Ramadan, the holy month of the Muslims has begun after the moon was sighted yesterday and the Muslims will begin to observe fast from tomorrow. In the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast during the day after the sehri meal that is before the sunrise and iftar that is eaten after the sun has set.
It is quite a challenging and auspicious task for the Muslims to teach us about kindness, empathy, gratefulness and how we need to help the unfortunate ones. It helps us detoxify our body and soul. But it is important that we eat healthy if we want to make use of the fast.
Here are a few healthy foods that can be a great addition to your iftar or sehri meals making them more healthy. There are ways to make these meals healthy.
1. Dates: According to Healthline, dates are highly nutritious and a great start after a long fast. Not to forget, the Muslims only break their fast with dates and then consume any other foods. They are rich in fiber, protein, iron, vitamin B6, potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium, etc. They provide energy in the form of sugars like fructose and glucose. It has low glycemic index, meaning it is safe for diabetics and contributes to weight management and blood sugar regulation.
2. Harira- It is a soup that is warm, smooth and easy-to-digest. It is an ideal start for the iftar in the blessed month of Ramadan. It allows the body to compensate for the fluids it lost during the long fasting further preparing the intestines to accommodate the meal. It is an integrated meal with meat and vegetables, making it of high nutritional value.
3. Kunafa is a baked dessert which is quite popular among the Muslims during the time of Ramadan. Eating sweets provides the body with a quick burst of energy and this sweet is also rich in fats, proteins, and calcium due to the ingredients like ghee, milk, nuts, cheese, etc. It is advisable to eat Kunafa 2-3 hours after a meal and you can use sugar substitutes instead. You can also use low-fat cheese and eat it without nuts and cream.
4. Buttermilk is prepared from milk that was left over after making butter. Churning milk removed the fat leaving the milk a little sour, full of bacteria that are surprisingly good for the gut. The drink is cooling and rich in protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin D, phosphorous, and probiotics. It is great for the heart, bones, gut, kidneys and can be consumed by lactose intolerant people.
5. Mohabbat ka sharbat or watermelon rose drink is a great drink for the summers to beat the heat and replenish the body with fluids after long hours of fasting. You can use honey and organic rose essence along with chia seeds to make it healthier. Rose petals can also be used that act as natural aphrodisiac and keeps the gut cool preventing ulcers. Chia seeds are rich in fiber, protein, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc keeping you energetic. Honey will keep your gut cool preventing acid reflux.
6. Haleem is made by soaking wheat, barley and gram lentil overnight, along with the spicy meat gravy. The wheat, barley and gram are mixed in meat gravy after boiling them in salt water after which we blend the mixture with heavy wooden paddles or hand mashers to obtain a sticky-smooth consistency. Haleem is a high-calorie dish that can provide instant energy. It is digested slowly and the dry fruits rich in anti-oxidants add to its nutritional value, meat making it a protein rich meal.
7. Salads are universal and can be a part of any meal. It is one of the best options for Ramadan meal since a mix of fruits and vegetables can be great healthy meal for the people observing fast. It will keep you light with high fiber and other nutritional value. It is easy to prepare and gives a break from the sweet and salty food spread that are high in calories and low in nutrients.