The holy month of Ramadan is just around the corner, and considering the fact that the fasts are taking place during the hottest time of the year, it’s extremely important to make sure you are eating the right kind of food during non-fasting hours. Even the days are longer during the summer, so you really need nutrient-rich food that provides you with enough energy to make it through the long hours until you break your fast.
The number one thing to do is to make sure you have food that hydrates your body, as your body tends to get slowly dehydrated during the day due to the fasting. Watermelon, cucumbers, carrots, strawberries and grapefruits are great options to get plenty of hydration into your system. You can also make fruit juices and smoothies, or try drinking some coconut water instead. Try to avoid having too much coffee and tea, as they can be dehydrating to the body.
Another tip is to avoid having processed food when breaking your fast. Sure, it’s very tempting to reward yourself with some chips and candy after a whole day of fighting cravings, but these foods do not have any nutritional benefits to them.. So while you do get to satisfy your craving, your body has not gotten enough nutrition to make up for the hours you were already fasting and the hours you will be fasting again. This can lead to a burn out halfway through the month, so it’s important to eat real food that actually gives your body the boost it needs.
The next thing to keep in mind is to avoid having one big meal right when you break your fast. After going the whole day without eating anything, your metabolism and digestive system need time to activate again. It’s best to eat slowly and spread your meal out through a couple of hours. Especially when just breaking your fast, it’s good practice to start off with a few dates or a fruit juice, and then consume heavier food after a while.
It’s also very important to not skip Suhoor, as this is a meal that gears you for the whole day of fasting ahead. This meal should consist of low glycaemic index carbohydrates, which are basically carbs that are absorbed by your body slowly and help you feel full for a longer amount of time. Since they are absorbed slowly, they provide you with a slow release of energy that helps sustain you throughout the day. Such slow energy release carbohydrates include foods like wholegrain bread, beans, and basmati rice.
Finally, try not to overindulge in desserts, which are usually prepared almost daily during the month of Ramadan. While it’s okay to have them every once in a while, satisfy your sweet tooth with some yoghurt and fruit instead, or with natural sweets such as honey. Indulging in desserts can lead to a sugar crashes later in the day, and thus it’s best to avoid the sugary stuff as often as possible.
Hopefully these 5 tips help you have a healthier Ramadan. Wishing all of you peace and prosperity during this blessed month. Do leave your comments and let us know how you plan to prepare for Ramadan.. what are your top meal picks?