The point of fasting is to purge the body and soul of toxins and get better in faith and health. However, the constant frying and cooking in Ramadan, what with the samosas, kachoris, and the pakoras, actually end up doing the opposite. This year, Ramadan combined with quarantine boredom has in effect increased the food intake—especially the unhealthy, obesity-inducing kind.
Healthy suhoor and iftar not only make you feel lighter and fresher for longer, but they also provide more sustainable energy throughout the day. According to experts, Ramadan food at iftar should be mostly protein, followed by fats and carbs.
The goal is to have fuel that lasts longer and builds up the energy. Iftar is the time when you replenish your electrolytes and rehydrate the body for the coming day. On the other hand, the food at suhoor should be mostly carbs, followed by fat and protein.
Food that is heavily fried can make one lethargic and listless. The excess oil can make you feel sluggish right away; ever wondered why you feel sleepy right after iftar, well, here lies the answer. It is also not advisable to eat sweets and carbs right away at iftar, because, after a full day of fasting, this will just jolt the system.
So, what exactly should you eat this month that’s both nutritious and fulfills your cravings? Read on to find some healthy recipes that will be delicious and yet not be heavy on the waistline.
1. Banana and date smoothie
This power-packed energy drink is ideal for Ramadan with its nutritive power and flavor and is the top entry on our list of healthy recipes. Bananas and dates are ideal sources of fiber, potassium, and magnesium, and can help replenish the electrolytes after a long day of fasting in this heat. Not only is it a great drink for Ramadan, but the ingredients make it a perfect post-workout snack as well.
Grind together half a cup of walnuts, with quarter cup pistachios in a blender. To this, add 5 pitted dates, and mix until a creamy mixture forms. Then add cinnamon and vanilla extract for flavoring, and 1 ripe banana and 1½ cup almond milk. Add as much as ice as you want and blend. A delicious, creamy smoothie is ready for iftar.
2.Watermelon agua fresca
Another great energy drink for the summer Ramadan is a refreshing watermelon agua fresca. Watermelon is great for hydration, being more than 90 percent water itself.
Moreover, it is rich in fiber and antioxidants. For this drink, additional sugar is optional, and a few sprigs of fresh mint can take it to another level; lime can also be added to spruce up the flavor. This fresh sugarless drink is also great for kids and as a post-workout hydration form.
These tender meat patties are always a kitchen essential, but even more so during Ramadan. Our list of healthy recipes would be incomplete without them. What makes them so wholesome is the meat and the spices that not only add flavor but also nutrition to a compact kebab. A big batch of shami kebabs can be made before Ramadan and can be shallow fried for iftar, or even a post-iftar light snack.
Boiled potatoes are a good form of carbohydrates for the body. They help to sustain energy for longer and keep the blood sugar up. Delicious and nutritious potato salads can be eaten in suhoor as well as iftar. The ingredients in potato salad include healthy protein and fat, with boiled eggs, mustard, and olive oil.
To start off, boil the potatoes in salt water, to ensure that the salty flavor penetrates deep into the potatoes, and peel off the skin. Chop the boiled potatoes and add in salt and pepper as per taste, and then add 2 tablespoons each of mayonnaise and mustard.
Add a finely chopped onion, a pot of sweet pickles, and two hard-boiled eggs into the mix. Make sure that you add in the dressing ingredients when the potatoes are warm. The onions and the eggs add richness to the salad and make it more wholesome. Refrigerate the salad and serve cold.
5.Pineapple and pomegranate raita
The last but definitely not the least entry on our list of healthy recipes is pineapple and pomegranate raita. Raita is always a great idea and a way to add flavor and variety to the dining table. It is liked by everyone and goes with just about every main dish. In Ramadan, raita in iftars offers a high level of protein through the yogurt, and flavor, through the spices. It can also be a side dish to a main course of rice when served at iftar.
For this raita, add chopped pineapple to yogurt and add peeled pomegranates as well. Add seasonings for flavor, with roasted cumin powder, spiced powder (chaat masala), and black pepper. Feel free to add fresh herbs that you like to make it even tastier. Raitas are also good at combating acidity and can be used even by people who cannot tolerate spicy food.
Opt for a varied and nutritious menu for yourself and your family this Ramadan and enjoy good health; book an appointment with top nutritionists in Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.