Ramadan Kareem: tips for a healthy Ramadan, Iftar & Suhoor


Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic calendar. Traditionally, this month is used as a month of reflection, repentance, and sober living. Almost all major religions have a period of reflection and fasting. For example, Carnival was traditionally the last evening before the Lent that Christians enter in preparation for Easter, and the Jewish tradition also has a Lent. Every tradition is about more than just fasting; also, introspection, your own actions and thoughts and of course your relationship to faith play an important role. Many Muslims literally and figuratively take a ‘step back’ during this period. But fasting is a big part of Ramadan. How to stay healthy? Read it in this blog.

Healthy fasting

It is not unhealthy at all to fast. In general (read: if you are healthy and have no special circumstances such as pregnancy) (mild) fasting gives your digestion and body rest.

Your stomach, liver and pancreas have to work to make digestive juices (gastric acid, bile and enzymes) to digest all that food. That’s all fine and of course just part of it – but it’s very healthy to give your digestive and immune system a rest every now and then by not eating for a while.

Healthy Ramadan

Ramadan offers a pattern where you don’t eat between sunrise and sunset. In Zanzibar that means roughly fasting between 7 am and 7 PM, 12 hours a day for a day. To make sure you won’t feel very weak or bad it is super important what you eat during the iftar and suhoor! First 3 tips for the day:

  1. Prepare well

If you normally eat a lot of sugar, white flour and other fast carbohydrates every day and you suddenly dive into Ramadan, you will have a hard time. In order to get through such a heavy fasting period well (and healthy!), it is important that you start eating healthier at least in the weeks before Ramadan. Less often in a day, and fewer fast carbohydrates.

  1. Stay active

When it’s hot and you’re not allowed to eat or drink anything, it’s tempting to lie in bed and binge watch Netflix. Apart from the fact that this is not entirely the intention from the point of view of faith, it is also not very healthy. Your body does need activity, if only to feel better. By moving you produce hormones that make you feel good, such as serotonin and dopamine. If you stay in bed, then the risk of feelings of depression is also bigger. While it is important to stay active, it is not the intention to engage in vigorous exercise. When you sweat a lot, you lose moisture and minerals, which you cannot replenish for the time being. You can suffer from headaches and even fainting. So stick to quiet exercises such as yoga, walking or swimming.

  1.  Take a nap

Not only do you miss food, but your sleep pattern is also disrupted. You stay up late at night to eat, then you go to sleep and have to get up early again to eat again. You can feel quite tired, especially if you are unable to sleep afterwards. So, take a nap during the day.

Want to read more tips on health during the holy month and advice on how to have a happy and healthy Iftar and Suhoor? Read on via the Urban Care portal.