Healthy eating during Ramadan 2024: Tips for nourishing your body | Health - Hindustan Times

Ramadan 2024 healthy eating tips: Strategies for Muslims to maintain nutritional balance while fasting during Ramzan

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Mar 10, 2024 02:20 PM IST

As Ramadan 2024 is just around the corner, here are some mindful nutrition tips to prioritise your health with smart food choices amid intermittent fasting

As we approach Ramadan 2024, it is crucial to focus on nourishing our bodies with healthy food choices during this sacred Islamic month of intermittent fasting. As this year Ramadan will be during the summer season, chances of dehydration and it’s related complications are higher hence, it is very important to educate ourselves and make use of the tips shared by professionals.

Ramadan 2024 healthy eating tips: Strategies for Muslims to maintain nutritional balance while fasting during Ramzan (Photo by Raw Pixel)
Ramadan 2024 healthy eating tips: Strategies for Muslims to maintain nutritional balance while fasting during Ramzan (Photo by Raw Pixel)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Riya Desai, Senior Dietitian at Wockhardt Hospitals in Mumbai's Mira Road, suggested -

  1. The best of all: Incorporating a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein sources can help maintain energy levels and support overall well-being. By planning meals carefully and incorporating a diverse range of ingredients, individuals can promote overall health and well-being during Ramadan. Prioritizing nutrient-dense foods not only helps in staying physically healthy but also supports emotional stability throughout this holy month and will help you feel fuller for longer periods.
  2. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate: Hydration is the most important consideration as dehydration can lead to various health issues. Consumption of salty, spicy and fried foods must be very limited to avoid thirst while fasting. Choose fluids that do not contain a lot of caffeine as it can lead to dehyfration. Remember to break your fast (Iftaar time) with water first to ensure hydration before getting distracted with various iftaar dishes. Overall fluid intake must be increased to compensate for fluid losses in terms of sweat throughout the day.
  3. Calorie control: Deep fried foods and sugary foods give more calories and daily consumption can lead to weight fluctuations and to prevent fluctuations in blood sugar levels and promote better digestion. Try incorporating healthy fats. Rather than deep frying, it is recommended to try cooking methods such as steaming, cooking in sauce, stir-frying in a small amount of oil and baking.
  4. Portion control: During Ramadan, it can be easy to overindulge in high-calorie foods and sugary drinks at Iftar. One must never over eat pre or post fasting. Portion control is the key! For your body to understand that it’s full, it usually takes 20 minutes and hence eating mindfully and understanding when your hunger is satisfied is very important. This practive of mindful eating reduces overall stress on the body and provides sustainable energy when compared to eating huge amounts at once.
  5. Secrets to a successful suhoor meal: Start the day with a nutritious suhoor meal that includes complex carbohydrates like whole grains, otmeal, millets, proteins like dals, beans, low fat dairy products, lentils, chicken, eggs and healthy fats from salmon, avocados, unsalted nuts and oilseeds to sustain you throughout the day. It is advisable to drink plenty of fluids and choose fluid-rich foods like soups and juices in order to stay hydrated during the day ahead.

Recipes: Oatmeal/smoothie bowl topped with nuts, seeds and a fruit, Peanut butter and whole grain bread with apple slices, Egg masala toast with a bowl of fruits, Chicken/lentil soup with vegetables and grilled beans or chicken, etc.

6. Secrets to a successful Iftaar: Consuming three dates to break the fast is a traditional and healthy way to begin Iftar as they are a great source of fiber and provides instant energy. Consuming good amount of fluids mainly water will help to restore the fluid balance and prevent dehydration. Incorporate plenty of vegetables to provide the essential vitamins and nutrients. Choose whole grains, which provide the body with energy and fiber. Enjoy grilled or baked lean meat, skinless chicken and fish, to get a good portion of healthy protein.

Recipes: Stuffed dates with a bowl of fruit salad with a chicken vegetable roll, paratha’s stuffed with chicken/low fat paneer/dal with curd, grilled chicken or paneer or fish with a bowl of rice and a side of veggies, etc.

Reddy Jyothsna, HOD and Chief Clinical Nutritionist at Sakra World Hospital in Bengaluru, advised, “As Ramadan falls in Summer, utmost care should be taken while observing fasting. The key concepts to remember are Hydration, adequate energy, protein-packed food with high fiber, and an antioxidant-rich diet. During non-fasting hours drink plenty of water and non-sugary beverages to keep your body well hydrated. Into suhoor and iftar meals include handful of mixed nuts and dry fruits. Include a big bowl of fresh fruits and vegetables. Keep up your protein intake by consuming whole pulses, dhals and dairy products. You can consume, but limit the portion of sweets and oil-fried items. Nourish your body and soul during this Ramadhan.”

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