Fill Your Body With The Right Fuel
by Aftab Muhammed on Apr 13, 2021
First Ramadan of the decade (Ramadan 2021)
Ramadan is a time to felicitate and laureate our bodies, our health and feel our best during our divine pursuit. This spiritual quest can be turned into an opportunity to elevate our health and fitness. This conscientious attempt to present this blog can change your perception and can also eliminate the limitations to get healthy food options for Iftar (sunset) and suhoor (before sunrise). There is a special surprise for you at the end.
First Ramadan (2021) of this decade requires a healthy and fresh start for your health and fitness journey. Ramadan is starting, millions of Muslims around the world will observe the month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is a time for contemplation, religious adherence and families and communities to come together. Muslims around the world will devote themselves to fasting from sunrise to sunset, during this interval they desist from having any food and drink.
Fasting signifies the purging of the soul, stimulates self-restraint, compassion, and empathy for those in need. This blessed and holy time inspires Muslims to carry out the act of generosity and kindness.
Ramadan is time to complement our bodies and learn how to eat healthy to feel our best. Ramadan 2021 falls in the autumn and the fast in Australia can last for 13 to 14 hours. Muslims will continue with their routine such as go to work, attend school and accomplishing daily routine without eating and drinking during this time. Justifiably they can prompt fatigue, may affect physical performance and influence attitude. Therefore, a healthy and balanced eating pattern is essential during Ramadan. This organized and correctly chosen eating pattern will help you to be nurtured and rejuvenated throughout the month. (Shahzadi 2020)
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Effect of fasting on body
Generally human body need glucose for energy or fuel. Glucose comes from foods containing carbohydrates such as grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy, and sweets. It is considered as our primary energy source. Now let us jump into the facts of how it fuels our body and what happened to the excessive energy or glucose. It fuels our brain, muscles, and tissues and any extra glucose that is not used by the body is stored in the liver and muscles or converted to fat until the body needs it.
As during fasting we do not have a supply of carbohydrates for our body to provide fuel, our body starts to consume stored glucose. As time passes, our body begins to create its glucose by using the fats stored by our body. Moreover, when our body’s stores are consumed or depleted the body ends up in starvation mode. After this stage, your metabolism slows down, due to this low metabolic rate our body leans on muscle tissue for fuel results in muscle break down and during Ramadan this happens for several consecutive weeks.
Therefore, choosing suitable foods becomes critical during non-fasting hours, to help replenish our body’s energy store to prevent deprivation and exhaustion.
Bottom line crux:
- Glucose is the body’s fuel
- Which comes from carbohydrates
- It fuels our brain, muscles, and tissues
- Extra glucose stores in the liver and muscles
- Which converts into fats
- During fasting body starts to consume stored glucose
- Then body starts consuming glucose from fats
- Body enters starvation mode
- Metabolic rate goes down
- Body leans on muscle tissue
- Muscle breakdown
- Body needs suitable food
- Now here we can spin this in our favor by filling the right fuel
Health benefits of fasting
- Weight loss and other metabolic benefits
- Improvement in blood sugar control
- Cholesterol level control
- Control triglyceride level
These benefits are extremely beneficial for a healthy lifestyle. However, these effects appear to be temporary, and people tend to return their Pre-Ramadan levels shortly after the month. Sustainable and consistent lifestyle modification is essential for long-lasting health and quality of life.
Ramadan is an exceptional opportunity to reflect on our choices and to start working on small but sustainable changes.
What is Dehydration?
- Water is required to maintain bodily functions and to regulate body temperature
- Water is lost through breath, digestion, urine and sweat
- Our body is unable to store much water unlike nutrients
- Our kidney holds on to water and produce less urine
due to the above facts, people who fast for long hours might experience signs of dehydration.
Signs of dehydration
Having plenty of water and fluid rich foods, during non-fasting hours can help u rehydrate and minimise the effects of dehydration during fasting hours.
Rehydration in non-fasting hours
- Pack in the fluids
- Milk, Soy milk and Almond milk
Breakfast in Ramadan
There are two main meals during Ramadan, suhoor at sunrise and Iftar at sunset. Breakfast is normally taken as suhoor before sunrise and there are key nutrients that help keep you full for longer.
- Healthy fats
There should be a variety of plant food as part of your meal which can maximize your intake of crucial nutrients.
Soluble fibre foods
- Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas)
These foods contain soluble fibre
- This fibre dissolves in water
- It forms a gel
- This causes food to leave your stomach at a slower rate
- Feeling full for longer
Include foods rich in soluble fibre at every meal in suhoor.
- Rich in complex carbohydrate
- Excellent source of fibre
- Stable blood sugar level
- Prevent excessive hunger
- Preoccupation with food early in the day
- It can be found in plant-based food
- Whole grain
- Brown rice
- Whole grain bread
- Whole grain pasta
- Whole grain oats
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole fruit and vegetables
- Legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils, split peas)
Protein-rich foods which prevent muscle loss
- Lean meat
- Legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils, split peas)
- Nuts and seeds
- Soy protein such as edamame, tofu, and tempeh
- Olive oil
- Nut and seeds, unprocessed nut, and seed butters
Iftar is the first meal eaten after hours of fasting. Now, this is the time to remain mindful of how you eat and what you eat.
Traditionally how Muslims break their fast
There is a lot of merit to this age-old tradition that has been passed down by Holy Prophet MUHAMMAD (PBUH). Muslims break their fast by having a few dates and a cup of tea before moving on to the main meal.
- Dates are rich in vitamins
This will help your body to prepare your body for the meal you about to receive.
- Carbohydrates in dates can stabilize blood sugars
- Help manage your appetite
- Prevent overeating
Cup tea, milk or water help you to rehydrate.
Iftar meals should
- Rich in protein
- Complex carbohydrates
- Healthy fats
- Fruit and vegetables
Avoid foods in Ramadan
- High in sugar
- Foods harder to digest
These foods might give you instant satisfaction, but they do little to provide you with the nutrition you need, and these foods will be harder to digest. Your body needs proper calculated nutrition for your best focus on your spiritual health.
Diabetic, pregnant and people on medication
Fasting in Ramadan is greatly beneficial for the body and is not intended to cause any harm. If you are living with health conditions, pregnant, diabetic, and taking medication, make sure to consult with your healthcare team to make sure the fasting is safe for you. There is certain medication which can increase your risk of getting low blood sugar, make sure you get advice and plan to minimize your risk for any health condition.
How to eat healthy during Ramadan (without any struggle)
The best way to stay healthy in Ramadan is to have well-timed, balanced meals and make sure to have plenty of fluids from iftar to suhoor. Eat BCM meal plans provide you best nutritious meals designed by a certified nutritionist, 100% halal, these meals are portion-controlled with proper macro design and the easiest healthy alternative to supermarket unhealthy sausage rolls, pies, and deep-fried foods.
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Do you develop when you learn, or do you learn when u develop
All possible scientific information is provided in this editorial about your health and fasting, now it is your choice to practically implement on your body to see results.
- Learn is to get information
- Develop is to practice and implementation
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