A friend of mine excitedly said, “Ramadan is my favourite month, where Allah bestows his countless blessings. It is an amazing time to ask for forgiveness, practice discipline and self-control. I become a better human being as I nourish myself in all areas of wellbeing.” The last statement is what resonated with me the MOST.
The holy and spiritual month of Ramadan is rooted in a strenuous physical routine. During this time, consuming the right types of food in the right amount is extremely important.
While some think of fasting as exhausting. Some feel it causes an hinderance to work. Others thrive with this opportunity, looking at it as a time to get more work done during the fasting hours, and for some, even cleaning up the digestive system along with an added benefit of losing a bit of excess weight. It is one to its own. Nonetheless, each one of us, wants to eat well and nourish our body, don’t we?
Here’s what you can do for Suhoor:
- Begin with water: The easiest ways to start your early morning or the new day is through hydration, it allows you to remain alert, and giving you enough time to wake up as well.
- Have an herbal tea: It in case you have a sluggish metabolism which needs to reset during the day, an herbal tea can help you.
- Consume nuts, seeds and dried fruits: Use a variety of nuts and seeds, and dried fruits for you to begin the day. They provide you with an array of vitamins and minerals for the day.
- Have a small high fibre snack: A whole-wheat toast with nut butter is great to satiate you for the whole day. Alternatively, you could also have oatmeal porridge, or a savory crepe made of ground lentils, or oats or quinoa flour in teaspoon of olive oil, few herbs, little salt and spices.
- Grab a fruit or smoothie (if you don’t want to go heavy): fruit is great, which is high fibre and comes with the adequate sugar content to get you through the day. Blending it with veggies or some oats, to make a smoothie is also a good option.
When iftar sets in and you’re about to break your fast:
- Have a glass of water: It releases any toxins accumulated during the day. It has a spiritual as well as a physiological significance.
- Hydrate a bit more: Sip through liquids to ensure you don’t get dehydrated. Sip slowly. Have fresh coconut water, nut milk-based drinks (no refined sugars to be added, natural sugars are fine) to ease the tummy.
- Grab a small snack, before a wholesome meal: Don’t rush for a large meal. Have a fruit or munch on a small portion of salad, or a small portion of light soup. This enhances your body’s capacity to absorb nutrients.
- Include variety of whole-grains and vegetables: It is easy for some bodies to get constipated during Ramadan. Our tummies need variety of nutrient dense fibre from whole-grains and vegetables. Add these in the form of salads, breads with homemade veggie dips. This will prevent a quick burn up of calories, preventing you from feeling lethargic and tired during the day. Refined products on the other hand releases and stores calories at a faster pace, which can make one crave more food, feel sluggish and tired.
- Avoid high sodium, high fatty & fried foods: Avoid any packaged foods, which usually have high salt content and thereby high in sodium, usually fried. Heartburn and diarrhoea are common causes due to excessive consumption of these.
Most importantly, plan your meal ahead of time. Ramadan is also about celebrating each day. Celebrate the moment beyond food with friends and family (even while social distancing). While you abstain during the day, ensure you eat naturally well as the night falls. Take care of your wellbeing.
About Priyanka Chopra:
Priyanka goes with a couple of titles but most importantly, she is here to serve people with their health and nutrition needs. She is a qualified health and nutrition coach, registered nutritionist and naturopath. She is continuously trying to learn ways to enhance human performance, and her doctorate currently revolves around the same.
Find out more about her here.
Follow her on Instagram: @priyankachopraa