Recently, all my five cute kids always ask me about the welcoming the holy month of Ramadhan, when and how we will welcome fasting months for this year. As a children they have an expectation that in this Ramadhan they will get all kind of nice food and beverages that were commonly prepared and provided for breaking fast. Beside that, they also have an expectation for the new dresses for Eidil fitri, on 1 Syawal. But for us, as an adult, we should hav ethe priority and goal, that the objectives of fasting in Ramadhan is not just for that. But fasting in Ramadhan in the gift from Allah.
In this posting I just would like to write about how we can have happy and health fasting during this Ramadhan, especially how we control our food and beverages in order that we can enjoy this fasting well. However, if one is over-weight, Ramadan is an ideal time to normalize one's weight.
In view of the long hours of fasting, we should consume slow digesting foods including fiber containing-foods rather than fast-digesting foods; slow digesting foods including fiber containing-foods rather than fast-digesting foods. Slow digesting foods last up to 8 hours, while fast-digesting foods last for only 3 to 4 hours.
Slow-digesting foods are foods that contain grains and seeds like barely, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, whole meal flour, unpolished rice, etc. (called complex carbohydrates).
Fast-burning foods are foods that contain sugar, white flour, etc. (called refined carbohydrates).
Fiber-containing foods are bran-containing foods, whole wheat, grains and seeds, vegetables like green beans, peas, sem (papry), marrow, mealies, spinach, and other herbs like methie, the leaves of beetroot (iron-rich), fruit with skin, dried fruit especially dried apricots, figs and prunes, almonds, etc.
The foods eaten should be well balanced, containing foods from each food group, i.e., fruits, vegetables, meat/chicken/fish, bread/cereals and dairy products. Fried foods are unhealthy and should be limited. They cause indigestion, heartburn, and weight problems.
When fasting, people should avoid several kind of food and beverages such as fried and fatty foods, foods containing too much sugar, over-eating especially at sehri, too much tea at sehri (tea makes you pass more urine taking with it valuable mineral salts that your body would 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.
So what kind of food and beverages that can be consumed during fasting in Ramadhan? We should eat complex carbohydrates at sehri 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.
Then, for beverages, we should drink as much water or fruit juices as possible between iftar and bedtime so that your body may adjust fluid levels in time.


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