The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is already underway. Devout Muslims from around the world are observing daytime fasts, and eating only before daybreak or after sundown.
The meal partaken of after the sun sets is called Iftar, and is meant to promote a sentiment of brotherhood and charity.
Therefore, Iftar spreads are — in many places — lavish affairs that incorporate several dishes. With many people invited to Iftar, the host looks serve the best and tastiest fare they can afford.
Now, eating the most delicious things around Ramadan may seem like a given, but health-wise there are some considerations to keep in mind.
Here are 5 Iftar health tips for when you break your fast during the holy month:
1. Hydrate: Drink at least a glass or two of water before you sit down for that luscious Iftar feast. This will help in digesting your food better.
2. Start light: Begin your feast on a light note. Break your fast with the three dates that are customary. Dates are a good start because they are light but have enough nutrients to get your digestive juices going. Another suggestion is soup, which — besides being nutritious and warming after a long day — will also keep you hydrated.
3. Eat lean proteins and good carbs: While red meat, eggs and cheese may seem like a great idea when combined with the right spices, try out some leaner proteins as well, like skinless chicken or turkey. These will take care of your protein needs, without adding to your waistline.
As for the carbohydrates, try some whole-grain pasta or bread, brown rice or unprocessed potatoes.
4. Eat green veggies: While green, leafy vegetables should always be a staple in your diet, these become even more important during Iftar. These will be your primary sources of vitamin, minerals and fibre, and will be easy on your stomach. They will also keep you feeling light, as opposed to the bloated feeling imparted by fried, oily foodstuff.
5. Avoid salt, fat and complex carbs: And finally, try to steer clear of overly-salty, fatty or sweet stuff. Now, this may be easier said than done. But it is always a good idea to keep those kebab, biryani or dessert portions in check.
Times Of Food wishes its Muslim friends Ramadan Kareem!