The blessed month of Ramadan offers us the opportunity to enjoy the spiritual and physical bounties of Allah; sehri is one of many such blessings.
What is Sehri/Suhoor???
Suhoor (lit. of the dawn), also called Sehri, Sahari and Sahur, is a term belonging to Islam. It refers to the meal consumed in early morning by Muslims before intending for fast, during the Islamic month of Ramadan. The meal is eaten before the fajr prayer or dawn.
When beginning the fast
وَبِصَوْمِ غَدٍ نَّوَيْتَ مِنْ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ
I intend to keep the fast for tomorrow in the month of Ramadan
What to Eat:
• Eat slow-digesting foods; these include grains and seeds like barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, whole meal flour, unpolished rice, etc.
• Eat fiber-containing food, these include whole wheat, grains and seeds, vegetables like green beans, peas, marrow, mealies, spinach, herbs like methie, iron rich leaves of beetroot, fruits, dried fruits, dried apricots, figs, prunes, almonds, etc.
• The foods consumed should be well-balanced, including appropriate portions of fruits, vegetables, meat/chicken/fish, bread/cereals and dairy products.
• Fried foods are unhealthy and should be avoided.
How to avoid 8 common problems:
1. LETHARGY ('low blood pressure'):
Symptoms: Weakness, excess sweating, tiredness, dizziness, pale appearance, and feeling faint.
Causes: Very low fluid and salt intake.
Remedy: Keep yourself cool, increase fluid and salt intake.
Caution: Use a blood pressure measuring instrument, to know the B.P. Also consult your doctor.
2. LOW BLOOD SUGAR:
Symptoms: Weakness, dizziness, tiredness, poor concentration, sweating, feeling shaky, headache.
Causes: in non-diabetics: Having too much refined sugar at sehri.
Remedy: Eat something at sehri and limit sugar-containing foods and drinks.
Caution: Diabetics may need to adjust their medication in Ramadan, consult your doctor.
Causes: Lots of refined foods, little water intake and insufficient fiber.
Remedy: Avoid excess refined foods, increase your water intake, use brown flour.
Causes: Over-eating. Excessive fried foods, fatty foods and spicy foods intake.
Remedy: Avoid over-eating and fried foods; drink fruit juices or simple water.
Causes: Caffeine and tobacco-withdrawal, lack of sleep. Nausea can happen.
Remedy: Reduce caffeine and tobacco slowly (a week or two before Ramadan). Herbal and caffeine-free teas may be affective. Reorganize your sleep-schedule.
6. MUSCLE CRAMPS:
Causes: Insufficient intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Remedy: Eat foods rich in above-stated minerals e.g. vegetables, fruit, dairy products, meat and dates.
Caution: Those on high blood pressure medication and/or with kidney stone problems should consult their doctor.
7. KIDNEY STONES:
Causes: Less liquid intake.
Remedy: Drink extra liquids.
8. JOINT PAINS:
Causes: During Ramadan, extra prayers (Salâh) are offered; there is increased pressure on the knee joints. Especially in elderly and arthritis-patients this may cause pain, stiffness, swelling and discomfort.
Remedy: Lose weight. Exercise the lower limbs before Ramadan.
A Quick Glance at Healthy Low-Calorie Sehri:
• A healthy sehri should contain some protein and some fiber.
• Protein can come from low fat meats, eggs, beans or dairy.
• Fiber can be found in whole grains, yogurt, vegetables and fruits.
• A good example of a healthy sehri might be something simple like a hard boiled egg, an orange, and a bowl of whole grain cereal with low fat milk.
• For a comfortable low calorie sehri it is a good idea to stay away from sugary cereals, pastries, and white breads for sehri. They are digested quickly after sehri and will leave you hungry.
• Protein and fiber satisfy your hunger and will keep you feeling full until iftaar.
A Quick Glance:
What to Avoid????
1. Fried and fatty foods.
2. Foods containing excess (refined) sugar.
3. Over-eating especially at sehri/suhoor.
4. Too much tea at sehri.
5. Smoking cigarettes. Cut down gradually on smoking, (start this practice a few weeks before Ramadan).
What to Consume????
1. Complex carbohydrates at sehri.
2. Haleem, an excellent source of proteins.
3. Dates, excellent source of sugar, fiber, carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium.
4. Almonds, rich in protein and fiber with low fat.
5. Bananas, a good source of potassium, magnesium and carbohydrates.
6. Drink lots of water or fruit juices between iftar and bedtime.
For Ramadan and Sehri recipes URL given below:
Roasted Potato Sabzi with Dates Khajoor Shake
China Grass ka Metha and Camarel Pudding
Khajoor ka Halwa, Khajoor ka Juice, Pancake with Fruit and Mix Fruit Juice
Ananas Pineapple Kheer and Raasgollay