Healthy Suhoor and Futoor
On 14 May 2020 by Droobi
Fasting can widely benefit your health when coupled with healthy eating. Research has associated fasting with weight loss, improved blood sugar control, heart health, brain function and energy.
What does healthy eating really means? No sugar and no fat? Well, it is not always about what you should not eat, it is also about what you need to consume to nourish your body.
Generally, healthy eating means having well balanced meals containing a variety of items from each food group. It is the way to meet the nutritional needs of the body and maintain its energy level. How does that translate into reality? To answer this, let us go over some do’s and don’ts for suhoor and futoor.
Futoor and Suhoor Do’s and Don’ts
Do have dates or any other whole fruit in moderate quantities as they provide your body with sugar. Besides their richness in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals they provide you with fibers that will help prevent constipation and maintain the gut health. Remember moderation is key!
Do consume hydrating foods such as soups and vegetables, which are high in water content. As the time between futoor and suhoor is limited, every bite should contribute to fulfilling your body needs.
Do drink enough water until your urine color is clear. Water helps your body function efficiently to its best while lack of water or dehydration lead to headaches, dry skin, dizziness, sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion, irritability and fainting if more severe.
Do have protein. Protein makes part of every cell in your body from hair, nails, skin, bones, blood, muscles … including the muscles of the heart! Also, our body uses protein to build and repair tissues, make enzymes and hormones necessary for normal daily body function.
Do have grains like bread, rice, pasta, cereals. The grains are used as fuel by your body to help you recover from fasting and be able to fast the next day. Focus on whole grain sources especially in suhoor as they digest slowly and help sustain energy levels longer.
Don’t overeat high fatty and sugary foods / drinks including fresh juices and concentrates as they cause sluggishness and fatigue after futoor and increase your feelings of hunger shortly after you start your fast if you had them on suhoor. Substitute your fried foods by baked options, healthier and tastier.
Don’t have too much salty foods like salted white cheeses, chips, ready-made soups… salty foods trigger thirst.
Don’t skip the healthy fats found in avocados, nuts, fatty fish (salmon, sardines…), chia seeds, coconut… They reduce sugar cravings, help your body absorb some vitamins, produce important hormones, and protect you from general body inflammation.
Don’t have more than 5 items for any of your meals as studies show that food variety can lead to overeating. Aim to take your time while eating…no rush.
3 Futoor examples:
1 large date
1-2 Cups of water
Steak, 1 cup pureed potatoes, steamed vegetables
3 small dates
1-2 Cups of water
Greek salad with low salt cheese
Chicken, 1 cup rice, vegetables
1-2 Cups of water
Cooked salmon with vegetable sautee
3 Suhoor examples:
Hummus dip with carrots or green pepper
Whole grain bread with labneh or cottage cheese and olive oil
1 to 3 dates
Low-fat Milk and ¾ cup granola with nuts and strawberries
Keep in mind that strict food restrictions usually don’t end up well and rather increase your craving and weakness to food. Focus on being mindful rather than strict. Aim to meet your body’s nutritional needs yet it is okay to respond to your cravings and mindfully indulge in your favourite sweets.