Fasting is not only a physical but also a spiritual exercise that has many lasting benefits. While it heightens the consciousness of God, it is also important for a healthy lifestyle, to detoxify the body, to be in touch with our spirituality and is a means to show our compassion.
As Ramadan fast extends from dawn till dusk, one can replenish the energy in the body through meals in the pre-dawn and dusk periods. What we consume as part of these meals becomes significant so what foods should be included?
The pre-dawn meal should include preferably slowly digesting foods. Complex carbohydrates are foods that will help release energy slowly during the long hours of fasting. Complex carbohydrates are found in grains and seeds, like barley, wheat, oats, millets, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour, rice, etc. Fiber-rich foods are also digested slowly and include bran, cereals, whole wheat, grains and seeds, potatoes (with the skin), vegetables such as green beans and fruits. Almost all fruits, including apricots, prunes, figs, etc. which are rich in fiber are recommended for consumption in pre-dawn meals. Meals that break the day’s fast can include dates, fruits and fresh fruit juices – all these have a revitalizing effect on the body.
One must avoid binge eating in one meal. Choose to eat fresh foods as much as possible. Foods that are high in sugar and trans fat content should be avoided. So skip, heavily processed foods and fatty foods. Reduce your intake of fried items. Foods that contain refined carbohydrates in the form of sugar, white flour such as cakes, biscuits, chocolates and sweets should be avoided as much as possible as these are fast-burning foods. It is also recommended that you sacrifice your dose of coffee to limit the caffeine intake during your fasting period.
Maintaining a healthy diet all through the month of Ramadan when the summer is at its scorching peak will help you stay vitalized.
This article has been written by Dr. Anand Kumar, Spa Manager, Marriott Hotel Al Jaddaf, Dubai. Dr. Anand has 16 years of experience in Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences.