The holy month of Ramadan stands for mercy and forgiveness, but we should also make health a priority and make sure to eat healthy during Ramadan. Fasting can have beneficial effects on our overall health if we follow these easy steps:
Step one: Break your fast with a few dates and eat the main meal after prayer
After long hours of fasting, dates are the perfect food to break the fast as they provide simple sugars that the body can digest and absorb easily. They provide you with quick energy and prepares your digestive system for the meal that will follow. Let your stomach take a rest after breaking the fast and continue with your main meal after prayer.
Step two: Make healthy food choices and avoid overeating during Ramadan
Ramadan banquets offer a variety of tasty dishes and we would like to offer good and plenty food to our families and friends. Still, we should rather think of simple yet complete meals that contain all the important nutrients our bodies need. Overeating during Ramadan will otherwise result in weight gain as the body stores excess calories consumed at night as fat even if we don’t eat during the daytime. Include plenty of vegetables and complex carbohydrates like brown rice into the meals served. If in doubt, ask our nutritionist to help you with your diet plans.
Step three: Sleeping is great – but don’t skip Suhoor
Suhoor is the most important meal during Ramadan as it provides the energy for the upcoming day. Eat a breakfast-like meal including complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. For example, whole-wheat bread with white cheese, boiled eggs, olives and fresh cucumber and tomato slices or plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruits and a handful of nuts and seeds.
Step four: Stick to your eating structure
Your normal eating structure including 3 main meals should remain the same during Ramadan, just the timings will change. Iftar will be the equivalent of your dinner, and Suhoor equals your usual breakfast. Before going to bed, you should have a light meal that can be considered as lunch. All the meals should be wholesome and include complex carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
Step five: Consume plenty of vegetables and fruit
Try to include at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in your 3 main meals. You can consume them raw in form of salads or cooked as soups or stews. Fruits and vegetables provide you with important nutrients like vitamin, minerals and fiber. They also make you feel full without adding too many calories to your diet – which is great when you are looking for weight loss. Choose several types of fruits and veggies every day – eat the rainbow!
Step six: Eat less sweets
Many Ramadan desserts are especially high in fat, sugar and calories. Safe these treats for special Iftar events or invitations and try to stay away from them on ‘normal’ nights. Instead of having sweet deserts, rather indulge in fresh fruits and refreshing fruit sorbets.
Step seven: Drink plenty of water
Drinking enough water between Iftar and Suhoor is a must during Ramadan to reduce the risk of dehydration, especially when fasting during the hot days in Dubai. Drink at least 2-3 liters of liquids. If you exercise, add an extra of 500 ml per hour of exercise. Liquids can include natural juices, milk, laban and soups, but your main beverage should be water. Reduce the consumption of caffeinated drinks such as coffee, black tea and cola or energy drinks.