Best food practices in Ramadan (video)
Ramadan is upon us and Muslims all around the world have embarked in a month of fasting and abstinence. With long hours of fasting, we tend to indulge in unhealthy dietary habits during Iftar and Sehri.
Meal timings changed so do our eating pattern. Such abrupt changes may cause problems to our health unless we maintain healthy and nutritious diet.
Nutritionist Shayla Nasrin, head of Food and Nutrition Science Department at Institute of Child and Mother Health (ICMH), in conversation with The Daily Star Online, suggested some handy tips to keep you fit and healthy in Ramadan.
According to the nutritionist, we should have three separate meals including Iftar and Sehri of different quantities and contents of food. Since it is summer during the Ramadan, she suggested that we should drink more water to avoid dehydration.
- Begin iftar with fruit juice or lemonade, followed by two to three date palms, then a bowl of warm vegetable or chicken soup and mixed salad prepared from the seasonal fruits and finally some curd to finish with.
- For those who have to work hard during the day, they may have brown chira with curd or whole meal bread with vegetable curry to provide the body with necessary carbohydrate. Brown chira and whole meal bread being complex carbohydrates take time to get digested and provide energy longer, and also contain fibre which is essential for the body.
- Desserts such as pudding, custard can be taken once a week for adults as they are high in calories, and it is also suggested for elderly people to cut down on sugar to avoid risk of obesity.
- Adolescents have been suggested to take sugar and sweets as per requirement. They may also have an egg in the meal to provide the body with necessary protein.
- In general, oil-rich and spicy food should be avoided and the best practice is to have food prepared at home.
- Many of us tend to take a nap, but the nutritionist advised to walk for 20 minutes as this will help pack in some light exercise during Ramadan.
- For dinner, the nutritionist suggested to have it two to three hours after iftar featuring a cup of rice, a cup of vegetables, a piece of fish or chicken curry with less spice, and half cup of lentils.
- For Sehri, it is advised to follow the same menu as the dinner along with loads of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- As Ramadan falls in summer this year, the need to load up on water and drink loads of fluids is of essence.