It’s the fourth day already!
A season of feasts and much dining, Ramadhaan is that time when one almost never lacks a meal for Iftar and Sahur.
In as much as this is part of the bounties of the month, care must be taken to make sure the right food is consumed both in quantity and quality.
Fasting itself aids in clearing the body of toxins and helps the digestive system among other medical benefits(if performed at certain periods). However, we tend to lose out if we cram our mouths and stomachs so full that it becomes a source of discomfort.
Heavy foods should be avoided at Sahur as they weaken the body. A light meal containing the main classes of food with adequate water is better. For the aim is to give support and follow the Sunnah not combine breakfast and lunch!
Iftar is the time when the major food blunders are committed. People organize feasts and sometimes food is wasted. All this occurring when the needy don’t have any.
Dates were preferred by the Prophet S.A.W. for breaking the fast. Apart from the sugars that replace those lost during the day, they are also a rich source of antioxidants, dietary fibre,vitamins and minerals.
Next is water to fight dehydration. Then any local food of choice should contain the major nutrients in the right amounts. The nostalgia one feels when one recalls meals of ogi and akara/moinmoin, yam and egg, etc from childhood.
Ramadhaan is not a license to eat fatty foods, take fizzy drinks and all the excesses we all try to avoid on a normal day. Below is a sort of guide.
High fibre carbohydrates-oats, yam, potatoes etc
Proteins – poultry,fish, eggs, milk, beans
Fats- cheese, palm oil, vegetable oils in moderate amounts. Frying should be minimal (Sorry plantain-lovers)
Onions, ginger, spices can be added to dishes. Don’ forget to brush your teeth afterwards. Especially if you are going to the mosque for Tarawih.
Sodium glutamate (stock cubes) and salt on the other hand should be watched closely.
Fruits and vegetables are affordable and availableand should be added generously to the diet.
Water! instead of fizzy,sugary drinks. Children deserve milk and should be allowed to drink as much as they want.
We can help prevent hypertension, high cholesterol,constipation,dehydration, malnutrition, some cancers and diabetes if we all try to modify our diets.
On a final note, try not to overeat. You dont want to get obese in a month that teaches us what poor and hungry souls have to contend with every day.
It only leads to bloating and sluggishness in Isha and Tarawih.