Muslims around the world began the celebration of the holy month of Ramadan; a period that gives people the opportunity to learn and control their desires and show empathy in their environment. Ramadan is considered a period of fasting, purification, and sacrifice; a way to physically and spiritually detoxify by controlling the urges.
Fasting during the Holy Month can get difficult, especially during the peak of summer, when fasting can last over 18 hours on some days, but it can also bring numerous benefits to your health. To help you make the most of it, there are a few important things you need to consider.
Don’t Skip Suhoor
Although skipping Suhoor to have uninterrupted sleep may sound appealing, you shouldn’t. Skipping Suhoor prolongs the fasting period as your body will need to rely on the previous meal to provide you with all the nutrients and energy until Iftar (dinner). Due to the long hours of fasting, you are more likely to feel dehydrated and tired during the day. Furthermore, skipping Suhoor also encourages overeating during Iftar, which can cause unhealthy weight gain.
Plan Your Meals
The key is to have careful planning, knowing what your month will look like to prepare healthy options for Iftar and Suhoor. Here are some healthy suggestions:
* Healthy fats: walnut butter, avocado
* Protein: beans and eggs
* Oatmeal with dried fruits, honey, maple syrup and enriched with Baobab
* Fruits and vegetables: especially those with high water content, such as cucumber or orange
* Foods that satisfy you: sweet potatoes, fatty fish, sprouted grains
Iftar (the meal that breaks the fast)
* Break the fast with dates and water with lemon or a Hibiscus tea
* Protein-rich foods: tuna, tofu, lentils, eggs
* Foods rich in fiber: such as chickpeas and lentils. Add a spoon of Moringa powder to improve overall nutrition and strengthen digestion.
* Vitamin-rich foods such as cauliflower, broccoli, quinoa, and seafood
Drinking plenty of fluids, as well as consuming fluid-rich foods, such as fruit, vegetables, soups, and stews, is very important to replace fluids lost during the day and to start the next day of fasting well hydrated. Salt stimulates thirst and so it’s a good idea to avoid consuming a lot of salty foods. The changes to eating habits and lack of fluids during the day may cause constipation for some people. When you can eat and drink, consuming plenty of high fiber foods, such as whole grains, superfoods like baobab and moringa, fruit and vegetables, dried fruit and nuts alongside plenty of fluids may help to ease constipation as well as doing some light physical activity, such as going for a walk after iftar.
Don't Overdo it at Iftar
Many people fall into the temptation to eat large quantities of food after a long day without eating anything. Eating in excess in this meal causes gastrointestinal problems and, moreover, from the religious point of view, it is not well-liked to indulge in the evening hours.
We have a range of healthy recipes and mouthwatering dishes from all over the world that can inspire you to break the Ramadan fast.
Rest and Take Cold Baths
During Ramadan, you will need every ounce of energy you have in your body. If you can, try taking a nap to save energy or take cold showers to wake up if you start to feel drowsy.Ramadan is not only the month of self-discipline, self-control, and self-restraint but also a period for spiritual reflection, humility, charity, and generosity. As a time of purifying the soul and being closer to God, Ramadan is much more than not eating and drinking. The purpose of the Holy month is to lead each Muslim to reflect on values such as solidarity and generosity. It is the best time to reveal the Islamic community spirit and practice the principles of social equality. We will keep working towards empowering women, building communities and education through our social enterprise. You can learn more about our mission here.
“Atyab at-tihani bimunasabat hulul shahru Ramadan al-Mubarak."