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What to Eat and What to Avoid During Ramadan - Photo: Stockport

The "Sultan of 11 Months," Ramadan, is a time of introspection and fasting for billions of Muslims around the world. If you choose to fast during Ramadan, you will alter not only your daily eating and sleeping schedules, but also your body's biological clock, which will have repercussions on your health and outlook. When you go without food and drink for an extended period of time (fasting), your body slows your metabolism to conserve as much energy as possible.

If you make sure to stay hydrated and watch what you eat during suhoor (the meal period before sunrise) and after iftar, you can still enjoy fasting and fully embrace the spirit of Ramadan (the meal period after sunset).

What is Ramadan?

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins on the ninth of the Islamic calendar. Muslims around the world observe this holy month by going without food and drink during daylight hours. This routine continues for a full month.

Spiritual cleansing, self-discipline, compassion for the less fortunate, and altruism are all outcomes of fasting. Plenty more information about this issue can be found online. Furthermore, I have access to even more fantastic materials that I can share with anyone who is interested. Today, I'd like to talk about Ramadan recipes and the health benefits of fasting.

What to Eat During Ramadan

Eggs are the most nutrient-dense and protein-rich food available. They're tasty, filling, and can be prepared in a variety of ways.

Oat meal, which is rich in fiber, makes for an excellent Suhoor meal. If you're looking for something to keep you going while fasting, look no further than soluble fiber. It turns to a gel in the stomach, slowing digestion and thereby lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Dairy products are nutritional powerhouses because they are loaded with calcium and vitamins. To maintain energy and fluids throughout the day, try a yoghurt smoothie or a vanilla and honey milk shake.

Dates, which are loaded with potassium, are a great choice to help you break your fast. It not only helps you rehydrate rapidly, but it also provides you with a burst of energy that will make you feel refreshed after a long fast.

Drink plenty of water or fruit juices between Iftar and bedtime to avoid becoming dehydrated.

Raw nuts: Almonds are an excellent choice because they satisfy the body's need for fat after a long fast. It's the ideal Iftar food because it satisfies without making you feel out of control.

Vegetables such as cucumbers, lettuce, and others are excellent sources of hydration because they are rich in fiber and contain many beneficial nutrients. It's a smart choice for keeping your skin healthy and avoiding constipation during Ramadan, and it helps your body feel cooler, too.

Suggestions for What to Eat During Ramadan

Photo: Simplyleb
Photo: Simplyleb

Authentic Middle Eastern salads

My mom makes one of my favorite Ramadan dishes almost every day of the month. Fattoush Salad, a simple salad of raw vegetables and toasted pita bread dressed with a tangy sumac-based Mediterranean dressing. I'm confident you'll enjoy this genuine recipe.

Photo: Seaofherbs
Photo: Seaofherbs

Classic Ramadan soup recipes

Crushed Lentil Soup is the most requested soup dish during the holy month of Ramadan. One of my very favorite soups, I enjoy making this dish any time of year. It's comforting, delicious, and healthy; it's made with red lentils, short-grain rice, onions, carrots, cumin, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

Best Ramadan appetizer recipes

My favorite appetizer is stuffed grape leaves (warak arish), a Mediterranean classic recipe that is commonly eaten during Ramadan and is made with short grain rice, parsley, tomatoes, and onions. This version is suitable for vegetarians. I've also provided instructions for making meat stuffed grape leaves, which are filled with a mixture of ground beef and rice that's been seasoned.

Photo: Simplyleb
Photo: Simplyleb

Suhoor Ramadan recipes

Suhoor is an ideal time to eat breakfast foods, especially those that will keep you feeling full and energized all day long. Due to the early timing of this meal, I suggest getting your breakfast ready the night before so that you can simply heat it up and eat. The best way to fix that is with overnight oats. They are delicious either cold or warmed up, and there are countless ways to customize them.

Additionally, Zaatar Manakeesh is a safe bet. Flatbread popular in the Mediterranean, prepared with dough and the spice zaatar. It's a simple dish to prepare from scratch with just a few ingredients, and it goes well with Labneh, an Arabic cheese, and raw vegetables. Veggies should be washed and chopped the night before they're used.

Photo: Pakistanichefrecipes
Photo: Pakistanichefrecipes

Main dishes for Ramadan

If you’re looking for some protein-rich meals, try Chicken Kafta or Beef Kafta – both made with ground chicken or beef along with parsley, onions and spices. They both pair really well with my authentic Lebanese Rice.

What to Avoid During Ramadan

Foods like sugar, white flour, pastries, donuts, and croissants are examples of simple or refined carbohydrates, the effects of which only last about three to four hours.

Avoid salty foods like salted nuts, pickles, chips, and food with soy sauce because eating them can cause an imbalance in your body's sodium levels, which can lead to excessive thirst while fasting.

Caffeinated beverages: Coffee's caffeine content causes sleeplessness and agitation. Plus, it doesn't help you feel hydrated, so you'll be thirsty all day long. Don't do it at Suhoor if you can help it.

No carbonated beverages, no matter how much you want one. Don't drink any sodas or other processed drinks. To quench your thirst, drink only regular water or coconut water.

Foods high in sugar, such as candy and chocolate, should be avoided. Consuming them on a regular basis can lead to complications and rapid weight gain.

Avoid fried foods like fried dumplings and samosas, which are high in fat and oil. The health benefits of Ramadan can be maximized by avoiding fatty foods like oily curries and pastries, as pointed out by Qatarday.

Photo: Halaltrip
Photo: Halaltrip

Foods to Avoid During Suhur

You should stay away from refined carbohydrate foods because they are deficient in vital nutrients and will only keep you going for a couple of hours at most. It's also important to limit your intake of salty foods because doing so can cause an unhealthy sodium imbalance in the body. Caffeinated beverages should be avoided as well, as they can lead to sleeplessness and agitation. Tea and coffee, in addition to contributing to dehydration, can heighten your desire for water.

Foods to Avoid Eating During Iftar

You must avoid drinking processed and carbonated beverages. Do not consume foods that are high in sugar or that are fried, such as chocolate, sweets, samosas, dumplings, and other similar items.

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