NUTRITIONAL TIPS FOR RAMADAN
Fasting during Ramadan can improve one’s health, but only if done in the correct manner. But if done incorrectly, it can cause more harm than good. This Ramadan, we give you a wide range of nutrition tips to follow. Learn how you can eat healthy at Iftar and Suhoor and ensure adequate nutrition and continued good health. Follow our Tips to make a few lifestyle changes to get the best out of this Ramadan. Let this season be a time of revival in spirit, soul and body.
Tip 1: A healthy Iftar goes hand in hand with tradition: starting with two dates, followed by a glass of water or laban, then start the meal with a warm bowl of soup, a salad and the main course. Of course, moderation is key to health!
Tip 2: Starting your Iftar meal with a warm soup comforts the stomach after a long day of fasting, replenishes your body with fluids and help prepare the digestive system for this blessed meal.
Tip 3: A balanced main dish at Iftar should contain a source of carbohydrates like rice, pasta, potatoes or some source of protein, as well as some form of protein like beef, chicken or fish, in addition to cooked vegetables. Balance and moderation are key to good health.
Tip 4: Don’t forget to drink plenty of water during the holy month of Ramadan. At least 8 glasses distributed in small quantities so as not to feel bloated.
Tip 5: Some people tend to eat more during Ramadan and this can lead to weight gain. Eating a healthy Iftar, eating starters and sweets in moderation, choosing more fruits and vegetables, avoiding sweetened beverages, and being active every day will help you maintain your weight.
Tip 6: Some people tend to be more sedentary during the month of Ramadan. To burn extra calories, make sure to be active by at least going for a walk every day, two hours after having Iftar which allows you time to digest your meal.
Tip 7: Suhoor is a vital meal during Ramadan. It gives you strength and vitality for the day and can make fasting easier and tolerable. Make sure that this meal is rich in slow-releasing carbohydrates such as whole grain bread, rice and whole grain cereals that can help maintain your blood sugar levels.
Tip 8:To prevent feeling thirsty during Ramadan, drink plenty of water, avoid foods that are too spicy or salty, and consume more fruits and vegetables that are refreshing.
Tip 9: Eating your soup and salad slowly at Iftar will help you feel full and prevent you from overeating later from the main dish and sweets.
Tip 10: People who suffer from headache or dizziness due to low blood sugar levels during the fasting period should break the fast at Iftar time by starting with 2-3 dates, which will help replenish blood sugar levels.
Tip 11: Delightful sweets during Ramadan are hard to resist. To avoid consuming too many calories, indulge and enjoy with your family the tasty and creative delights, while making sure you always practice portion control and moderation.
Tip 12: Choose dates, dried fruits and nuts as part of your diet during Ramadan. These provide healthy nutrients and are packed with energy, thus helping you keep your vitality during this month.
Tip 13: Eating sweets immediately after Iftar will increase the size of your stomach and cause a delay in digestion. It will also cause a fluctuation in the blood glucose level, which will lead to your craving for more sweets. That’s why it is recommended to have sweets in moderation 2-3 hours after Iftar.
Tip 14: To make your dishes lighter during Ramadan, adopt healthy cooking methods such as grilling, boiling, simmering and roasting and add taste to the food with a wealth of vegetables, herbs and seasonings.
Tip 15: Planning your meals and Ramadan recipes ahead will help you be organized during this month, maximize your energy and strength and gives you ample time to choose a variety of foods and healthy recipes to delight and nourish the family.
Tip 16: For balanced nutrition, try not to rely solely on Iftar to give you all your nutritional requirements. You can have other light meals before bedtime such as low-fat yoghurt and a whole-wheat cheese sandwich, or some dried fruits and nuts. Not to forget your Suhoor that can include a glass of low-fat milk, whole wheat bread and some legumes.
Tip 17: 2-3 dates are enough to break your fast on. Remember dates are also rich in calories, so don't forget that moderation is required to help you maintain a healthy weight during Ramadan.
Tip 18: Avoid salty foods, such as canned or processed foods, salted nuts, and pickles, because these will increase your thirst during the fasting period.
Tip 19: If you feel full quickly and are unable to complete your Iftar, you can delay your main course until after your Maghreb prayer. This will ensure that you have enough time to digest your dates, soup and salad, preventing you from feeling uncomfortable as a result of overeating after a long day of fasting.
Tip 20: Be creative with your salad. The more varied and colorful vegetables you include in your salad, the more assorted are the nutrients and antioxidants you get.This helps to protect your body cells and promotes good health, especially during this holy month.
Tip 21: Make sure your soup includes generous amounts of vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, peas, green beans, squash, and carrots. These add vitamins and minerals to your soup as well as fibres which are essential for a healthy digestive system.
Tip 22: Divide your main course into three parts: have one-quarter of the plate filled with complex carbohydrates, one quarter with lean meat or meat alternatives, and half the plate with vegetables.This will ensure that you have a healthy and balanced meal.
Tip 23: If you wish to drink coffee during Ramadan, have a cup 1-2 hours after having a healthy and balanced Iftar.
Tip 24: Have Ramadan drinks such as jallab and dried apricot syrup in moderate amounts. Although they are a good source of sugar and source of vitamins, they are also a rich source of calories, adding up to your caloric intake. To quench your thirst, drink more water.
Tip 25: Be moderate in your consumption of appetizers such as sambousek, because deep-fried foods are high in calories and fat that could increase cholesterol levels in the blood. Instead, when you can, try to have them baked and stuffed with low-fat cheese.
Tip 26: Make sure that each of your meals include complex carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes and burghul which are absorbed slowly in your body, ensuring that you have a stable level of glucose in your bloodstream for 4-5 hours.
Tip 27: You can prepare lower calorie sweets at home by using low-fat dairy products such as low-fat milk and cream, using a moderate amount of oil and sugar, baking your sweets or having them raw when you can.
Tip 28: Meats, legumes, eggs and dairy products are rich in proteins. Ensure you have at least one of these sources in every Ramadan meal since proteins are very important for your body cells. They also increase your satiety level, thus reducing the temptation for eating sweets.
Tip 29: For better health, be moderate in adding salt to your cooked dishes, especially during Ramadan. Instead, use vegetables, herbs and spices to add flavor and color to your meals.
Tip 30: A change in routine, like fasting during Ramadan, could lead to constipation. To avoid this, enrich your diet with fibre by eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes. Drink plenty of water and try to be active whenever possible.
Tip 31: If you are a regular athlete used to moderate or vigorous exercise, you can still maintain this by incorporating your exercise session just before Iftar. Make sure to hydrate immediately after your session and eat slowly to replenish your fluid and nutrients.
Tip 32: Having three meals is still important during this holy month: Iftar, a light evening snack, and Suhoor. This would help you avoid continuous snacking throughout the non-fasting hours.
Tip 33: To control your calorie intake during Ramadan, try to limit your portions, especially sweets. Instead, choose one type of sweets that you like every day and have a 3-finger size portion.
Tip 34: If you are a coffee drinker, try and reduce your coffee consumption two weeks prior to the Holy month of Ramadan, in order to avoid headaches and sleepiness.
Tip 35: For plenty of vitamins and minerals vital to good health, make sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables during Ramadan, and to include a variety of vegetable in your soups.