With the holy month of Ramadan coming to an end, a month of fasting also concludes. After overcoming the difficult arc of maintaining the discipline to fast, the temptation to binge eat is strong and you certainly deserve an achievement treat. However, hastily going back to pre-Ramadan eating habits may send the body into a shock as it is not used to digesting heavy food any more. It is important to ease the body into ingesting normal portions of food over regular intervals. Here are some tips to have a healthy Eid:
* Avoid heavy meals: Meals with a high fat and sugar content take longer to digest and remain in the stomach for a long period of time, causing indigestion, flatulence and heartburn. Start with lighter meals.
* Choose a feast with healthy ingredients: A feast need not mean unhealthy junk always. Go for leaner cuts in non-vegetarian preparations and make sure the visible fat is removed. Avoid dessert preparations with high condensed milk content and, if possible, opt for low-sugar desserts. One way to keep the feast enjoyable without compromising on indulgence is by including a lot of natural sugars — found in fruits and dry fruits — in the food.
* Cook healthy: The self-responsibility doesn’t start at the feast table alone, but before it. Cooking methods also determine the health-quotient of your food, and yours. Avoid fried food. Instead, opt for other available cooking methods, such as baking, grilling and barbecuing. These methods open up menu options like tikkas, roasted chicken, baked non-veg preparations and grilled chicken/paneer sandwiches. To ensure maximum retention of nutrients, avoid overcooking as excessive heat leads to loss of important vitamins and minerals.
* Go easy on the salt: Excessive salt makes you feel bloated due to fluid build-up, exerting extra pressure on the kidneys. Try experimenting with other herbs and spices — such as parsley, coriander powder, thyme, rosemary, pepper, chilli powder — which are abundant in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, healthy oils and have anti-bacterial properties.
* Chew well: Remember the lesson taught in school — digestion begins not in the stomach, but in the mouth. Saliva contains digestive enzymes and proper chewing sends signals to the rest of the body to get ready for the digestion process. So, don’t hog down your meal. Instead, take your time to chew it well and savour every bite as you go.