Nutrition Guide for a Healthy Ramadan

Nutrition Guide for a Healthy Ramadan:

The Koran was revealed in the month of Ramadan, the month in which Muslims do not eat from dawn to dusk, among many other things. This month is not only based on fasting, but great importance is given to taking advantage of this month to improve one's character and be able to control our desires, instead of being the ones who control us.

From a nutritional point of view, it is a way of realizing that many times we do not eat out of necessity, but out of boredom, habit or lack of self-control. The problem is that we do not get to take advantage of all the nutritional benefits that Ramadan gives us because we make mistakes that all they do is make it difficult for us to achieve our well-being this month.

Therefore, keep reading, because I come to offer you, approaching each meal, the alternative of spending a different Ramadan that allows you to take care of the body that Allah has given us.

iftar

The objective of this first meal is to quickly provide the body with the energy it needs and to try to rehydrate the body.

“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, used to break his fast with fresh dates before praying. If there were no fresh dates, then with dried dates, and if there were no dates available, then with a few sips of water "

Even though this is the sunnah, in my case, I like to break the fast with dates and a little milk. These dates will not only be good to alleviate the sweet cravings that are usually had in Ramadan, but they also contain a large amount of minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates of rapid absorption, which will give us a boost of energy.

With this in mind, there are other ways to break the fast for those who are not "dumped" by dates. For example, dehydrated fruits can also be a good option, as they also have a high amount of fast-absorbing carbohydrates, or if you don't like it, you can have a fruit (which is part of the traditional iftar of many countries) . Another option is to have a glass of juice or a natural fruit smoothie. I don't normally recommend juices due to the fact that the fruit loses its fiber, but it does retain the sugars, giving an unnecessary sugar rush for someone who is not fasting. In this case, I would give him a pass, but it is true that I would not take it as my first option. Another little thing that you can also drink is milk, as I have already told you before. Milk will also help us to hydrate and give the body energy.

After Iftar, it is Sunnah to go and pray the maghrib. In this case (and in all, really), I highly recommend following the sunnah, because this way, while we pray, our body is able to assimilate and send to our brain a signal to indicate that we have already eaten, thus helping us to avoid excesses in the meal. Dinner.

If you feel like you are going to eat more for dinner due to anxiety, I would recommend spending more time praying the maghrib and trying to remember why you are doing all of this and your goals this Ramadan.

Price

This meal is not really different from what any other meal we eat outside of the fast should be like. It must contain complex carbohydrates (among which we find vegetables), proteins and healthy fats. We will also take the opportunity to continue hydrating, but be careful not to fall into excesses that make us leave food aside.

Within complex carbohydrates, we find foods such as whole wheat pasta, potatoes, lentils, oats, brown rice, basmati, quinoa, couscous, etc. You have to be careful with the size of the portion, because many times we take more than the account of this group of foods, running out of appetite for the rest. A good amount would be one that fits in a small bowl.

Moreover, vegetables They are key in our diet, and in turn, it is one of the most ignored in Ramadan. These veggies are packed with fiber, filling you up and feeling better able to avoid those typical sweets. For example, if we saw all the food on the same plate, the interesting thing would be that almost half of the plate is occupied by vegetables.

It will be important to ensure an appropriate amount of proteins (and physical exercise) so that we do not suffer a loss of muscle mass throughout this month. This protein should not only come from products of animal origin, but also from plant origin. Some examples of protein foods are: fish, chicken, egg, lamb, beef, chickpeas, lentils, soy, tofu, seitan, tempeh, etc.

As for the healthy fatsWe have nuts, avocado (which can be incorporated into salads, for example), extra virgin olive oil or fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc. they have a high amount of healthy fatty acids. Fats of this type will not only give our food a pleasant taste and texture, but will also take care of our cardiovascular health, form part of our hormones and provide us with a large amount of vitamins.

We will always try to avoid fried foods, refined flours and, in general, any ultra-processed.

Finally, you can have some fruit for dessert, such as watermelon or melon, which have a large amount of water.

Food before bed

After the Tarawih and before sleeping, you can take the opportunity to drink more water and have another meal, if you still have an appetite for it. Remember that the ideal is never to fill up to the maximum, so that it is not difficult for us to sleep long enough. Some examples of this food are:

  • Kefir smoothie with watermelon and red berries + a handful of nuts.
  • Roasted apple with peanut / almond butter (making sure it is not sugary or has refined oils such as palm or sunflower).
  • Yogurt with nuts and crushed chia seeds + pineapple.

suhur

This is one of the most important when it comes to avoiding hunger throughout the day. It is recommended that it contains complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and slow digesting protein. These, being of slow absorption, will give us energy throughout the day, thus controlling waking up with a voracious hunger.

One trick is to have this meal prepared (or at least planned) before going to sleep, so that you are not lazy to do it later and decide whether or not to eat anything or eat the wrong foods. 

The Sunnah is to make this meal as close to fajr as possible, and not fill ourselves up to bursting.

Some ideas would be:

  • Wholemeal toast with avocado and egg + cheese.
  • Hummus with crudités + melon.
  • Pure chocolate unsweetened oatmeal porridge with fruit, pumpkin seeds and peanut / almond butter.
  • Kefir smoothie with oatmeal and banana + a handful of nuts.

 

 

As we all know, Islam is not just about not eating pork, not drinking alcohol, and fasting in Ramadan. It goes much further, and many of us fail to take care of the body that has been provided to us.

It must be borne in mind that an inadequate diet will not only have long-term effects, but can also lead to difficulties falling asleep. Therefore, and to take care of our health, we must be careful with beverages such as tea or coffee (which will contribute to our dehydration, as they are diuretics), fried foods, refined flours and oils, and added sugars.

I thus conclude by wishing you a profitable Ramadan in which you achieve both a deeper connection with yourself and with Allah, and make lasting changes in your eating habits, In shaa Allah.

 

Lujain Aljelani - @junitube (Instagram)

 

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