By Naseerah Nanabhai
With the blessed month of Ramadhan approaching and the various changes it brings to our routine and daily life, many of us tend to neglect healthy eating and sleeping habits. Here are some tips we can explore to have a healthy Ramadhan:
Suhoor or sehri is extremely important as it is what helps people maintain their energy levels during the day, therefore it is vital that the right food is consumed in the right quantity at suhoor. It is advised to avoid main courses such as meat dishes, rice and pasta as they cause you to feel hungry and thirsty all day long. Instead, foods such as eggs, yoghurt, salads, soups, lentils and vegetables are among the foods that help you feel hydrated and full during the day.
It is advised to spread 2 litres of water between iftar and suhoor and drink water slowly to ensure that we get the right amount of hydration we need for the day. Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and cola tend to cause increased dehydration and can be replaced with green or herbal teas.
Although Ramadan is a time of increased prayer, and it may be tempting to stay up late for suhoor, you should still aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep during every 24-hour period, even if this is accumulated over several periods of rest. A well-rested body and mind will make it easier for you to concentrate at work and have more energy throughout the day.
Although you may feel more tired and understandably less active while fasting doesn’t neglect physical activity. Neglecting regular exercise for a full month is unhealthy especially when the majority of your food intake is consumed at night. Moderate exercise is advisable and will also help you feel less sluggish.
As difficult as it may be to avoid fried greasy foods when breaking your fast and opt for more nutritious portions of lentils and meat. Remember to begin iftar with dates as they are a great source of dietary fibre, sugars, potassium and magnesium, and provide the body with the energy needed for digestion.