Ramadan is known as the month of spirituality and worship amongst the Muslim ummah. A limited number of days carry a lot of importance and every good deed counts. It is also known as a month of lavish meals to many of us for we all believe in a rich, fatty meal after we open our fast to keep us going.
Some facts you need to remember about Fasting include:
Fasting is not starvation- it’s a mere abstinence from food and drink for a couple of hours.
Fasting is a health and fitness booster- intermittent fasting has proven to aid in weight loss provided we have simple meals.
Fasting is a detoxicating agent- it helps the body get rid of toxins and stabilizes the functioning of other organs. The break from food and drink gives our digestive system some rest while the stored fat in our bodies is burnt down by metabolism to provide us with energy.
Fasting is a natural fitness program if we control what we eat during Ramadan. Here are some tips to help you out with your delicious yet simple meals:
Drink a lot of water. You will be needing this to keep you active and working during fasting hours. Chicken, eggs, dates, milk, fibrous vegetables (they give you the feeling of fullness) are all good for Suhur since they provide you with the carbohydrates and proteins that will give you energy.
Remember to avoid high Sodium foods like soups, gravies, and sauces. High Sodium level can cause greater dehydration.
Always open your Iftaar with water and dates. While water is mandatory to keep our system running smoothly, dates too have a very special nutritional value. Dates contain a high value of Potassium which is important for rehydration process. So basically eating dates with water gets you hydrated much faster than with water alone.
Try having some chicken and roasted vegetables or oats with your favorite tea or Zatar. Vegetables do the trick here, it’s the natural greens that make you fresh after a tiring day and keep you from feeling heavy.
The time after Maghreb or Taraweeh is considered the best for exercising or going to the gym. So if this is what you are planning to do, have some smoothie or protein shake along with your exercise. Fruit juices are also a wonderful option.
The snack between Iftaar and Suhur is a good idea. Have some junk food if you can’t survive without it. However fruits like watermelon and mango will keep you hydrated and energized during summer.
Finally remember the rule of eating:
The Prophet peace be upon him said regarding healthy eating habits:
“A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.” [Ibn Majah]