3 nutrition tips for a healthy Ramadaan
The Holy month of Ramadaan is here - a month filled with prayers and fasting.
During this period, Muslims practice daily fasting from dawn until sunset. Traditionally, one breaks the fast at sunset with a meal called Iftar and then eats again before sunrise at Suhoor.
That said, it is important to bear in mind that one needs to eat healthy, nutritious, balanced meals, and take care of his or her body. Generally, fasting is an excellent opportunity to strengthen one's digestive system and help adjust one's blood sugar level.
According to dietitian Susan Bowerman, below are three tips for a healthy Ramadaan
Drinking water is crucial to staying healthy. Liquid intake enables transportation of nutrients, elimination of waste products, regulation and maintenance of body temperature, maintenance of circulation and blood pressure, lubrication of joints and body tissues, and facilitation of digestion.
Choose simple, nutrient-dense options
Even though you may be craving high-sugar and high-fat foods for breaking your daily fast, this is not the best choice. Those types of foods are not only full of empty calories but might tempt you to overindulge. Instead, try to incorporate nutrient-dense foods; that is, meals that provide an abundance of nutrients (proteins, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates) relative to their calorie cost. During fasting, you want to make sure you get as much nutrition as possible per calorie consumed.
Include fibre and protein in your diet
Make the most of your pre-dawn meal (Suhoor) and dusk meal (Iftar) by including fibre and protein. Foods high in fibre are digested slowly and they add bulk to your meal, helping you to get a feeling of fullness. They can also help with regular bowel movements and avoid constipation. Choose cereals, dates, figs, whole grains, seeds, vegetables, and fruit.
Protein-rich foods – like soy, eggs, cheese, legumes, poultry, fish, and yoghurt – help replenish your energy and will make you feel full for a longer period.
Making sure your body gets all the nutrients it needs is essential on an everyday basis, but particularly during Ramadaan. Good nutrition can have positive effects on our bodies and minds.