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  2. Mar 14, 2024

Plant-Based Meal Suggestions for Ramadan

Canan Orhun

The holy month of Ramadan is observed by Muslims throughout the ninth month of the Islamic calendar (March 10 to April 9 this year), ending with Eid al-Fitr, the festival of the breaking of the fast.

Below, Canan Orhun, a Physicians Committee Food for Life instructor based in Abu Dhabi, shares some plant-based meal suggestions.

May this Ramadan be a healthy one for all those who practice the dawn to sunset fasting. Whether you are plant-based or not, eating a plant-predominant diet during this month will help you stay healthy and maintain you through the fasting period each day. Here are some suggestions.

Suhoor (prefasting meal before sunrise):
  • Eat fluid-rich foods to make sure you are well-hydrated, preparing for the day ahead.
  • Choosing starchy foods for energy, preferably complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes; whole grains (bulgur, brown rice, quinoa); whole-grain pasta, pita, and breads (as opposed to white breads, pastries, cakes, cookies); and high-fiber foods for feeling fuller will help maintain you and avoid constipation.
  • Porridge with whole oats and soy milk will provide you fiber, minerals, complex carbs, and protein; add dried or fresh fruits and nuts as topping.
  • Legumes are the best when it comes to providing the body complex carbs and protein.
  • Lentil soup is a welcome addition to all meals.
  • Brown rice and lentils, a hummus wrap with green leafy vegetables, and a whole-grain and bean salad will help give you a healthy start to your day.
Iftar (breaking the fast): The temptation might be there, but it is important not to overindulge after ending the fast.
  • It is healthier to consume low-fat, fluid-rich foods and foods with natural sugars, like dates and fruits.
  • Selecting nutrient-rich plant foods will help nourish the body—replenishing the necessary, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids—and get it ready for the next day’s fasting.
  • It is best to avoid sugary soft drinks, cakes, pastries, cookies, and high-fat and deep-fried foods.
  • Lentil soup, hummus, whole-grain pita bread, brown rice, quinoa, grilled or sauteed veggies, and stews made with legumes and veggies are all healthy alternatives.
  • Those with a sweet tooth can enjoy dates (dark chocolate dipped or filled with nuts are delicious and can easily be made at home, too). A fruit salad or stewed fruit compote will also help rehydrate the body while providing natural sweet flavors.

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