Ramadan is the time to fill the days with good deeds and the nights with spiritually uplifting prayer. However, all the fasting and lack of sleep can take a toll on our bodies if we lack the necessary nutrients and hydration to carry us through the month.
With proper planning and the right guidance on diet, nutrition and exercise, we can fight tiredness in Ramadan.
Here are some tips to keep your energy up and ensure an easier fast.
Choose your meal wisely
People should stay energized and prevent thirst while fasting during Ramadan. Refreshing drinks like tamarind juice or water melon juice or jaggery juice are a good start to surviving this scorching holy month.
Some categories of food should be avoided during Ramadan because they can cause bloating, dehydration, and weight gain.
Avoid having deep fried food and fatty foods during Iftar. High fat meals will cause abdominal discomfort and bloating.
Processed foods, like sausages and breaded meats, and ready-made soups are very high in sodium and mono-sodium glutamate, which will cause excessive thirst, she added.
Jilapi, canned juices, and sodas, are loaded with sugar, which will cause weight gain and lead to a spike in insulin levels, resulting in increased sugar cravings and excessive snacking, as well as hunger during fasting hours.
Avoid having excessive amounts of sweets and desserts on a daily basis. Try to limit the sweets, especially popular Ramadan sweets, to three times a week and always keep a moderate portion.
Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and soft drinks, should be avoided because they cause the body to lose water and increases dehydration.
Start with a salad
After ending the fast with dates and milk, eat a fresh salad with chickpea with cucumber, tomato and mint.
Grill, steam, poach
It is best to avoid hot and spicy dishes as well as high-fat foods, as they increase thirst. Opt for dishes cooked in healthier ways such as grilling, baking, broiling, steaming and poaching.
Drink water and fluids
Indeed, water is the primary source for hydrating the human body. However, other fluids alongside water could also be of great benefit.
Herb-infused drinks and fruits and vegetables provide the body with vitamins and minerals while giving a refreshing feeling, so it’s two birds with one stone.
Lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruits, strawberries, cantaloupes, celery, and zucchini are highly recommended during Ramadan as they’re mainly composed of water.
For iftar, broth-based soups are an excellent starter. Whereas for suhoor, smoothies made of ingredients such as yogurt, milk, or coconut water with fruit, grains, and seeds are refreshing, delicious, and most importantly, healthy.
At the end of the day, fasting challenges human desires in so many ways. Nevertheless, it does have plenty of health benefits if done right. Changing fasting habits to be compatible with a healthier lifestyle would assuredly reduce tiredness during Ramadan and permanently uplift energy levels if maintained after the holy month.
Take frequent naps
Sleep drastically impacts your energy levels. During Ramadan, when most activities take place after sunset, it is even more vital to ensure you are getting enough rest. Taking a short nap during the day can help you recharge your energy levels. A 15 or 30-minute nap is sufficient to get you through the day.
Avoid the heat
Since Ramadan is still aligned with the summer season, it’s vital not to stay in the heat for a long time. Whenever possible, postpone any activity that requires staying in the street during the daylight.
Stay in the soup
Broth-based soups or haleems are also ideal for iftar. Haleem is abundant in minerals, enhances immunity, and helps heal the gut and reduce intestinal inflammation. Make sure your soup includes lots of vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, peas, green beans, squash and carrots. These fibre-rich vegetables add vitamins and minerals to your soup and are essential for a healthy digestive system.