Happy Ramadhan everyone!! I hope you are all well and feeling healthy. Alhamdullillah we have reached that lovely spiritual time of the year, the month of fasting, the month of cleansing our souls and body. Although many people will be talking about how they will struggle to get through the day and the hardship this month brings, please don’t forget to look at the blessings and the benefits too. This is first and foremost a reminder for myself as well as for you all.
Muslims around the world will be abstaining from food and drink from dawn til dusk, and for us in the UK that is around 20 hours, leaving only 4 hours to replenish ourselves. That is why it is really important to use this time to eat and drink sensibly, and don't waste our appetite with unhealthy foods and drinks.
So, here is my mantra for the month; "Look at the brighter side of life" because before we know it, we will be celebrating Eid soon. We need to take this month and really look at the intentions and the core of it, to see its beauty. I would like to share with you the benefits of fasting and then I would provide my top 10 energy foods to eat in Ramadhan.
Benefits of Fasting
- If done in the right way can help reduce excess weight/fat.
- Helps to detox the body and flush out toxins (impurities and unhealthy chemicals).
- Heightens other sense and increases spiritual well-being.
- Helps to reduce cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure.
- Re-energises your metabolism.
- Helps to clear the skin and prevent acne.
- ‘Re-starts’ the digestive system.
My Top 10 Energy Foods
- Oats – as a porridge for suhoor, top with fruits, honey, nuts and seeds.
- Egg - boiled, scrambled, poached or in an omelette. Very filling and a slow release of energy.
- Whole grains - brown rice and pasta. Opt for the brown stuff as it has more fibre and will be more filling. A good base for the main meal at iftaar.
- Whole wheat - brown bread and brown flour. When having sandwiches, toast or chappati, opt for whole wheat, or at least a bit of both (50/50)
- Lentils - green, black, white, chickpeas, cannelloni. A whide variety and so versatile. Lentils are easy to make and can have in different ways; in salads, as a soup, sprouted.
- Nuts - almonds, walnuts, cashews. Great source of protein and iron to help fight off lethargy. Great to have as a snack during taraweeh (night prayers).
- Dates - we should break our fast with a date as it raises our blood sugar levels and provides a burst of energy which is great to beat of lethargy, reducing or feeling of hunger. It is also a great source of fibre, magnesium and potassium.
- Apricots - fresh or dried. As well as other dried fruit (dates, bananas, pineapples, apples) apricots are a good energy source and high in fibre.
- Dark green vegetables - spinach, broccoli, lettuce and kale - do not over cook as it will lose its nutrients and season with herbs and spices.
- Seeds - sesame, pumpkin, flax, chia. These may be small in size but are packed with nutrition. Sprinkle on just about anything; salads, cereal, yoghurt, chicken and even on your toast.
->>> Don’t forget water!! “Dehydration kicks in much sooner and harder than starvation. Water is responsible for transporting all nutrients in the blood that we use for energy as well as getting rid of waste build-up that leads to fatigue. Without enough water, we cannot metabolize the food we eat into fuel and ultimately cease to function properly.”
I pray that this blessed month goes well for you and your family. Remember keep it simple and keep it healthy. Please so share your healthy secrets so we can all benefit from them too. And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with what I am having this Ramadhan.
Be Happy! Be Healthy!
By Ayshabibi H.
A H Nutritionist
20th June 2015