Ramadan is the holy month for Muslims, during which they fast from sunrise to sunset every day for the full month. Followers of Islam believe that fasting helps Muslims learn patience, modesty and spirituality.
How does the fast work?
During the day, fasting Muslims only have two meals, the Suhoor (pre-dawn meal before starting the fast) and Iftar (the meal to break the fast). Because of the long break between meals, a fasting person needs good, nutrient-rich food that provides enough energy to manage tasks and activities right through the long day.
Here are some tips for eating healthy during the month of Ramadan:
1. Avoid ‘white foods’
White foods are breads, rice and sugar. Some types of white foods are processed with rather unhealthy compositions and have end up with reduced nutritional value. We can find substitutes for white foods, such as wheat bread, brown rice and honey as a natural sweetener.
2. Avoid junk food
Junk foods are indeed easy to get. Less hassle and can be taken on-the-go, and they are mostly immediately, but they hardly contain any nutrition. It is always better to cook your own meals, especially during Ramadan.
3. Avoid foods and drinks that cause dehydration
Dehydration is the most common thing that happens during Ramadan. Try drinking a lot of water, eating foods that contain a lot of liquid, and avoid coffee and soda drinks as they can cause dehydration.
4. Avoid fried foods
Foods that are fried, too sweet or too spicy are not recommended for consumption during the fasting month, as they are hard to digest and can trigger some serious health problems. As alternative, you can have boiled, steamed or grilled foods.
5. Cut down your carb intake
During the fasting month when you spend most of your day without eating or drinking, try to cut down your carbohydrate intake, and eat foods that contain more fibre and protein. This will keep you full for longer and it will help your digestion system.
May you have a blessed fast!