By Aleena Masood
As we all know, Ramadan is a month of blessings and is a good time to get rid of bad habits like lying, backbiting etc. However, most of us don’t realise that it is also the perfect opportunity to fix our eating habits and dietary patterns.
Eating a diet containing nutrient rich food rather than energy dense food is absolutely necessary.
“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,” a wise person once said.
Let’s go through some of the key elements of a balanced diet:
Milk in itself is a complete diet with all the essential nutrients your body may be deficient in. Other products like lassi and yogurt are good alternatives which should be a part of our suhoor and iftaar meals.
Fruits and Vegetables
These are rich in minerals, vitamins, fibre and all the natural sugars which our bodies need. Eating a good portion of fruits and vegetables will ensure that you are not missing on any important element required by the body. Plus they are not heavy, and will keep your body feeling active throughout the day.
Drink a minimum of 8-9 glasses in suhoor and iftaar to maintain your hydration status in the summer heat. However, do not gulp down all the water at once, you are not a camel! Drink sip by sip and divide the total intake throughout the night, like one glass of water at iftaar time, one after Maghrib prayer, one before dinner etc.
Healthier Cooking Methods
Try to eat boiled, steamed or grilled foods and avoid fried items! Frying in fats and oils is not recommended as it decreases the nutritional content of food and increases thirst. Think twice about those mouth watering, yet devilish pakoras! A little creativity will make your non-fried food taste even better than the fried one. You just have to show some dedication! Once you develop your taste, it will work wonders for you in the long run.
Ramadan can be your chance to make an effort to switch to more natural foods than artificial and processed ones. Ditch the pleasure of those one time fun time foods for your overall health and future’s comfort. Not only do they cause digestion problems but also make your stomach weak and cause various diseases. Natural foods cooked simply will not take too much of your time and provide with all the nutrition that you actually need. Search up some quick and tasty recipes.
• Eat slowly at iftaar time. This way, you will end up feeling satiated even though you haven’t consumed a great quantity of food
• Open your fast with dates and water, pray Maghrib and then eat the rest of your food. Dates are a wonder food and will provide you with lots of energy when taken in both suhoor and iftaar.
• Do not eat too much before Taraweeh prayer, not only will it make you drowsy but could also be a source of discomfort for others at the masjid!
However, with all this talk about food, don’t forget one important principle:
The focus shouldn’t be entirely on body weight, but rather on being mindful of how you fast and how you break your fast!