Guidelines to Follow a Ramadan Diet
Ramzan or Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, personal growth, increased devotion and worship, wherein people are expected to fast from dawn until sunset. And Ramadan is such a time, wherein one does not consume a morsel of food or even sip water.
Ramadan fasting or Roza is not limited to fasting, it’s about overcoming temptation. Sadly, this comes at a price. One can drop his/her muscle weight due to starvation and B12 levels may drop and other vital vitamin deficiencies can set in; impairing one’s immunity. Also at times, starvation pushes one to overeat at iftar, which could lead to gastric problems. Since food is the most crucial and intimate part of our being, the way we consume food reflects our relationship with our selves. Not having a balanced diet can also affect one's prayer time. So, it is important to understand that iftar is not a wild party to indulge ourselves and Fajar is the hour, when one should not neglect eating. It is a time to nurture your appetite but wisely.
Listed below are a few suggestions to ensure that you eat right to avoid feeling gassy, bloated and constipated the next morning.
On Waking up: A quick carbohydrate source, since you had a starvation period of 7-8 hours in the night, eat a banana, as it is loaded with dietary fibre, potassium, vitamins and is a quick source of energy.
At Fajar: At this meal one should eat slow absorbing carbbohydrates and proteins, inorder to provide the body with enough of energy to be able to sustain it during the long period when it is subjected to starvation. Also, eat 2-3 eggs with a jowar roti OR a paratha with a cup of milk. You can include dry fruits to provide you with the right amount of fat. Include flaxseeds as the Omega 3 in these seeds help in controlling cravings.
( In 15-20 mins)
Iftar: At this meal, dates form an important place. One should break his/her fast with dates, as dates are a good source of iron due to the quick sugars present in them. You also need to ingest a quick source of carbbohydrates and proteins to help you recover from the muscle loss that must have occurred in the long hours of starvation and dehydration. So egg whites, whole wheat rotis rice, seviyan, chicken and fish are a must to include in your diet. Ideally try and include some curd to infuse a good probiotic fauna in the stomach lining, which will help in taking care of the ph balance in the body. You could also have a glass of low fat milk as it is a good source of protein and slow absorbing carbbohydrates.
Of course, one should not ignore the importance of water during this period. One must ensure that one drinks about 3-4 glasses of water during saheri and fajar. Between Iftar and bedtime, one must try and consume at least 7-9 glasses of water. Also, try and include a multivitamin, to prevent any deficiencies.
*Inputs by Pooja Bhargava is an ACSM( American council of sports medicine) and IIFA(Indian institute of fitness administration) certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Consultant and Physical Fitness expert. She is also the founder and CEO of Fitness U and Nutrition (F.U.N), Mumbai, since April 2011.
*Images courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images