In Ramadan, the time that we spent to rejuvenate ourselves with food was quite limited. The whole day we would go through without any fuel and when it came to iftar we indulged in the worst kinds of foods because we were craving everything created on earth.
Lets not continue the bad habits from the previous month and instead try and fix what we might have done. Hold on to that self-discipline and awareness Ramadan brought with it, and carry on your efforts to both satisfy your body and your soul in the correct way so that you may take something with you through the rest of the year.
With all the family gatherings and invites, it DOES become very difficult to be able to manage what you’re eating and when, so we put together a few tips and tricks for those continuing to fast in Shawwal to help you stay healthy during this month.
Don’t forget to continue waking up for Suhoor, just because Ramadan, ended doesn’t mean we neglect the sunnah of suhoor before our fast. Suhoor needs to be wholesome to provide enough energy to last during the long hours of fasting. NEVER EVER EVER skip suhoor. Your body needs as many meals as possible to stay healthy.
- Fruits and vegetables: That are rich in fiber are essentials during fasting as they increase the feeling of fullness and help prevent constipation. They also contain vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that are vital for good health.
- Complex carbs: High-fiber carbohydrate foods like brown rice bread take longer to digest, helping to sustain energy levels longer.
- Protein: Chicken, fish and dairy products are a great source of protein while limiting your fat intake. Furthermore, they help repair and build body tissue, and build up your immune system.
- Dairy products: Consuming high-calcium dairy products also helps maintain strong bones. Some dairy products like cottage cheese are high in Casein which slows down the digestion of food through out the day, providing you with a constant source of energy keeping you full longer.
Iftar is the time you replenish energy levels so every effort should be made to consume foods from all major food groups:
- Fruit and vegetables: Besides being an excellent source of energy, dates are also rich in potassium – helping muscles and nerves to function well. Filling up on fruits and vegetables with good water content will help re-hydrate and re-energize you.
- Complex carbs: Whole meal bread, brown rice or wholegrain noodles are complex carbohydrates that provide the body with energy, fiber and minerals providing more stable and sustainable energy levels.
- Protein: Incorporate protein rich sources such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs, legumes and dairy products.
**The most commonly consumed foods by Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) were milk, dates, lamb/mutton and oats. Healthy foods mentioned in the Holy Qur’an are fruit and vegetables, such as olives, onions, cucumber, figs, dates, grapes as well as pulses such as lentils. **
- Bake your samboosas instead of frying or invest in an air fryer
- Have dates, fruits, milkshakes and smoothies instead of all that sugary food
- Make healthier alternatives to unhealthy food by substituting artificial sugars and flour.
- For this summer make ‘nice-cream’ and top it with fresh fruits.
- Make fruit popsicles with fruit juice and chopped fruits to give you a cooling hydration.