It is important to maintain healthy, nutritious eating habits when observing Ramazan. Here are few health tips to follow.
Never skip ‘Sehri'
Just as breakfast is the most important meal of the day, ‘Sehri’ (the meal eaten before dawn) is equally important during Ramazan. The pre-dawn meal helps your body stay hydrated and fuelled up on energy and nutrients until your next meal at iftar. It also helps you avoid overeating when you break your fast at sunset.
A well-balanced meal at ‘sehri must contain:
- Complex carbohydrates: Oats, wheat, lentils, grains and other complex carbohydrates (like fava beans) are slow-releasing carbs, helping keep your blood sugar steady and giving you a feeling of fullness for the greater part of the day.
• High-fibre foods: Fibre-rich foods are digested slowly and include cereals, dates, figs, bran, whole wheat, grains, seeds, potatoes, vegetables and almost all fruit especially apricots and prunes. Bananas are a good source of potassium and other essential nutrients that help keep your body hydrated.
• Protein-rich foods:High protein foods like eggs, cheese, yoghurt or meat are also recommended as they can help replenish your energy throughout the day.
Try to cut down on sugary and processed foods
Avoid heavily processed, fast-burning foods that contain refined carbohydrates such as sugar and white flour, as well as fatty foods like Ramadan desserts. They are high in fat and low in nutrients.
Break your fast slowly and don't overindulge
While it is tempting to overindulge at Iftar after a day of food deprivation, remember that you should slow down.
Start with a few dates and water and then wait before starting your main meal. Dates are a great source of energy for the body, helping it to secrete digestive enzymes in preparation for the upcoming meal. Afterwards, you may get started on some warm soup.
Avoid heavy oils and fats in your meal. Make sure you consume plenty of vegetables and a good portion of protein and enough carbohydrates, with a little fat. Remember you should eat slowly and give time for your body to digest the food.
Drink at least 8-12 cups of water a day. Drink plenty of fluids for hydration from the period of Iftar to the time of sehri. Beware of consuming a lot of popular sugary drinks. Although juices, milk and soup are sources of fluids, water is the best choice, so try to consume other drinks in moderation.
Avoid working out during fasting hours
To avoid dehydration, it’s best to postpone working out until after fasting hours. We suggest you work out at a time when energy levels are at their best and rehydration is possible, such as after Iftar. Allow at least 2-3 hours after eating to begin your exercise routine, to give your body enough time to digest properly. Maintain hydration throughout your workout and don’t forget to drink plenty of water after, to replenish the water and mineral losses due to sweating. Water regulates your body temperature, lubricates your joints and transports nutrients throughout your body. Staying hydrated is particularly important during exercise.