Ramadan and revision: being mindful of your health

If you are one of the students fasting for Ramadan, we’ve put together some useful information for you.

Photo of vegetables / food

Periods of intense study can be very demanding. It is important that you keep your wellbeing in mind when fasting. In particular, please

  • Drink plenty before you fast
  • Eat wholesome, slowly digested foods before fasting
  • If you begin to feel unwell, faint or dehydrated you are advised to consult the Health Centre or your Doctor as it maybe important for you to break the fast and compensate at a later date.

The dates for Ramadan this year, 2013, are from 9th/10th of July until 6th/7th of August. Please consult the Chaplaincy for further information.

Further advice.

The NHS has a section about Healthy Ramadan on their website, with a series of useful links.

The Ramadan Health guide offers some great advice on how to stay healthy during Ramandan with FAQs, potential health complications and benefits.

What should I eat and how can I manage my diet during Ramadan?

During Ramadan there is ample time to replenish energy stores at pre-dawn and dusk meals. A balanced diet and adequate fluid intake is essential between fasts, particularly as the fast will be during the long summer hours.

What should I do if I fell unwell or dehydrated?

If a person is unable to fast because of traveling, illness or any other reason which may adversely affect their health e.g. dehydration, pregnancy or injury, they can break their fast as their health takes priority over fasting. Allah has given permission in the Quran to break the fast. Islam does not allow you to harm yourself in fulfilling the fast’.

If a fast is broken, it will need to be compensated by fasting at a later date when health is better. A sufficient and traditional means of breaking the fast is with a date and some water.

Suhoor

Iftar meal - photo by Hamed Saber

The pre-dawn(Suhoor) meal, should be wholesome and filling to provide enough energy for many hours. It is important to include slowly-digested foods. Complex carbohydrates are foods that will help release energy slowly during fasting and are found in grains and seeds, like barley, wheat, oats, cereals, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour, basmati rice, etc.

Fibre-rich foods are also digested slowly. These include bran, whole wheat, grains and seeds, potatoes with the skin, all types of bread and breakfast cereals, vegetables such as green beans and fruit such as apricots, prunes or figs.

Iftar(breaking fast)

Iftar is the meal which breaks the day’s fast. This meal could include dates, following the Prophetic traditions. Try to eat a healthy balanced diet, enjoying some protein from meat/fish or lentils and some vegetables. Try to eat as you would normally and remember to eat only a moderate amount of fat and sugar!

Support at the University of South Wales

If you have any questions about any topics mentioned in this article, you can contact the Chaplaincy or the Health Service.