Thursday 1 June 2017

Ramadan: Food edition

The ninth month of the Muslim year has arrived and that marks the beginning of Ramadan, the holy fasting period for an estimated 1.8 billion Muslims throughout the world. Being in Malaysia, one has to know about Ramadan and the miles long bazaar that comes with it, which is just filled with the pleasant smells of a variety of freshly cooked food such as nasi lemak, sup ekor, sate, and so much more.

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Aside from bazaars, the start of Ramadan also gives a chance for Muslims to increase their pahala; which can be roughly described as their heaven good points. The terms of conditions for those fasting during the holy festive are simple, aside from Sahur (Before Dawn) and Iftar (Sundown); Muslims are not allowed to have any food, water, sexual intercourse and even a puff of cigarette could nullify their efforts.

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The main problem of fasting is the inability to replenish one's hunger and thirst for long periods of time for those who are able and sane. So to ensure a relatively smooth sailing fasting month and the upkeep of one's health, adopting new positive habits and getting rid of a few bad ones is imperative. 

1) Eating too quickly 

Trust me, I know how it feels to gorge down every inch of food on the table with the speed of a roadrunner when the clock hits munching time. Even if you weren’t fasting it’s still going to be a bad idea by overworking your system with an excess amount of food which will only increase one’s weight, the chances of health complications and possibly the worst one of all: losing the pleasure of eating. So try the pleasure principle and learn the art of eating slowly especially during Iftar. 

2) Breaking with greasy food 

Research has shown that your body naturally craves food which is high in calories to stabilise the sugar level in your body during an empty stomach. This is not really surprising when you look at the majority's eating habits which usually include a large portion of fried and greasy food which just screams high blood pressure and regrets. Instead, why not follow the sunnah and break your fast with some dates and a glass of water? Dates are high in antioxidants, nutrients, easily digestible and it helps sate hunger. By easing into it, your stomach will definitely thank you. 

3) Having a balanced diet 

In general, one should always have the right portions for each respective food groups ranging from the most necessary such as carbohydrates to the least such as fats and oil. This is especially important during Ramadan to ensure that the energy gained is more than enough to last the long hours. 

Photo credit: Thinkstock/ elenabs

4) Do not skip Sahur(Pre-Dawn Meal)

Much like breakfast, it is one of the most important meals of the day. If one were to say, oversleep and skip out on, lasting the entire day can be rather difficult. During this period, it is important to include food rich in nutrients and energy providing which is high in complex carbohydrates, protein and fibre such as bread, spaghetti, grains, meat and your assorted vegetables. And for the love of god please do not dehydrate yourself by drinking caffeinated drinks such as coffee or carbonated drinks. Try opting for good ole h20 and see the difference yourself. 

Photo credit: pexels/ Julian Jagtenberg

5) Share your meal (Iftar)

The prophet Muhammad once said that "Whoever provides the food for a fasting person to break his fast with, then for his is the same reward as his, without anything being diminished from the reward of the fasting person." Not only do you rake in the rewards but eating together is that much more enjoyable and it evokes a sense of closeness which can help develop and deepen social bonds for all parties. 

Photo credit: The Star

With that, I end my article with a big thank you to everyone reading this and the internet because if not for it, this article would not have been created. May you all have a joyous 2017 Ramadan! 

Shared by David Mok
Guest Blogger

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