Dr. Abdullah Al-Mutawa: a week before Ramadan
- Drink fewer stimulants, especially coffee, from the morning until the afternoon to avoid headaches on the first three days of Ramadan.
- Reduce drinking water throughout the morning period to accustom the body, avoid fatigue, and headaches during Ramadan.
- If you are using supplements for weight loss, cut it off gradually from now, because they are high in caffeine!
- For those looking to lose weight, Ramadan is a golden opportunity. Reduce your food intake to avoid withdrawal symptoms of diet like fatigue, headaches, and hunger.
Ahmed Leeri: Drink green tea, but…
Green tea has many benefits; it contains compounds which help burn fat. It has antioxidants which protect the body from disease like cancer and Alzheimer’s, but the majority of people don’t consider the timing of drinking green tea. After fatty meals, drinking green tea will burn only 10% and will not burn more if one were continue eating unhealthy food before drinking it. In Ramadan drink green tea when your food is healthy, light, and does not contain a large amount of fat and carbohydrates, or a few hours after iftar. This is when your body can take advantage of the benefits of green tea.
Iftar is considered the primary source of energy received by the body after a long period of starvation. It is advised to break your fast with two dates, then a glass of water or milk; before moving on to soup, salad, and the main meal. Starting with fluids softens the stomach and makes up for fluid lost and prepare the digestive system to absorb the entire meal. The main dish must contain a carbohydrate such as rice or pasta, along with meat, chicken, fish, as well as a cooked vegetable. It is recommended to eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, and grains. Vegetarian food contains fewer calories, more vitamins and minerals, and a small amount of fat.
It is also recommended not to eat foods rich in sodium such as pickles, crackers, salted nuts, canned goods, hot food, and spices especially at Suhoor, because it increases the feeling of thirst during the day.
A common misconception:
Some people eat larger amounts of food throughout Ramadan, believing it is the best way to compensate for the nutrition lost all day fasting! This leads to weight gain and indigestion. It is advised to eat appetizers and sweets moderately and avoid sweetened drinks. Lack of movement also leads to laziness. It is advised to walk daily two hours after iftar to maintain vigor and vitality during this month.
Water; the secret of Ramadan
Drink eight glasses of water a day intermittently in order to avoid any discomfort or puffiness. Avoid breaking your fast with cigarettes, tea, and coffee, because they “excite” the stomach badly.
Hala Barghout: Best food for Suhoor
Suhoor is considered one of the most important meals during Ramadan. These are some food suggestions:
- Whole-grain brown bread
- White cheese
- Fresh fruit
- Cup of yogurt or milk
- Cup of herbal tea
Sara Al Kandari: How to shop healthy in Ramadan
- Avoid common Ramadan drinks, because they contain harmful colors and high quantity of sugars. Instead, use cold water flavored with pieces of fresh fruit, which will give a delicious flavor as well as stay light on sugar.
- Instead of buying ready soups full of preservatives, prepare fresh vegetable soup in advance.
- Instead of frying sambosas and kebbeh in Ramadan, use the grill. Replace fatty cheese fillings with cheese full of protein and calcium, such as Gouda, Arish, and mozzarella.
- Instead of using syrup or “chira” in sweets during Ramadan, use date syrup or honey.