Breaking Your Fast the Smart and Healthy Way
Fasting has numerous health benefits if a proper nutrition plan is followed. Studies have shown a close relation between fasting and longevity. It can help to delay age-related illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Fasting also aids in the removal of toxins from the body. The foods you choose to break your fast can have a tremendous effect on your health.
After hours and hours of fasting for Ramadan it can be all too easy to want to eat the first thing available when it is time to break fast for the day. But as tempting as this can be, making smart and healthy choices about what to eat will leave you feeling better, more satisfied, and stronger to get through the rest of your day.
Why: In many ways, beans are a nearly perfect food. With plenty of fiber and protein alongside vitamins and minerals, beans will help you feel full longer. As an added benefit, eating beans with other foods will help slow the digestion of all your foods to further help you feel satiated longer.
How to Enjoy: In addition to enjoying beans on their own, try enjoying beans blended into a dip, such as hummus, to enjoy with raw vegetables. However you prepare beans though, be sure to include a healthy source of fat like olive oil to increase nutrient absorption, flavor, and satiety.
Why: When your body has been in a state of fasting for so many extended hours it’s important to get a quick source of easily absorbable energy, and dates provide exactly that. Plus, they provide a sweet taste and vitamins and minerals.
How to Enjoy: Enjoy eating dates on their own, or soak them in water and grind them into a paste to enjoy on whole grain bread or crackers. Spreading a nut butter over dates will help to keep blood sugar levels stable.
Why: Sweet potatoes not only give you plenty of fiber, but they are loaded with nutrients like beta carotene. Sweet potatoes also provide an exceptionally filling option to help satisfy your hunger quickly and efficiently.
How to Enjoy: In addition to a baked sweet potato, try dicing sweet potatoes to make a hash that will offer far more benefits than a plain white potato. Be sure to eat the skin to get all the fiber available.
Why: Eggs are an easy to prepare and affordable source of complete protein. In addition to protein, eggs also provide B vitamins that help with energy levels.
How to Enjoy: Keep a supply of boiled eggs ready to eat as soon as it’s time to break your fast. Prepare eggs with plenty of chopped vegetables and diced meat for a nutritious and delicious omelette.
Why: Dark leafy greens like spinach and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli help to arm your body with plenty of beneficial antioxidants and phytochemicals. These nutrients help protect your body against the physical stress of fasting. Plus, the vegetables are water rich which help you to rehydrate.
How to Enjoy: Try sautéing spinach or kale and topping with a serving of beans to combine two super foods in one delicious meal.
It may take a little more preparation and thought, but breaking a fast properly is essential to your overall health and helps your body to reap the full benefits of fasting over the holy period of Ramadan.