Foods to Eat and Avoid during Ramadan
The Holy Month of Ramadan, full of blessings and goodness is just two days away, but Ramadan this year coincides with the peak of summer in Qatar. Doctors stress the need to keep the body hydrated even when one is not fasting. Healthcare professionals have repeatedly advised that people should consume beverages that contain salt, sugar, sodium, potassium to maintain the electrolyte balance of their bodies. In case people cannot afford to purchase electrolyte packets or drinks from the market they should add equal amounts of sugar and salt to their water before consuming.
Summer time Ramadan is particularly challenging as the heat drains the energy of the body faster than most people expect. Furthermore, there is very little time during summer-Ramadan to have our normal two square meals. Most people have food at the time of breaking fast and then have no appetite for the Suhoor meal, which in summer Ramadan is only a few hours after Iftar. All these factors make it very necessary to follow a balance diet chart during the upcoming Ramadan.
Both Suhoor and Iftar should be well-balanced and contain items from each food group, such as vegetables, cereals, meat, dairy products and fruits. People must consume a lot of water to keep their bodies hydrated during the long fasting day, which in Qatar this year would be over 15 hours for the entire month. In light of this, today we bring you a list of foods you must eat and also those must avoid during Ramadan this year:
What to Eat:
Protein rich food: Eggs are high in proteins and most nutritious. They not only help you to stay fuller, but can be made in several ways to suit your taste buds.
Fibre rich food: Oat meal is rich in fibre and a perfect meal your body needs during Suhoor. Soluble fibre turns to gel in the stomach and slows digestion, which helps lower cholesterol and blood glucose, perfect to keep you energised throughout your fast.
Calcium and vitamin rich food: Dairy products are a great source of nutrition. Opt for a yoghurt smoothie or choose a vanilla and honey milk shake to stay full and hydrated throughout the day.
Potassium rich fruits: Dates are nutrient powerhouses and excellent food-item to break your fast. It not only helps you hydrate quickly, but gives you instant energy to make you feel rejuvenated after the long-hours of fasting.
Sufficient fluids: Drink as much water or fruit juices as possible between Iftar and bedtime to avoid dehydration
Raw nuts: Almonds contain good fats which are essential, particularly when your body has been craving for fats after the long-hours of fasting. It is a perfect Iftar item which helps you feel full and in control, without the need to binge.
Hydrating vegetables: Cucumbers, lettuce, and other vegetables are high in fibre and laden with the goodness of hydrating properties. It not only helps your body feel cool, but is also a great choice to keep you skin healthy and avoid constipation during Ramadan.
What NOT to eat:
Simple or refined carbohydrates: these are food that last only 3 to 4 hours and they are low in essential nutrients Such as: sugars, white flour, pastries, donuts, croissants.
Salty food: imbalance of sodium levels in your body makes you very thirsty while fasting so try to avoid salted nuts, pickles, chips and food that contain soya sauce
Caffeinated drinks: Coffee has caffeine which leads to insomnia and restlessness. In addition, it doesn't hydrate and keeps you longing for water the whole day. Avoid it at the time of Suhoor at all costs.
Carbonated drinks: No fizzy drinks, regardless of how much you crave to have one. Avoid drinking processed beverages and carbonated drinks. Stick to regular water and or coconut water to soothe your thirst.
High-sugar foods: High-sugar food items as sweets, chocolates should be avoided. They are instant source of weight gain and can lead to complexities if consumed every day.
Fried-foods: Greasy and fried food like fried dumplings and samosas should be avoided. Also avoid oily curries and greasy pastries to reap healthy benefits for your body during Ramadan.