The Holy Month of Ramzan is here. Along with prayers and charities, it is also time for the pre-dawn meal called Suhoor, day-long fasting, and then breaking the fast feasting along with family with Iftar. Even though you will be fasting the entire day, it’s a misconception that you can gorge on whatever your heart desires once you break the fast. Just like any other day, there are good foods and bad foods. Here’s a list of the five best and five worst foods for Suhoor and Iftar.
Bananas are rich in potassium, which suppresses thirst and keeps you hydrated for a longer time.
You crave for carbs and sweets when you are starving and dates can serve as dessert. Dates are also loaded with energy, fibre, and iron. Eating just two dates should suffice; don’t binge.
Whole grains such as jowar, bajra, oats and ragi are rich in protein, which keeps you satiated longer, delays hunger pangs and provides energy. They also contain a lot of complex carbohydrates and fibre. This allows for slow release of energy so that you can keep going through the day.
Nuts are a rich source of healthy fats such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 that make you feel full for a longer time. Almonds are especially good for you but ensure you have a good mix.
Our body produces a lot of heat when we are fasting because of the acids created. To neutralise that effect, opt for you can have something with probiotics such as yogurt or curd. You can make a nice dessert with yogurt and fruits. Both are extremely beneficial.
Iftaar will make food seem like the oasis in a dry desert but it’s important that you are mindful of having the right things to eat. Here is what you need to avoid at both times, Suhoor and Iftar.
There is too much refined white rice because you cannot make biryani with brown rice. It also has a lot of oil and no vegetables because there’s only chicken in it. It may be yummy but best avoided.
While natural sharbats are great, synthetic ones such as Roohafza are a big no-no because they contain a lot of sugar and are synthetic. Make a drink with skimmed milk and basil or chia seeds. Add beetroot for rosy colour. These seeds hold out water, contain fibre and provide energy,” says Ayesha.
Sweets are nothing but concentrated sources of empty calories and they make you feel drowsy. If you do eat sweets, then keep a gap of two hours so that you are fresh and awake for Isha and Tarawih prayers.
Not just kebabs but any fried food must be avoided because our metabolism slows down at night and dips further when you are fasting. All high-calorie food will automatically be converted into fat. Go for baked or grilled options and lean meat.
Recipes for a healthy Suhoor meal
- If you are looking for something to sustain energy while being delectable, try a smoothie made from apple, banana, and cocoa powder. Make it protein rich by adding chia or basil seeds, oats, yogurt and peanut butter.
- Make parathas with homemade low-fat paneer, greens such as Methi, and veggies sautéed in olive oil.
- Eat dosas made from millets. Drink two glasses of water in the morning because you will get an upset tummy if you eat too much protein and fibre.
- Make desserts from dry fruits or have dark chocolate, which has health benefits other than being great for the calorie conscious.
Keep these tips in mind and it will be happy fasting – and happy feasting – this Ramzan!