Zulal Wellness Resort provides advice on maintaining a balanced wellness routine for a healthy and peaceful month of Ramadan
Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som, Qatar’s largest wellness resort, and the world’s first to blend Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine (TAIM) with a holistic approach, shares in Ramadan celebrations by offering TAIM and wellness expertise to encourage a healthy approach to the holy month
Finding the right wellness balance during Ramadan is crucial to enhance the benefits of health, wellness, and mental well-being during the holy month. Zulal Wellness Resort naturopathic practitioner, Dr. Rubia Shariff shares her expertise by offering a series of recommendations on nutrition, fasting and weight management, following a holistic approach and Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine methods this Ramadan.
Drastic changes in eating patterns is one of the toughest aspects faced by those fasting during Ramadan who need to pay particular attention to the way they break their fast and manage their meals.
“Start off by staying hydrated - you can squeeze some lemon or add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your glass of water and drink it slowly, compensating for daily dehydration. Follow this with a small meal with high nutritional value such as a boiled egg, small salad with olive oil, or some nuts, seeds, dates, figs and avocado” Rubia advised. In addition to water, Rubia suggests adding some lemon or orange tea with a spoon of organic honey, known for its great antioxidant properties, to the meal while avoiding processed teas or sweet juices.
To continue the Iftar on the same healthy note, it is recommended to start with a tomato and cucumber salad spiked with finely chopped parsley, and to make sure the meal contains enough proteins – preferably chicken, fish or eggs, which should be approximately the size of the hand’s palm. Vegetables – fresh and cooked in natural fats – steamed, broiled or baked –, brown rice and whole seed bread are also a ‘must’ for a healthy Iftar meal, while melons, grapes, citruses, pomegranates, squash, and dried fruits are described as particularly beneficial in the Quran and Hadith, as they can provide an important intake of fibre minerals and vitamins needed before or after a day of fasting.
Done correctly, fasting has a significant number of short- and long-term benefits. In the short-term, fasting can lead to weight loss, as the body without enough sugar starts breaking down stored fat. It is also excellent for digestive health, as it gives our digestive system a break and time to cleanse. Fasting also resets one’s metabolism and is great for the brain; a number of scientific studies demonstrated that BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, the main protein that builds the human neurons) levels increased during fasting, activating brain function, improving focus and concentration.
Long-term, it supports the improvement of our eating patterns and appetite control, while reducing the body’s inflammation, the risk of high blood pressure and bringing an overall enhancement to the immunity system as fasting frees more energy to fight infections and illnesses.
Fasting also has a special place in the framework of the holistic approach. “Valuing the connection between the body, the mind and the spirit, holistic wellness acknowledges the importance of temporary food deprivation to reset the mind, making it more resistant, less inclined to inertia, and able to efficiently manage stress and eradicate the symptoms of anxiety and depression, while stabilizing the mood and boosting sleep quality” Rubia explained.
While fasting is a therapy on its own, other methods and practices can enhance its benefits and help coping with challenges posed by prolonged fasting. Moderate physical activity is recommended during Ramadan, and yoga is particularly suitable due to the combination of physical movement and mindfulness it provides. “Coupled with earthing, meditation and enhanced spiritual practice like dhikr, it can boost the capacities of our mind and body, provide relief from stress and much-needed peace of mind”, Rubia added.
On the Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine side, Hijama therapy favors cleansing, recovery, and regeneration of all body systems, maximizing the benefits of fasting. “While it is beneficial to have these treatments at all times – including Ramadan – hijama should only be completed post-fasting, with a right practitioner and after a thorough consultation” clarified Rubia.
Ramadan is a unique time, combining therapeutical effect on human body and mind; however, its most crucial part remains spiritual. Helping those in need and supporting the vulnerable, being loving and kind to family and friends, avoiding quarrel, getting angry and loosing temper are as important as keeping the fast. In that, Ramadan perfectly embodies the philosophy of holistic wellness, giving an equal importance to body, mind, and spirit.
By sharing knowledge and expertise about holistic wellness, Zulal Wellness Resort specialists aim to promote the culture of wellness. Zulal Wellness Resort will offer bespoke nutritional programs elaborated with the best organic ingredients to boost health and wellness of the guests, while nutrition consultants will offer the necessary guidance to maintain a healthy and convenient diet in everyday life. Next year, Zulal Wellness Resort will introduce tailor-made Ramadan Retreat packages, offering its guests an opportunity to spend a healthy month of Ramadan under the guidance of Zulal Wellness Resort health and wellness experts.
Managed by Chiva-Som, a pioneer in global wellness and a leading wellness destination in lifestyle transformation, Zulal Wellness Resort is Msheireb Properties’ latest sustainable development initiative and the first of its kind Wellness Resort in the Middle East region, exclusively in Qatar.