While our Muslim brothers and sisters observe fasting during Ramadan, Malaysians of all religions and races are getting ready to join their friends for both pre-fast (Sahur) and buka puasa (Iftar) meals – not forgetting a leisurely stroll through the nearest Ramadan Bazaar to buy freshly-prepared satay, lemang, kuih, and many other tasty delights. Adjusting to the new hours of daily food intake will require informed dietary habits, so read on for some pointers on getting the proper nutrition.
Healthy Fluids – The optimal fluid is of course water, as it quenches your thirst and hydrates the body without any additional calories. Fruit juices are also ideal as they are high in natural sugars and vitamins. For a quick and convenient option, drop by our grocer and grab a fresh juice to go from Juicebox!
Healthy Fibres – You’ll want to consume foods that are fibre-rich to reload your body’s energy reserves while aiding digestion. Dates and other dried fruits such as apricots, prunes, or figs are best eaten before your main buka puasa meal, as they provide natural sugars and an abundance of nutrients that are easily digestible by your body.
Other examples of healthy fibres are found in beans, pasta, fruits, green vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and pecans. Fill your grocery basket with vibrant fruits such as apples, bananas, mangoes, and oranges for a nourishing dose of energy and natural fluids.
High Protein Foods – Protein is essential to keep your strength up as it releases energy slowly throughout the day, a great advantage when fasting for long hours. Plan your meals and Ramadan Bazaar food trips around foods that contain eggs, yoghurt, plant-based protein and lean meat.
Healthy Fats – Eating foods that contain fat is vital to build body tissue and regulate the immune system, particularly as fasting renders you more susceptible to illness. Natural options are avocados, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, nut & seed butters, chia seeds, and free range lean meats. Not only will they keep your body burning fat for energy, but they also reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood!