Best Food to Eat for Suhoor and Top 10 Foods to Avoid
What you eat for suhoor sets you up for the rest of the day and making good choices for the pre-dawn meal can make all the difference to your energy levels, helping avoid blood sugar crashes, energy slumps, mood swings and headaches/migraines.
Ideally, suhoor should be nutrient-packed and not too heavy, and contain a combination of high-quality protein, hydrating vegetables/greens and water (or herbal tea). These suhoor recipes are a great place to start if you’re not sure what to make.
Protein is Essential
It’s essential to include protein in your morning meal.
Protein makes you feel satiated, digests slowly (so you feel full longer) and most importantly, it helps stabilize blood sugar levels, which are particularly important if you are fasting for 12+ hours.
Eating a pre-dawn meal that is largely carbohydrates (cereal, paratha, bread, pastry, fruit juice, sugary products including sweet tea) will cause blood sugar fluctuation and most likely leave you feeling blah’ed out, tired, headachy and moody from midday onwards, not to mention very hungry!
Excellent Choices for Suhoor:
Alhamdullilah, dates are a blessed food mentioned numerous times in both the Quran and sunnah and they are amazing little nutrient powerhouses and excellent to include as part of your suhoor meal.
Protein makes you feel satiated. It digests slowly, making you feel full for longer and also helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Eggs (eggs are one of THE most incredible whole foods! SubhanAllah! Love eggs, eat eggs!)
- Chicken, meat, fish (if you can stomach it early in the morning)
- Protein powder (in a smoothie or mixed into your porridge)
- Almonds (great source of protein and good fat) and other nuts
- Olive oil, coconut oil
- Avocado, olives, coconut
- Almonds, walnuts and other nuts
- Seeds (chia, flax, pumpkin, sunflower etc)
- Salmon and other fatty fish (if you can stomach this in the early hours)
- Butter (from grass-fed cows), ghee (from grass-fed cows)
Antioxidants are always food to include for suhoor and berries are packed with flavonoids. Add some blueberries or raspberries to your oatmeal or protein smoothie for an additional antioxidant punch.
Certain Whole Grains are Great! Try to avoid anything refined
- Oatmeal (delicious with coconut milk, sprinkled with nuts and fresh grated coconut) or oatmeal balls,
- Quinoa (which is also high in protein)
- Wholegrain Brown rice (with protein) ** I’m putting this in because I find that egg-fried brown rice works amazingly well for me buuuuut, it might not be for everyone) lol
Hydrating Vegetables and Drinks
- Water/lemon water/herbal tea or coconut water, which is amazingly high in electrolytes.
- Vegetables with a high water content such as cucumber, tomato, celery, etc.
Food that Alkalinises your Body and Boosts Vitamin and Minerals
Keeping your body in a healthy alkaline state is important, especially as you’ll not be drinking water for the whole day and may well be eating food that is acid-forming at night, so use suhoor as an opportunity to boost your body with alkalinizing food and also boost vitamins and minerals.
- Green vegetables such as spinach, kale, zucchini etc. are excellent for alkalinizing your body.
- Green Powders (added to a morning smoothie)
- Fresh lemon, squeezed into water in the morning
- Whole food multi-vitamin
Top 10 Foods to Avoid for Suhoor
- All refined food
- White bread
- Croissants, pastries
- Tea/coffee and anything else that is caffeinated.
- Deep fried foods
- All sugar and sugary products, including sweet cereals.
- Very salty products that will make you thirsty
- Fruit Juice (fruit juice lacks the fibre that the whole fruit has and is sugar-loaded which will cause major blood sugar spikes and crashes)
Note: Everyone is different so give some of the food a try and see what works for you. For example, I don’t find that oats work very well for me personally for suhoor but I’ve made a gluten-free porridge of quinoa, oats, brown rice, millet and corn in the past (whizzed up in the coffee grinder), and that kept me going all day, despite the fact it’s fully grains. It was also delicious, mashaAllah!
One of my suhoor favourites is a bowl of egg-fried wholegrain brown rice… may sound weird, I know, but it does it for me and keeps those headaches and blood sugar crashes away, alhamdullilah.
What works for you for suhoor?