Before starting anything let us discuss about the holy month and its significance. The holy month of Ramadan is celebrated during the ninth month in the Islamic Calendar. The Islamic calendar is lunar thus, Ramadan falls at a different date and time each year.
Fasting is important in Ramadan, as it is one of the five pillars of Islam, which helps an individual to maintain purity of thoughts and actions during Ramadan.
What is Suhoor and Iftar?
Suhoor is an Islamic term which refers to meal eaten early in the morning before sunrise. Suhoor marks the start of fasting. It is an important meal to get you throughout the day. A proper suhoor meal helps prevent headache and nausea.
Iftar is the term for the evening meal. During Iftar, the meal is consumed after sunset. Iftar marks the end of fasting. It is a religious observance and an enjoyable community experience where people gather together to break their fast. Traditionally, a date is the first item to be consumed to break a fast.
Don’t skip Suhoor
Just as breakfast is an important meal of the day, suhoor during Ramadan is also important to start your fast.
The reason why suhoor should not be skipped is because it is an energy producing meal which gives your body energy and nutrients for the whole day. It also keeps your body hydrated throughout the day.
As you are fasting for the whole day, It is necessary to include protein rich, high fiber foods in your suhoor diet. Apart from food, make sure that your intake of fluids is more.
Eat fruits like watermelon, apricot, pineapple, orange, muskmelon, cucumber, etc.
What most people do?
As you know that after breaking a fast, a variety of delicacies are offered during Iftar. Many people overeat due to hunger. Here you should be cautious to not indulge in heavier meals as it may lead to sluggishness and tiredness.
It is important to have a balanced meal during iftar as it’s the meal that replenishes energy and helps sustain your fast the next day.
Drink lots of water
It is always good to start with dates and fluids. Traditionally dates are consumed first to break the fast.
The reason is that dates are beneficial for the body as they are rich in potassium and are a source of antioxidants.
That is why dates are consumed to break the fast. They help to reduce blood pressure and are good for blood sugar balance.
After dates comes fluids. Hydrate yourself before indulging in heavy meals. Drink plenty of fluids like water, juice or milk to hydrate yourself.
It is advisable to avoid caffeine or carbonated drinks during suhoor, as it will dehydrate your body very quickly. Too many sugary drinks is also not good because it contains a lot of calories, which is not good for the body.
Consume healthy diet
We all are hungry after the fast but we have to make sure to consume all types of food that too in less quantity.
Quantity is important, that is why portion matters a lot. Controlling your food quantity is the key to stay healthy and prevent weight gain.
You know vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibers and provide nutrients. It is important to include vegetables in your meal to get the wholesome nutrients.
Eat rice, meat, dairy products too, so that you get all the required nutrients to get along the next day.
Eat slowly to let your body digest the food. Eating food in a hurry may lead to indigestion and other gastric problems, which you don’t want during these days.
Include soup in your diet
I already told you to drink as much water as you can. But including soups and salads into your meal is also beneficial as they will provide fluids rich in vitamins and minerals.
Go for vegetable based soups which contains lentils, beans, tomatoes, barley or vegetables. Cream free chicken soups are also very healthy for you. It is best to avoid creamy and fatty soups.
Avoid over eating
We know how Iftar is tempting with the delicious meals and treats. But it is important for you to follow healthy eating during Ramadan or else over-indulging may lead to weight gain and bloating (which you do not want).
So you should avoid eating deep fried, oily or greasy food on an empty stomach.
It is wise to include salads, vegetables and soups in your meal.
If you don’t want to miss the delicacies and want to taste all, then don’t worry, i have got a solution for you. Take small amounts from each section.
For e.g. you can take a small portion of meat, a little bit of rice, green vegetables, etc. This will fulfill your taste buds and give control on eating as well.
For fried foods take a little amount or you can avoid if you can.
Treat iftaar as if you are having your normal dinner.
The practice of self-discipline, benevolence and self-control is not only for a month. Let us imbibe and maintain all these acts throughout our life.
There are many other ways to keep yourself healthy during Ramadan. Remember, that a balanced food diet with healthy ingredients will help you enjoy Iftar and Suhour while giving you good health and more energy.