Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, when Muslims fast during daylight hours and eat at the sunset. Diet during Ramadan should not be different from a normal diet that we usually follow. It should include balanced foods from each food group, i.e. fruits, vegetables, meat/chicken/fish, bread/cereals and dairy products.
Here are some healthy nutrition tips for this holy month:
– In the presence of the long hours of fasting, foods that are slow to digest should be consumed rather than those that are fast to digest. Foods that are slow to digest will help you feel full for a longer time. They include complex carbohydrates and fiber rich foods like, whole wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour, unpolished rice, green beans, peas, spinach, and other herbs like leaves of beetroot (iron-rich), fruit with skin, dried fruit especially dates dried apricots, figs and prunes, almonds etc. On the other hand foods that are fast to digest are those that contain refined carbohydrates such as sugar and white flour.
– Plenty of water should be consumed to avoid dehydration. Water should be taken in large amounts between iftar and souhour and caffeinated drinks such as nescafe, coffee, and tea should be limited because they can cause loss of fluids, leading to dehydration.
– Consumption of salt, salted and heavily spiced foods should be avoided.
Tips for physical activity:
– Sports should be performed after breaking the fast.
– Excessive physical activity should be avoided especially during the few hours before the sunset meal.
People that should not fast during Ramadan include:
-Those who have uncontrolled type 1 and type 2 diabetes
-Those that have to do intensive work outdoors
-Those at risk of having low blood glucose
-Those that have complications such as heart disease, kidney failure on dialysis, or uncontrolled hypertension.
-People with current severe infection
-Kids who did not reach puberty.