During the holy month of Ramadan, the Muslim community observes a fast, or roza, from dawn until dusk and abstains from eating and drinking.
While fasting during this holy month, which began on May 7, is known to improve one’s health it is essential to do it the right way.
“Moreover, it can pose as a challenge for people with dietary issues to practice it for the entire month. Therefore, eating healthy and ensuring the consumption of all nutrients during this period is essential,” says Dr. Iqbal Bagasrawala, associate director, medical affairs, Saifee Hospital.
Below, he shares a few suggestions to keep in mind in order to observe the Ramadan fast in a healthy way:
*Don’t miss sehri
Also known as ‘Suhoor’, it is considered to be the most important meal of the day.
Sehri is the pre-dawn meal that contributes in storing up nutrients to replenish the body’s requirement until Iftar.
Unfortunately, several people tend to avoid this meal by eating heavy dinner instead, as waking up early becomes a challenge.
However, skipping Sehri can cause digestive discomfort and make your body sluggish throughout the day.
Therefore, indulge in a nutritious meal that includes fiber-rich food (figs, bananas, dates, cereals), complex carbohydrates (grains, wheat, oats), and high-protein food (cheese, eggs, meat).
*Keep your body hydrated
This is one of the most essential things to keep in mind during the holy month.
One needs to balance the consumption of liquids to compensate not drinking 8 glasses or 2 liters of water.
Dehydration can lead to constipation, splitting headaches, and lethargy, and therefore, hydrating yourself before the fast begins with two-three glasses of water is critical, as is sipping water on breaking the fast, between Iftar and your bedtime.
Unhealthy drinks that contain caffeine including coffee, tea, aerated beverages must be avoided.
People who cannot function without coffee can have a cup after an hour or two of a healthy balanced Iftar.
Consuming water-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and soups are highly recommended to meet the daily water intake.