During the holy month of Ramadan, eating habits become increasingly diverse as mothers, sisters and wives indulge in preparing delicious foods and drinks that rarely get served during the other days of the year.
On top of that, since the weather for the period of Ramadan this year comes hot and hard for many of those who fast, there is a need to prepare a certain quality of food that fits with high temperature and humidity. The weather conditions lead to larger quantities of sweat and the attendant loss of body fluids and minerals that lead to dehydration and exhaustion that harm health. As a result, how we choose appropriate meals during Ramadan this year and its accompanying summer heat becomes more important when we are fasting for about sixteen hours a day.
A number of tips can be be followed to get proper nutrition during the summer of Ramadan:
- Avoid stomach repletion during Iftar and Suhoor, and chew food slowly to achieve maximum benefit of secretions of salivary glands.
- Imbibe a lot of liquids in moderate temperature, which compensates for the loss of body fluid because of excessive summer sweating, as well as to relieving symptoms of constipation that increase during summer. Be careful of sweetened beverages and processed drinks that will have the opposite effect on the general well-being of the body. Normally, the human body needs eight glasses of liquids a day. These should come in the form of pure water, unsweetened juices and yogurt. Tea and coffee, along with other caffeinated beverages, are not considered as healthy liquids due their negative affect on the balance of minerals and water in the body.
- Avoid eating pickles, salted foods and hot spices as, apart from their negative impact on intestine, they increase the sense of thirst.
- Delay Suhoor because that will help reduce the feelings of thirst during the day and allows a fasting person to perform activities without fatigue.
- Avoid eating sweets in large quantities, especially those high in calories. It would be better to switch your sweet serving to a fruit salad or three dates.
- Eat more vegetables as they have a high content of water, minerals and vitamins.
- Stay away from foods high in saturated fat, because they contain high amounts of calories, which constitute a double burden on the digestive system due to lack of fluids in the body caused by fasting.
- Care must be taken to wash fruits and vegetables to get rid of harmful microbes they will multiply faster during summer time.
- Digestion is aided through the practice of sporting activities or general physical actions whilst also preventing the accumulation of harmful substances in the body.
- Stay away from soft drinks which limit the efficiency of digestion and fill the stomach with harmful gases, while slowing down the effectiveness of gastric juices.
- Do not continue eating between Iftar and Sohour. Instead, have light snacks such as dates, dried apricots and yogurt every two hours.
- Practice gradual eating during Iftar, which is necessary for revitalization of the stomach after hours of inactivity. For example, consider eating dates first or warm water before your prayers.
- Eat soup every day. However, don’t eat creamy and greasy varieties, choose soups rich with vegetables, dietary fiber, and iron, such as lentil soup or other homemade recipes. It is worth mentioning that ready-made powder soups lack vitamins and contain large amounts of salt and preservatives.
- For the main dish it is best that you do not combine starches such as pasta with rice.
- Salads are ideal to get enough of your daily nutritional requirements, but be wise with your choice of sauces especially if overloaded with mayonnaise and trans fats.