Ramadan is observed by Muslims all around the world as a period of fasting to commemorate the best times. Muslims fast from dawn to sunset; the pre-dawn meal is known as 'Sehar' and sunset meal is known as 'Iftar'. So, here we will be sharing what to eat during Ramadan and what to avoid. Let's get started!
Why Do Muslims Fast During Ramadan?
Ramadan is seen as a time of spiritual reflection, improvement, and increased devotion. Muslims follow the teachings of Islam and this includes fasting. It is during this period, fasting is seen as a way of instilling self-control.
'Sehar' is the pre-dawn meal eaten before the Fajr prayer, which is taken as a blessing. Breakfast served before sunrise is considered the most important meal of the day and it shouldn't be skipped.
What Happens To The Body When Fasting?
The body enters into a fasting state and the gut finishes absorbing nutrients from the last meal taken. During fasting, the glucose stored in the body provides energy and to replace the energy one needs to break the fast with nutrient-rich foods.
With long hours of fasting, eating healthy can be a distant dream. But that needn't be the case always. All you have to do is prepare and eat healthy foods made with fresh ingredients that will provide your body with ample vitamins and minerals.
This Ramadan, follow the below tips shared by Chef Kasiviswanathan, Executive Chef of Radisson Blu Atria, Bengaluru and Chef Ankit Gupta, Executive Chef, MAIA - Eat, Bake, Mom for a month of healthy Ramadan.
Best Foods For Ramadan Fasting: What To Eat And What To Avoid?
Foods That You Should Eat Are As Follows:
1. Break your fast with dates as they are easily digestible and don't exhaust your metabolism after a whole day of fasting. Dates are high in sugar, fibre, and minerals and hence are a quick source of energy. In addition to this, dates help in treating constipation that might occur due to the change in the eating times or low-fibre intake during fasts.
Remember not to eat more than 2 dates as they are quite high in calories and sugar and might kill your appetite.
2. Go for a small portion of soup, preferably made of vegetables and try to avoid cream-based ones. Drink your soup slowly. This will help your digestive system in processing food and prevent you from overeating. Make sure your soup consists of vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, peas, green beans, squash, and carrots.
3. Don't forget to include a mixed vegetable salad to your diet. Eating a fresh salad with green mango and grilled or roasted dishes seasoned with spices such as fennel, cumin, ginger, and cardamom will enhance your metabolism.
4. Intake of protein-rich food is essential as it keeps you fuller during your fasting days. However, avoid refined carbohydrates such as white flour that only last for 3-4 hours and are low in nutrient value.
5. Incorporate ingredients such as sandalwood in your kebabs and sabji which detox your body and calm you down.
6. Drink plenty of water and fruit juices between Iftar and Suhoor to avoid dehydration. High temperatures can also make you sweat more, so it is important to drink fluids (minimum of 3 litres) to replace what you lose during the day. You can also increase water intake by eating hydrated foods.
Foods To Avoid Are As Follows:
1. Overeating may result in indigestion and weight gain. Slow down, chew, and enjoy each morsel.
2. Avoid eating fried, salty, high-sugar foods as well as high-fat foods, as they increase thirst. Dishes cooked in techniques such as grilling, baking, and steaming will keep you going for a longer time.
3. Cut down on caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, and soda as these have a diuretic effect and promote fluid loss.
By following these simple Ramadan diet tips, it will aid in keeping your blood pressure levels stable as well as will help keep your cholesterol under control.
Sources: Radisson Blu Atria and MAIA - Eat, Bake, Mom
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