Helpful Suhoor tips and food ideas this Ramadan

Suhoor, a meal eaten at dawn, is the most important meal consumed during Ramadan

Suhoor time is when the world is silent before the break of dawn. When the night has all but surrendered to the brightness of a new day and serenity surrounds your soul. When your heart eagerly awaits the thread of light that appears on the horizon, and you are overwhelmed by the heavenly rays that touch the earth.

This is the time to partake in the holiest meal of the day, Suhoor – a meal that is the symbol of your heartwarming act of worship and one that is the source of your energy all through the day. The importance of Suhoor is not less than the significance of Iftar. Here are some tips from experts at Nestle.

Starting with Suhoor
It gives you strength and vitality: It’s the body’s primary source of energy during a Ramadan day, especially if the meal is rich in slowly absorbed carbohydrates. Suhoor makes fasting more comfortable and tolerable.
It helps to prevent nausea and headaches during the fasting hours, by regulating the level of sugar in the blood.
It reduces thirst during the day.
It makes digestion easy and efficient.
It helps cover nutritional needs when it is balanced and includes a variety ?of food. 

Suhoor tips and food ideas
The meal should contain all the nutrients needed by the body (proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals) and have easily digestible foods so that it doesn’t cause any stomach discomfort.
Drink sufficient water to avoid feeling thirsty during fasting hours.
Avoid salty foods such as pickles, olives, salted nuts and canned food. 
Also avoid ‘heavy’ desserts such as kunafa and baklava, fatty and fried foods, and spicy foods, which increase thirst.
Light sweets such as puddings, mouhallabia or rice pudding can be consumed during Suhoor as it gives a feeling of fullness and provides the body with energy and sugar needed when you are fasting, thus preventing you from feeling tired during the day.

What to eat at Suhoor?
If you’re worried about what to eat for Suhoor, you should know that a balanced and varied Suhoor is the best to provide the body with all the essential food groups (bread and cereals, milk and dairy products, meat and legumes, fruits and vegetables) as guided below:

Complex carbohydrates: Equivalent to one cup of rice or spaghetti, two slices of bread, ½ loaf of Arabic bread or one bowl of whole-grain cereals for Suhoor.
Protein: Equivalent to four cheese slices, 60 grammes of meat, two eggs, one small plate of labneh or 1 cup of legumes (such as fava beans).
Assorted vegetables
A fresh fruit
One glass of milk or yoghurt
Dried fruits and dairy or dates and milk would be a great idea to have at Suhoor along with a serving of complex carbohydrates as mentioned above and sliced vegetables!

Children who are fasting can be served eggs or cheese, bread, dates, one teaspoon of honey and milk during this meal; these foods contain B vitamins, calcium, proteins and carbohydrates, which activate digestion and provide the child with the energy needed for fasting.
The best Ramadan Suhoor time is before dawn. Although this may involve waking up earlier, it will ensure that your body benefits from the nutrients and energy provided by the Suhoor meal for longer hours during the day.