Sugar makes you feel tired and sluggish, resulting in body aches, pains and headaches. This makes your food cravings worse and causes weight gain. Excessive salt can increase your thirst and make you dehydrated, leading to even more headaches. If you want to feel energised with no headaches during your fast, we advise you to avoid sugar and to cut down on salt, especially fried foods.
Eat nutritious meals
IFTAR MEAL (breaking your fast)
This is when you replenish energy levels, so you should eat a healthy, well-balanced meal. You should break your fast with dates and hydrating fruits, like watermelon or low-glycemic berries, then pause and complete your evening prayers.
The natural sugars will allow your body to register you have had food, and you will be less likely to overeat afterwards. For your main meal, vegetable soup or roasted vegetables are good for you, and vegetables should take up half of the space on your plate. A quarter of your plate should be of complex nutrient-dense carbohydrates that have fibre that won’t make your blood sugar levels spike up such as, for example, roast potatoes with skin, sweet potatoes, brown rice and whole-wheat bread.
The remaining quarter should be lean proteins or, better yet, lentils, legumes, and nuts with fibre, protein, and healthy vitamins to keep your digestive system healthy. Avoid refined carbohydrates that have little nutrients like white bread and white rice.
SUHOOR MEAL (pre-dawn meal)
This is the meal that needs to provide lasting energy for the long hours of your fast. You should have fibre-rich fruits and high-fibre carbohydrates like wholemeal bread and oatmeal, which takes longer to digest, giving you energy for longer.
A small handful of protein-rich unsalted walnuts and almonds helps with hunger and induces sleepiness because they contain melatonin, magnesium and zinc. Unsweetened almond milk is a good source of these nutrients and Vitamin D and calcium, so we recommend having it with your oatmeal. Proteins such as scrambled eggs with healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil or avocado with wholemeal bread is a good meal, too, and it will give your body a well-needed health and energy boost.