Ramadan; a.k.a Ramazan is the holiest period of Islam. Every person who is over the age of 12 years is expected to abstain from any sensual pleasures, whether smoking, drinking or gambling. They also observe fasting from the first light of dawn until sunset. Read on to know about diet during Ramadan fasting.
It gets a little confusing to manage good health along with the fasting, but it is not impossible. Here is how your diet during Ramadan fasting / Ramzan should be.
Diet during Ramadan Fasting / Ramzan:
Here are a few tips for you to follow for diet during Ramadan fasting / Ramzan
Which Foods To Eat During Ramadan?
The first meal is consumed before Dawn (sehri or suhur). Diet during Ramadan fasting / Ramzan should be well balanced, consisting of all the food groups. This will help in avoiding fatigue, restlessness, and vomiting sensations due to hunger at bay.
To avoid feeling hungry during the long hours of fast, one must include a lot of complex carbohydrates along with good fiber. These nutrients digest slowly and hence will lead to a slower release of sugar in the bloodstream throughout the day, making you feel less hungry. The health benefits fiber and complex carbs have on health add on to the reasons for consuming them.
Diet during Ramadan fasting should consist of Food items that provide complex carbs. Brown rice, oats, whole wheat flour, Barley, millet, semolina, beans, unpolished rice, and lentils provide plenty of complex carbs.
Diet during Ramadan fasting should consist of good quality protein. It is observed that during long fasting, if the protein is overlooked, one may face problems like dry and rough skin and hair, hair fall. Eating Eggs, chicken, lamb, chicken, seafood, lentils and dairy will do the trick.
Eat a lot of green salads, vegetables, and fruits. This will help you get all the needed fiber and vitamins.
Keeping the body hydrated is another big challenge during this fast. Fruit juices, buttermilk, and water should be consumed after sunset and before dawn; this will help the body to maintain its fluid balance.
Which Foods To Avoid During Ramadan?
Avoid excess intake of simple sugars. Sugars lead to an immediate hike in the blood sugar level and a steep drop after a while, which may lead to intolerable hunger pangs.
Avoiding excess masala and spices are indeed helpful. These spices increase acid production in the stomach and may lead to acidity and burning sensation during the fasting period.
Avoid too much Caffeine. If you are addicted to your cup of tea/coffee/ or any other caffeinated drinks, you must start your effort of getting off the addiction a few days prior to Ramadan. Sudden aversion to caffeine due to the fast may lead to severe headaches, irritability and mood swings.
Smoking and Alcohol:
Alcohol and smoking is any way to be avoided during this holy period, but in any case, it’s better to refrain from these habits as they may lead to severe health issues with no food intake throughout the day.
Exercise during Ramadan: –
A gym workout or any other intense exercise can be a little tiring during Ramadan. But light exercises along with balanced diet would help in weight management during Ramadan. Take a 45 minutes’ walk after breaking your fast and before dinner for best weight loss results during Ramadan. Avoid strenuous exercises during the fasting hours, it may lead to dehydration and blackouts owing to no food and water intake.
Healthy diet regime is the one where all the meals are distributed equally during the day and consist of all the important nutrients that are needed to support a healthy life. Diet during Ramadan fasting may be a challenge to the elderly and those with diabetes and other ailments as the meals are concentrated and not evenly distributed through the day.
To read more on diet during Ramadan fasting, you can read the detailed article that I wrote for Times of India on Ramadan fasting diet.
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