Muslims across the world have a pre-dawn snack called suhoor before they begin their day of abstaining from food and drink during Ramadan. There are certain foods that go a long way in maintaining your energy levels and ensuring you remain moderately hydrated throughout the long day — something that is especially important when the Holy Month coincides with the hot summer season.
Fruits and vegetables
Having a fruit or vegetable at suhoor is an ideal — and delicious — way to stay hydrated throughout the day. They can help to avoid uncomfortable constipation and are a good source of energy, sugar and fiber. Go for waterlogged veggies, such as cucumbers, to keep your water levels stabilized and remember to keep the skin on as it is a great source of roughage.
Cheese, labneh, eggs and fava beans provide you with energy and delay hunger pangs throughout the day. Meats such as fish, lean beef and white-meat poultry are good options as long as you go for the low-fat ones. It could seem a little heavy to eat such a meal at suhoor, but even a small portion will go a long way in helping you during your fast.
Complex carbohydrates are made of long chains of simple sugars. They can be found in whole grain bread and cereals, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, bananas, potatoes, oats, sweet potatoes, vegetables and beans. Eating any of these foods will ensure you don’t get the post-meal crash you would when enjoying simple carbohydrates.
Make sure to keep sipping water overnight to avoid feeling thirsty during the fasting hours. It is also a good idea to avoid salty foods, such as pickles, olives, salted nuts and canned food, during iftar the night before, as well as at suhoor. These will make you thirsty and could leave you feeling bloated.
Milk or yogurt
Calcium-rich products such as skimmed milk and yogurt aid muscle strength and retain hydration.
Light puddings, mouhallabia or rice pudding can be consumed during suhoor as they leave you feeling full and provide your body with the energy and sugar you need when you are fasting.