Bridget Benelam of the British Diet Basis gives some dietary recommendation for Muslims in the course of the holy month of Ramadan, and appears at whether or not fasting is definitely good in your physique.
On Monday 12 April, Muslims all over the world, together with myself, started celebrating the holy month of Ramadan. Through the month, many Muslims quick all through daylight, solely consuming one meal (the ‘suhoor’ or ‘sehri’) simply earlier than daybreak, and one other (the ‘iftar’) after sundown. Whereas having fun with the celebrations, as a result of affect of the quick, it is extremely vital that well being stays entrance of thoughts; my three fundamental items of recommendation are to hydrate, replenish vitamins, and keep away from overindulgence.
Hydration, hydration, hydration!
At each suhoor and iftar, hydration is essential. Unsurprisingly, water is normally the most suitable choice. Juices and smoothies which comprise pure sugars can present some vitality in addition to hydration, nevertheless, to keep away from extra sugar consumption it’s greatest to have these moderately. Low-fat, water-rich meals, together with soup or yoghurt, are additionally good choices for hydrating and fuelling whereas breaking the quick.
Recent fruit is a standard approach to break the quick in lots of South Asian cultures and it is a good, wholesome choice as fruit offers fibre, pure sugars, fluids and a few nutritional vitamins and minerals. Dates, that are an integral a part of Ramadan, additionally comprise fibre, pure sugars and minerals like potassium, copper and manganese. They’re one other nutrient-rich, scrumptious approach to begin or finish the fasting day – you might additionally attempt different dried fruits like prunes, raisins or apricots.
Maintain your stability
Once we are celebrating, and after fasting for a protracted interval, it’s pure to wish to deal with your self with some scrumptious meals. However, whereas having fun with this time with your loved ones is vital, you also needs to bear in mind to maintain a way of stability. Throughout non-fasting hours we have to give attention to the standard of our diets, consuming a stability of meals to maintain our our bodies wholesome. As soon as the quick has been damaged and you’ve got rehydrated, it’s time to prioritise the important thing meals and vitamins which might be going to can help you lead your life healthily and help your efforts all through the month.
Wholegrains, fruit and greens, dairy meals and protein-rich meals, like lean meat, fish, eggs and beans, ought to all kind part of the weight loss plan. As a meal concept, you might have a spread of fish, meat or pulse-based curries together with loads of greens, served with rice, chapattis and yogurt. Though meat is often discovered within the cuisines of many Muslim nations, dishes with extra plant-based sources of protein, like beans and lentils, add additional fibre and are naturally decrease in fats.
In the beginning of the day, in addition to prioritising hydration, consuming starchy meals and people which might be excessive in fibre, corresponding to oats, wholegrain breads and wholegrain breakfast cereals (ideally decrease sugar choices), will assist offer you vitality for the day. Attempt to keep away from something too salty, like processed meat, olives and pickles, as these may go away you with a protracted day of feeling thirsty!
Is fasting good for you?
This time of yr usually sparks a dialog round the advantages of fasting usually for well being and weight reduction. With regards to Ramadan fasting, there are some research that counsel it could have advantages by way of weight reduction and metabolic well being, though we’d like extra analysis to substantiate these. There have additionally been research on intermittent fasting as a weight reduction technique and in style strategies embody the 5:2 weight loss plan, the place energy are closely restricted on two days of the week. Analysis means that this method could be efficient for some folks and, though intermittent fasting isn’t superior to other forms of weight reduction weight loss plan, it could go well with sure people who don’t wish to prohibit their meals consumption on a regular basis.
Offered you’re usually in good well being, Ramadan fasting isn’t dangerous to well being, however it can be crucial that we eat a stability of wholesome meals and preserve hydrated. It’s a time to have a good time with family members and, whereas COVID-19 restrictions imply we can’t benefit from the giant celebrations we’d in a standard yr, we hope everybody has a contented and wholesome Ramadan at dwelling or out in your native space.
If you need extra data on consuming effectively throughout seasonal celebrations like Ramadan, go to the British Dietary Basis’s (BNF) web site.