The reverential month of Ramadan edifies us to discipline our lives, give up bad habits and practice restraint in all spheres of life — goal being to cleanse our soul and make ourselves stronger. We can wield the same willpower towards our physical countenance, merging the philosophies of healthy mind, healthy body, and healthy soul and at the end of the month come out as true winners — body and soul. Lets venture for the big victory and start making changes from today.
During Ramadan our daily routine, and food consumption habits change drastically and in most cases not for the better if I may add. Most people fete iftar and sahoor with extravagant food — high cal fried hors d'oeuvre and sugar-loaded desserts become the star attractions at most table d'hôtes. Sambosas, Kunafa and Atayef are indeed yummy and tempting but in order to save your skin and avoid extra pounds of flab you need to exercise restraint (CHANGE NO. 1) — Don't eat large portions. Take a bite, savor the taste — don’t go gobble-gobble, commit to healthy food choices and eliminate bad foods from your diet.
As Nutritionists Say, “You Are What You Eat” — To Look Good Eat Healthy!
Instead of indulging in the traditional fried, fatty, and heavy cookery make salads, vegetables and lean proteins (grilled fish, chicken, meat) the main source of your sustenance. (CHANGE NO. 2) Start a new Ramadan ritual — focus on eating simple and healthy food.
Menus To Avoid:
- Fried, starchy and sugar loaded food causes skin problems like excessively oily skin/hair and acne. Sugar also promotes wrinkles and skin sagging by damaging collagen by a process called glycation. Unsurprisingly, too much sweet stuff is also bad for your smile. Sugar sticks to your teeth, encouraging bacteria, decay, and discoloration — bye bye bright smile.
- Dairy products have been linked to acne and oily skin breakouts in many research studies. People with oily and combination skin should avoid drinking lots of milk because it can trigger zits.
- Red meat generates free radicals, which constantly snag electrons from your healthy cells, damaging them in the process. This damage ultimately affects your skin’s ability to protect itself and generate collagen making you look older than your age. White meats are the best way to get you daily dose of proteins.
- Charred BBQ, the black on that burnt meat contains pro-inflammatory hydrocarbons which might cause slow inflammation in your skin leading to break down of your collagen and elastin bundles. You don’t need to banish BBQ from your list of good foods, just scrape off the black stuff before you eat.
- Trans fats also promote inflammation, which is bad news for your skin. These unhealthy fats also make you more vulnerable to UV damage, which is the number one cause of aging. Make sure to avoid all products that list partially hydrogenated oil on their ingredient label.
- Canned Food is preserved with sodium, which can make you retain water and over time you’d look puffy and washed-out. Go for fresh food instead for preserved food cans.
- Limit your intake of caffeine in terms of soda, coffee and tea as they all promote mineral and fluids excretion from your body, which ultimately leaves your skin dry, dehydrated and lacking in luster.
Provisions To Indulge In:
- Dates are the staple food of Ramadan. In health circles there is a popular saying: three dates a day can keep a lot of ailments away! Dates have some great nutritional benefits — they contain copper, potassium, fiber, manganese, iron, vitamins A, B complex, C and magnesium; all this good stuff not only boosts our overall health, but also makes our skin beautiful and supple. Respect the rule of 3 though and don’t over indulge, as dates are also high in sugar content.
- Fruits such as strawberries and blueberries are high in antioxidants; they are literally God’s gift to promote healthy skin. Apricots in addition to having vitamin A, C, E and minerals like phosphorus, silicon, calcium, and iron aid in the digestion process and protect you against dehydration. With their rich sodium and potassium content they also help to maintain electrolyte balance of your body — which physically translates to healthy skin and healthy body.
- Stock up on foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) such as flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, avocados, salmon, and olive oil. These foods will help your skin maintain it’s soft and supple look.
- Fasting dehydrates the skin so it’s very important to make sure that you rehydrate between iftar and sahoor. Drink at least eight glasses of water in addition to any other fluids (green juice or green tea).
- There are many foods that can repair dehydrated skin, such as cashews or almonds; which are packed with healthy fibers, fatty acids and proteins that augments and maintains your skin's inner glow.
Daily Skincare Routine
Maintain the daily Cleanse, Tone, and Moisturize routine for your particular skin type. Learn what is your skin type? (CHANGE NO. 3) — and use products accordingly. Using wrong products can cause skin damage instead of improvement.
Exfoliation: If you have oily skin exfoliate twice a week, if you have normal skin exfoliate once a week and if you have dry and sensitive skin exfoliate every 10-15 days. The idea is to remove dead skin caused by the lack of water intake, restore the skin’s natural mineral levels and balance the skin’s oil production.
Sun Protection: (CHANGE NO. 4) Commit to sunscreen. While being out & about wear your sunscreen (with UVA and B protection SPF 30) regularly. Also invest in some good oversized shades with UV 400 protection to take extra care of the delicate skin around the eyes.
Sticking with the healthy vittles and skincare routine will help you get a clearer skin with a vigorous glow and a big bonus — acne free face.