Those fasting during Ramadan will need to start off their day with something filling and sustainable to keep them going until Iftar – the time for breaking the fast. This is why Suhoor (the meal consumed early in the morning) is so important. The body releases energy throughout the day, the speed at which depends on the activities it is tasked with, and during the fasting period it is essential to consume foods that release energy slowly and steadily in order to sustain the body’s energy levels.
These are 10 healthy foods to eat at Suhoor that will keep you energised throughout the day:
Dates are high in fibre and a range of vitamins; they are known to boost energy whilst pacifying hunger, which is what makes them great for both starting and breaking the fast. They also help to curve sweet cravings by providing natural sugars and they are truly delicious.
Oats fuel the body with a healthy boost of carbs and fibre, slowly releasing energy throughout the day. Depending on your preference they can be eaten as a hot porridge with milk or water, or as a mixture of overnight oats with your choice of berries and nuts for an easy breakfast fix.
Eggs are a great source of protein and essential vitamins. They are also packed with iron and zinc which will help to boost energy levels and immunity while fasting. Have your eggs boiled, poached, scrambled or in an omelette and keep yourself fuller for longer throughout the day.
Avocados lie at the heart of the perfect guacamole and they provide nutrients and healthy fats that keep your appetite satiated for longer. They can be eaten very simply on a slice of whole-wheat toast, maybe add an egg to make the meal a little more wholesome. You can eat them in a healthy breakfast salad, or plain with a dash of salt and pepper to season.
Pronounced ‘KEEN-wah’, this is one of those health foods that is having a bit of a moment, popping up in healthy recipes left right and centre. And there is a reason for it, because this grain is very good for you: it is low in calories, high in fibre and it can be eaten either as a savoury dish, or something a little sweeter if paired with fresh fruits and agave nectar as a combining agent.
Fruits are bursting with natural sugars, fibre and vitamins; they are a great way to liven up a bowl of porridge or bowl of cereal and they’re perfect for those with a bit of a sweet tooth. Berries, bananas, apples – make a simple fruit salad, mix with plain yoghurt, or blend your favourite fruits into a breakfast smoothie with a sprinkle of oats for a filling Suhour option.
Packed with protein, calcium and vitamins, yoghurt is a no-brainer when your body requires a lot of nutrients all in one go. There are particular types of yoghurt that contain ‘live and active cultures’ – healthy microorganisms that are proven to do wonders for your gut and digestive system. Many yoghurts also contain probiotics, which are good for the body’s immune system – another health boost when your body is in fasting mode. Opt for Greek yoghurt, or an organic variety that is not packed with sugar.
Nuts are a great source of fat, the healthy kind of fat. Almonds and walnuts are good options to go for – choose the unsalted variety and sprinkle them over your porridge, or munch on a handful with some dried fruit, which will also incorporate fibre into your diet. The energy from the nuts will release slowly throughout the day, which is why they should play a key role in your Suhoor routine.
Many of us will struggle to face a plate of vegetables so early in the morning, but they are packed with vitamins and fibre, so why not mix them into an omelette, or even blend them into a breakfast smoothie. You often find carrots, kale and spinach in ‘superfood smoothies’, so why not try adding them to yours?
Choose whole-wheat bread over white bread where possible; it is a much healthier option and will keep you fuller for longer. It is also a fantastic source of fibre to keep your digestive system in check and it completes many different breakfast options, whether it’s eggs on toast, or a peanut butter sandwich that you have opted for. It adds bulk, in a healthy way.
WATER. This one’s a given for a Suhour must-have, but many people don’t drink enough of the stuff, whether fasting or not. Hydration is so important to keep your body healthy and your cells functioning. Water helps to energise your muscles and to keep skin healthy; it aids kidney function and maintains healthy bowels to name but a few benefits. It is advised that those fasting drink at least two glasses of water at Suhoor as a minimum.
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