Fasting during Ramadan can improve one’s health, but only if done in the proper manner, if not, it can cause more harm than good. After long hours of fasting when you see a good spread of appetizing Iftar in front of you, eating healthy can sometimes be a distant dream. Here are some good tips how to eat healthy during Ramadan:
Start your meal with dates
Dates are a very important source of sugar that will replenish the energy you lost throughout the long hours of fasting, it is rich in fibers that will regulate your bowel movements. They are rich in magnesium and potassium as well.
This year Ramadan is at the peak of summer when temperatures are hitting as high as 45 degrees. You have to make sure that you drink enough water after you break your fast so that you do not feel thirsty or have any signs of dehydration the following day. Drink 8 glass of water throughout the night.
Avoid salty foods, such as canned or processed foods, salted nuts, and pickles, because these will increase your thirst during the fasting period. Also avoid foods that are too spicy or salty, and consume more fruits and vegetables that are refreshing to prevent getting thirsty.
Break your fast slowly
Start with dates, water, followed by soup, a bowl of salad and then go to the main meal. If you feel full after the salad, you can take a break and continue your meals later. Starting your Iftar meal with a warm soup comforts the stomach after a long day of fasting, replenishes your body with fluids and help prepare the digestive system for this meal.
Ensure that your meal has all food groups
Your Iftar should have a source of grains, proteins, vegetables, fruits and healthy oils.
Make healthy food choices
Choose whole grains, lean meat, chicken breast, fish, olive oil in moderation and whole fruits instead of fruit juices. Stay away from fried food, and food high in fat. Meats, legumes, eggs and dairy products are rich in proteins.
Avoid Salty and Sugary Foods
Eating sweets immediately after iftar will result to bloating and cause a delay in digestion. It will also cause a fluctuation in the blood glucose level, which will lead to you craving for more sweets. That’s why, it is recommended to have sweets in moderation 2-3 hours after iftar. The more the food is salty, spicy and processed the more it will make you thirsty the following day. The body breaks sugary foods faster, and this will also make you hungry sooner.
If you are a coffee drinker, try and reduce your coffee consumption in order to avoid headaches and sleepiness.
Divide your meals
Having three meals is still important during this holy month: Iftar, a light evening snack, and Suhoor. This would help you avoid continuous snacking throughout the non-fasting hours.
Adding exercise to your daily routine during Ramadan is very beneficial. This will help you maintain a healthy weight and healthy lifestyle.