Health & Nutrition

Nutrition and Healthy Eating in Ramadan

posted by FitnessFirst Team May 21, 2017 0 comments

The person’s life style changes in Ramadan. He has a precious opportunity to follow a healthy diet that contributes to losing weight and adjusts the blood sugar level.

Ramadan is a great opportunity for overweight people to lose weight by eating moderately and exercising before or after Iftar.

The healthy and complete diet that contains different types of food must be adhered to, so that the fasting person can have all food components needed by the body. One of the most important things to be considered is to eat slowly with no rush.

What are the person’s nutritional needs every day?

Carbohydrates:

They act as the body’s fuel, as they provide it with the energy it needs to carry out its functions normally. They also play a critical role in maintaining the blood sugar level.

Proteins:

Proteins are essential to build and renew the body’s cells and tissues. Eating sufficient amount of proteins in your all meals during Ramadan makes you feel full till next meal, so you do not eat an excessive amount of desserts.

Fats:

They also are an important energy source and play an important role in the function of the body’s cells. Some of them (i.e. healthy fats) are useful for the health of the heart, skin and hair too. Avoid using saturated fats of butter and gee in Ramadan meals, as they raise the cholesterol level in blood and increase the risk of heart diseases.

Vitamins and Minerals:

They play an important role in maintaining the functions of the body’s cells naturally. They also strengthen the body’s immunity and give it liveliness. In addition, some of them play the role of antioxidants that protect the body from diseases.

Drink sufficient amount of water between Iftar and Suhoor to provide the body with fluids during day.

Avoid drinking fizzy drinks at Iftar and Suhoor, as they adversely affect the digestion process and fill stomach with sugar. Further, these kind of drinks lacks nutritional value and adds weight.

Iftar (breakfast)

It is advised to eat Iftar in two phases:

First, eat dates, and then drink a glass of water or milk. Start Iftar with a hot plate of soup and salad.

After a while ranging from half an hour to an hour, it is advised to eat the main meal. Moderation in eating food is undoubtedly the main factor of good health!

The balanced main dish at Iftar must contain types of good carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes brown rice, oats or bulgur and type of lean meat such as red meat, chicken, or fish, as well as vegetables.

  • Iftar only does not provide you with all your nutritional needs. It is preferred and advised to eat a snack before sleep, which consists of, for example, a glass of low fat milk, a sandwich made of brown bread, low fat cheese, and a handful amount of dried fruit and nuts.
  • If you want to drink coffee or tea, it is advised to drink an hour or two after eating Iftar.
  • The change in eating routine may lead to having constipation. To avoid it, it is advised to eat an ample amount of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes; drink sufficient amount of water; and do some form of light exercise right before iftar, after iftar or before suhoor.
  • Eating a piece of dessert immediately after Iftar causes increase in the stomach’s size, as it delays the digestion process. In addition, an imbalance occurs in the blood sugar level, leading to increase the desire to eat more dessert. It is preferred to eat it two or three hours after eating Iftar.

Suhoor

Suhoor is a main meal in Ramadan. It helps endure the fatigue of fasting.

One of the common mistakes in Ramadan is that many people tend not to eat Suhoor, thinking that it is not important and that eating Iftar and the following different food is enough to provide them with the sugar and energy they need for the next day, that is on one hand. On the other hand, some people eat this meal early before Suhoor time.

Suhoor is considered as an alternative to the breakfast you eat in the normal day. Therefore, it must contain the same main ingredients we find in breakfast, including bread, low fat dairy products such as milk, labneh, egg, vegetables, or rice with milk and dried fruits. As for fast food such as falafel, shawerma, or dishes rich in fats, they do not fit the requirements of Suhoor.

It is desirable to eat Suhoor as late as possible to reduce the period during which the body is deprived from food and drink. 

  • Avoid eating salted food such as canned food, processed food, salted nuts and pickles at Suhoor as they may heighten your feeling of thirst during fasting period.
  • You should drink an ample amount of water during the post-Iftar period, i.e. at least 2-3 liters of water. Drink little amounts of them intermittently to avoid any discomfort or distention.

Fitness First Team

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