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Ramadan 2024: 8 healthy sehri options for hypertension and heart disease patients fasting this Ramzan

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Ramadan is a sacred month for Muslims worldwide, marked by fasting from dawn till dusk and sehri, the pre-dawn meal, plays a crucial role in providing sustenance and energy for the day ahead however, for individuals with hypertension or heart disease, choosing the right foods for sehri is vital to maintain health and well-being during the fasting period. In India, where culinary traditions are rich and diverse, it is essential to find alternatives to traditional Sehri foods that are high in saturated fats, sodium and refined sugars.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Rajeshwari Panda, HOD, Nutrition and Dietetics Department at Medicover Hospitals in Navi Mumbai, suggested some healthier sehri options and recipes tailored for those with hypertension or heart disease –

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  1. Whole Grain Porridge:

Starting the day with a bowl of whole grain porridge sets a nutritious foundation for Sehri. Prepare it using oats, barley, or quinoa cooked with low-fat milk or water. Sweeten it naturally with mashed bananas or a drizzle of honey for added flavor.

2. Egg White Omelette:

Eggs are a good source of protein, but the yolks are high in cholesterol. For a heart-healthy option, make an omelette using egg whites or a combination of egg whites and one whole egg. Add colorful vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, and bell peppers for extra nutrients.

3. Low-Fat Yogurt with Berries:

Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein and probiotics, beneficial for heart health. Pair it with fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries or raspberries for added antioxidants and fiber. Sprinkle with a few nuts or seeds for a satisfying crunch.

4. Whole Wheat Chapati with Lentil Soup:

A staple in Indian households, chapati made from whole wheat flour is a healthier alternative to refined flour. Pair it with a bowl of lentil soup (dal) cooked with minimal salt and spices. Lentils are rich in protein and fiber, aiding in blood pressure management.

6. Avocado Toast with Whole Grain Bread:

Avocado toast is not only trendy but also a nutritious Sehri option. Spread mashed avocado on whole grain bread and top it with sliced tomatoes. Season with black pepper and lemon juice for a burst of flavour. Avocado provides heart-healthy fats and fiber.

7. Mixed Vegetable Upma:

Upma, a South Indian dish made from semolina (sooji), can be prepared with an array of colourful vegetables like carrots, peas and bell peppers. Use minimal oil and salt to keep it heart-friendly. Upma is filling and rich in fiber, ideal for Sehri.

8. Smoothie with Leafy Greens:

Blend leafy greens like spinach or kale with fruits such as bananas, mangoes, and oranges to create a nutrient-packed smoothie. Add protein powder or nuts for extra protein and healthy fats. Green smoothies are hydrating and can help regulate blood pressure.

Dr Rajeshwari Panda advised, “By opting for these healthier Sehri options, individuals with hypertension or heart disease can observe Ramadan while prioritising their health. It’s crucial to maintain portion control, stay hydrated throughout the day, and consult with a healthcare professional or dietitian for personalized dietary recommendations. During Ramadan, let’s cherish the spirit of community and compassion while making mindful choices to nurture our bodies and souls. Ramadan Mubarak!”Ramadan 2024: 8 healthy sehri options for hypertension and heart disease patients fasting this Ramzan

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