Healthy eating tips for those who fast, then feast during Ramadan
During the month of Ramadan, you should pay special attention to nutrition to avoid stomach problems and make your fasting easier.
I advise fasters to eat four times between the predawn meal and the nightly feast that break the fast.
The first meal in the early morning, even before dawn, is the breakfast consumed, the Suhur, Sehr or Sehri. Many fasters skip this meal because they don’t want to get up early. However, during the summer Ramadan, the days are still very long, so it is by no means healthy to miss the morning arrival: weakness, a drop in blood pressure and blood sugar, concentration problems can result from it.
Therefore, it is definitely advisable to get up for breakfast and choose carefully and refrain from heavy foods, especially those fried in oil. During the night hours, your metabolism slows down anyway, and very fatty, high-calorie foods can cause serious weight gain. Therefore foods, cakes and pastries fried in oil are not recommended. Instead eat foods with a higher protein content: eat a light breakfast starting with fruit that consists of eggs, yoghurt, cheese and vegetables. These foods are absorbed more slowly, so you will continue to feel full throughout.
Avoid sugar-based foods. If you crave sweets, preferably consume milk-based and sugar-free sweets, food and dessert. As with too much sugar, avoid foods that are too salty or fatty. Coffee, tea, coke or other carbonated drinks can also cause large amounts of sleep problems and stomach irritation. Therefore, in the morning, before fasting, preferably avoid consuming them.
The nightly feast that breaks the fast is called Iftar or Eftar. Since your blood sugar level drops throughout the day, when you open the fast, it’s natural to feel like you want to eat large amounts of foods in the shortest time possible. However, try to eat foods that do not raise your blood sugar too quickly, are light, not too greasy, and nutrient-dense.
Also, moderation should be maintained because excessive amounts of food put a lot of strain on an empty stomach. This can cause digestive problems, stomach pain, acid overload, heartburn, bloating, fatigue. Break the fast with a piece of dates, olives, and then drink a glass of room-temperature honey-lemon water. After that, I recommend consuming cheese, tomatoes, olives or some light soup.
The main meal may take place 10-15 minutes later, preferably consisting of a not too fatty meat dish and vegetables or a salad. It is not healthy to eat foods that are too fatty or high in calories, just as it is not ok to drink black tea or coffee immediately after a meal. These drinks inhibit the absorption of iron in the body, so preferably consume them an hour after a meal. But it is best to choose soothing and digestive herbal teas instead.
Those who crave sweets should eat some light, milk-based sweets and desserts two hours after the main meal: pudding, milk cake, rice pudding or ice cream, fruit salads and compotes. Yoghurt, kefir or a salad made with this sauce should not be missed from the table either – the beneficial bacteria in them help digestion and have a good effect on the intestinal flora.
The sacred fruit of Ramadan is dates are a rich source of fibre, potassium, and calcium which helps to keep the body healthy, also, a digestive fruit that can help prevent constipation. Constipation in Ramadan can also occur due to the slowdown digestion or a lack of fibre in the diet. Therefore, be especially careful to drink plenty of fluids and water when allowed. Eat plenty of vegetables, salads, wholemeal bread and yoghurt. In addition, regular physical activity like walking also helps to overcome this problem.