Although we love indulging during Ramadan, it is actually a period where you need to pay special attention to your food because of the long fasting hours and the demands it puts on the body. Every meal you consume should be with the intention of nourishing your body, which is why we have some great food combinations for you to help you get the maximum nutritional benefits from the foods you eat.
Ramadan Drinks + Nuts
Preventing insulin spikes is one of the most important ways of controlling your body weight and reducing fat storage within your cells. We all love Ramadan juices, however, they’re mostly high in sugar which causes a quick surge of blood sugar within our bodies. Adding a handful of nuts alongside your juice snack will slow down the absorption of sugars by causing a more controlled release into your bloodstream. Even just 5-7 almonds with your juice can have this beneficial effect.
Greens + Vitamin C
Leafy greens are loaded with folic acid and iron, but due to them containing a natural compound called phytic acid the absorption of the vitamins and minerals by our bodies is inhibited. Vitamin C counteracts phytic acid in foods and enhances the absorption of both iron and folic acid. Add some tomatoes or oranges to your salad at Iftar to make sure you are getting as much possible nutrients out of them.
Greens + Olive Oil
Adding olive oil to greens results in the formation of a unique fatty acid known as nitro fatty acid. This particular compound has been shown to lower blood pressure, slow the progression of diabetes, and contribute to a longer, healthier life. For us, that means salad dressings are important for good health as well as flavor!
Protein + Carbs
Combining protein with carbohydrates increases the rate at which your body’s cells can take up protein and use it to build muscle, make enzymes, and repair any damage. This is especially important 30-45 minutes after a workout to ensure that your body is recovering just how it should be. If you work out before iftar, it is important that your post-workout meal has this combination of nutrients to prevent muscle loss.
Oats + Fruit
Adding blueberries to your oatmeal at suhoor will make it more delicious, but also enhances how much your body benefits too. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition showed that vitamin C (found in fruit) enhanced the effect of the cholesterol lowering phytochemicals in oats. Blueberries, oranges, guava, and kiwi are all excellent sources of vitamin C that also pair well with oats.
Now that you know just how effective combining the right foods together can be, it’s your turn to get in the kitchen and try each of these food combinations for yourself!