United Arab Emirates, Dubai, July 10, 2013: The Dubai Health Authority will hold weekly twitter clinics during the holy month of Ramadan to provide an opportunity for people to address their queries on fasting and health.
The clinics will be held every Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and experts will be present to answer queries on specific health related topics.
The topics that will be discussed over the next four weeks include fasting and nutrition, diabetes and fasting, hypertension and fasting, and nutrition control during Eid celebrations to prevent the body from health complications and excessive weight gain.
The topic for the first week of Ramadan is related to healthy nutrition and fasting tips during Ramadan. Wafa Ayesh, head of clinical nutrition at the DHA said: “Nutrition and taking care of oneself is extremely important during fasting, especially when one is fasting for 15 hours a day in the summer months. Therefore, we decided to set up a live twitter clinic every week so that people can ask us their queries and we can provide them with on-the-spot replies. Twitter is a quick and efficient medium to address queries of people as well as raise awareness about ways to stay healthy.”
She said that fasting during the hot summer months is particularly challenging and that all precautions should be taken to avoid dehydration and health complications.
Ayesh advocated that intake of large amounts of caffeine-containing beverages should be avoided especially during Suhoor as excessive intake of caffeine induced drinks such as tea and coffee can make a person pass urine more frequently which can cause loss of minerals and salts in the body that is much needed during the fasting hours.
She also advised people to drink sufficient water and juices from Iftar until the time they sleep to avoid dehydration and for detoxification of the digestive system.
Ayesh said that while Ramadan is an opportunity to detoxify the system and loose weight, complete inactivity and consumption of sugar rich foods such as desserts can make people gain weight rather than lose weight during the fasting month.
She said: “ I would recommend that people stick to natural sugars such as fruits for desserts. This is especially important when they go out for Iftars to hotels and restaurants. A few bites of sugary desserts are acceptable but when people indulge in desserts during Ramadan, they raise their blood sugar levels, making it tougher on themselves during the fasting hours and after Ramadan is over, they find that they have put on significant amount of weight.”
She said that there is always a choice at Iftar buffets and fruits and nuts are an ideal option for dessert.
She also said that complete inactivity during the holy month of Ramadan is avoidable. “It is recommended that everyone should engage in some kind of light exercise, such as stretching or walking in addition to Taraweeh prayers which are part of the physical and spiritual exercise muslims perform during the holy month of Ramadan. One must remember that exercise, together with a balanced diet is essential if you want to watch your weight during Ramadan.”
Those interested to ask Ayesh specific questions regarding Ramadan and nutrition can tweet us at DHA_Dubai from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. tomorrow.