The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down,
a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion.
[Quran: Chapter 2:183]


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Healthy Eating During Ramadan

Healthy Eating During Ramadan: Strategies for a Healthy Diet

When we over-eat during Ramadan, or practice generally unhealthy eating habits during Ramadan, we will not have the energy to perform our religious obligations. Due to changes in eating and sleeping times, we tend to become more tired overall. This feeling of tiredness can be compounded by unhealthy eating habits. But there are ways to avoid such problems so that we feel energised during the day while fasting and after iftar (breaking of the fast). When it is time to attend taraweeh prayers, for instance, we will not say that we do not have the energy to make it!

Here are some tips for how to choose foods that will improve your energy level during Ramadan. These are tips that you can continue to use after Ramadan as well.

Tips for Healthy Eating

1) Eat enough calories when you are able to after iftar and during sahoor, but not too many. Maintain a balance between your calorie intake and calorie expenditure, that is, do not eat more food than your body uses. The average recommended daily allowance is 2,000 calories, but this depends on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity.

2) Eat a wide variety of foods. Do not focus only on deep-fried and sugary things that are so prevalent at iftar tables during Ramadan. Healthy eating is essentially about expanding the range of food choices. Include vegetables, whole grains, or fruits that you do not normally eat.

3) Our bodies are unable to ingest large quantities of food because of fasting throughout the day. Over-eating at iftar is a sure way to expand your waist-line. So keep the portion moderate, especially for high-calorie foods. Time your food intakes - for instance, eat a little at iftar, then head for Maghrib prayers, then after the prayers, you can eat a little more (perhaps fresh cut fruits or fruit juices); then head for taraweeh prayers, or reading of Quran at home; afterwads have your dinner. Be sure to give enough time for you to digest your dinner before bed-time.

4) Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes—foods high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, low in fat, and free of cholesterol. Try to get fresh, local produce

5) Drink more water. Our bodies are about 75% water. So we have to replenish our bodies with water constantly. During fasting, we do not ingest water. So after breaking of the fast, it is important to remember to drink water. Water helps flush our systems, especially the kidneys and bladder, of waste products and toxins. Eating fruits with large water content like watermelons will also be useful.

6) Limit sugary foods, salt, and refined-grain products. Sugar is added to a vast array of foods. In a year, just one daily 12-ounce can of soda (160 calories) can increase your weight by 16 pounds. See suggestions below for limiting salt and substituting whole grains for refined grains.

7) Do not be extreme. You CAN enjoy your favorite sweets and fried foods in moderation, as long as they are done occasionally and in moderation.

8) Do light exercises. Yes, even though we are fasting during Ramadan, moving about can help with blood circulation and increased energy levels. Thw worsrt thing we could do is sit still. Instead, go about yout normal routine. Coupled with the healthy diet, the energy level and feelings of well-being will improve.

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Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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Anonymous Healthy Eating Plan - Healthy Women Blog's said...

[...]If you able to always stay on your healthy eating plan you’ll feel that eating healthy foods isn’t a diet but it’ll become your living habit[...]

September 29, 2009 at 3:57 AM  

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