Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims worldwide, whereby Muslims fast between dawn to sunset. Oftentimes in Ramadan, many people experience stomach upset problems such as bloating, acid reflux, indigestion and heartburn. This is attributed to the eating patterns and habits during the non-fasting hours. Therefore, to prevent the occurrences of stomach upset, here are 5 simple tips you can adopt:

1. Be mindful of portion sizes

Portion size is key to managing stomach upsets, particularly during Ramadan. As the fasting hours are long, the tendency to overindulge in meals when breaking fast is higher. Therefore, be sure to mind your portion size. A good practice is to break fast with a light snack, perform prayers and then resume with the main meal. This would help you manage your cravings and tendency to overeat by slowly introducing food.

2. Include more fibre

Fibre is a crucial component for gut health as it helps to normalise bowel movements, maintain bowel health and also contributes to the feeling of being full. With the addition of fibre to meals, it keeps you satiated, allowing you to avoid overeating in meals. Some easy ways to include fibre in your diet are by choosing whole grain options (ie. brown rice, brown bread) and adding more vegetables and fruits in your meals.

3. Limit oily and deep-fried food

Oily and deep-fried foods are high fat foods that take longer to digest and are likely to cause inflammation in your gut that leads to the feeling of discomfort. It is best to limit the intake of these foods and choose foods that are prepared through healthier cooking methods (ie. steamed, roasted, grilled).

4. Keep yourself hydrated

As the non-fasting hours are short and oftentimes coincide with our bedtime, our water consumption decreases significantly. This can cause dehydration which can lead to constipation and discomfort. Therefore, always ensure that you consume sufficient water during the non-fasting hours. A suggestion is to split the water intake between the two meals - Suhoor (early breakfast, pre-dawn) and Iftar (breaking the fast, sunset).

5. Go for a walk

After a filling meal, it is important to have a short walk to aid digestion. As staying active is important in maintaining gut health, it is also encouraged to take short walks after breaking fast to help prevent heartburn and acid reflux.

In a nutshell, eating habits in Ramadan differ significantly from the normal routine. Therefore, it is crucial to take these extra steps to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle because it significantly impacts your gut health.

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