While the month of Ramadan is about fasting, it often quickly becomes about feasting. This can significantly impact your energy levels and how you feel throughout the day while fasting.
If you’ve ever wondered “What can you eat during Ramadan?” you’ve come to the right place! Below, I’ve listed some best foods to eat during Ramadan and healthy habits you can build to have a healthier and more energized Ramadan.
What to eat during Ramadan
Eating a variety of foods is important, especially in the evening as you break your fast with iftar. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean protein, healthy fat—all of these are important to give your body all the nutrients it needs after a long day of fasting.
During suhoor or sehri, components of a balanced meal can help your blood sugar remain stable and give you energy. Include the following in your sehri:
- Whole grains – whole grain cereal, whole grain bread, brown rice, and oatmeal
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Protein – milk, yogurt, eggs, and nuts
- Healthy fat – focus on nuts and olives
Here are the best food to eat during Ramadan and some meals you can try for sehri:
- Oatmeal made with low-fat milk and topped with fruit and nuts
- A piece of whole-grain toast, a boiled egg, and a piece of fruit
- A banana or apple with peanut butter and a glass of low-fat milk
- A bowl of vegetable soup, a piece of whole grain toast, and a glass of low-fat milk
- Whole-wheat couscous salad with mixed vegetables, olive oil, and canned tuna
And don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated! Try drinking fluid several times throughout the night and pace yourself (don’t go overboard). Drinking a few gallons all at once can dilute your body’s electrolytes, and can lead to water intoxication.
Foods to avoid during Ramadan
The general rule of thumb is to avoid super sweet, fried and fatty foods, and essentially anything that is dehydrating.
Try your best to avoid the following foods, or eat them in smaller portions if you can’t resist:
- Fried and fatty foods, such as fried potato and samosa. I know it’s tempting but these foods contain a lot of fat and sodium, so eating huge quantities can lead to fatigue.
- Foods that contain high amounts of salt, such as pickles. Sodium can dehydrate the body and impact its ability to absorb fluids.
- Foods that contain large amounts of sugar. These foods are often high in calories but poor in nutritional value, giving you only a short boost of energy.
Choose fluids that don’t contain caffeine, because caffeinated drinks can cause the body to lose fluids and important minerals needed during the day.
Have an Energizing Suhoor
It may be tempting to sleep through suhoor, especially if you have to wake up early for work. However, waking up early and having a suhoor will help you feel more energized rather than sleeping more.
Having a suhoor that contains slower digesting carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats will help you feel fuller throughout the day. A great suhoor that includes all of these is Overnight Oats.
Avoid Overeating at Iftar
You haven’t eaten all day and have been waiting for the clock to tick Maghrib o’ clock. Eating as quickly as possible and way too much, results in feeling very tired and bloated about 30 minutes after iftar.
Doing this 30 days straight, results in lower energy levels throughout the month, digestive issues, and weight gain. To avoid this, break your fast with dates + water + a bowl of fruit. Go pray your Maghrib salah and then have your main meal.
This will help slow down how much you are eating and how quickly you are eating. You’ll notice this Ramadan Healthy Habit will help you feel much better after iftar!
Once you have been making healthier food choices, you will likely have more energy to exercise. Whether you have been exercising from before or just getting started, staying active provides many benefits such as improved mental health, strengthening muscles, and reducing aches and pains.
This is a great Ramadan Healthy Habit to build! Aim for 30 minutes of exercise that will increase your heart rate. You can do full body workouts at home with little to no additional equipment.
Walk & Explore
In addition to increasing your heart rate through at home exercises, aim to get in a daily walk while fasting if you are able to leave your house during the pandemic. This Ramadan Healthy Habit will also allow you to get out in nature and inhale some fresh air.
If you want to have the healthiest Ramadan yet, with full guidance, The Healthy Ramadan Guide provides you with a full meal plan, recipes, grocery lists, workout program, and mobility routine.
I’ve written The Healthy Ramadan Guide with Belal Hafeez who you might know on instagram as @strongerwithbelal.
The book will ship to your house, for free if you live in the US or Canada, to help our community have the healthiest Ramadan yet. A percentage of proceeds will be donated to supporting orphans through Islamic Relief Canada. You can click here to get your copy of the book.
Wishing you all a blessed and healthy Ramadan inshaAllah!