Here’s a guide on how to break your fast with the right kind of food and my new Chai Latte Mix to help achieve your fasting goals in a smooth manner
Fasting, whether it is circadian, intermittent or even religious, has multiple benefits. The key to successful fasting and ensuring best results lies in how you ultimately break your fast. The importance of the kind of meals we consume post our fast cannot be stressed enough as this decision either amplifies or disrupts the results we hope for. Feeding your body unhealthy food after it has undergone hours without nutrition intake can do it more harm than good, completely reversing the motive of the fast. Hence, to keep the blood sugar stable and minimize risk of digestive distress, it is important to break your fast with food and drinks that contain ample nutrition. In light of this, let’s explore the kind of nutrition that is important to break your fast with.
The term, antioxidant is a general term for any compound that can counteract unstable molecules called free radicals that contribute to oxidative stress and damage DNA, cell membranes and other parts of cells. Oxidative stress refers to the condition of oxidative damage resulting from the critical imbalance between free radical generation and antioxidant defenses. When the body produces excessive free radicals as a result of lack of antioxidant defenses, it leads to oxidative stress that can affect the body in innumerable ways, damaging cells and DNA. Because free radicals are so pervasive, you need an adequate supply of antioxidants to neutralize them. When you are fasting, your body does not get the antioxidant supply that it needs. Hence, it is very important to fuel the body with antioxidants once you break your fast. Foods such as dark green vegetables (kale), dark chocolate, berries and tea are rich in antioxidants and excellent to break your fast with. Tea especially contains two potent phytochemicals -- anthocyanin and pro anthocyanin, as well as a healthy dose of catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which happens to be a particularly potent antioxidant.
If you like to a fasted workout, you must add protein to your first meal. It will prevent muscle loss, boost metabolism, increase fat burning, have a good impact on your muscles and bones, lower blood pressure and keep you fuller for longer periods. Keep the intake to the size and thickness of your palm. Include lean protein sources like Greek yogurt, beans, peas, lentils, lite tofu, low-fat cottage cheese or even powdered peanut butter. You can even make a homemade protein shake or smoothie. According to the Dietary Reference Intake, an average women needs about 46-75 grams of protein per day—the exact number for you will depend on your lifestyle, age and overall health. To calculate your protein intake online, click here.
Fibers are non-digestible carbohydrates found in foods that feed “good” bacteria to the intestine, functioning as prebiotics. They are essential in maintaining the health of the stomach and also help to regulate blood sugar levels, which can be disturbed when you are fasting. Fats provide the body with energy to enable it to function properly and also help the body absorb vitamins. Dietary fats provide the body with essential fatty acids called linoleic and linolenic acid, which are required for brain development, controlling inflammation and blood clotting. Try to incorporate as many high-fiber foods as you can—think green leafy vegetables, broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, lentils, beans and nuts. For dietary fat sources, you must extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, seeds and avocado. Upon breaking your fast, it goes without saying that you will require food to fuel your body and provide energy. However, consuming carbohydrates on an empty stomach will not only disrupt your already out of balance blood sugar levels, but also raise insulin levels. Hence, it is best to stick to soluble fiber and fats for energy.
If there is an eating style and pattern that should be followed, it is the Mediterranean diet. It's a variety of traditional foods that date back to the 1960's, where Italian and Greek people ate vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains and olive oil. The foundation is plant-based with processed foods, meat and dairy making up only 10 percent of the food plan.
How I break my fast
I personally like to break my fast with healthy, plant-heavy Mediterranean style meals. This generally includes a generous portion of fresh produce, whole grains and legumes as well as some healthy fats, nuts and fish. I love drinking chai as it really helps with digestion and has a whole host of health benefits. Besides, my recipe is fasting-friendly, which allows me to enjoy it even during my fasting window. I try to incorporate a variety of spices to my meals as well as my chai as they help to influence brain function by boosting concentration, memory and attention. During the fasting window, if you can’t do with just water, you can always opt for non-caffeinated tea or coffee. For me personally, upon breaking my fast or even during my fasting window, I love to indulge in a warm, spicy and creamy chai as it instantly lifts my mood. After a lot of requests on this exact recipe, I have finally come out with my new Chai Latte Powder Mix! It gives you all the benefits of chai along with the richy, creamy taste, minus the sugar and unhealthy ingredients. It contains a variety of spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel seeds, pepper and cloves. All of these spices have their own unique set of health benefits. The Chai Latte Powder Mix can be your perfect companion during and post your fast as it is made up of completely clean ingredients and as such provides clean energy, is anti-inflammatory, mood-boosting, gluten-free and intermittent fasting-friendly. A very essential part of my daily healthy routine can now be yours too! While fasting, ½ a scoop with water is enough to hold you over. The Chai Latte Powder Mix is now available for pre-order.
Conclusion: The new pyramid
If I were to redo the pyramid, prebiotic fiber in the form of vegetables would be at the bottom, along with water and anti-inflammatory spices like ginger and garlic. Then the next tier would be whole-food protein like tofu, nuts, and beans and whole-food fat like avocado and coconut. Next up would be whole-food carbohydrates (fruit, sweet potato, whole corn). On the tippy top would be processed junk like candy, cookies, and white bread (the 10 percent I allow in my plan).
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