Health & Lifestyle

Top Ten Tips for a Healthy Ramadan

By Shireen Hakim

  1. Enjoy and experienceyour food. Notice the taste and textures. This is especially important at iftar parties, where chatting and mingling distracts your from noticing how much food you are stuffing in your mouth. Stay conscious of keeping healthy foods and normal portions.
  2. Exercise after iftar. It is best to exercise when the body has adequate fuel to spare. While fasting, electrolyte levels are low and the body needs its nutrients to provide you with energy to last the day. They should not be used for physical activity.
  3. Don’t mistake your thirst for hunger. Our body’s signal for water is sometimes similar to that for food. Try hydrating yourself first before eating something. You can “eat” your water with foods like fruits, yogurt and soup.
  4. Wateris your beverage of choice! Limit sugary and caffeinated drinks like juice, soda, coffee. Water will give you long lasting energy, while juice and coffee cause energy crashes, headaches, cravings, irritability. About 5-6 glasses for women and 8 glasses for men is recommended.
  5. Choose foods that contain fiber, protein, fluids, complex carbohydrates. These include eggs, nuts, beans/lentils, fish, low fat cheese/yogurt/milk, fruits, vegetables, soup, brown rice/bread, potatoes, oats, chapati. These foods will give you long lasting fullness and energy throughout the day.
  6. It’s okay to enjoy your iftar with traditional tasty treats like samosas, pakora, french fries, pizza. But BAKEthem, don’t fry them! Lightly spray the pan with Canola oil, don’t drench the pan in oil. Fried foods lead to indigestion, fatigue and a bigger waistline.
  7. Eat simple foods in smallquantities. Realize that your energy needs go down during Ramadan. You don’t need to eat as much in one day as you normally do. Don’t try to make up all your missed meals in one evening.
  8. Datesare great during Ramadan. That is, the kind you can eat! Break your fast with a date. There’s a reason it was the Prophet’s (S) go to iftar food. It’s loaded with all our essentials: fluid, fiber, healthy carbs. This will satiate your body’s energy needs and help prevent bingeing during iftar.
  9. Keep yourself hydrated withwater. Especially in these hot summer days, it’s important to get plenty of water to replenish the electrolytes lost from sweating, etc. Take sips from your reusable water bottle throughout the evening.
  10. Suhooris fuel.
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