So finally Ramadan has knocked our doors and once again we are lucky to get another chance to recommit our faith in Allah and abide by his commandments. Ramadan is the best opportunity to help those who are less fortunate and reaffirm our devotion to the Islamic principles of charity and compassion.
This year, observing fast will be more challenging and more demanding as it falls during the peak of summers. As we are confident that we all will find strength and comfort in our faith, it is also important for us to take care of dietary habits to keep our body rehydrated and avoid the unhealthy food temptations that come with the month.
Ramadan – The Month of Blessing
Ramadan is the month of blessing and is also a best way to improve our health and physical well being, but unfortunately, most of us ruin the spirit of fast by adopting poor eating habits and consuming high cholesterol food items. Thus the purpose of Ramadan i.e. patience and simplicity is not accomplished and on the contrary it may cause more harm than good.
What happens to the body during fast?
In Ramadan our diets are radically altered as we eat only during Suhoor (pre-dawn) and Iftar (at sunset). To consume healthy and well balanced diet is an essential part of fasting. As this drastic change occurs in our daily routine, our body can take some time to adjust.
Keeping in the view the demands of long hot days, we have derived a perfect diet plan for Suhoor and Iftars. This will keep you energized all day long and will also help to pursue the real purpose of fasting.
Foods to eat during Suhoor
Suhoor needs to be wholesome to provide enough energy to last during the long hours of fasting. It is important that the food you consume keeps you hydrated, so pay careful attention to the selection of food items during Suhoor.
Protein Rich food:
The best option is eggs as they are high in are high in proteins and helps us to stay fuller. Eggs are most nutritious food that suits Suhoor.
Fibre Rich food:
Aim for foods rich in fiber and those that provide a good source of energy. Oat meal is rich in fiber and is a perfect meal that body needs during Suhoor. Soluble fiber turns to gel in the stomach and slows digestion, which helps lower cholesterol and blood glucose, perfect to keep you energized throughout your fast.
Calcium and Vitamin Rich Food:
Dairy and milk products are a perfect source of nutrition. Yoghurt or milkshakes helps us to stay fuller and hydrated throughout the day.
Foods not Eat During Suhoo:
- Simple or refined carbohydrates as they only last for 3 to 4 hours and they are low in essential nutrients. E.g. white flour, pastries, donuts, croissants
- Salty food which cause imbalance of sodium levels in the body makes you thirsty while fasting so try to avoid salted nuts, pickles, chips and food that contain soya sauce.
- Caffeinated drinks such as coffee which leads to insomnia and restlessness and also keeps you longing for water.
Foods to eat During Iftar
Healthy eating habits during Iftar must not be ignored and it is very important during Ramadan to break the fast with a balanced diet. These include sodium and potassium and all other essential nutrients which are lost due to sweating.
Potassium Rich Fruits:
Date is the best item to break your fast as it is an instant energy provider. Dates are nutrient powerhouses and they not only help body hydrate quickly, but the body feels rejuvenated after the long-hours of fasting.
Drink as much water or fruit juices as possible between Iftar and bedtime to avoid dehydration.
After the long hours of fasting, the body requires fats. Almonds contain good fats which are essential and are a perfect Iftar item which helps you feel full and in control.
Due to the lack of water in the body, constipation is a common issue faced by many people in Ramadan. Vegetables high in fiber and laden with goodness of hydrating properties such as cucumbers, lettuce are a perfect choice to keep body hydrated and avoid constipation.
Foods not to eat during Iftar:
- Carbonated drinks and processed beverages cause harm to body. Stick to regular water and or fresh juices to soothe your thirst.
- High-sugar food items such as sweets, chocolates must be avoided after Iftar.
- Fried and greasy food items like French fries, fried dumplings and samosas must be avoided. They increase cholesterol level and a source of veins blockhead. Also avoid oily curries and greasy pastries to reap healthy benefits for your body during Ramadan