake matches their energy needs.
Associating weight loss with less food is inaccurate, she said.

If our body had toxins in it, we would be lying in a hospital. Our body is equipped with strong mechanisms that detoxify and remove any harmful substances. No green juice will do that for you.

Sundos Malaikah Sports dietician

In a time where many people are worried about their health due to the coronavirus threat, fasting can help improve health when done properly.
Overeating
However, an abundance of food and sweets not only prevents people from gaining the health benefits but also goes against the spiritual value of Ramadan.
“Our immune system is quite complex and very powerful. There are no individual foods that will make it stronger. Unfortunately, that is a misconception. We can boost its fighting abilities by providing the right environment, which is staying physically active, getting enough high-quality sleep, managing stress and eating well,” she said.
Badghaish also warned that excessive consumption of food has a negative impact on health and goes against Islamic teaching.
“The Prophet Muhammad said: ‘A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one-third of food, one-third for drink and one-third for air,’” he said.

Physical activities
Exercise is another important factor in weight loss, but there are conflicting opinions on the best time to work out during Ramadan and if it is wise to exercise while fasting.
Badghaish said that there is no harm in exercising while fasting, but for non-diabetics “the best time to exercise is 60 to 90 minutes before breakfast/iftar.”
Malaikah said that the benefits of exercising on an empty stomach are often exaggerated.
“The claim we often hear is that our body is using our fat store for fuel. While that may be true, it doesn’t mean fat loss. My body is using my fat stores for energy all the time simply because that’s how it works. Using fat doesn’t equate with losing fat,” she said.
Therefore, the best time for a workout is whenever you can, and to lose weight you should watch your food intake.

Detox
Malaikah also offered a warning on detoxification diets or meals.
“If our body had toxins in it, we would be lying in a hospital. Our body is equipped with strong mechanisms that detoxify and remove any harmful substances. No green juice will do that for you. Unfortunately, a lot of marketing tries to sell ideas that don’t have much scientific evidence,” she said.
“If you want to make your body work at its best, do at least 150 minutes of cardio exercise during a week along with resistance exercises twice a week, and eat well and mindfully. Our bodies usually tell us when to stop eating and when to start. If we listened instead of continuing to eat while ignoring all these cues, our health would be better.”

Common complaints
Many people usually experience headaches, fatigue, difficulties concentrating or doing our daily work while fasting, especially during the first days of Ramadan. Badghaish said that the main reason for these symptoms is insufficient compensation for the lost water and fluids from the body. A man should drink about
3 liters of water per day, while a woman should drink 2.5 liters, he said. Liquids that contain sugar are not recommended. Caffeine also speeds up water loss, so its consumption should be reduced or avoided during Ramadan.

HIGHLIGHTS

• People should avoid eating processed foods and rely on natural sources.

• The best time for a workout is whenever you can.

• A man should drink about 3 liters of water per day, while a woman should drink 2.5 liters.

Bad breath may result from fasting due to lack of water and food for long hours, making one feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. However, it is possible to control the problem.
Malaikah said that certain types of food, such as spices, garlic and onions, can affect breath.
“Maintaining proper oral hygiene helps — brushing our teeth at least twice per day, using a mouthwash and flossing on a daily basis. Additionally, eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day often helps as well,” she said.
Breath odor can be a sign of dental or gastrointestinal problems that might need expert help. “Among the causes of bad breath with the digestive tract are
esophageal reflux, high blood sugar and liver failure,” Badghaish said.
While fasting is obligatory for all healthy adult Muslims, there are exemptions for those who are ill or whose health could be affected by fasting, for example, pregnant or breastfeeding women and people with certain health conditions.


Saudi king, crown prince register as organ donors

Saudi king, crown prince register as organ donors
Updated 12 min 52 sec ago

Saudi king, crown prince register as organ donors

Saudi king, crown prince register as organ donors
  • The donor program is part of the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have registered in an organ donor program as a humanitarian gesture, Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

“This unsurprising gesture comes within the framework of the great care that patients with final organ failure receive from the king and the crown prince, and as encouragement from the leadership for all citizens and residents to register in the organ donation program,” the statement said.

The donor program, part of the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, is of “great importance because it gives hope to patients whose lives depend on new organ transplants.”

King Salman worked to establish the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation — formerly known as the National Center for Kidney Transplantation — to ease the suffering of the increasing number of patients with kidney failure.

The circle of organ donation was then expanded to include all patients with final organ failure, and to bring hope to patients on waiting lists, whose recovery depends on new organs, such as hearts, livers, kidneys, lungs and others.

“The king and crown prince’s initiative to register in the organ donor program constitutes a caring, patriarchal gesture toward patients in the end stages of organ failure, as well as one of the most important forms of solidarity known to Saudi society,” the statement said.

It also comes as support for enhancing public health levels, increasing the efficiency of the medical sector in conducting these complex operations, and contributing In raising its success rates in the future.

 

 


Saudi Arabia launches Eid aid projects in various countries

Saudi Arabia launches Eid aid projects in various countries
Updated 14 min 9 sec ago

Saudi Arabia launches Eid aid projects in various countries

Saudi Arabia launches Eid aid projects in various countries
  • The project will benefit 294,000 people and help them join in the celebrations of Eid Al-Fitr

JEDDAH: As the Eid Al-Fitr celebrations are about to begin all across the world, the Kingdom is expediting its efforts to ensure that all Muslims join their brethren in the festivities by launching special aid programs.

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) distributed Eid clothes among orphans of Syrian and Palestinian refugees living in different parts of Lebanon. The program benefited 6,548 children, which also included members of the host community.

The aid packages to the cities of Tripoli, Zahle, and Dbayeh, east of the Lebanese capital Beirut, form part of the center’s project to provide Eid clothes for children.

KSrelief on Tuesday launched a project to distribute 6,876 cartons of dates weighing 55 tons to support Jordanians, Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Jordan.

Saud bin Abdul Aziz Al-Hazim, KSrelief director in Jordan, said the center distributes the aid in cooperation with the Jordanian Hashemite Charitable Organization.

In Yemen, KSrelief launched its special Eid aid program in Al-Mahrah governorate. It is part of the center’s project to benefit 42,000 families in nine governorates including Aden, Abyan, Lahj, Al-Dhale’e, Hadramout, Shabwah, Marib, and Taiz.

The project will benefit 294,000 people and help them join in the celebrations of Eid Al-Fitr.

FASTFACTS

• KSrelief distributed Eid clothes among 6,548 children in Lebanon.

• The center’s Eid program will benefit 294,000 people in Yemen.

• The center distributed 14,351 bags of rice weighing 21 kg each among 86,106 individuals in different parts of Pakistan.

• KSrelief launched a project to distribute 6,876 cartons of dates in Jordan.

The center distributed 14,351 bags of rice weighing 21 kg each among 86,106 individuals in different parts of Pakistan including Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad, Khanewal, Sahiwal, Dera Ismail Khan, and Lower Dir.

Pakistan’s Communications Minister Murad Saeed thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the humanitarian support extended to the Pakistani people and other countries.

He praised the work of the center and lauded its “dedication” in selecting beneficiaries and the overall distribution process.

KSrelief has implemented 1,556 projects worth more than $5 billion in 59 countries. The initiatives have been carried out in cooperation with 144 local, regional and international partners since the inception of the center in May 2015.

According to a recent KSrelief report, the countries and territories that benefited the most from the center’s various projects were Yemen ($3.53 billion), Palestine ($363 million), Syria ($305 million), and Somalia ($203 million).


Saudi Arabia confirms 13 COVID-19 deaths, 999 new cases

Saudi Arabia confirms 13 COVID-19 deaths, 999 new cases
Updated 12 May 2021

Saudi Arabia confirms 13 COVID-19 deaths, 999 new cases

Saudi Arabia confirms 13 COVID-19 deaths, 999 new cases
  • The Kingdom said 1,286 patients recovered in past 24 hours
  • 8 mosques temporarily closed after some people tested positive for coronavirus

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia recorded 13 new COVID-19 related deaths on Tuesday, raising the total number of fatalities to 7,098.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 999 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 428,369 people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 9,169 remain active and 1,358 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 352, followed by Makkah with 260, the Eastern Province with 120, Madinah recorded 54 and Asir confirmed 50 cases.
The health ministry also announced that 1,286 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 412,102.

The ministry renewed its call on the public to register to receive the vaccine, and adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs temporary closed eight mosques in four regions after some people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of mosques closed to 1,129 within 94 days, 1,114 of which have reopened after being sterilized.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 160 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 3.32 million.

 


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman receives call from Bahraini counterpart, Omani sultan for Eid Al-Fitr

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman receives call from Bahraini counterpart, Omani sultan for Eid Al-Fitr
Updated 12 May 2021

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman receives call from Bahraini counterpart, Omani sultan for Eid Al-Fitr

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman receives call from Bahraini counterpart, Omani sultan for Eid Al-Fitr

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received a phone call on Tuesday from Bahrain’s King Hamad to extend greetings on the advent of the Muslim Eid Al-Fitr holiday.
King Salman also received a phone call from Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, congratulating him on Eid Al-Fitr.
King Salman also received a similar call from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council Mahamat ibn Idriss.
The king reciprocated the sentiments, Saudi Press Agency reported.
Eid Al-Fitr, or Festival of Breaking the Fast, is celebrated by Muslims all over the world following the fasting month of Ramadan. It was announced earlier on Tuesday that Eid will start on Thursday.


Saudi foreign minister condemns Israel over Palestinian evictions, Al-Aqsa Mosque violations

Saudi foreign minister condemns Israel over Palestinian evictions, Al-Aqsa Mosque violations
Updated 12 May 2021

Saudi foreign minister condemns Israel over Palestinian evictions, Al-Aqsa Mosque violations

Saudi foreign minister condemns Israel over Palestinian evictions, Al-Aqsa Mosque violations
  • Arab League angrily denounces Israel’s ‘excessive force’ in Gaza

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Tuesday condemned Israel’s attempts to evict Palestinians from their homes.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the illegal practices of Israeli forces, especially during Ramadan, represented a flagrant violation of international charters.

His comments came during an emergency session of the Arab League foreign ministerial council to discuss Israeli violations in occupied Palestinian territories.

Prince Faisal said the Kingdom condemned the storming of the Al-Aqsa mosque by Israeli forces, violating the sanctity of worshippers, and attacks against the Palestinian people.

The Saudi foreign minister said the Kingdom “categorically rejects Israel’s plans and measures to evict Palestinians from their homes and impose sovereignty over their land.”

Saudi Arabia also condemned any unilateral measures violating international resolutions and undermining the chances of resuming the peace process.

Prince Faisal said: “The Kingdom stands with the Palestinian people, and supports all efforts aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue, enabling the Palestinian people to establish their independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders agreement, with east Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative”

Saudi Arabia urges the international community to take steps to ensure Israel halts its violations, and to protect the Palestinian people, their sanctities and rights, he added.

The Arab League foreign minister’s council called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to proceed with a criminal investigation into war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians.

It also called on the court to investigate the displacement of Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and other occupied Palestinian areas. 

Weeks of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces flared up to an exchange of fire on Monday between Hamas in Gaza and Israel. The fighting continued on Tuesday, drawing international concern and condemnation of Israel.

The Arab League’s council of foreign minsters approved the formation of a committee comprising of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Qatar, Egypt and Morocco.

The committee will communicate with members of the UN Security Council and other world powers to “urge them to take practical steps to stop the illegal Israeli policies and measures in Jerusalem.”

The foreign ministers strongly condemned the crimes committed by Israeli forces against unarmed Muslim worshipers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which escalated dangerously during Ramadan, and led to hundreds of worshippers being injured and arrested.

The statement also condemned the storming by Israel of Al-Aqsa, Islam’s third holiest site, saying that the attacks could ignite a cycle of violence that threatened regional and international security.

The council said it holds Israel responsible for the consequences of these crimes that violate UN resolutions and international law.

The ministers alo strongly condemned campaigns organized by Israeli settlers, and supported by the Israeli army and police, which aim to displace Palestinians from Jerusalem, including the families of the flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

The council described the actions as an apartheid ethnic cleansing campaign, sponsored by the Israeli government.

It also strongly condemned the bombing and “excessive force” that deliberately targeted civilians in Gaza where at least 28 Palestinians have been killed. Two Israelis have been killed by rocket fire.