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We're coming up on the final week of the month of Ramadan. It's the time of year when observant Muslims avoid all food and drink during the holy month's daylight hours — if they're able.
When Ramadan falls during the height of summer — as it does this year — that's a lot of hours. So what's the best thing to eat to prepare you for a long fast?
The pre-dawn breakfast meal — suhoor— varies quite a bit. What you serve for suhoor depends upon whether you're from the Middle East or Malaysia or the U.S., and whether you're ravenous in the morning or still a little ill from overindulging at last night's iftar, the Ramadan evening meal.
Suhoor tables are spread with everything from leftovers to a dish of stewed fava beans called ful medames to hard-boiled eggs to chia seed smoothies. But no matter what you're feeling in the mood for (and can stomach early in the morning), there are a few guidelines for the most sustaining meal.
Nour Zibdeh is a dietician and nutritionist in Herdon, Va., who advises many fasting patients (and observes Ramadan herself). She recommends suhoor dishes with protein, healthy fats, and fiber — as well as smoothies, fruits and water. You want to be satiated and hydrated. But, as Zibdeh notes, even the best suhoor has its limitations.