Ramadan is indeed a very special time of the year for Muslims all over the world. Not only is it filled with religious rituals that are only performed during Ramadan, but this holy month is also made festive and colorful by various local traditions which are mainly related to food and drinks as well as iftar (breaking the fast) gatherings held to savor those special Ramadan delights with loved ones.
Though it is known that fasting during Ramadan has its list of health benefits, following most of our cravings during iftar and not making sure that you have a balanced meal during suhoor (the early morning breakfast before one starts fasting) can lead to a harmful eating pattern that might cause health problems. Here are some unhealthy yet popular Ramadan habits that you’d want to steer clear of while fasting, especially during this pandemic.
Overindulging during iftar
No one is saying that you can’t enjoy a lovely iftar meal. But the fact is that after a day of fasting, it is only natural to be tempted to indulge yourself with a little bit (or a lot!) of each mouthwatering treat served in front of you. Therefore, it is also a good idea to avoid preparing too many different dishes for your iftar menu. If the temptation is not there, it is automatically much easier to eat in moderation.
Eating all that greasy food
While they all do taste exceptionally delicious after a day of fasting, eating greasy food (especially a lot of it) on an empty stomach can cause problems such as indigestion. Instead of binging on fatty foods or junk food, maybe you can circle back to the old tradition that boasts the iftar menu of several dates and a glass of water or milk. Of course, after you have performed your prayer, you can return to your dining table for a balanced meal. And in the meantime, the nutritious dates would have filled your stomach, preventing you from overeating during dinner.
Consuming caffeinated drinks during suhoor
It might be tempting to get your daily cup of morning coffee during suhoor, but this is definitely not the wisest choice for your body. Caffeine tends to make you urinate more often, hence your body will dehydrate faster, which is far from ideal especially if you’re on a part of the world where the weather is hot and the fasting day is long.
Only focusing on your water intake during suhoor
Dehydration is the biggest physical challenge of fasting, but filling up your stomach with too much water during suhoor won’t do the trick. Instead, you might become nauseous and/or spend your morning going back and forth to the toilet. To stay hydrated during the day, the best that you can do is to hydrate yourself throughout the evening and night before you start fasting. You can start by having two glasses of water during iftar followed by another glass of water every other hour until you go to sleep. That way, you can just have a couple of glasses of water during suhoor, yet your water intake for the day would have reached at least 8 glasses which is generally enough to keep you hydrated.
Are you ready to make some adjustments for a healthier Ramadan? Good luck and enjoy the rest of this blessed month!