The fasting season calls for extra measures to stay healthy. Make sure your body is in top notch conditions by following these 8 easy tips and ensure that you go have the best Ramadan experience this year.
1. Never skip suhoor
Suhoor is a kick-start to your day, so keeping the meal balanced can keep you fuller for longer. The suhoor meal should be a wholesome and moderate meal that is filling and provides energy for the fasting hours ahead. Foods like oats, porridge, wholegrain breads, brown rice helps with your carbohydrate needs and proteins like eggs, lean meat, chicken and fish should be sufficient to hold your hunger longer. Consider adding fresh fruit or dried foods such as dates or figs to complete your suhoor meal.
2. Have a light and simple iftar meal
Since Ramadan is not about over indulgence, there's no need to break your fast with a huge feast. The iftar meal isn’t supposed to make up those hours you spent without food. If you overeat, you’ll probably feel tired and lethargic immediately after iftar, and these feelings could linger into suhoor and the next fast.
Remember to break your fast with dates which contain natural sugars, a quick energy source your body needs after fasting. Start with simple, light foods such as soups or fruit before moving on to your main meal. Increase vegetable portions in your meals to avoid sugar spikes.
3. Base your meals on complex carbohydrates and fibre-packed foods
Try to make sure that the foods you eat during Ramadan are based on complex carbohydrates and high fibre foods. These foods will help to release energy slowly during the long hours of fasting and hopefully make you feel fuller for longer. Complex carbohydrate foods include barley, wheat, oats, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour and basmati rice. Fibre-rich foods are also digested slowly and include bran, cereals, whole wheat, grains and seeds, potatoes with the skin on, vegetables such as green beans, and almost all fruit, including apricots, prunes and figs.
4. Drink plenty of water
This is the obvious one, though sometimes forgotten. It’s important to drink 8 glasses of water a day during regular days, even moreso during Ramadan. Water helps with rehydration after the long day of fasting, so even though you can’t drink during the day, the water you drink during suhoor and after iftar will keep you hydrated throughout the day.
5. Avoid processed and oily foods
Although processed foods can be convenient, they usually contain high levels of fat, salt and sugar, everything we need to be limiting in our diet. Excess salt and sugar will pull water out of cells leaving your body thirsty, thus choosing the right foods to prevent thirst is just as important as hydrating. Besides, since we only eat 2 main meals during Ramadan, our body loses nutrients a lot quicker and it’s important to replenish those nutrients during suhoor and iftar. So, avoid processed foods like chips, cookies, cake and aim for having more whole grains, fruits, veggies, and meat. Not only will they keep you fuller for longer, but they will also provide your body with the nutrients it needs to last the day.
6. Eat lots of fruits & vegetables
Having fruits and vegetables during Ramadan is essential during fasting as they are rich in fibre, effective in increasing the feeling of fullness and help prevent constipation. They also contain vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that are vital for good health.
7. Take supplements
During Ramadan, it may be necessary to get most or all of the vitamins your body needs from supplements. Since you'll be missing your daily vitamins and minerals provided by food when fasting, it's important to replace them. A basic multivitamin that provides 100 per cent of the daily intake would fit the bill. Our Relief Sari range also provides the benefits of Jinten Hitam, which helps boost your immune system by increasing the production of immune cells, as well antioxidants and phytonutrients to guard you from illnesses. Jinten Hitam will also help provide stamina and energy during fasting season.
8. Plan your meals
When it comes to eating well, meal planning is one of the easiest things you can do to set yourself up for success. Plan your meals ahead of time and avoid binge eating on an empty stomach – which can result in you consuming energy dense foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar. For example, try to wake up at least half an hour before the start of fajr so you can prepare your meal properly and think about what you are putting in your body for the whole day. When you’re out of time, it’s easy to make poor choices and go for what’s easy, but try to make time so you can prepare your meal properly.