Updated: Apr 27
I always remember the month of Ramadan very fondly as it brings back memories of all my friends, colleagues and acquaintances, when I was working in the Middle East, who fast during this time. What also comes to my memory is the number of people who would visit the ER with gastrointestinal problems, elevated blood pressure, high sugar levels, and of course dehydration and hypoglycemia due to the long hours of fasting.
Although some problems just come with the process of fasting, especially a waterless fast; like fatigue, low sugar levels, and dehydration, there are some that can be totally avoided if we eat smartly. So I am going to share a few tips here which I hope will be of value to my Muslim friends in this holy month of fasting.
Do not skip the pre-dawn meal which is also known as Suhoor or Sehri.
In the pre-dawn meal eat slow-digesting carbohydrates like whole wheat, oats, rice, or any other whole grains you usually eat, to keep yourself full longer and to keep your energy levels at a constant level for a longer time instead of giving you a sugar slump within a couple of hours followed by extreme hunger and hypoglycemia.
Along with a slow-digesting carbohydrate, eat fresh fruit which gives you natural sugars along with the much-needed micronutrients, fiber, and water content. Do not forget to hydrate yourself with just plain water, as much as you can consume, during the Suhoor to keep yourself hydrated through the day.
Avoid caffeine and too much salt in this meal. If possible consume a handful of nuts since they pack in a lot of calories in just a few pieces and do not overfill your stomach early morning.
If you can get in a protein source early morning like eggs or chicken that would be great otherwise you can make up for it after Iftaar i.e. the meal after breaking the fast.