Eating healthily throughout the year is essential - but even more so during Ramadhan. If you don’t, you seriously risk weakening your immune system and weakening your body. Worse still, if you use it as a time to over eat in the evenings and preoccupy yourself with food - you’ll definitely gain weight. Just because you’re fasting all day doesn’t mean that your body needs (or even wants) to be over filled with food in the evenings.
Miqdam bin Madikarib said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ say: ‘A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.’” Sunan Ibn Majah
Rather we should allow our bodies to heal and detox during this month. Ibn Qayyim
رَحِمَهُ ٱللّٰهُ says that fasting is a shield from many illnesses of the soul, the heart and body and has tremendous benefits. Fasting also preserves health and rids the body of harmful substances, especially when done correctly.
Therefore we should allow our body to cleanse itself and focus only on eating foods that truly nourish our bodies sufficiently in order to fast and worship Allah in this Holy Month. These food groups include the following.
It is very important -especially for those living in warmer countries - to stay hydrated during the fasting day. It's a good idea to drink small cups throughout the evening, so that you do not fill up on water at the expense of not eating properly and also allowing your body to conserve some water for essential bodily needs. Try to keep your water intake the same so that your body doesn't get dehydrated - this is possible if you mainly drink water and avoid too much juice, fizzy drinks and coffee.
Have a Decent Breakfast (Suhoor)
Suhoor should really be considered o be the main meal of Ramadan, as it supplies the body with large amounts of energy to help in the fasting. Eating before the fast is very important and is from the Sunnah.
"The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said : 'Eat Sahur, for in Sahur there is blessing." Sunan an-Nasa'i
By having a healthy Suhoor such as Talbeena (barley porridge) or regular oats with some dates, fruit and water, your body can stock up on plenty of vitamins and minerals that will surely keep your body active and healthy until the time to break the fast.
Fibre is important to our gut health - which is often referred to as our second brain - and general regularity. When you do eat after iftar, consuming plenty of high fibre foods, such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, dried fruit and lentils - as well as drinking plenty of fluids may help to ease constipation which can happen when fasting for long periods of time. Figs, dates, watermelon, cucumber, grapes, pumpkin and barley are just some of foods from the Sunnah that can help us to achieve this balance.
Protein is an important macronutrient that plays a major role in the entire body. One of the crucial roles it plays is boosting your immune system and helping you to build or maintain muscle mass. Since our immune system is made up of proteins, it needs new protein synthesis to function. If you don’t get enough protein, your immune system will weaken.
This is very important to keep our body strong enough for fasting for consecutive days and praying the evening prayer. Good sources of healthy protein include chicken, lean red meats, fish, eggs and nuts.
Milk is nutritionally rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Not only is it full of calcium that strengthens our bones, it is also a good source of protein. The type of milk you drink depends on your body's needs and tolerance to lactose - you can choose between cows, goat, sheep or even camel milk.** It is important to note that non-diary substitutes such as almost or soy milk do not share the same nutritional profile as milk.
What are your staple foods during Ramadhan? Leave a comment below and don't forget to follow our instagram here for daily reminders.