Are Digestive Problems Ruining Your Ramadan?

Your digestive tract is a self contained unit that doesn’t (when working optimally) allow the food you consume to be absorbed and distributed to the body without first sterilizing, identifying and processing it.

Without proper digestion there cannot be health. Not only is the health of the gut important for commonly known reasons, but the digestive tract is also home to a large part of the immune system.

During Ramadan, digestive issues can be put at the forefront due to the types of foods we choose, how fast we eat them, and the lack of sufficient chewing.

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There are many steps you can take to ensure that digestive distress does not ruin your Ramadan this year. They are simple and can make a large difference if done consistently:

– Drink water. Water is needed for digestion as well as to make HCl.

– Chew your food well. This will enable the body to do less work.

– Eat in a calm and relaxed manner.

– Don’t combine carbohydrates and proteins. People with digestive issues find this combination difficult to digest. The classic example is beans. – Start with a salad. Salad prepares the digestive tract to work.

– Take a full spectrum enzyme supplement right before your meal (make sure it is vegetarian).

– Don’t over stuff yourself. Eat in stages.

– Avoid white rice and white bread. They are inflammatory foods and can cause loose bowel movements and other digestive issues.

– Avoid overcooked food.

– Avoid black tea, coffee and soda as these are diuretics.

– Have a cup of chamomile or mint tea after your meal. This will help ease digestion.

Usually, the symptoms of digestive distress are there before Ramadan begins, but surface with a vengeance during this time. Common signs of digestive problems are:

– Gas, bloating, nausea, constipation, diarrhea/loose stool, burping, food allergies/sensitivities, poor appetite, fatigue after eating, abdominal cramps, indigestion up to three hours after a meal. You might also suffer mood swings, poor memory, joint pain, hives, skin rashes and eczema. Moreover, Chronic nasal congestion, headache, heartburn, and sour taste in the mouth can also be experienced.

Many of these symptoms are associated with a lack of gastric juice, beneficial gut flora (bacteria), or digestive enzymes.

These are symptoms of a larger problem occurring in the body and should not be medicated away. If they are only masked by taking pharmaceuticals, the problem will become worse.

There are many reasons for symptoms associated with digestive problems. Some of the most common are:

– Food allergies/sensitivities – Leaky gut – Poor quality of gut flora – Insufficient digestive enzymes – Low hydrochloric acid (stomach acid)

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About Anisa Abeytia
Anisa Abeytia, B.A. USC , M.A., Stanford is an integrative health specialist currently pursuing a M.S. in Holistic Nutrition. Over the past ten years Anisa has pursued various fields of holistic and traditional medicine. She has studied at the oldest herbal school in the United States and pursued a two year certificate program in Islamic Healing. She writes regularly on the topics of health and nutrition. She maintains the website Women's Healing Circle, a site dedicated to the natural health of women and their families.