Some medical experts in consultation with Islamic scholars have contributed to the following meal plan choices during the fasting month:
- Suhur: A bowl of porridge with milk, one slice of toast and a handful of unsalted nuts.
- Iftar: Pitta bread with chicken, salad and hummus and one or two Middle-Eastern sweet baklawa pieces.
- Suhur: Wheat-based cereal with milk, a plain scone or crumpet and an apple or banana.
- Iftar: Chicken with boiled rice, vegetable curry and mixed salad followed by fruit salad with single cream.
- Suhur: A bowl of shredded wheat or muesli and a pear or orange.
- Iftar: Fish baked with roasted vegetables or fish curry with rice followed by sweet vermicelli or one piece of jalebi (an Indian sweet).
- Suhur: Cheese and a one-teaspoon of jam with crackers or toast and a handful of dried fruits.
- Iftar: Pasta cooked with vegetables and chicken or fish and a slice of plain cake with custard. Fluids (water and juices) and dates should be added to each suhur and iftar meal.
Fasting has its advantages from the point of view of health and hygiene. Physicians today acknowledge the many benefits of fasting that ensure health and the soundness of one’s body and mind. Some of these positive points have a direct influence on psychology and physique of the fasting individual.
Fasting has been found to be an effective treatment for psychological and emotional disorders. It helps a person to firm up his will, cultivate and refine his taste and manners, strengthen his conviction of doing good, avoid controversy, petulance and rashness, which all contribute toward a sane and healthy personality.
Besides nurturing resistance and ability to face hardships and endurance, fasting reflects on outward physical appearance by cutting out gluttony and getting rid of excess fat. The benefits of fasting on health do not stop there but are instrumental in alleviating a number of physical diseases, including those of the digestive systems, such as chronic stomachache, inflammation of the colon, liver diseases, indigestion, and conditions such as obesity, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, asthma, diphtheria and many other maladies.
So take the following precautions:
- Fried and fatty foods.
- Foods containing too much sugar.
- Over-eating especially at suhur.
- Too much tea at suhur: Tea makes you pass more urine taking with it valuable mineral salts that your body will need during the day.
- Smoking cigarettes: If you cannot give up smoking, cut down gradually starting a few weeks before Ramadan. Smoking is unhealthy and one should stop completely.
- Complex carbohydrates at suhur so that the food lasts longer making you less hungry.
- Haleem is an excellent source of sugar, fiber, carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium.
- Almonds are rich in protein and fiber with less fat.
- Bananas are a good source of potassium, magnesium and carbohydrates.
- As much water or fruit juices as possible between iftar and bedtime so that your body may adjust fluid levels in time.