As Mvslims (😉), we know how important Ramadan is to enhance our faith. When we are fasting, we need quality food that can sustain us throughout the day.
Remember, what you put in your mouth during Suhoor matters.
If it’s good, than your fast should go fairly easily. But if it’s bad… (Cue angry meme’s of being hungry being sent on family groups!).
Pay close attention to your diet to ensure you have sufficient nutrients for energy.
On top of that, your food must hydrate you because you will lose water via sweat as the day progresses.
Optimize your pre-dawn meal with the following tips.
10 Best Food Items:
Avocado is a superfood that you should include in your Suhoor menu.
Not only is it a source of healthy fats, but it is jam-packed with nearly 20 vitamins and minerals per serving.
This includes potassium which regulates blood pressure, lutein which is good for the eyes, and folate which is essential for cell repair.
This humble green fruit is also a great source of B vitamins.
Whether you load this on salads or sandwiches, this can help boost your immune system to fight off infections and diseases.
2. Greek Yoghurt
Since you are cutting meals, calcium is an excellent way to keep your energetic. It is essential to bone growth and maintenance.
Greek yogurt is a great source of calcium.
Apart from that, it also contains probiotics that maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.
This is crucial for optimal digestion. Greek yogurt is also rich in protein, which helps build or maintain your muscle mass.
Nuts are loaded with macronutrients. They are a rich source of healthy fats, known to increase good cholesterol that your body needs for optimum health.
They also contain protein, Vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, among many others.
Most nuts are quite fibrous, like pistachios and walnuts. The high fiber content keeps you fuller longer, which you need during fasting.
Apart from the pieces themselves, you can enjoy them in butter from such as almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or peanut butter.
4. Anything with Coconut
These giant fruits (yes not nuts, despite the name!), are a great source of healthy fats. Not only that, but they also contain significant amounts of manganese, which is essential for bone health.
They help metabolize carbs, iron that make red blood cells, and selenium, which is a crucial antioxidant that fights free radicals and boosts your immune system.
5. Lean Meats
Lean meats are lower in calories compared to other cuts. This is great for Suhoor with their more moderate fat content.
Lean meats like turkey and chicken breast are a great source of selenium.
Meat is also rich in Vitamin B3 and B6, which assist the body in metabolizing carbohydrates and converting them into glucose.
Most of all, these are protein-dense, making you full and helps in curbing those cravings when you are fasting.
6. Whole Grains
Whole grains are extremely rich in dietary fiber, which reduces bad cholesterol levels and lowers your risk of heart disease.
They also promote healthy digestion and reduce constipation.
These high-fiber grains are nutrient-packed and loaded with minerals in each serving.
A lot of the compounds in these whole grains also act as antioxidants.
Eggs are undoubtedly an incredible source of protein, making them a great food to sustain your fast.
These are Suhoor staples because they are easy to prep. Most of all, their high protein content makes them very satiating.
They contain a lot of vitamins, like vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, Calcium, Zinc, and vitamin B12.
They also raise your Good Cholesterol levels and contain choline needed for building your cell membranes.
8. Hydrating Veggies
Leafy greens like lettuce and hydrating veggies like cucumbers are essential to include in your Suhoor. These low-calorie vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Their high-fiber content allows for optimal gut health and digestive function.
They also aid in digestion by boosting your digestive enzymes. Most of all, they ease the temptation to touch water during your fast.
Seafood is extremely healthy and nutritious. Sea products are high in iodine and omega-3 fatty acids. They are nutrient-dense but low in calories.
Salmon is an example of a fish that is high in omega-3, protein, and vitamin D. Shellfish is also an excellent choice.
They are also loaded with iodine, selenium, and vitamin B-12.
10. Tubers – Like Sweet Potato
Tubers have loads of health benefits when eaten in moderation.
Potatoes are high in potassium and contain almost all the nutrients a human being needs, including Vitamin C. They are filling and keep you full for a long time.
If you prefer something less savory, sweet potatoes are a delicious starchy choice.
They are rich in antioxidants and also jam-packed with nutrients that keep you full enough to endure your fast.
10 Foods to Avoid:
1. Processed and Canned Meat
Processed food like canned meat is high in preservatives and sodium, which harm the body.
If you include this in your Suhoor, you will crave and become thirsty since they lack nutritional content.
The prolonged eating of these sodium-rich food can lead to serious health complications, such as gall and kidney stone formation.
2. Salty Foods
Avoid food that is rich in salt. Steer clear of olives, za’atar, salty cheese, smoked meats, and the like.
These high sodium items will make you thirst for a drink during the day.
3. Spicy Foods
Akin to salt, spicy food items must be off your Suhoor menu.
Steer clear from anything with chili and ginger as this heats you, making you feel thirsty all day.
4. High Saturated Fats
While humans need fats to complete a balanced diet, saturated fats must be consumed moderately, especially when you are fasting.
These fats are found in animal products like milk, cheese, fatty cuts of meat, as well as tropical oils.
Saturated fats raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol.
These can potentially clog up your arteries, which may lead to serious health complications like heart diseases and stroke.
5. Greasy Food With Trans Fat
While trans fats give food a delectable taste, they raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol.
Trans fat is found in deep-fried foods like doughnuts, dumplings, samosas, and even baked goods.
Overeating of these causes potential health risks and can leave you susceptible to heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes.
6. Junk Food
Although tasty, junk food does not provide the nutrients you need for sustenance during fasting.
They are high in salt, oil, and artificial ingredients, which impair your digestive processes.
It also contains extremely high refined sugar, which causes fluctuations in your blood sugar levels.
Your development of heart disease and other health issues are significantly higher if your load up on junk food.
Remember, you are what you eat! Don’t be a fasting fail with this temptation.
7. Processed Sugars
Stay away from processed or refined sugars during Suhoor as they cause cravings. Additionally, they create numerous health risks, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Too much-refined sugar can lead to insulin resistance and weight gain.
Excessive sugar also significantly increases your LDL (bad) cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease.
Soft drinks, bottled juices, energy drinks, and candy are incredibly high in refined sugar content.
8. Instant Noodles
Apart from being rich in sodium, which makes you feel thirsty, instant noodles are bad for you because they are made of chemicals, preservatives, and artificial flavors.
All of these can cause cancer and other diseases.
9. White Rice
White rice is chock full of white sugar, which will spike your blood sugar level. It is not the ideal food for Suhoor because it will kick start your cravings.
Most of all, white rice is a highly processed food that will make you feel hungry later in the day.
10. Certain Drinks – Including Coffee!
Steer clear from carbonated drinks because they are high in sugar, leading to weight gain. They also cause gas, bloating, and indigestion.
You may also be tempted to infuse coffee, tea, or hot chocolate in your Suhoor, but these caffeine-rich beverages will make you feel jittery and restless throughout the day.
They will not hydrate you enough and will make you long for water. It is best to stick with water or coconut water.
10 Healthy Recipes:
1. Milk Oats and Berries Topped with Homemade Granola
A delicious bowl of oat and berries is loaded with protein and vitamins, which will satisfy your hunger.
This also has a much-needed dose of calcium.
2. Boiled or Poached Eggs with Greens
Healthy boiled or poached eggs with tons of protein will make you feel full. Pair this with greens for hydration, along with brown bread to keep you satiated.
This contains lots of protein with the fish and the eggs. It also has a lot of calcium since it is infused with cheese.
This simple dish contains the perfect blend of go, glow, and grow food. You will have enough energy to go through the day with this in your belly.
5. Banana, Chia, and Peanut or Almond Butter with Wheat Bread
You cannot go wrong with this simple combo that’s rich in potassium, protein, fiber, and healthy fats. When you don’t want to crank up the stove because it’s too hot, this is the best choice out there.
6. Ful Medames
This is made out of fava beans, which are rich in protein, making you feel full and satiated for a very long time.
Pair this with pita or bread, and you’re good to go until the sun sets.
7. Sweet Potato with Yogurt, Maple Syrup, and Nuts
This might sound unusual, but when you’re craving for something sweet and healthy, this hits the spot.
Unlike pancakes that will cause spikes in your sugar levels, this dish keeps it leveled so you curb your cravings.
8. Scrambled Eggs with Feta, Spinach, Chicken, and Whole Grain Tortilla
This is a well-balanced meal that contains protein, greens, calcium, and complex carbs that will help sustain you. Egg is a Suhoor powerhouse that makes meal-prep a breeze.
9. Quinoa with Coco Milk, Vanilla, Nuts, and Dried Fruit
This is a healthy, gastronomic delight in a bowl that contains calcium, protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, and fruits.
10. Avocado, Salmon, Feta, and Pomegranate Toast
This concoction is a party on your plate with all the right, balanced ingredients!
Even if Suhoor is a meal that happens before dawn, it is still considered your breakfast.
And there’s a reason why breakfast is dubbed as the most important meal of the day!
Eating the right food during Suhoor will keep your hunger and thirst at bay.
Are you ready with your Suhoor menu?
Tell us about your favorites, and let’s share recipes in the comments section.
Ramadan may be about fasting but we can all still keep our tummies happy.