We are now in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar which means Ramadan. This month-long fast is characterized by religious observance, self-sacrifice and acts of charity and compassion.
Fasting is not just for Lent.
During daylight hours many Muslims refrain from eating. After sundown the evening meal of Iftar is taken. The morning meal of Suhoor is consumed before sunrise and then the fast starts all over again.
The food consumed depends on the regional culture; an Iftar meal in Egypt will differ from one in Malaysia. Most meals, however, share similar characteristics. There are usually offerings of grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds and animal protein.
The most important meal of the day.
For Suhoor an ideal meal should consist of whole grains for energy and fibre, fruits and vegetables for micronutrients and phytochemicals for health and protein for tissue maintenance and satiety. The combinations should keep one going throughout the day.
The Iftar meal should include a variety of foods as well starting with the easily digestible fruits and vegetables then moving on to the more complex foods like whole grains and protein. This helps ease the digestive system back into functioning.
Of course consuming sufficient amounts of water at both meals is crucial too. Aim to drink water post meal so as not to interfere with proper digestion.