The Food of Ramadan: When and What to Eat

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Update Date 06/12/2019 . 2 mins read

Ramadan the holy month of Muslims all around the world. It occurs in the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. During this month, Muslims are required to fast from sunrise to sunset, which means no food or drink is allowed. What even more important is the purification of the soul. Fasting is not about torturing the body but about patience, humbleness, and spiritual values. People eat meals before sunrise (suhoor), and after sunset, (iftar). These meals are supposed to be enjoyed with families, friends, or the locals.

Who fasts and who doesn’t

All adult Muslims must observe the fasting of Ramadan. However, older people and those who are sick, and mentally ill are spared from the fasting. Other exceptions include pregnant women, women who are menstruating, and women who are nursing their newborns. In some Muslim communities, people who cannot observe the fasting show their generosity by feeding the poor and unfortunate during the suhoor and iftar meals.

Suhoor and Iftar

As mentioned above, during Ramadan, there are only two main meals – Suhoor, which is served before sunrise, and Iftar, which is served after sunset. Suhoor should be a nutritious and healthy meal to give fasting people the energy they need to function throughout the day of fasting.

At the end of the day, as the sun sets, people start to pray. This is also the time to break the day’s fast with the Iftar meal. Traditionally, Muslims break their fast by eating dates before enjoying Iftar. Then, they can keep on eating and drinking as much as they want throughout the night until the next day’s Suhoor. After the holy month of Ramadan is over, Muslims celebrate the Festival of Fast-Breaking – the Eid al-Fitr.

What to eat during Ramadan

Both of the Suhoor and Iftar meals should include fresh fruits, vegetables, halal meats, cheeses, bread,  and sweets. In general, Ramadan meals should be very light and full of fiber, proteins, and complex carbs. If Ramadan falls in hot summer months, it’s important to include more hydrating foods. The types of food served during this time depends on the countries. People live Middle East, Europe, Asia, North America, or other regions with have different kinds of foods. They may eat at home with families and friends or in the community mosques with their Muslim community.

Iftar mostly contains snacks. People tend to enjoy some snacks first and save the big meal for later. The average Iftar include spicy vegetable or paneer fritters, spicy fruit chaat, dal, dates, or fruit custard. One of the most loved dishes is a rosy pink syrup called Rooh Afza. It is made from a mix of ingredients such as coriander, orange, pineapple, carrot, rose petals, spinach, and mint.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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