This year Ramadan will be a very different experience for the Muslim community due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting, during which time Muslims do not eat or drink during daylight hours, for approximately 30 days. It is a time for self-reflection and evaluation.
The COVID-19 pandemic will mean what is traditionally a communal time when families come together will be different this year. Congregational acts of worship have been suspended this year to combat the spread of the virus.
Now more than ever, GPs are urging people to stay healthy and fast safely during Ramadan.
Those with increased risk of contracting COVID-19 should consider alternative options to fasting. These include people who are unwell due to conditions including diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, or those who are on medication, pregnant or elderly.
If you are taking prescribed medicines, you should continue taking them during Ramadan, but check with your GP if the doses need to be adjusted or the times that you take them need to be changed.
To stay healthy during the 30 days of Ramadan, it is important to:
- avoid long periods of time in the sun
- drink plenty of plain water during non-fasting hours
- cut back on all types of caffeinated drinks including tea, coffee and fizzy drinks
- eat a balanced diet during non-fasting hours to keep your body functioning properly during the day. Foods that release energy slowly, including natural unrefined carbohydrates (whole grains, vegetables, fruits) and protein (meat, fish, eggs, beans), will help you maintain your energy levels. For healthy meal ideas, visit nhs.uk/LiveWell