Dietary Guidelines for Ramadhan
Posted September 16, 2007on:
How fortunate we are to be the Ummat of Rasoolulah S.A.W.
One of the miracles handed down to us is the month of Ramadaan.
Allah S.W.T, who has created us, has granted us a way in which we can cleanse ourselves, physically as well as spiritually. This extraordinary month will only be of benefit to those of us who take advantage of it.
Fasting during the Islamic month of Ramadan can be good for one’s health and personal development. Ramadan fasting is not just about disciplining the body to restrain from eating food and drinking water from predawn until sunset. The eyes, the ears, the tongue, and even the private parts are equally obligated to be restrained if a Muslim wants to gain the total rewards of fasting. Ramadan is also about restraining anger, doing good deeds, exercising personal discipline, and preparing oneself to serve as a good Muslim and a good person during and after Ramadan.
The body rids itself of harmful substances that have accumulated, thus making Ramadan the ideal time to detoxify ones system.
First of all there is no need to consume excess food at iftaar. The body has regulatory mechanisms that activate during fasting, thus ensuring that consuming a diet less than one’s normal amounts of nutrition are sufficient to keep a person healthy and active during the month of Ramadan.
Breaking the fast: have 3 dates, a glass of zam zam water or if you a tea lover than have some herbal tea like, chamomile.
Perform Magrieb Salaah, then either have soup or haleem. If you having khurie kitchree than go for brown rice. Chicken, meat, vegetables are also recommended.
After taraweeh prayers: have some fruit yoghurt or fresh home made fruit salads. Fresh fruit juices are also recommended.
The body’s immediate need at the time of iftaar is to get an easily available energy source in the form of glucose for every living cell, particularly the brain and nerve cells. Dates and juices are good sources of sugars. Dates and juice are sufficient to bring low blood glucose levels to normal levels. Juice and soup help maintain water and mineral balance in the body. An unbalanced diet and too many servings of sherbets and sweets with added sugar have been found to be unhealthy.
Firstly drink a glass of mint/lemon or ginger water with honey. This is an excellent mouth disinfectant, for bad breath and to normalize one’s sugar levels. Then have some dates, fruit and either Malta Bella, oats, or sojee porridge.
A cup of tea made with elachi, cinnamon and sweetened with honey completes a meal. Home made fruit juices or even yoghurt can be consumed.
Bananas are also excellent at the time of sehri.
CONSUME FOODS FROM THE FOLLOWING FOOD GROUPS:
Meat/bean group: chicken, beef, lamb fish, 1-2 servings. Meat and beans are a goods source of protein, minerals and certain vitamins. Beans are a good source of dietary fibre as well.
Bread and cereal group: whole wheat bread, or brown roti or puri, 2 servings. This group is a good source of complex carbohydrates which are good source of energy and provide some protein, minerals and dietary fiber.
Milk group: milk or butter milk. Yoghurt or cottage cheese. Those who can not tolerate whole milk must try fermented products such as butter milk and yoghurt. Milk and dairy products are good sources of protein and calcium, which are essential for body tissue maintenance and several physiological functions.
Vegetable group: mixed vegetable salad like lettuce, carrots parsley, cucumber and other desired vegetables. Vegetables such as guar, bhinda brinjals spinach are also good sources of vitamin A carotene and other phytochemicals, which are antioxidants. These are helpful in the prevention of cancer and many other health problems.
SOME HANDY TIPS ON FASTING:
1. Whist on the fast avoid orange and tomato juice, and all juices made with sweeteners or additives. Consume fresh apple, carrot celery and grape juice as these drinks are excellent for detoxification.
2. Take a fibre supplement on a daily basis before and after the fast to promote cleansing of the colon. Bran, especially oat bran, is an excellent source of fibre. Avoid supplements containing wheat bran, as they may irritate the colon.
3. During the fast be sure to get adequate rest. If necessary, try napping in the afternoons to recharge your batteries.
4. During the fast, as toxins are released from the body, one will experience a coated tongue and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. To relieve this problem, one could rinse the mouth with diluted fresh lemon juice.
5. If you are a denture wearer, keep your dentures on throughout the fast, to prevent shrinkage of the gums.
6. Whilst fasting continue your normal daily routine, including moderate exercise. Avoid any strenuous exercise.
7. With the heat wave, one will sweat excessively. This results in loss of potassium, resulting in muscle cramps and fatigue. Eat 2 – 3 bananas at sehri time.
8. Avoid ice-cold drinks at the time of iftaar. This triggers off a mild upper respiratory infection. Take vitamin C supplements during the fast to avoid such infection.