With Ramadan nearing, Muslim readers are entering a season of fasting, and we know what this means. An altered dietary plan.
This Ramadan season the think quick, think FAST section will deal not only with the dietary guidance in this holy month of prayer, but will show you how to balance your days, if you’re not lucky enough to live somewhere where work hours are not altered and where it is a challenge to keep from those temptations.
For those who do not know what Ramadan is, there is a very simple quote to explain it. During this time it is forbidden to eat and drink after sunrise and before sunset. The meal that breaks the fast is iftar, and this is traditionally broken by having 2 dates, and this is helpful as fasting causes blood glucose levels to drop, and therefore gives people the energy burst they need. Some healthy habits to adapt during this time is as follows:
Having a few glasses of water to prepare your body for the food will be extremely helpful to activate your digestive system and allow for metabolism to work effectively.
Eat lots of Green vegetables
Remember to stock up on those greens, in order to replenish the vitamins and minerals your body did not receive during the fast. Have brocolli, spinach, cucumber and green peppers and add them to your meal. The green vegetables also have plenty of fiber and is low in calories, making it a healthy option. Eat at least 2 servings of vegetables with each meal.
Eat a bowl of soup and have mostly complex carbohydrates
It will leave you feeling fuller for longer and this allows your digestive system to work effectively along with the servings of fruits and vegetables. Include brown rice, whole grain pasta or bread, potatoes or burghul to your meal instead of processed white pasta, bread and simple carbohydrates. This will also keep you from binging unhealthy food throughout the night.
Take your time eating
Take your time to chew and eat your food, your body sustains more energy this way and gets adequate nutrients into the blood stream faster, leaving you fuller for longer.
Say no to sugar and salt
Just like any other healthy meal plan, you need to avoid having too much sugar, because it causes spikes in your blood sugar and this will make you feel even more tired and less sustained. Simple and processed carbohydrates contain simple sugars and this also causes the same spike. So try to avoid them as much as possible. Too much salt can affect your blood pressure and increase it, therefore avoiding this will be a wise choice.
Eat lean proteins
Lean refers to the fat content of a meat, and this means having meats that have very low fat content. An example of this would be eggs, chicken and fish. Lean lamb is quite rare, and therefore it is necessary during this time to reduce the portions, and it may seem impossible when surrounded by family, but you will definitely thank yourself later. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it is important to add enough lentils, peas and chickpeas to your meal.
Ramadan, a time for family and prayer, and a time to still look after your health. It’s so easy to binge on unhealthy food and lose focus of your health during this time, but remembering that it is especially during this times in which you can form healthy eating habits. After iftar your dinner should be equally balanced, with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
Keep it healthy. Love the NS Neurospine team.