“Ramazan and Healthy Eating”
Ramazan is the one month of the Islamic calendar in which Muslims from all over the world fast from sunrise till sunset. It lasts for 29-30 days with the arrival of Eid as the celebration of the departure of the holy month. In Ramazan, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking or any other worldly activity that may be harmful as this month is for the purpose of spiritual and soulful healing as well as cleansing.
One debate the comes with the arrival of Ramazan is that we should lose weight but instead, we gain weight due to our eating patterns. People argue that in Ramazan, we do not eat or drink for long hours which give a break to the body and digestive systems and since this 30-day process is yearly, it acts as a filter system for the body too. Even science proves that fasting has many health benefits because it detoxifies the body from harmful substances. This is why, during the month of Ramzan, it recommended by health experts that proper should be on the usage of fruits and vegetables, plenty of water and as less cooking as possible because food loses its nutritional value as it cooks.
However, we do not really apply these guidelines to our Ramazan diets and ironically, most people end up gaining weight due to the large amounts of oil and spices being consumed. What I’m saying applies mostly to South-Asian because over in this region, we are all very fond of eating and that too without worrying about hygiene or weight issues. Due to this reason, Muslims of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh etc end up gaining twice their normal weight in Ramazan.
In Ramazan, the menus are mostly generic including fruit chaat, samosas, pakoray with lots of different chutneys to compliment it. All this includes large amounts of sugar and large amounts of oil not to mention the spices and the carbohydrates. This is not only damaging to health but also makes it difficult to fast because of the level of fatigue which is highly dependent on energy we get from our food.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying food because the food is one of the best things about life but every religion, every philosopher and every mastermind known to man has agreed to the fact that everything looks good in moderation. Even food. So we need to understand that this one month is not for us to satisfy our inner hunger but to feed the soul while enjoying worldly pleasures in moderation.