Ramzan or Ramadan is here! Millions of muslims around the world started fasting from dawn to dusk as a symbolic sacrifice.
It is a time to detach from worldly pleasures and focus on the inner self. The ritual of fasting, which requires the individual to abstain even from water, intends to serve as a reminder of the less fortunate.
If you don’t fast the right way, long hours of abstinence from food can mean some serious health risks for your body. Scroll below to know how you can make this holy month both good for the soul as well as the waistline.
5 Tips For Healthy Ramadan Fasting
1. Don’t Break Your Fast With a Feast
Instead of dishing out kebabs, samosas, shammi rolls and butter chicken, think dates, apples, melons or citrus fruits. After the whole day of fasting, the easiest thing to digest is fruits.
Incorporate protein rich sources such as lean meat, skinless chicken, fish, eggs, legumes and low-fat dairy products.
Instead of two large meals, space your meals into three: sehri, iftar and an early dinner. If traditionally you need to eat desserts, eat a small portion two hours after you have broken your fast.
2. Focus on Ibadat, Not Cooking
For many people Ramzan is mostly about Iftar parties and an elaborate sehri. Instead of frantically planning a 30 day menu of exceptional meals, take this holy month as an opportunity to connect with Allah and cleanse your soul.
3. Balanced Sehri
A healthy sehri or the pre-dawn meal ensures the dreaded hunger pangs are at bay! The new generation prefers to miss sehri for predictable excuses - it’s a pain to get up that early, and who can polish off a full meal before dawn?
A simple, nutrient-rich sehri, prepares your body for the day ahead. Cut down on the fatty, fried carbs and include a lot of fresh juices, whole grains and raw protein in your meal. Also add dry fruits and 4-5 dates for a punch of micro-nutrients. Avoid any high-salt food early in the morning, as this will make you thirsty in the day.
4. Water and Salt Intake
Drinking as much water as possible between iftar and sehri reduces your risk of dehydration during fasting. After you break your fast, drink water every two hours. Avoid tea, coffee and colas, because the caffeine in them will dehydrate your system further.
A high salt intake affects people with high blood pressure problems, so avoid foods that have a high salt content, such as processed meats, canned products and pickles.
5. Workout in Ramzan
High intensity workout is a strict no. If you are a fitness freak, then go for a light workout an hour before iftar, so you can replenish your body with fluids right after you break your fast.
Keep in mind that your workout during rozas should not lead to heavy sweating because that could lead to dehydration.
That said, don’t forget to appreciate the women of the house. They’re putting in all the extra effort in cooking and doing regular chores while fasting.
(This story from FIT’s archives is being republished to mark the beginning of the holy month of Ramzan. It was originally published on 8 June 2016.)