The Muslim Fast and our Body–Food Allergies
There is another problem that I have come across during the fasting month and that is, many people who were allergic to certain foods had flare ups when they ingested the food during the breaking of the fast! The explanation for this is that, in actual fact the person may be very sensitive to the food, but the effect is masked when the person eats regular meals because of the other digestive functions. Abstaining from food therefore augments the sensitivity reactions. This is actually helpful because it identifies the food we are sensitive to and we can thus avoid these foods. Although we may think that we have become more allergic to these foods, in actual fact we are already very allergic to these foods, except that the allergies would manifest in less dramatic but more chronic ways. For example, if we are allergic to shrimp and usually, on non fasting days, taking shrimp makes us wake up with a runny nose the next morning, we may find that taking shrimp for the break fast meal may cause an immediate itch in the mouth! The most sensible thing to do with food we are allergic to is to avoid these foods but I know of very many people who would rather have the allergy than go without the food! In this case, then I would suggest make sure you do not take foods you are allergic to in the break fast meal, take it later in the night.
The best thing to take for the break fast meal is bland nutritious foods and most Muslims know that the Prophet (‘s) used to take dates and milk. The prophet (‘s) used to have a very meagre meal for breakfast and the same for sahur, which would make the fast a ketotic one, that is the body goes into ketosis, there is a break down of fat and, there is a detoxification process that goes on, and research has shown that in this kind of fasting, it is quite possible that tumours will be resorbed and shrink, even disappear from the body. This kind of fast, eating far less than the caloric needs of the day will have a lot of added benefits but, is not to be undertaken by those who are having other serious metabolic disease except under close medical supervision and monitoring! It is also possible to cure disease related to the guts, including colitis and constipation, if one is prepared to go on a strictly bland diet, completely avoiding the foods that aggravate the conditions. This is different in different people, many people are gluten intolerant, quite a number are pretty allergic to spices and chilli although they will say they cannot do without it. Some cannot take certain vegetables and certain meats so what to avoid is quite individual! The month long fast, if undertaken with the avoidance of the foods one cannot tolerate well will improve digestion and heal many minor functional digestive problems and possibly even more serious ones.