HEALTHY EATING TIPS FOR RAMADAN – PART 4

You need to stay Hydrated 

By Indra Balaratnam
Consultant Dietitian

Apart from eating right, it is also very important for you to drink the recommended at least 6 glasses of water daily to stay hydrated (1), as dehydration is the leading cause of common fasting discomforts such as constipation and lethargy. Drinking at least 2 to 3 glasses of water before the start of your fast, will help you stay hydrated during the day. Also, once you break your fast, be sure to sip on water regularly between iftar and bedtime. Foods with high water content such as soups, fruit and vegetables also contribute to your total fluid intake for the day as well.

As caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea draw water out of your body, due to their diuretic effect, it is better to limit the intake of these beverages. During Ramadan, good beverage choices to hydrate with are fresh fruit juices, coconut water and low fat milk. If you crave a hot beverage, an oat smoothie with fruits and low fat dairy makes for a nourishing drink versus tea or coffee. 

So, this year:

  • Don’t just eat as you normally do at Ramadan.
  • Define what you need to eat based on the Healthy Food Palm.
  • Stock up on all the dry food ingredients and snacks you will need and make grocery lists for each week.
  • Pre-prepare emergency foods on days you have no time to cook or make some healthy snacks like oat cookies or good start biscuits.
  • Finally, relax and eat slowly and sensibly at each meal and drink adequate water daily.

All this pre-planning will not only allow you to enjoy your meals in a stress-free state, but also prevent overeating and digestive discomfort later in the day. Use this time to make your health and wellbeing a priority, to reflect the true essence of this holy month of abstinence.   

References:

  1. Dietary guidelines for Saudis: the healthy food palm. General Directorate of Nutrition, 2012 M-1433 H. Retrieved from https://www.moh.gov.sa/en/Ministry/MediaCenter/Publications/

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