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Foods you should follow and avoid during Ramadan

This time, Ramadan falls during the peak of the summer. And long hours of fasting can drain the stored energy. So, eating the right food is the key to keep your body energetic for the entire day. Here is a list of foods you should follow and avoid during the holy month of Ramadan. Suhoor Foods that you eat during Suhoor shouldn’t be heavy but it should be nutrient-packed. What to eat? High-Quality Protein It is very essential to eat protein-rich food in Suhoor. Eggs are rich in protein and are much lighter than meat. Fibre Your body needs foods which are rich in fibre during Suhoor. Oatmeal is a perfect fibre, it turns into a gel in the stomach and takes time to digest, ultimately keeping you fuller and energetic for the rest of the day. While it also helps in lowering cholesterol and blood glucose in your body. Calcium and vitamin Consume dairy products such as yogurt smoothie, vanilla shakes, etc. They will keep you hydrated throughout the day. What not to eat? Carbohydrates Refined carbohydrates such as white flour, donuts, pastries, waffles, etc. last only for 3-4 hours and contain fewer nutrients. Salty food Avoid salty foods such as they will make you more thirsty while fasting. Caffeinated drinks Caffeinated drinks dehydrate your body. It also makes you restless and leads to insomnia. Iftar Iftar is as important as Suhoor. While one should be very careful while breaking the fast as it is the meal that will help in replenishing your energy levels. Therefore, pay careful attention to what types of food to consume. What to eat? Potassium Dates, Dark leafy vegetables, beans, squash, potatoes, avocados, yogurt, and bananas, mushrooms, have high potassium contain. These will help in maintaining the fluid and electrolyte in your body. Sufficient fluids Drinking a sufficient amount of water or shakes, a smoothie will help in staying hydrated. Raw nuts Our body craves for fats after long hours of fasting. Raw nuts like Almonds are must for Iftar, as it contains good fats. Hydrating vegetables Vegetables such as lettuce, cucumbers, have good hydrating properties. It helps the body to stay cool and helps in constipation. What not to eat? Carbonated drinks Stay away from carbonated drinks or other processed beverages. Instead, opt for fresh juice. High-sugar foods The best choice is to avoid high-sugar food items. If consumed regularly, they are an instant weight gainer. Fried-foods Avoid deep fried food items. They are the source of unhealthy cholesterol and will make you feel thirsty. Cultivate these good dietary habits and by the end of Ramadan, you will feel much healthier.

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May 14, 2019
Niels Peter Noor
Consultant Urologist
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Food
Healthy Food Tips To Stay Energetic During Ramadan

Ramadan is the perfect month to refocus on our health and adopt healthier diet & lifestyle habits. As fasting has been found to promote cleansing of toxins in the body, these healthier habits can help further encourage the detoxing of the body. However, Ramadan fasting can come along with risk of dehydration, indigestion and lethargy, if not done in the appropriate manner.  Follow these simple yet effective tips in order to keep your body energized and healthy during the Holy Month. Value your Suhoor Breakfast is always the most important meal of the day. Especially during Ramadan, one should never skip Suhoor. Your body relies on this meal to provide the required energy until Iftar. By having a proper Suhour, for example oatmeal and dates, you will feel more hydrated and energized throughout the day. As a result, this will help you avoid overeating for Iftar, which in turn keeps your digestion, weight and energy levels balanced. Break your fast slowly With long hours of fasting, one can easily indulge in overeating while breaking fast during Iftar. Excessive consumption of food may result in unhealthy weight gain and digestive issues. By breaking your fast slowly with dates, warm water, and a bowl of soup, it makes it easier to keep those temptations in control. Allow some time gap before eating your main meal, so that you give time for your body to digest. Make sure you enjoy a balanced and rich meal with cooked grains, vegetables and a light source of protein (fish, beans, lentils, chickpeas) – this will result in an energized, rather than a lethargic you! Make soups a staple dish Soups are easy to make and it is very soothing for the stomach. Make soups from vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, pumpkins, spinach, zucchini, etc. They provide the body with enough fluids and vitamins. You can also add herbs. Enjoy a bowl of soup as you break your fast, or even as a snack or Suhour! Opt for healthier method of cooking Oily and fried foods can cause you gastrointestinal discomfort and lead to indigestion and toxin buildup. Choose dishes which are cooked with little oil, and grill or bake your foods rather than frying for healthier alternatives. Add herbs and spices to flavor your dishes, rather than using processed condiments and a large amount of salt. Take care of your sleep It is common for days and nights to be switched during this month, which leads to sleep cycles getting disrupted and more food to be consumed. Poor sleep contributes to weight gain and exhaustion, not only throughout Ramadan but also in the weeks following it. For this reason, it is important to be wary of the quantity and quality of hours slept. Try to be in bed by 10-11 pm on most days to allow for restful and regenerative sleep, this will help you be more energetic and efficient throughout your fast. Sleeping well will also make it easier to have your Suhour meal early morning, helping you avoid any sleep deprivation.  

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May 14, 2019
Farah Yasin
Diet & Lifestyle Specialist
Food
Vitamin D Deficiency In UAE

Over 90 percent of the UAE population is Vitamin D-deficient and the food industry is now being asked to fortify juices, milk and other dairy products with the vitamin. Following the two-year ongoing Vitamin D study being conducted in collaboration with Professor Michael Holick, an American endocrinologist and celebrated authority on Vitamin D deficiency, the DHA has now started a 22-week food education program in nurseries to train parents on how to provide balanced nutrition to their children. Alerting to the dangers of Vitamin D deficiency, “Vitamin D deficiency is a major health issue around the world and adults require to have 2,000 units of Vitamin D per day. Pregnant women who have a Vitamin D deficiency have a higher risk of pre-eclampsia and premature delivery. Studies also indicate that women born to Vitamin D-deficient women can suffer from conditions such as schizophrenia, asthma and some forms of developmental disorders. Children from the age of one year up to their teenage years require 600-1,000 units of Vitamin D per day. If a person is obese, he or she requires two to three times the stipulated amount of Vitamin D. “It is also indicated that if a child is deficient in Vitamin D for the first 10 years of life, he or she is likely to suffer from multiple sclerosis and has an 88 percent risk of developing Type I diabetes or 33 percent risk of Type II diabetes.” Making simple changes to one’s lifestyle could help replenish Vitamin D. “In the UAE, absorption of Vitamin D is possible in sunlight only from 10 am to 3 pm. People need to expose nearly 40 percent of their skin, avoid wearing sunscreen and face sunlight for 30 minutes in a day within these hours. Those with lighter skin can do with exposure for just 15 minutes. Having 12 almonds a day can help you replenish your Vitamin D reserves. Those with severe Vitamin D deficiency might require injections or supplements that are also fortified with magnesium as this micronutrient helps in better absorption of Vitamin D.” Vitamin D facts Best time to absorb sun: 10am-3pm 40% of skin surface needs to be exposed to the sun Face sunlight for 30 minutes Lighter-skinned individuals can do a 15-minute sun absorption Eat 12 almonds a day

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March 11, 2019
Nafeesa Alwathaifi
Senior General Practitioner
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Food
High protein and low carb diet: The Right choice or not?

Even though the body consists mainly of protein, our protein requirements don’t come from protein alone. They come from an interchange between proteins, carbohydrates, and fat within our body. That said, plant-based proteins are the highest quality proteins. They can be supplied by whole cereal grains and various beans and their by-products. In terms of food requirements in our daily life, we need one part of a protein, for body construction, versus seven parts of carbohydrates, for energy. Consequently, we need much less protein than has lately been publicized by some food theories. A recent study was made to evaluate the effects of a high protein diet. In the study, 34 post-menopausal, non-diabetic, obese women were divided into three groups — each with a different meal plan. 1. The first group of women ate a diet that would maintain their current weight. 2. The second group ate a weight loss diet that limited their protein intake to the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. For a woman who weighs 154 pounds, that is about 56 grams of protein. 3. The third group also ate a weight loss diet but increased their protein intake. They ate 1.2 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight. For a 154-pound woman, that would be 84 grams of protein. The women were monitored for 28 weeks. The researchers provided all of the meals, so the protein, carb, and fat intake were tightly controlled. One of the promises of a high-protein diet was that the cells would become more sensitive to insulin, which would mean that the cells would uptake and utilize sugar more efficiently – rather than storing the sugar as fat. While both the RDA-limited protein group and the higher-protein group lost the same amount of weight, the RDA-limited protein group saw a 25-30% improvement in insulin sensitivity, which is linked to a reduced risk for diabetes and heart disease. Surprisingly, the high-protein group saw zero improvements in insulin sensitivity, and while they lost the same weight, there were no metabolic improvements and thus no decreased risk for diabetes or heart disease from the high-protein diet. In other words, the study found that the group that ate a high-protein diet did not achieve the same metabolic benefits as the group that ate a diet with the recommended protein levels. Yet another side effect of a high protein diet is that it makes the body, and therefore the blood, more acidic. In order to neutralize blood acidity in the body, minerals, such as calcium, are being taken away from the bones, leaving the bones weak and susceptible to developing osteoporosis. In conclusion, it is sometimes very dangerous to blindly follow a certain fad diet that takes you to extremes, which even your body will not be able to handle for long. Our body needs a balanced nutritional plan, adapted to our body constitution because health without balance is not health and that is what we need to focus on.

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February 07, 2019
Eupepsia Medical Clinic
Health & Wellness Partner
Food
Let's Rethink Health

On the heels of the season of giving and receiving, it is important to understand that there is a very close correlation between the way we eat and the way we give and receive in our life, resulting in either poor mentality or prosperity consciousness. When we eat more than what we need, we create stagnation, greed, blockages and the energy stops flowing in the proper way. The digestive system will be overloaded and ultimately break down. Our psyche will shift and become greedy in life, always wanting to get more and more, and finding ways here and there to cheat the system, to fulfill our ever growing desired objectives, resulting in huge karmic debt and poor mentality. But on the other hand, eating less than what your body needs will have the same end result, because your mind is restraining your body from its daily need by not giving it the right nutrition and care, causing an impasse in the alchemy of giving and receiving, thus negatively affecting the digestive system and rejuvenation process, first at a physical level but very soon at an energetic, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels as well. The outcome of such extreme behavior leads to major blockages, resulting in a poor mentality that will affect ultimately all aspects of your life, starting with the physical body, blocking the good absorption of food. As a result, the list of intolerances will increase for each individual to a point that they will end up being very scared of the food itself - eating fewer and fewer choices until serious health problems will surface, making them feel bad and hopeless. This is the new eating disorder of the century: it’s called orthorexia nervosa, where people, on their way to wanting to become healthier and healthier, affect dramatically their physical, mental and emotional bodies; an obsession which could lead to death. It is important to rethink the way of health. Health is not deprivation; health is a balance. A balance that makes you feel good not because of how the physical body looks, but because you feel good at all levels, and even more so inside. Prosperity comes from a balance that is unique for each individual. A balance cannot be the same for two different people. Each person, depending on the characteristics of their body type, will need to understand how his/her body functions, and give it what it needs to be healthy, thus allowing the energy to flow smoothly and opening the door to prosperity consciousness. And that’s ultimately the purpose of Eupepsia, to make you find your own balance through health management in order to achieve your highest potential.

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February 07, 2019
Eupepsia Medical Clinic
Health & Wellness Partner
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