Healthy eating at Ramadan
Long hours of fasting will affect your body. That’s why it’s so important that when you break the fast, you give your body the best opportunity to rehydrate and gain energy from what you eat and drink.
Of course, the temptation is to devour food when you haven’t eaten for a long period. However, eating slowly gives your body the time it needs to digest food properly. It will also help you to avoid indigestion – which is the last thing you need after a long day of fasting!
Drink at least 8-12 cups of water to rehydrate and help you prepare for the fast. Avoid sugary drinks – they’re not as effective as water in rehydrating you – they are just ‘empty’ calories that you could do without. Ideally, give up caffeinated drinks completely for Ramadan as they are diuretic which stimulates faster water loss – you need to keep as hydrated as possible!
Eat fluid-rich foods
Certain foods can help rehydrate. Soup is the obvious one, and it is a good choice for our body after long period of fasting. Fruits and vegetables are wonderful sources of water. Fruit like watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, oranges and raspberries. Vegetables such as cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, courgette, radish, celery, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, aubergine, peppers, spinach, and broccoli.
Avoid salty foods
Sodium will not only make you thirsty but also lead to bloating. Often salty food is also fried – which can exacerbate your bloating and make you feel tired too. So, while there is no doubt that fried and salty food can be very tempting there will be a price to pay.
Avoid sugary foods
Filling up on refined carbohydrates (i.e. sugar and white flour), and fatty food (e.g. cakes, biscuits, chocolates and sweets like Indian mithai) will not provide the fuel needed to fast in the day ahead. In fact, it can have the opposite effect: after the initial ‘kick’ from eating fast-burning food, you can be left feeling even hungrier, and very tired.
Eat more wholesome meals
Eating meals that pack a punch will give you enough energy for the fast. Eating complex carbohydrates, such as fruit and vegetables, beans, chickpeas and lentils will provide you with a long-lasting source of energy throughout the day. Eating a large, unhealthy meal on an empty stomach may lead to you feeling tired and sluggish. Why not look at tradition and break the fast with a glass of milk and a few dates.