The holy month of Ramadan is here. It is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, and the time when Muslims observe fast from sunrise to sunset. Meals are served before sunrise, called Suhoor, and after sunset, called Iftar.
It is believed that fasting helps the Muslims learn modesty, patience, and spirituality. Fasting can improve one's health, but only if done in the proper manner, otherwise it causes more harm than good. Fasting, especially, during Ramadan carries a high risk of dehydration as food and drink are limited to before sunrise and after sunset. All of this can be taken care of by simply preparing and eating food made from fresh ingredients and cooked in a healthy manner. Also, let's not forget, with the current Covid19 situation, it is now more important than ever, to keep yourself healthy, hydrated and nourished!
So if you are wondering what to eat during Ramadan fasting? Do check our Ramadan tips and make a few lifestyle changes to stay healthy this fasting month.
5 nutrition tips to follow this Ramadan to stay string and healthy
1. Don't skip Suhoor (pre-dawn meal)First and foremost, one should not skip the Suhoor, at any cost. Suhoor needs to be wholesome so as to provide enough energy to last during the long hours of fasting. Remember to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy products so as to survive the long day of fasting.
2. Don't overeat during IftarIftar is the time when you replenish energy levels after a whole day of fasting. Do not give into temptation of stuffing yourself with various fried treats for they are nothing but empty calories. Instead, go for healthy, home-cooked Iftar dishes that you can enjoy with your family. This is why, traditionally, dates are eaten at the start of Iftar to break the fast. Dates are not only excellent source of energy but are also rich in potassium that helps muscles and nerves to function well. Make an attempt to consume foods from all major food groups: fruit and vegetables, rice and alternatives, as well as meat and alternatives (which include dairy).
3. Drink as much water as possibleSince we can't drink water during fasting daylight hours, try to drink as much water as possible early in the morning. In order to reduce the risk of dehydration, make an effort to drink at least 8 glasses of water between Iftar and Suhoor. Say no to caffeinated drinks for they promote fluid loss and opt for plain water. One could also consume fruits and vegetables that help keep body hydrated.
4. Avoid eating fried foods, salty foods and high-sugar foodsIftar, usually, is the time when families and friends get together for a feast to break the fast. The delicious Ramadan sweets are hard to resist, especially during such times. However, eating sweets immediately after Iftar will result to bloating and cause a delay in digestion. Also, spicy and salty food will make you thirsty the following day. The only way to get out of this situation is to practice portion control and moderation. Still wondering how to stay healthy in Ramadan?
5. Have a healthy, balanced dietAll said and done, balanced diet is a key to good health. Even during fasting month, ensure your Ramadan food intake is simple and does not deviate too much from your normal diet. Have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid processed foods as much as possible. Even deep fried foods should be consumed minimally. Don’t forget to consume food items like barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour and basmati rice which are complex carbohydrates and help release energy slowly during the long hours of fasting. Also, include fibre-rich foods - ones made up of bran, cereals, whole wheat, grains and seeds, potatoes with the skin on, vegetables such as green beans, and almost all fruits, including apricots, prunes and figs for they are digested slowly and help you feel full for a longer duration of time.
Hope these Ramadan nutrition tips come in handy during this holy month of fasting.
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