During the holy month of Ramadan most Muslims are required to restrict entirely from eating and drinking between sunrise and sunset. It is highly challenging to keep up with the fasting and still obtain the proper nutrients during this time, and to avoid health risks.
In one of the previous article, we addressed that how fasting can lead to headaches, dehydration, low blood sugar levels, dizziness and fatigue. It is however possible to eat healthily during Ramadan and have enough energy to last you throughout the day.
Important is to know how to first prepare your body for fasting during Ramadan
Ramadan is a great opportunity to break your bad eating habits, and detoxify your body. But the majority of people do not reap full benefits of this month. What we eat outside our fasting hours is crucial to our health
The diet should be a simple meal – not a feast – and should not differ substantially from your normal everyday diet but it should include those vital nutrients you need to keep up with the day long fasting.
A diet that has less than the normal amount of food but is sufficiently balanced will keep you healthy and active for the duration of Ramadan is critical.
To maintain a balanced and nutritious diet, a person should consume food from all the major food groups, equally distributed between the two meal times.
The major food groups are:
Fruits and vegetables
Breads, cereals, and potatoes
Meat, fish and chicken
Dairy products such as milk and cheese
Foods containing fat and sugar
How to avoid and curb over eating during Ramadan?
Suhoor, also known as the the pre-dawn meal, should include a wholesome meal which can provides long-lasting energy throughout the day. Foods which do provide long-lasting energy are complex carbohydrates and high-fibre foods.
Complex carbohydrates are fibre rich and thus provide long lasting energy. It is ideal to consumer such complex carbohydrate foods which release energy slowly throughout the day. Examples of which can include wholewheat, oats, beans, and rice.
Foods that are rich in fibre and are also digested slowly include fruits (raw and unpeeled) and vegetables. Fruits also have extremely high medicinal value, read more about them here.
Also, Having fluids is also very important since they maintain water and salt levels in the body. Plain Water, Detox Water or fluids enriched with vitamins – like fresh fruit juices – should ideally replace all carbonated beverages like sodas or colas.
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Post-dusk meal or Iftar
It is customary for Muslims to break their fast – with the post-dusk meal or often termed as Iftar – with dates and water. There is a nutritional reason behind doing so since this helps restore sugar and salt levels in the body and help the body in rehydrating faster.
The benefits of dates are:
Easy to digest
Keeps you fuller, prevents you from overeating
Readies your digestive system to consume food after many hours of fasting
Rich in sugar and energy, helps restore nutrients in the body
Foods to avoid
Deep fried foods – fried samosas, fried chicken, fried spring rolls and fried potato chips should completely be avoided
Foods with High Sugars and Fats, especially the desserts
High-fat cooked foods – oily curries and greasy pastries or breads
What are the Healthy alternatives
Baked Sweet Potato - It's very healthy and nutritious and much more than just being sweet - (Read Where How?)
"Dry frying" – using a non-stick pan or non-stick food sprays
Grilled or baked meat, chicken, fish as a healthier alternative
If you're thinking for a weight loss during the Ramadan period, then you should definitely consider these suggestions. This wouldn't just let you boost your metabolism but also help you maintain a healthy and energy filled body during the Ramazan days.
Balanced food and fluid intake is very important during these fasting periods. In order to prevent weight loss or muscle breakdown, your meals must contain decent levels of energy-rich foods, which should include carbohydrates and some portion of fat.
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