Hundreds of millions of Muslims across the world began fasting on Monday to observe the holy month of Ramadan. Almost 2 billion Muslims around the world are fasting from dawn to dusk. Fasting acts as a reset for the mind, body and soul. Ramadan is also a month for showing gratitude. By abstaining from food and water during the day, the faithful are reminded of those who are less fortunate. Ramadan's iftar tables are also a gathering place where families and friends enjoy this holy month of cleansing.
However, fasting means not consuming food and water for many hours which makes the Ramadan diet more important. To feel full during the fasting hours and have no medical problems after iftar, Dr. Fevzi Özgönül said one can turn these long fasting hours into boosting the digestive system and resting the body with a right diet.
"The meal times change during the Ramadan and it is our interest to use long hours of fasting for the benefit of our bodies," said Dr. Özgönül.
Here are 10 steps to rejuvenate your body this Ramadan:
1. Do not skip suhoor. In order not to feel any hungrier than you should, it is important to give up sleep and wake up for suhoor.
2. What you eat for suhoor is also crucial for a healthy Ramadan. It is advised to consume foods that you eat for breakfast as well as fatless meat and some soup. Dr. Özgönül also warns people not to eat any fruit in suhoor.
3. During fasting hours, you will not be able to drink water so compensate it by drinking a lot of water in suhoor.
4. One of the most iconic Ramadan foods is the Ramadan pita which is baked at the bakeries just for the holy month. However, while it is delicious, it is important to restrain yourself and not eat too much. Dr. Özgönül suggests that you should eat Ramadan pita only at iftar but not too much. If you do not want to feel thirsty during the day, it is better not to consume the pita in suhoor.
5. After long hours of fasting, your body will be in need of a lot of water but Dr. Özgönül warns: It is better not to drink too much water while you are your breaking fast. If you drink more than two glasses of water, it could prevent you from eating nutritious food that your body needs.
6. Dr. Özgönül also advises breaking the fast with small amounts of olives, dates or nuts and to take five to 10 minutes to rest your stomach and ready it for the main course.
7. Before starting the main course of iftar, take a small walk around the house.
8. If you have a sweet tooth, choose to eat güllaç, which is rice wafers stuffed with nuts, as it is a healthier and lighter choice.
9. Beverages with caffeine cause dehydration so make sure not to consume too much tea, coffee or carbonated drinks.
10. It is always a good idea to move around after iftar, so either take a walk or visit the mosque for tarawih, the Ramadan prayers.