Dietary dos and don'ts for Ramzan
The holy month of Ramzan brings with it the message of brotherhood, finding beauty in the little things, being thankful for what we have and praying for those who are less fortunate.
The month-long celebration includes an elaborate routine of rigorous fasting from dusk to dawn. It is a path to spiritual and physical cleansing and fasting combined with nutritional food choices can bring several health benefits. But at the same time, if you are ignorant towards your health, fasting might become the cause of various issues.
Talking about the health problems that might get triggered during this month, Dr Deepak Parashar, Medical Officer, Healthians, an online diagnostic company, says, "Elderly and people suffering from certain health complications can suffer side effects of rigorous fasting. Fasting can cause fluctuations in the blood sugar levels of a diabetic person, and untimely meals and medications can lead to a drop in the sugar levels or hypoglycaemia".
He believes that a hypertensive person can suffer a sudden drop in blood pressure which can cause severe health complications.
"People suffering from thyroid disorder can experience hormonal imbalance. Other health complications of fasting during the long, hot summer days are dehydration, weakness, and stomach problems like bloating, gas. Some people might suffer a sudden spike in their cholesterol levels due to deep-fried fasting treats," he added.
He also warns about going overboard and indulging in overeating during ramzan.
"Healthy food choices and responsible eating will only allow you to enjoy the festivities to the fullest. There is no need to avoid delectable delicacies but be smart while filling up on foods. Create a fine balance between foods that help to avoid health problems and stay active throughout the day. Ramzan is also considered as an opportunity to practise self-control and fasting enables to achieve it," he further stated.
Saumya Shatakshi, Senior Nutritionist and Wellness Consultant, Healthians suggests few simple tips and dietary dos and don'ts to add healthy sparkles to the celebrations:
The two meals of Ramzan – sehri and iftar needs proper planning. Maintaining a balance of carb, fat, fibre and protein will allow you to savour the goodness of the feast.
Sehri is the pre-dawn meal which keeps you going throughout the day and should never be skipped. Sehri is followed by an entire day of fasting, therefore, it is important to fill up on the essential nutrients and make sure to load up on plenty of fluids.
Also, take your daily dose of medicines with Sehri to help you sail through the day without facing any medical issues.
Iftar should include comparatively lighter food choices as it is the evening meal and should be light on the stomach.
Fasting during summer days can also cause weakness and dehydration. Ditch tea and caffeine and have cool summer drinks like chaanch, bael sherbet and coconut water instead.
Use low-fat milk to makes shakes and sweet dishes to keep your stomach light
Soaking of dry fruits before consumption helps with better nutrient absorption
Concoction of ajwain in water before bed aids digestion.
Add fresh fruits to increase your fibre intake and satiety levels.
Try air frying or grilling instead of deep frying to give the delicacies a healthy twist.
Adding stevia instead of sugar allows diabetics to relish desserts.