Celebrating a healthy Iftar
Ramadan is the Holy Month of fasting and blessings. It brings with it a host of special customs, of which food habits and eating play a big part. Eating during Ramadan is also about following the right habits for a balanced Iftar which contributes to maintaining good health during this holy month.
Here are some tips for a healthy balanced Iftar:
- Start by eating 2 dates, especially if you suffer from a headache or dizziness due to low blood sugar levels during the fasting period
- Make sure you drink sufficient water, healthy juices or yogurt before you start eating. This will prevent dehydration and provide your body with essential fluids
- Have a bowl of soup, an indispensable dish in the Ramadan meal, since it prepares the stomach to receive the rest of the meal and helps replenish some of the body fluids lost during the day.
- Eat a salad, because it is rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. The more colorful your salad, the more health benefits it holds. It also gives you a feeling of fullness, ensuring you eat less of the main dish.
- Consume a moderate quantity of the main dish to maintain good health. The main dish should contain a source of carbohydrates like rice, pasta, potatoes or burghul, as well as some form of protein like beef, chicken or fish, in addition to cooked vegetables.
- Moderation is key when it comes to eating starters (fried foods and pastries) and sweets because these foods are rich in fats, salt and sugars. Enjoy these Ramadan treats, but try to control the size of your portion in order to stay healthy and prevent weight gain.
As the sun sets, the ceremonious sounds of the traditional cannon roar is an eagerly welcomed invitation to the joyous meal of Iftar – a time when family and friends celebrate the special season of Ramadan together as one. And being the daily event of such paramount spiritual and physical significance makes it even more important to enjoy the meal and maintain a healthy balance.
But with such an elaborate spread, overindulging can lead to physical discomfort. This can however be easily remedied by making sure you intake small portions at a time, giving you ample opportunity to taste the sumptuous fare while ensuring that there is enough at this precious gathering to give everyone a taste of the assorted dishes. Remember, Iftar is a time to enjoy the presence of those around you, while nourishing yourself with food lovingly prepared. Keeping a limit on what and how much you eat will ensure that your joy is complete.
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