Recently Dubai Week published an article titled Healthy food in Ramadan...Tips to overcome 3 problems during fasting with some advice from Therapeutic Nutrition Consultant, Dr. Baha Naji, who provided some great tips on how to deal with thirst and hunger associated with fasting for Muslims during Ramadan.
Fasting during Ramadan is an important spiritual practice for Muslims worldwide. It involves abstaining from food and drink from dawn to sunset, and can last up to 30 days. As Dr. Naji points out: "While fasting can be a rewarding experience, it can also present challenges. The main ones being fatigue, dehydration, and hunger."
Snacks can play a crucial role in helping to overcome these issues and make the fasting experience more manageable. As highlighted in the article, breaking the fast with fruits can assist with overcoming thirst, while the “suhoor meal” is the “magic remedy” to conquer the feeling of hunger.
Adding to this article, I have gone deeper into the 4 main concerns that arise when fasting during Ramadan and how healthy food choices can assist.
Four main challenges associated with fasting and how to overcome them
One of the main challenges associated with fasting is dehydration. During the day, Muslims are not allowed to consume any fluids, which can lead to a feeling of thirst and a dry mouth.
Drinking plenty of water before the fast begins and after it ends is important, but consuming water-rich foods as snacks can also help keep the body hydrated.
As Dr. Naji points out, fruits such as strawberries, (water)melons, and pineapples help the body retain water, and I would also add to this list, oranges and grapes due to being high in water content. They help quench thirst, as well as provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals.
After several hours without food, hunger can also set in and it can be difficult to concentrate and perform daily tasks. However, rather than just focus on one Suhoor meal, which Dr. Naji refers to, I would also consider supporting this meal with the consumption of healthy snacks during non-fasting hours, to help provide the body with the necessary energy to carry out daily activities and prevent overeating during Suhoor.
Snacks such as nuts, seeds, and dates are high in protein and fiber, and can help keep the stomach full for longer periods of time. This can also help prevent weight gain and other health issues.
At the360mix.com, we have compiled a special Ramadan Gift Box, with every snack in this box having either dates or nuts as its first ingredient.
Fatigue and tiredness
Consuming snacks that are high in carbohydrates can also help overcome fatigue and tiredness, providing the body with the necessary energy to carry out daily tasks.
Snacks such as whole-grain crackers, granola bars, and energy bars can provide the body with sustained energy throughout the day. These snacks can also help stabilize blood sugar levels, which can help prevent dizziness and headaches.
Digestive issues can also arise during fasting. After several hours without food, the stomach can become sensitive to heavy or spicy foods.
Consuming light snacks during non-fasting hours can help prevent digestive issues. Snacks such as yogurt, smoothies, and soups are easy to digest and can provide the body with essential nutrients. These snacks can also help prevent constipation, which can be a common issue during fasting.
Additional benefits of snacks during Ramadan
In addition to these physical benefits, snacks can also provide emotional and spiritual benefits during fasting. Snacks can help provide a sense of comfort and satiety during a time of abstaining. Sharing healthy snacks with family and friends can also help create a sense of community and connection during Ramadan.
Snacks can play an important role in helping overcome the challenges associated with fasting during Ramadan. From hydration to energy to emotional support, snacks can provide a variety of physical and emotional benefits during this spiritual practice.
By choosing snacks that are high in water content, protein, fiber, and carbohydrates, individuals can help keep their bodies nourished and hydrated throughout the fasting period.
For those partaking in the occasion, we wish you a blessed month of fasting, reflection and spiritual growth. May the month of Ramadan bring you peace, joy and an abundance of blessings.
For those looking for healthy snacks to celebrate the end of the fasting month, check out our specially curated Eid Mubarak Snack Box.
Natalie is a qualified functional nutritionist, having studied the relationship to food, health and the environment at Stanford University; the importance of healthy body, mind, weight and intuitive eating at the Mind, Body and Food Institute in Australia; as well as sports nutrition. She is a firm believer of a holistic approach to nutrition, incorporating elements of gut health, movement and lifestyle into complete wellness programs.