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Ramadan--- Feast or Fast???

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

World is a colorful canvas painted by diverse cultures. Each stroke of this canvas follow their spiritual and cultural heritages. Fasting is an integral practice of many religions, Muslims fast during, “ Ramadan” ,the 9th lunar month in the Islamic calendar.

The Holy Quran instructs the believers to fast, quoting---Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn piety and righteousness This accentuates the fact that it is the time to attain spiritual enlightenment and a righteous attitude. By and large this period is mistaken for a time of gobbling on feasts and minimal activeness.Not to mention that these feasts are the ones high on Fat, Simple Sugar and Salt!

Noble prize winning research of a Japanese scientists revolutionized the concept of “Autophagy”. In simple terms fasting for 12 to 14 hours can organically improve longevity, control blood sugar, aid in weight loss and improve brain function. In consideration Ramadan fasting can be a great window of opportunity to achieve your health and fitness goals. Provided you eat the Right Food at the Right time,

in the Right Quantity!


Sahar

This is the practice of eating before the break of dawn, a time to fuel up your body.


Smart choices

High fibre foods – Fruits, Pulse, Multigrain Roti. A source of protein- Egg, Milk, 5 to 6 nuts. Hydrate your self well by consuming enough water and a beverage.

Benefits- Keeps you Full, Discourages thirst sensation

AVOID- Processed foods, Maida, Deep fried and salty foods.


Iftar

The practice of breaking ones fast post sunset.


Smart Choices

Consume a Date!

  • Focus on fibre from Fruits, Pulse chaat, Fruit chaat with little sugar and chaat masala sprinkle

  • Have a cooling beverage like aam panna with minimal sugar or use jaggery, Mojhito with mint and water, Nabeez a prophetic drink made of dates and lime juice or a simple lime or sweet lime juice.Add Basil seeds or sabza in your drinks regularly.

  • You can have 2 servings of fried snacks.

  • Psychological conditioning of the mind is the key. Realise that you have just skipped lunch and the other meals are just the same, if not more.

  • Many people have a practice of eating their dinner with iftar which helps in keeping the snacking minimal. Make sure your plate looks colourful with Salads, 1 small bowl bhaji or 1 medium piece of meat a helping of dal, 2 multigrain chapatis and/or ½ bowl rice and curd.

  • Make sure to include a serving of curd or buttermilk throughout the day as it will help to keep your gut neutralised.

  • From iftar to sahar consume fluids in plenty in the form of kanjis, soups, buttermilk, water, fruit infused water.

  • For those who are habituated to non- vegetarian snacks in iftar, 2 servings of baked or air fried chicken tikkas,lollipops, home made shawarmas, stir fried fish can be a fine option.

AVOID-

  1. Excessive deep fried snacks. While cooking reusing the oil multiple times should be strictly prohibited. Look for frying alternatives like baking, steaming, air-frying, boiling.

  2. Concentrated sugary beverages to be taken once a week. Have beverages with water instead of milk.

  3. Use processed foods like maida, butter sparingly.Recipes that require dough formation can be easily substituted with wheatflour for refined flour, and butter with lesser quantity of canola or olive oil.

  4. Avoid a heavy meal high on non-veg at dinner as this would delay sleep by raising core body temperature.


Physical Activity

Fasting for almost 12 to 15 hours for a period of 30 days consecutively does not deplete the body stores. Staying physically active is very crucial in these periods as we tend to increase the caloric intake. You can continue with the prior Ramadan, level of activity. However it is advisable to workout post iftar to avoid dehydration and low sugar levels. Those who did not follow a workout regime prior can indulge in a 30 mins brisk walk followed by some form of resistance training as this shall help in maintaining the energy balance.

Benefits—Helps in re-fuelling the body efficiently, re-pumps all vitamins and minerals back into the system, prevents acidity, heartburn, constipation.


A word of caution: Individuals with Diabetes should fast or not remains a debatable issue. More so because the hormones that benefit a healthy individual during fasting might not do so that efficiently in a diabetic. The choice to fast or not remains with the individual. However a close monitor on the blood glucose levels and the diet can aid a diabetic to fast without developing complications.

Keeping its deep rooted essence alive --This Ramadan make a conscious effort to enlighten the soul and enrich the body!




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