Ramadan, the month of spiritual blessings, has started and it typically comes at the peak of summer in Pakistan. In this holy month, our diet is altered and we eat only two times a day, during Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and Iftar (at sunset). As the long-hours of fasting take a toll on your body in the context of extreme temperature and our daily routine, we must make the right food choices which can maintain our energy levels and fitness. A well-balanced and nutritious diet can keep yourself hydrated and healthy as fasting resets your metabolism. We have to avoid unhealthy food temptations and from stuffing our tummy.
Following are some of the diet tips for both essential meals of a fast that Rozedars must keep in mind to stay healthy.
Suhoor (Pre-dawn Meal)
In Suhoor, you need to take foods which can provide long-lasting energy during the whole day.
- Try to take whole-wheat foods at Sehri Time as it takes almost 6-7 hours to digest completely and hence you don’t feel hungry very early. It can be a whole-wheat roti, daal or oatmeal (dalia) but paratha(s) are a poor choice as it causes heart burn and you feel thirst of water instantly.
- Protein rich foods like eggs are most nutritious (if boiled or fried in little oil) and help you stay fuller for hours.
- Opt for plain yoghurt as it helps you keep energized throughout the day.
- Be careful about the fluid intake during the pre-dawn meal as they maintain water and salt level in the body. Fresh juices, coconut water, lassi and lemonade are better than cold drinks and tea. Water in-take should be normal.
- Fresh fruits are also a good choice as it is rich in fibre.
The first and foremost rule to be followed at Iftar time is moderation, so do not over eat as it will do no good to your body.
- Always break your fast with dates and water as because it restores sugar and salts level as well as rehydrates your body quickly.
- Chana chaat, fruit chaat, fresh fruits, nuts and other rich fibre foods should be your friend at Iftar time rather than Samosa(s) and Pakora(s) on the regular basis.
- Grilled (low-fat) chicken should be your choice instead of deep fried chicken which can raise your cholesterol level.
- Sugarcane juice is also a good option to have during Iftar as it is rich in glucose, so it acts as an immediate source of energy for all the different cells in the body.
- In drinks, stay away from those giant special-offer bottles of Coke or Pepsi, and go for the lemonade instead. Fresh juices should always be your first choice.
- For your late evening meal try to include some seafood, as most seafood’s are low in fat and cholesterol and rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals.
- Increase water intake after Iftar. Since between Iftar and Suhoor is the only time water can be ingested, drink water more frequently than you usually do. Two litres of water is a goal that should be met to replenish the cells in your body.
And Ramadan Mubarak!