MOH News
Nutritionist Recommends Pilgrims to Drink a Lot of Water and Liquids to Avoid Dehydration
18 September 2015
During her interview at the Media Information and Health Awareness Center, Ms. Hasana Al-Shammri, a therapeutic nutritionist, advised pilgrims to prepare and preserve food in a healthy way, and check expiry date before consuming food products and drinks. She warned of eating undercooked meat, chicken, fish, and eggs, and recommended having packaged and pasteurized milk and leben, as well as packaged, frozen, well-preserved juices and fruits. To ensure pilgrims' safety, Al-Shammri urged them to refrain from consuming uncovered food products from peddlers, lest they should suffer food poisoning, Allah forbid! 

The nutritionist stated that food leftovers must be disposed, and that keeping leftover food could lead to spoilage. For safety, pilgrims are to wash hands with water and soap before preparing and having food; and make sure to use clean tableware; and wash vegetables and fruits well before eating them. It's recommended to keep Udhiyyah meat refrigerated when unused. 

This came during the interview of Ms. Hasana Al-Shammri, a therapeutic nutritionist, at the MOH's Media Information and Health Awareness Center in the context of the health awareness program dubbed: "Pilgrims' Health Is Our Top Concern", which has been launched by the MOH for the twelfth consecutive year via the toll-free number: 8002494444, and the MOH Twitter account: @saudimoh.

Al-Shammari proclaimed that staying hydrated is one of the factors instrumental for healthy Hajj. She recommended drinking a lot of water and cool liquids during performing pilgrimage, especially in hot weather with heavy sweating, to avoid dehydration and constipation. She noted that, with heavy sweating, pilgrims wouldn't need to use the toilet a lot. However, it's recommended to use toilet whenever possible; to avoid health problems.

"It's OK to drink lemon with water to add a refreshing flavor. Lemon is a source of Vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system, and boosts dietary iron uptake. Nonetheless, lemon is advisable not for those who suffer from high acidity or reflux (GERD)," Al-Shammri said.  

For those who suffer from constipation, the nutritionist recommended having lots of foods rich in fiber, such as: vegetables, dried fruit, jarish, quorsan, bran, and brown flour. Constipation sufferers are also advised to eat their meals regularly, and not to starve themselves. "Again," she stressed, "drinking a lot of water and liquids is highly recommended." She urged them to consume only lesser amounts of banana, apple (and their juice), rice, potatoes, and carrots, and refrain from stimulants such as, tea and coffee.     

On the other hand, diarrhea sufferers are recommended to drink lots of water and packaged apple juice in order to avoid dehydration. They are also advised to consume lesser amounts of milk, and eat packaged low-fat yoghurt (after checking expiry date). Pilgrims are recommended to avoid foods that are high in fats or sugar, and eat banana, apple (peeled), rice, and boiled potato. Finally, she stressed the importance of referring to doctors.

Those who suffer from high acidity should avoid fatty foods, herbs, spices, and foods that contain vinegar, lemon, or orange. Stimulants like tea and coffee are also to be avoided. Al-Shammri advised pilgrims to have healthy balanced meals, and take enough time to chew well, and refrain from sleep after eating directly.  
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With regard to having dietary supplements a month before or during Hajj, Al-Shammri maintained that they are not recommended unless needed. In such a case, the pilgrim should refer to a doctor or a therapeutic nutritionist. 

MOH's Media Information and Health Awareness Center continues to run its health awareness service, "Pilgrims' Health Is Our Top Concern" through the toll-free number: 8002494444, and the MOH Twitter account: @saudimoh, for the entire Hajj and Eid Al-Adha period, to answer the questions and concerns of callers and pilgrims. 

 



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