The month of fasting is considered a blessing among Muslims, and a way to remember the suffering of those who do not have the access to good food and drinking water as we do. Hence, this month is there to remind us to feed the poor and be empathetic towards humanity.
With the distribution of food among the neighbours and the poor, this Islamic holy month of Ramadan is an utmost favourite in Pakistan. I admit the best part of this month, apart from the religious and social connotations, includes the mouth-watering aromas in the air, the site of the wonderful dishes and the drinks resting on our tables.
Fasting in the month of Ramadhan
How can we talk of Ramadhan and not imagine the tasty and heavenly samosas, pakoras, kachoris, jalebis, fruit chaat, and those cold, coloured drinks!
With Ramadhan coming to Pakistan in the warm months for the last few years, keeping our bodies hydrated has also become quite a challenge. Not such a problem though, when you have all the desi South Asian drinks by your side.
Yes, we’re talking of the mint flavoured lassi, Rooh afza, mint-and-spice-flavoured lemonade, sattu and lemonade with Tukhum-mulanga. Combined with the desi food, it’s heaven on earth!
The sad part, though?
These dishes, delicious as they are, are not that good for our bodies or health. People have complained time and again that they weigh a lot more after the month of fasting than they do before it.
So, while we would love for you to have a small portion of those dishes if you’re so craving it, here are some tips for you to take care of your body in the Holy month of Ramadan.
1. Don’t Gulp Down the Entire Jug or Bottle of Drink in One Go!
Yes, it’s extremely hot.
Yes, you’re thirsty.
And yes, you haven’t had water all day.
These, however, are not reasons enough for you to gulp it all down in one go.
One of the main reasons why people experience bloating during Ramadhan is because as soon as they bite off the Khujoor (date), they gulp down up to three glasses of cold water in one go and feel quite proud of it.
It’s not a competition, people! Try and take a sip of the drink (preferably a warm drink) so that your body does not feel alarmed at the sudden change in your body temperature.
Taking small sips of lukewarm or room-temperature water will help prepare your body for the food and not upset the body’s metabolism at the same time.
2. Keep Carbs, Sugar, and Fats to a Minimum
Who doesn’t love those warm jalebis, pakoras, samosas, namak paaray and all the other delicacies? We all do.
But we need to remind ourselves that delicious as they might be, they’re fried in cans of oil and are not that good for our health. No one’s stopping you from tasting them (we know we can’t live without these delicacies), but try and keep them to a minimum.
3. Consume Good Amounts of Fruit
It’s watermelon and mango season, people!
If you’re a pure desi, we know you love ‘em!
Grab onto large portions of fruits to get ample amounts of vitamins and minerals for glowing skin, good hair and a happy, clean digestive tract.
If eating summer fruits seems too boring, spice them up with recipes online and make fruit salads or fruit chaats, or even drinks and shakes! Get creative and have a wonderful time!
There’s a great problem with food addicts in the Muslim world: they need a good, loaded and heavy dinner after iftari. Of course, I know what you’re thinking, “We didn’t eat all day.”
Well, actually, you did.
You had your sehri (the food that the fast starts with before dawn) and now you’re done with your iftari (food used to open fast) as well. Eating a whole portion of food at iftar and then another one right after it shall do no good to anyone, least of all yourself.
So prepare an iftari that covers up your dinner needs so that you don’t gobble up all that food and complain later about the kilos. Eating two meals with less than an hour span in between them is unhealthy and problematic. It is also one of the main reasons that lead to weight gain.
5. Avoid Carbonated Drinks
Ever heard of the lemon soda? If you have, you need to drop it from your list of iftar items. According to Articles of Healthcare, carbonated drinks on an empty stomach can damage your health. Fizzy drinks may make you feel more active, but they attack the cells of your stomach.
This may lead to several digestive and health problems, mostly constipation and even ulcers. Try to have simple lemonade for a change or get a list of shakes, drinks or teas that you can make. Not only will it make the iftari exciting, but also make sure that you do not damage your health.
While most of us do have the trend of a group walk in the streets or parks after iftar, some of us don’t. When you’re done with the iftar and namaz (prayer), step out into the summer night with family or friends and enjoy the serenity. I don’t know about you all, but the evening in summers is so great!
With the warm-cool breeze in the air, the smell of raat-ki-raani and the chirp of the grasshoppers in the local parks, it’s hard to not go out.
Plan these walks with a group of friends before Ramadhan, especially those who live close to your house so that it’s easier to walk to and fro, gather up and enjoy the time while keeping your bodies toned.
We hope that you have a wonderful, healthy and happy Ramadhan, and that these tips keep you fit and ripe throughout the month.
Want to read more? Read this – 5 Tips for Healthy Eating
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