The importance of a healthy diet for sport and exercise

Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) has put together a series of helpful articles on its Healthy Living portal. (Supplied)
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Updated 04 May 2020

The importance of a healthy diet for sport and exercise

  • Choose conscientious nutrition during Ramadan

RIYADH: We all know a healthy diet is important for our health and overall well-being. But with so much information coming from every direction, it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming.

What to do? In order to try and simplify the messaging and cut through the noise, the Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) has put together a series of helpful articles on its Healthy Living portal. which include advice on top five foods for runners, superfoods fact or fiction, staying hydrated and more.

Everyone should aim to eat a varied diet of interesting and tasty foods. Opting for conscientious nutrition includes happier and healthier lifestyles with improved heart health, enhanced energy levels, and boosted moods. During exercise, your body uses up more energy so it is important to eat well to support an active lifestyle.

A healthy diet should contain plenty of starchy foods, fruit and vegetables, and protein. The SFA lists beans, legumes, nuts and seeds, oats, berries, and leafy greens as important staples for a healthy and active lifestyle. Affordable and nutritious foods to add to your weekly meal plan include bananas, oatmeal, peanut butter, broccoli, and a variety of beans.

These health boosting foods provide energy, improve muscle function, and supply nutrients, which can make a big difference to your performance and overall well-being. Certain spices, like turmeric, have also been used by many cultures for centuries to support the immune system as it is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

You can add it to curries and stews or start your day off with a zingy turmeric and ginger tea. The SFA also stresses the importance of staying hydrated as 60% of the body is composed of water. Water energizes the muscles, helps with recovery after workouts, aids digestion, increases brain power, and keeps skin looking healthy.

When thinking about healthy eating it is also important to apply the same principles during Ramadan. Important areas to pay attention to? Drinking enough water and being mindful about what you eat during Iftar and Suhoor.

It is advised to break the fast at Iftar with easily digestible foods such as soup, water, and freshly-squeezed fruit juices to hydrate your body. For the main course, consider vegetable dishes as healthful and filling options. Try incorporating bulgar wheat, it is rich in carbohydrates and fibers, and will keep you feeling full has digestive system benefits.

For Suhoor a light, filling breakfast with sides of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers is recommended; try a tasty homemade granola with almond or oat milk and top it with fresh berries and banana. Dried fruits, walnuts, and almonds are also great food supplements, that also make you feel full for long hours throughout the day.

But it’s not just the variety of food you eat, but also the portions that play a decisive role. Think smaller portions and eat wisely.

If you regularly exercise you should continue to meet your daily energy, protein, and water needs during the times you are not fasting. Additionally, lower your exercise duration by 30% during Ramadan and drink two to three glasses of water every hour from Iftar to Suhoor.

Ramadan is a sacred time of year and fasting is an important part of this Holy month, but there are plenty of options available to fast and stay healthy and nourished. Healthy eating should be an enjoyable and social experience, it is about eating a wide variety of foods and making sure you get the right balance. Remember, conscientious nutrition acts as a preventative health measure.


British royal Meghan speaks about miscarriage in New York Times article

Updated 25 November 2020

British royal Meghan speaks about miscarriage in New York Times article

  • ‘Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few’

LONDON: Meghan, Britain’s Duchess of Sussex, has revealed that she had a miscarriage, an extraordinarily personal disclosure coming from a high-profile British royal.
The wife of Prince Harry and former actress wrote about the experience in detail in an opinion article published in the New York Times on Wednesday, saying that it took place one July morning when she was caring for Archie, the couple’s son.
“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” Meghan wrote.
“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few.
“In the pain of our loss, my husband and I discovered that in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.”
The intimate details shared in the article are strikingly at odds with the usual policy of senior members of the British royal family, who reveal almost nothing about their personal lives.
Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, has never discussed her private life in any media interview in her 68-year reign.
Meghan and Harry stepped back from royal duties and moved to the United States earlier this year. They have been trying to forge a new role for themselves outside the constraints of life in Britain’s strictly codified royal bubble.