It’s Ramadan and other than our spiritual well being, our stomach is our biggest concern for 30 days. That usually means we stuff our tummies with as much food as possible for the 8+ hours we get to eat without really thinking about how that food is affecting our gut health.
Why is Gut Health important?
It was Hippocrates that said: “All disease begins in the gut”. Your gut health affects how your body functions, your metabolism, your immunity, and even your brain health. That’s all because your gut is lined with something called Microbiome. The microbiome is a community of micro-organisms that call your stomach their home. When kept in check, the bacteria in your microbiome play a huge role in your digestion and overall health.
So what can you do to help your healthy gut bacteria thrive and improve your digestion this Ramadan? You need to eat more food that targets your gut health and aids in your digestion so you’re not always feeling bloated, tired and overall not great. We don’t need to know how a stuffed turkey feels right after we break our fast.
Who here didn’t have this vegetable stuffed with all the rice goodness in the Egyptian traditional feast of “Mahshy” on the first day of Ramadan?! Don’t answer that we know the Mahshy game is strong in this holy month.
The best thing about this fiber-filled vegetable is that it’s so easy to incorporate in your Ramadan Iftar and it will do your digestion a whole lot of good. Zucchini aid your digestion by reducing the possibility of constipation and help prevent Ulcers, IBS and Colon issues. It’s also really high in water so that’s always a plus when fasting during the summer. It also is a powerhouse of electrolytes and fibers which are essentials of a healthy digestive system.
Another Mahshy favorite that you should be including in most of your Ramadan Iftar meals. It’s a low-calorie veggie that is intensely high in fiber which will help get things moving in the bathroom department. It also includes antioxidants like polyphenols and includes sulfur compounds which are what you can blame for those gases you get after eating this yummy vegetable.
What sets cabbage apart is that it’s rich in gut-friendly insoluble fiber which is a Carbohydrate that can’t be broken down in your intestines which helps keep the digestive system moving regularly which mean easier trips to the bathroom.
It also has soluble fiber that helps increase the number of good bacteria in your gut because it acts as the main source of fuel for friendly species like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. It’s the kind of bacteria that protects your immune system and even produced nutrients your body needs like Vitamin K2 and B12.
If you want to improve your digestive health, fiber-rich cabbage is the way to go.
While we all love a glass of hot red tea after we’ve indulged in Iftar, it’s actually not the best idea for our digestion. Red tea has tannins that will chelate (stick) to the iron and nutrients you just ate. If you’re craving something hot after you eat then peppermint is your best bet!
Just boil some fresh peppermint leaves and drink away, you’ll even find that you won’t have to sweeten it so that’s less sugar and a happier immune system. Peppermint works wonders in relieving your digestive system and eliminating bloating, gases and aids in indigestion.