The holy month of Ramadan is here and it is an opportunity to maintain health especially by performing light exercise and eating the right kind of food. Make good use of the period between iftar and sahur order not to become dehydrated, especially when Ramadan falls in summer.
During the Fast of Ramadan strict restraints are placed on the daily lives of Muslims. They are not allowed to eat or drink during the daylight hours. At the end of the day the fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar. In the evening following the iftar it is habitual for Muslims to go out visiting family and friends.
But a balanced diet is very essential to maintain good health, maintain an active lifestyle and attain the full benefits of Ramadan. There is no need to consume excess food at pre-dawn meal Sahur, and evening meal or breaking fast Iftar.
It is always loved and liked to eat even a single grain in Ramadan because the month of Ramadan itself is loved and liked. People become somewhat different in Ramadan than their normal lives because routine changes sharply in Ramadan. The eating habits also change. All the eating throughout the day shrinks to between sahar and aftar times. ALLAH swt has permitted muslims to eat and drink between these two times in ramadan.
Special foods are prepared for the sahar and aftar times and it is tried to bring max. dishes to the table. Drinks, food items and fresh fruits remain the part of Ramadan. It is proven from ahadith to eat till the fast is closed hence muslims are encouraged to eat well at the time of sahar so that they could store enough energy in their body to remain hungry till maghrib.
It is a misconception that people become weak or they face troubles regarding their health in Ramadan due to less eating and drinking. It is not true. Nutritionists say that stomach should be provided with little food after every two hours to keep the fats from developing in the body and to keep the stomach at work. While during fast exactly the opposite happens that is, the stomach is provided with no food for constant 12 to 16 hours.
First of all, there is no need to consume excess food at dinner or sahur (the light meal generally eaten about half an hour to one hour before dawn). The body has controlling mechanisms that activate during fasting. A diet that is less than a normal amount of food intake but balanced is sufficient enough to keep a person healthy and active during the month of Ramadan. Here are some healthy foods to eat during Sahur.
Consume a light sahur. Eat whole wheat or oat cereal or whole wheat bread, 1-2 servings with a cup of milk. Add 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil or any other polyunsaturated fats in a salad or the puffed rice. Eat 1-2 servings of fruits, as a last item.
Things to avoid at sahur: Fried foods, yeast breads, anything with a lot of oil or sugar, sweets with sugar syrup, any very salty or very spicy dishes, Turkish ‘sucuk’ sausage and Turkish-style pastrami, honey and clotted cream, and carbonated beverages.
The food eaten immediately after sunset is called aftari. These healthy foods should be eaten during the Iftar, Dates,Juice, Vegetable soup with some pasta or some dates. Two to two and a half liters of water should be consumed per day. In addition to this, liquid intake should be increased with drinks such as ayran, fruit and vegetable juices, soup and stewed fruit compote.
The body's immediate need at the time of iftar is to get an easily available energy source in the form of glucose for every living cell, particularly the brain and nerve cells. Dates and juices are good sources of sugars. Dates and juice in the above quantity are sufficient to bring low blood glucose levels to normal levels. Juice and soup help maintain water and mineral balance in the body. An unbalanced diet and too many servings of sweets with added sugar have been found to be unhealthy.
Things to stay away from at iftar: Oily, starchy foods and sweets are always harmful to the body. But it is also harmful during Ramadan to consume soup, snacks, main course and dessert one after the other in empty stomach.
People with high blood pressure should avoid drinking large quantities of carbonated beverages and soda water.
At the end, intake of a balanced diet is acute to maintain good health, sustain an active lifestyle and attain the full benefits of Ramadan.