Ramadan is upon us and it is time we get busy in reaping all of its blessings and increasing our good deeds. First let us all take a moment to thank Allah (SWT) for the fact that He has given us another Ramadan to be benefited from. Perhaps the most integral physical parts of fasting are the morning and evening meals which we all know are called Suhoor and Iftar. People usually have little to no idea of what they should essentially eat and take during these times that will benefit them physically and allow them to remain fasting for the rest of the day. People usually tend to eat quite a lot or random things that can for the time being cut hunger pangs but can be troublesome for the rest of the day. It just so happens that the human body is a complicated organism and needs specific nutrients to make it through the day which is why here are some tips for what to eat and do in the time of suhoor and iftar to lead a healthy and strong fast.
Let us just preface this by saying that the opinions expressed here only general knowledge based on the research of Zainab Ismail who is an instructor for Nadoona. It goes without saying that if you are suffering from some condition or are not certain if or/and how to prepare yourself fasting, you should get in touch with a Healthcare professional immediately. It is also advised for people who are having trouble fasting even though they did not use to have it before to get a medical checkup ASAP to determine if there are concerns regarding Blood Sugar Level, Diabetes and Blood Pressure among other things.
With that said let’s get started.
1. Eat fruits that are high in water content. These fruits include watermelons, pineapples, melons, grapefruits, orange, and berries to name a few.
2. Coconut water is quite hydrating and healthy and it is especially recommended to drink some during suhoor.
3. Drink preferably fresh fruit juices as they will allow your blood sugar to remain relatively stable during the day.
4. Water is one of the biggest Blessings of Allah (SWT) to us and it is highly recommended to drink at least 16 ounces of water during suhoor time to keep your body relatively hydrated for the rest of the day.
5. Get a lot of Protien in your diet for the required nutrients to get through the day. Foods that have protein in them include eggs, Organic Cheese, Plain Yogurt which is a must to name a few.
6. Butter and Coconut oil include fats that slow down the breakage of sugar which allows for sustained levels of blood sugar through the day.
7. Though it may be quite hard to believe and harder to do, it is recommended to avoid caffeine as it helps in dehydrating the boy which can be quite troublesome when we fast especially in the summer months.
8. Avoid cereal and bread because dry processed carbs will cause blood sugar to drop sooner.
9. Though one can argue that eating sweets may help in blood sugar levels, this is not true so it is best to avoid them especially during suhoor.
10. Perhaps the best advice to give is to eat light and give the body what it wants, not what you think will help you last the day.
11. Did we mention to drink water, yes. Drink lots of water.
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1. Milk with dates will refill the bodily requirements of essential nutrients and will allow a person to eat less at iftar which is obviously healthy.
2. Like in suhoor, protein is essential and along with that carbohydrates and fat. Meats of chicken, beef, lamb and fish contain protein. Potatoes and rice are rich in carbohydrates and fat is found in butter, olive oil and ghee among many other things.
3. Tomatoes and Cucumbers for that sweet hydration of the bodily fluids.
4. Like we mentioned above, low blood sugar can follow during fasting which can cause a person to feel dizzy. It is recommended to drink a good amount of Orange Juice if available to get that sugar levels stable.
5. It is best to avoid bread and pasta at least during the immediate time of the iftar.
6. It is still not recommended to eat sweets because they can attribute to unstable blood sugar levels after fasting and increase in bodily fat.
7. 8-12 ounces of water are the least recommended during iftar for getting yourself properly re-hydrated.
8. Drink at least 8-12 ounces of water at Taraweeh.
9. After iftar it is best to have a healthy snack instead of a full fledge enormous meal. Eat fresh fruits and yogurt among other things.
10. Ramadan is the best time in the year to lose some of the excessive weight. Eating less is recommended as the metabolism is slow during these days which can help greatly in getting back in shape.
11. I don’t think we mentioned how important water is to your body, did we? Seriously drink lots of water.
Please keep the Ummah in your prayers this Ramadan, especially those Muslims that are in dire hardships across the world.