Ramadan or Ramzan is the holy month when Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise till sunset for about 30 days. The first day of fasting this year started on May 5.

People who fast during the month of Ramadan eat one meal, known as the suhoor or sehri just before dawn and another the iftar, after sunset. The end of Ramadan is celebrated after one month of fasting as Eid al-Fitr along with the families and friends over prayers, charity and scrumptious meals.

Traditional wisdom says that fasting is good for health and it has numerous benefits. During fasting, the body uses its reserves of carbohydrates and fats (stored in liver and muscle) to provide energy. As the body cannot store water, the kidneys conserve water as much as possible by lowering urine output. However, the body loses some water through sweat, urine and breathing.

Benefits Of Fasting

Fasting helps to detoxify the system.

Fasting gives enough space for the gastrointestinal system to rest.

Fasting fixes the inflammatory response.

Fasting speeds up burning of fats.

Fasting helps in promoting weight loss.

Fasting helps to suppress addiction and cravings.

Best Foods To Eat During Suhur And Iftar

Suhur or Sehri

Suhoor is the first meal of the day and it is taken before sunrise. Drink lots of water to ensure hydration for the rest of the day.

Go for starch dense whole grains that provide energy and promote digestion. Oats porridges, muesli or an overnight cereal jar with milk, topped with dried fruits and nuts will help in meeting your body’s requirement for calories, energy, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Choose starchy foods made from rice and millets. Reduce salt to avoid the thirst.

Bread made from whole grain or chapathi provide more fibre and keep you satiated. Have it with plenty of fluids like lentil soups, or a banana. Avoid salty foods like processed meats or hard cheese with bread.

Yogurt provides your daily dose of protein, calcium, vitamins and fluids. You can top it with fresh fruits or nuts.

Iftar

While breaking the fast, go for plenty of fluids which are low on fats and with natural sugars for instant energy.

Limit on sugary and fatty foods. Make sure you eat a balanced meal comprising whole grain cereals, protein from lean meats, eggs, and pulses, vegetables and curd.

Water, fruit juices or smoothies can hydrate you instantly. Milk and fruits provide natural sugars and vital nutrients which are considered as the best foods to break the fast.

Dates are a must-have during the holy month of Ramzan as they are a good source of natural sugars, fibre and loaded with the abundance of potassium, iron, magnesium and copper. Other dried fruits like apricots, figs and raisins are also a great source of natural sugars filled with nutrients.

Soups made from meat or mixed pulses, lentils or with cereals provide you with protein, energy and vitamins.