LONDON: Most people break their fast with dates and water or laban, but there are a variety of other nutritious foods to incorporate into your iftar meals.
Opt for fiber-rich meals and fruits and vegetables to support electrolyte storage, quality protein to maintain muscle mass, and plenty of fluids (mainly water) to maintain hydration.
You should avoid fried foods and sweets, as the latter 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 settle on top of your stomach contents and are not easily digested.
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 a great dose of protein to keep you full and less likely to opt for sweets and cakes before your next meal.
White fluffy fish (cod, halibut, haddock, plaice, bass or snapper)
Choose easier-to-digest proteins like flaky white fish, especially during Ramadan when you’ve been fasting for a long time. Meat or poultry is an excellent source of protein, but may be more difficult to digest if you haven’t eaten anything for several hours.
Unsalted nuts (almond, brazil, walnut, cashew or pecan)
Nuts are high in nutritional content, healthy fats, and protein, among other things. Nuts are one of the best sources of protein and are a fantastic way to break your fast as they are a nutrient-dense, low-carb source of protein.
apple cider vinegar
When it comes to health, it’s the new kid on the block for many, with huge health benefits. This new super drink improves overall health in various ways; it balances alkaline pH levels, most of the time we are more acidic than alkaline due to poor diet. It also kills bad bacteria in the gut. Difficult to digest on its own, so it is best mixed with a small amount of apple juice. I have found that one part apple cider vinegar (two teaspoons) to five parts apple juice works best, and it can be drunk daily.
This may sound easy and, yes, it is. When you fast, you can be lacking in certain nutrients/vitamins and spinach is full of them: vitamin A, C, K1, folic acid, iron and calcium. It is not a headache and a vegetable that should be added by anyone who wants to increase nutrients and vitamins in a healthy and natural way.
Another thing to note is that you should not consume all of your daily needs during iftar or sahoor, eating little and often is much better for you. Eating larger, less frequent meals could prevent you from using all the energy you consume at once, which could lead 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