We now know that in addition to how beneficial fasting is to us spiritually, it is also beneficial to our health. Fasting has been praised for boosting the metabolism, supporting fat loss and lowering blood pressure and intermittent fasting has been round the health circles quite a lot lately. However, one must recognize that fasting is harsh on the body and what you eat and drink when you break your fast is crucial to keeping your body well-nourished and healthy.
Here are my top 5 tips to remaining healthy during the Holy month of fasting:
- Water is not the only part of the hydration equation: water is great to keep you hydrated and if you are not into drinking plain water, then why not create your own blend of herbs, fruits and vegetables for a jug of detox water to sip on during the evening? Organic herbal teas like Lemongrass & Ginger tea and jasmine green tea also count towards your daily liquid intake and keep you hydrated whilst benefiting from the nutrients within.
- Not all fat is created equal: fat is essential to the functioning of our bodies and whilst transfats found in fried and processed foods can wreak havoc on your body and increase your risk of heart disease, monosaturated fats found in foods like avocado are perfect for sustaining a healthy body. Nuts are another great example of foods containing healthy fats and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels. Nut Butters are a great addition to your Suhoor meal to sustain you throughout the following fasting day. Chia seeds also boast an impressive fat content and can be easily added to your diet.
- Stick to complex carbs: if you choose the right types of carbohydrates then carbs need not be the enemy of health as was thought in the past. Having oatmeal in your soup for iftar and brown rice or sweet potatoes instead of white rice with your meal will keep you fuller for longer while keeping your energy levels up thanks to their high nutrient and fiber content. You can shop Mint Basil Market's Suhoor Package for such options.
- Include a healthy protein in your meal: protein is essential for keeping you satisfied and keeping your body from losing muscle tissue. If you are an animal protein eater then try to opt for clean varieties like grass-fed and organic meat and chicken or wild fish. If you are vegan then complete plant-based protein quinoa is a great choice since it contains the nine essential amino acids. Legumes like lentils and chickpeas are also a great option when looking to add protein to your Iftar and Suhoor.
- No need to silence your sweet cravings: we all get that craving for something sweet after a day of fasting and you need not suppress it. You can easily indulge in a healthier version of chocolate, opting for organic dark chocolate that is naturally sweetened with no additives or stabilizers or naturally sweetened biscuits and cookies made with oat or buckwheat flour rather than white flour.
About Sana Toukan
Sana Toukan is a Nutrition Health Coach and a mother of 1 who made Lebanon her home 3 years ago after living in London and Dubai. She is a passionate cook and prepares almost all meals at home which is what prompted her interest in learning more about healthy food and how to make balanced meals for the whole family. Sana is a strong advocate of lifestyle changes including shifting to whole foods and fitness to change one’s overall well-being, having achieved this over the years for herself.