Muslims around the world are now observing the month of Ramadan.
During this time, they have to refrain from eating and drinking from dawn till dusk daily, until Eid al-Fitr comes along on June 15.
This act of sacrifice is a way to draw believers closer to God, and it’s also a time to remember the sufferings of those less fortunate who may often go hungry.
Before the start of the fast every morning, Muslims will eat a pre-dawn meal called suhoor.
As it’s the only meal they’ll have for some 14 hours, it’s important to have something well-balanced that will provide sustained energy throughout the day.
Here are some foods to load up on, and some to avoid:
1. Lots of fibre
Foods that have a lot of fibre, such as fruits and vegetables, will leave you feeling full for longer.
They are also rich in vitamins and minerals, and will help prevent constipation.
2. Dairy products
Low-fat milk and yoghurt provide protein, calcium and vitamins and will also keep you hydrated.
3. Wholegrain foods
Brown rice, oats and wholemeal bread provide more fibre and take longer to digest, which gives you energy for a sustained period.
4. Protein-rich foods
Chicken, meat, fish and eggs are good sources of protein for your morning meal, which will help you stay full.
Protein is also necessary to prevent muscle loss.
Do avoid: Caffeinated drinks
Coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages will keep you up and also leave you dehydrated, especially since you can’t replenish fluids throughout the day.
Simple or refined carbs
These foods, such as white bread, doughnuts and pastries, only provide energy for a short period of time, after which you’ll get hungry again quickly.
They are also low in essential nutrients.
Salty and deep-fried foods
These will just leave you feeling thirsty and dehydrated. Choose healthier methods such as air frying or pan frying with less oil.