Conversely, over-indulging during iftar and sehri can lead to weight gain and can cause health troubles. A well-balanced diet is key to healthy fasting during Ramadan. Follow these health tips to make a few lifestyle changes and make this month a time of revival in spirit, soul and body.
Break Your Fast With Dates
Dates are a great way to break the fast as they provide natural sugars for that instant burst of energy to fuel your body at iftar. They provide minerals like potassium, copper and manganese and are a source of dietary fiber.
Low-fat Dairy Products
Low-fat dairy products like yoghurt and cottage cheese are a must during the month of fasting. Yoghurt contains calcium, iodine, vitamins B6 and B12, riboflavin, potassium, and magnesium. Dribble it on your choice of cereal, fruits and unsalted nuts for added nutrition value.
Drink plenty of fluids from iftar to sehri to stay hydrated. Fluids can include juices, milk, beverages and soups but water is the best choice. Be mindful of caffeinated drinks as they are diuretic and stimulate faster water loss, leading to dehydration.
Make Healthy Choices
Include whole-grain food and complex carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, oats, wheat, beans, and lentils to your pre-dawn meal. Whole-wheat food products take around 6-7 hours to digest and keep your blood sugar steady, giving you a feeling of fullness for the greater part of the day.
Say NO To Processed Sugar
Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages and cut down on heavily processed, fast-burning foods that contain refined carbohydrates such as white flour and pastas. They are high in fat and low in nutrients. Combining healthy food choices with fasting resets your metabolism and can even help you shed a few pounds and lower your cholesterol.
Avoid Fried Foods
Try to avoid fried foods or those prepared with large quantities of oil as they make you feel lazy and less energetic. Make smart choices; switch from fried chicken to grilled or baked chicken. Use monounsaturated oils like sunflower, canola and corn oil when opting for something fried.
Eat Your Greens
Vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber and provide so many nutrients in so little calories. The more colorful your salad, the more health benefits it holds. It also provides a feeling of fullness, ensuring you eat less on your main dish. Aim for 2 servings of vegetables per meal.