The Muslim Holy month of Ramadan (or ‘Ramzan’ in India) is the important month of the Islamic calendar, when Muslims fast during daylight hours.
Those who are physically able to, are required to fast each day of the entire month, from sunrise to sunset.
Here are some tips for eating healthy during Ramzan:
- During Suhur/Suhoor (pre-dawn meal): switch to complex carbohydrates like brown rice (parboiled rice/semi-polished rice), whole wheat breads/atta/pasta as these take time to be digested and hence will keep you feeling full for a longer period of time.
- To avoid acidity: Eat foods rich in fiber like vegetables, fruits, whole pulses/legumes. Avoid coffee, spicy and fried foods as these tend to increase the gastric secretion that can irritate the lining of the stomach.
- To avoid weight gain: Avoid fried foods like namkeens (chivda/mixtures/sev/ghatia), samosa, fried chicken, fried fish, sweets,pastries, chocolates, desserts, biryani (on a daily basis), ghee, butter.
- To avoid dehydration: Between Iftar and Suhur, drink loads of water, tender coconut water, lemonade, buttermilk/chaas and also eat fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of water/moisture like watermelon, muskmelon, pineapple, cucumber, all gourds (like bottle gourd, turrai, ash gourd).
- Choose healthy methods of cooking: Opt for grilled/baked non-veg instead of fried.
- Instead of high calorie desserts: Opt for fresh fruits on a daily basis, these not only have less calories but will also provide you with the all-important fiber and water.
For those who are looking out to eat healthy during Ramzan, here is a sample Indian diet that is balanced and does not go overboard as far as calories are concerned:
Breaking the fast (at sunset): Dates + Water
Iftar is the Dinner – the meal which ends the day’s fast. Options you can consider for dinner meals –
Option 1: Brown rice with Cauliflower sabzi and Fish Curry along with Cucumber and Tomato salad with a glass of tender coconut water. A bowl of watermelon.
At Bedtime: Skimmed milk.
Option 2: Phulkas with Baingan Bharta and Channa Masala along with Curry Leaves Chicken (Kerala style) and Mixed veg raita. A bowl Muskmelon.
At Bedtime: Buttermilk.
Option 3: Quinoa Pulav (with mixed vegs) along with Cucumber raita and fish cutlets. A bowl of Pineapple.
At Bedtime: Ragi malt.
Suhoor is the meal eaten pre-dawn before the day begins for fasting. Options you can consider for your early morning meal :
Option 1: Overnight Mango Oats porridge and a Boiled egg with a bowl of Papaya.
Option 2: Masala French toast and with yogurt. A bowl of Strawberry.
Option 3: Broccoli paratha with yogurt and Hariyali chicken (can be marinated and kept ready for baking) with Mint Raita and Tender Coconut Water. A bowl of rockmelon.
Eating healthy through Ramzan will not only be easy on your stomach but will also make sure that you don’t put on unnecessary weight during the month. Keep the feasting and all the yummy biryanis and kheer’s for Eid-after all, everyone deserves to indulge in some feasting after a month of fasting!