Ramadan, a holy month of fasting observed by Muslims worldwide is an opportunity for spiritual growth, positive lifestyle changes and to do good deeds. The practice of self-discipline, self-control and charitable acts captures the essence of Ramadan. We bring you six tips for a healthy Ramadan.
Have A Wholesome Sahur
Sahur, the pre-dawn meal is a time for your body to prepare for the day’s fast. So, have a wholesome and moderate meal that is filling and releases energy slowly. Choose complex carbohydrates, fibre-rich foods as they are slow digesting like wholegrain pita bread or tortillas, oats, chia seeds, millet, lentils, beans and brown rice. Remember to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, ¼ protein and ¼ carbohydrates so your meals are balanced.
Here are some simple and nutritious Sahur recipe ideas: Overnight oats, smoothie bowls, chia seed pudding, granola with almond mylk, wholegrain toasts with fruit toppings like bananas, avocados, and smoothies.
Begin Breaking Fast With Dates
Breaking fast with dates is customary – ever wondered why this jewel of a fruit is eaten? Dates not only provide a burst of energy, they are easily digested, rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and helps prevent constipation. Check out the 10 incredible health benefits of eating dates during Ramadan. When you’re breaking fast, enjoy 3 to 4 dates, and rehydrate with a glass of water before having your meal to reduce the likelihood of overindulgence.
Fast, Not Feast
Avoid overeating when you break fast at Iftar as it is counter-productive for your body and can lead to weight gain. Eat and enjoy your meals in moderation, treasure meal and prayer times together and most importantly, keep your spiritual focus in this holy month. Approach Ramadan with an opportunity to be healthier.
Instead of …, Have These …
The local Ramadan bazaar in the evenings often offer convenient takeaway meals. Whether you are opting for takeaway meals, dining out or preparing meals at home, do select healthier options. The right foods will always be real or minimally processed foods prepared with clean cooking methods.
- Instead of deep-fried foods and oily gravies, choose foods that are lightly fried with minimal excessive oil. Better still, if they are grilled, roasted, baked, boiled or steamed.
- Instead of refined carbohydrates (sugar and white flour) like white rice, roti canai, white bread or white noodles, have brown rice, chappati, wholegrain bread or noodles. Refined carbohydrates digest rapidly causing your blood sugar to drop quickly and leaving you feeling hungry.
- Instead of caffeine-based beverages such as tea, coffee or cola as these are diuretics and stimulates faster water loss through urination. Rehydrate with nourishing beverages such as smoothies or infused water.
- Instead of sugary and fatty foods, snack healthily with fruits, nuts, seeds or granolas.
Have Adequate Sleep
With the change in schedules during Ramadan, whether at work or school, adjusting to the new routines will take some time. Remember to get adequate sleep to sustain you throughout the day.
Ramadan is a great time to start your physical fitness journey. So don’t let your fitness level slide. Plus, fasting has numerous health benefits including supporting weight loss and increasing your metabolism. Whether you choose to do your workout before or after breaking fast, try to do low- to moderate-intensity exercises to maintain your overall health and avoid weight gain.
Stay tuned as we bring you healthy recipes and workouts throughout Ramadan.
PurelyB wishes all our Muslim readers ‘Selamat Berpuasa’ and a blessed Ramadan Al Mubarak.