Written by: Muhammed Drammeh, student/Islamic Leadership School
Ramadan is a time of fasting and renewing our mind, body, and spirit. Eating right is a part of that renewal, not only cleansing our bodies through the fast but replenishing it with nutrients that will be beneficial and not cause more harm than good.
Eating healthy is very important, especially in the month we’re supposed to be fasting. For some reason many people gain more weight fasting instead of losing it. Find out how you can stay healthy while increasing you’re taqwa during Ramadan.
Eat of the good things which We have provided for you. (2:173)
Eat of what is lawful and wholesome on the earth.(2:168)
The best diet for Ramadan:
Best diet for Ramadan since there are only two meals throughout the day would be a diet filled with nutrients that will last and once packed with energy to get you through the day and not deprive you of hydration and muscle breakdown.
- Diets should include foods rick in fruit, vegetable, beans, lentils, “good” rice and grains. Basically foods that contain complex carbs for lasting energy and less calories for larger portions of foods. Carbs are good if they’re complex, if their simple like rice or bread choose wheat or brown, and have protein along with it. Diets should also include foods with fiber. Dates are a great example as well as many grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Eat real food, not processed and junk food. Junk foods like chips, candies, and more are basically void of nutrients and should not be used as a side dish (believe me, I’ve seen it before). How will you have any energy to get you through a long day of fasting and long night of prayer if your food gives you nothing in return for eating it?
Avoid “white” food, fried foods, and foods high in fat sugar, salt, and oil. Fried foods are heavy in oil and that makes them harder to digest, especially when they’re the first foods to be eaten after a long fast. White foods (i.e. white bread, white rice, white sugar, etc.) can fall into some of the above categories, but they’re worth the mention for what not to eat. White breads are made from white flour, which is processed and stripped of the nutrition that should be in bread and the same goes for rice and even the type of sugar you use. While I love a good bowl of pasta, a hefty portion of potatoes or rice with meat, these are all carbohydrates to minimize during Ramadan. Carbohydrates are converted into sugars and can eventually take their toll on your body way after you’ve finished eating. When you do have your carbohydrates, be sure to pair them with protein-rich foods like beans, meat, or eggs to balance the meal.
As they say, this is an example of a “swapportunity”.
Balancing your foods and meals are really important even when you’re eating healthy all the time. Water and other hydrating drinks are good all the time, but not coffee or tea. So are fruits and vegetables (complex carbs), but not white bread and white rice (simple carbs). A positive approach to eating healthy is simply just slowly replacing what you have with choices a little more healthy. It’s not hard, for example if you’re used to having rice, you can easily swap that for a healthier choice like brown or basmati rice. Alternatives to unhealthy foods are already similar to the foods you already eat so switching them won’t be that hard. Although you’re not eating unhealthy foods, changing doesn’t have to be hard, and healthy doesn’t necessarily mean that it doesn’t taste good . There are many great tasty, halal, and healthy food options out there. Be sure to look for them.