Your Ramadan Guide
Welcoming Ramadan — It’s that time of the year where Muslims from all around the world practice patience, earn blessings, and have a delightful suhoor and iftar!
Although Ramadan is a month of fasting, you cannot deny the luxurious spread of feast during Iftar. While suhoor is flooded with water, our iftars are highly oily. Fasting during Ramadan carries the risk of dehydration and nutrition deficiency since the food and drinks are limited to before sunrise and after sunset. Here is your cheat sheet to follow during this glorious month while staying healthy.
The time before dawn, when the world is silent, waiting for the first ray of sunlight to hit the heart of the Earth is when suhoor is taking place. Since Ramadan coincides with summer this year, suhoor is more important than any other meal.
This blessed meal of the day makes fasting more comfortable and tolerable. It gives you the strength to spend a lot of hours without food and water, therefore it is essential to prepare your body with nutrients that can help you spend the day without being cranky or dizzy.
- Dairy Products: Yogurt and milk are the best natural way to quench thirst. Filling yourself with water will do you no good, instead, it will make your stomach bloat and leave you feeling immensely thirsty right after. Therefore, a tall glass of cold milk is the right choice; quick thirst fix while reducing the body’s need for hunger — a win-win situation.
- Wheat Bread: Suhoor being an early breakfast surely demands bread on the dining table, therefore whole wheat bread is a better option to go for. It is light on the stomach and loaded with energetic components that will stay in your body for longer hours.
- Less Salty Food: Wondering what salt has to do with all this? Salt has an impact of depriving our body of water resulting in leaving us thirsty. Skip the extremely salty items all of us love adding to our breakfast such as olives, feta cheese, and more.
- Less Oily Food: While oil is the major ingredient in Ramadan for all the fried items that fill most of our table, it is not a good idea to munch on those unhealthy iftar leftovers for suhoor. Cook your meals fresh, switch to poached eggs for your protein intake, and avoid the use of oil.
- Watermelon: The juiciest of all fruits; watermelon can be an integral addition to your suhoor meal. Having this energy bowl for your early morning meal can help you stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Oats: An oatmeal enriched with fruits, nuts, and seeds is a wholesome meal full of fiber and healthy carbs that slows down the release of energy to prevent any appetite attacks during the day.
This is the time where you replenish all the energy lost during the day. However, here is where most of us go overboard by hoarding onto everything we see on the menu. It is important to eat according to the needs, not wants.
Eating too much at once after zipping our mouth for the whole day can have a severe impact on our digestive system. Therefore, it is important to break our meal into two portions; pre-prayer iftar and post-prayer dinner. Choose what you want to eat in both of your meals and avoid repeating.
- Water: This has to be the first item you grab! Drink enough water to rehydrate yourself but avoid exceeding limits. You can add lemon slices to your water to refresh your mind and body even more.
- Fruits: Right after hydrating, grab a bowl of fresh fruits to start your iftar! Spice it up by adding a dash of paprika and a tablespoon of orange juice — delicious!
- Baked items: Let’s skip the oil and opt for baking, grilling, and air frying — kebabs, samosas, pakora and more. Keep it lighter on the digestive system to be able to move post iftar because who wants tummy aches anyways.
- Meat: The mouthwatering variety of protein dishes for iftar is overwhelming — hearty mutton biryani, barbeque ribs, grilled meat, and more. Let’s work the smart way and opt for lean protein like fish, to boost the metabolism.
- Soup: Having a bowl of soup for your iftar is the perfect alternative to chugging water. They are rich in nutrients and help you hydrate too. Reach out for the lentils, tomato, or vegetable soup for a nourishing meal. If you don’t enjoy anything warm during summers then cold soups such as Mint Pea Soup and Gazpacho make a great alternative.
- Vegetables: Greens will surely make your bowel movement happy. When you consume too much at once, you need the greens to balance out the odds. Have a bowl of salad in your post-prayer meal for a healthier Ramadan.
Incorporate these clever tricks into your suhoor meal and iftar platter to help you maintain a high energy level while fasting. Here is to saying toodles to being lethargic and making most of this Holy month in all the meaningful ways — Ramadan Kareem!