LONDON: Most people break their fast with dates and water or laban, but there are a variety of other nutritious foods that you can incorporate into your iftar meals.
Opt for high-fiber meals and fruits and vegetables to promote electrolyte retention, high-quality protein to maintain muscle mass, and plenty of fluids (mostly water) to stay hydrated.
Avoid fried foods and sugary sweets, which are very popular at this time of year. Unlike proteins and carbohydrates, which mix well in your gastrointestinal tract, fats are incompatible with water and tend to sit on top of the stomach contents and not be digested easily.
Below are the top five foods to break your fast with.
Breaking your fast with cottage cheese is ideal because it’s already fermented, making it easier to digest while providing an excellent dose of protein to keep you full and less likely to reach for sweets and cakes before your next meal.
White Flake Fish (Cod, Halibut, Haddock, Flounder, Sea Bass or Snapper)
Choose easier-to-digest proteins like white flake fish, especially during Ramadan when you have been fasting for a long time. Meat or poultry are great sources of protein but can be harder for the body to digest if you haven’t eaten for several hours.
unsalted nuts (Almond, Brasil, Walnut, Cashew or Pecan)
Nuts are rich in nutrients, healthy fats and proteins, among other things. Nuts are one of the best sources of protein and are a fantastic way to break a fast as they are a nutrient-dense, low-carb source of protein.
Apple Cider Vinegar
When it comes to health, this is the new kid on the block for many, with huge health benefits. This new super drink improves overall health in a number of ways; it balances alkaline pH levels, most of the time we are more acidic than alkaline due to poor nutrition. It also kills bad bacteria in the gut. Difficult to digest, so it is best to mix it with some apple juice. I’ve found that one part apple cider vinegar (two teaspoons) to five parts apple juice works best, and this can be drunk daily.
It may seem simple and yes, it is. When you’re fasting you might be depleted of some nutrients/vitamins and spinach is full of them: vitamins A, C, K1, folic acid, iron and calcium. It’s no brainer and a vegetable that should be added by anyone looking to boost nutrients and vitamins in a healthy and natural way.
Another thing to note is that you should not consume all your daily requirements during Iftar or Sahur, eating little and often is much better for you. Larger and less frequent meals can result in not being able to use all of the energy you expend at once, potentially leading to weight gain as your metabolism adjusts to your different eating habits during Ramadan.
Daniel Wells is a Life Coach and Personal Trainer at www.brandnewyou.co.uk