MUSLIMS fasting during the holy month of Ramadan have been advised to drink plenty of fluids and follow a balanced diet between fasts.

Ramadan starts on Saturday and runs until July 27.

Blackburn with Darwen Council has issued its health advice ahead of what is one of the most important periods in the Islamic calendar, with a summer Ramadan expected to be particularly difficult.

During the summer, the gap between meals can be around 18 hours and council health bosses advise it is important that food choices support energy requirements throughout the day.

Eating too much at the ‘iftar’ meal can cause indigestion and heartburn and the ‘sehri’ meal should include starchy foods that are slow digesting such as wholegrain bread, lentils, pasta, milk, chapattis, boiled rice and potatoes.

Coun Mohammed Khan, executive member for health, said: “It is a big commitment and it is important fasting is taken seriously, especially during the long summer days.

“By being careful about what you eat during the set meal times you can help to avoid tiredness or some more serious consequences such as dehydration.”