The Holy month of Ramadan is upon us and Muslims begin fasting as part of one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Fasting has many health benefits, for example, it can help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve insulin sensitivity. However, it can be helpful to know how you can keep the body energized during the fasting period. It can be hard to stay on-track with your fitness journey when fasting. These tips are here to offer you a guide so you can continue eating healthy and exercising throughout the month.
What to eat during Suhoor?
Suhoor is the pre-dawn meal that provides the energy and nutrition needed to sustain the body throughout the day while fasting. During Suhoor, consuming a well-balanced meal that includes complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats is essential to provide sustained energy throughout the day while fasting. Here are some examples of foods to eat and avoid during Suhoor:
Whole-grain foods: Oats, whole grains, and complex carbs will provide slow-burning energy.
Protein-rich foods: Eggs, cheese, and yoghurt help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds can help sustain energy levels.
Fruits and vegetables: Bananas, dates, and figs are high in potassium. Watermelons, apples, cucumbers, and blueberries are good sources of hydration.
Sugary food: Sweet pastries, cakes, and the like cause blood sugar spikes and crashes leading to fatigue.
Salty food: pickles, salty cheese, and processed meats can increase thirst and cause dehydration.
Spicy foods: Hot and spicy foods can cause indigestion, heartburn, and discomfort.
Caffeinated drinks: Drinks like coffee, tea, and energy drinks can dehydrate the body and interfere with sleep.
What to eat during Iftar?
Similar to what you are eating during Suhoor, meals eaten during Iftar need to be one that replenishes energy and restores nutrition after a long day of fasting. Here is a small guide on what you should eat to regain your energy and ensure you are able to fast the following day.
Dates: Traditionally eaten to break the fast as they provide a quick source of natural sugar and help restore energy levels.
Soups: Warm soups like lentil soup or chicken soup provide hydration and nutrition.
Whole grains: Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, or bulgur provide complex carbohydrates and fibre that can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Protein-rich foods: Grilled or baked chicken, beef, or fish, are good sources of protein that help rebuild and repair the body after a long day of fasting. Vegetarian protein sources like beans, lentils, and tofu are also great options.
Vegetables and salads: Fresh vegetables and salads are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre that support replenishing the nutrients in the body after fasting.
Fruit: Fresh fruit, like watermelon, grapes, and oranges, are excellent sources of natural sugar and hydration, which can help restore energy levels after fasting.
After a long day of fasting, Iftar is an opportunity to eat a meal with friends and family to celebrate Ramadan but it is also an opportunity to be mindful and conscientious to eat a well and balanced diet so you can stay healthy and strong.
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