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The holy month of Ramadan is here with an abundance of blessings. During this month, we must keep in mind the need to eat healthy and balanced meals that help take care of our body because fasting offers an excellent opportunity to strengthen our digestive system.

The irony is that instead of focusing on cleansing our bodies as well as our minds, we’re going the opposite way of overindulging in rich, heavy foods. Over-fried foods, over-sweetened desserts make us bloated, lazy and uncomfortable. For people who suffer from frequent weight gain or who are prone to inflammatory diseases, the situation worsens. So to combat these negative aspects this Ramadan, we have some healthy eating tips for you.

Stay hydrated

Since fasting takes place in very hot and humid weather, it is essential to stay hydrated after iftar. Start with a glass of water, accompanied by fruits like tangerine, watermelon, apples, etc. You can also add lemon, ginger or cinnamon in your water to give it a tasty taste. Be sure to drink water throughout iftar until sehri, but don’t drink it all at once! Drink gradually so as not to cause an imbalance in your body’s electrolytes.

Reduce sugar intake

After fasting all day, it is inevitable that you will be tempted to drink soft drinks, sugary drinks, not to mention desserts. Consumption of packaged foods and processed beverages containing large amounts of sugar increases during Ramadan, leading to adverse outcomes like weight gain. So swap your sugary foods for fruits like dates, which contain natural sugars. You can also opt for fruit juices like sugar cane, orange to help satisfy your sugar cravings.

Reduce consumption of fried foods

Fried foods, containing too much oil, offer no nutritional value to our iftars. A good workaround is shallow frying, which takes much less oil and if used with healthier oils like sunflower, olive oil, the nutritional value increases dramatically. For healthier options, opt for steamed and baked dishes like baked samosas, chicken bread, as these cooking methods bring out the flavor of the food and ensure that it is not too cooked.

Balance your iftar and sehri meals

Your iftar platter should contain a balanced serving of foods with high nutritional value, such as a healthy blend of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates like whole-grain pasta or bread provide much-needed long-lasting energy, alongside fiber and minerals.

During sehri, opt for high-quality proteins like beef, milk, yogurt, and eggs, as they are highly digestible and will leave you feeling full. Including lean proteins like chunks of chicken breast and low-fat dairy products in your sehri will help you avoid fat.

Drink green tea

If you are looking for a drink with health benefits, look no further than having a cup of green tea, with its many health benefits like reducing the risk of various diseases, boosting fat burning which in its tower helps to lose weight! Lipton Green Tea, available in Honey and Lemon, and Pure and Light variants, can be part of your essential Ramadan fix for a weight management journey with healthy eating. Keeping the weather in mind, an iced green tea will surely be a great refreshing drink after iftar, fruit or herbs can also be added for a cooler taste.

With weight gain increasing rapidly during Ramadan, green tea may benefit weight management by helping the body’s metabolism to be more efficient. Green tea contains a type of flavonoid called catechin, which is an antioxidant that helps break down excess fat. Research suggests that green tea has a positive impact on weight loss and weight management. People who are lactose intolerant, who cannot consume dairy products, can opt for green tea as a great alternative to milk tea.

A month of giving and abstinence can also be a gateway to living a healthier life if we can indulge in a healthy eating practice. Hopefully this Ramadan we can start with healthy habits that will stay with us throughout the holy month and beyond.

Photo: Sazzad Ibn Sayed

Style: RBR