Essential Iftar: Top 10 nourishing foods to break your Ramadan fast

Iftar. Photo: iStock/brightstars

Breaking the Ramadan fast, known as Iftar, typically involves consuming light and hydrating foods to replenish energy levels after a day of fasting. Here are some popular and nutritious items commonly used to break the fast during Ramadan:

Iftar platter. Photo: iStock/mahbub hasan


Traditionally, Muslims break their fast with dates due to their high natural sugar content, providing a quick energy boost. They are also rich in essential nutrients like potassium and fibre.


Hydration is crucial after a day of fasting, so starting with water is essential. Drinking water helps rehydrate the body and prepares it for consuming other foods.

Fresh fruits

Fruits like watermelon, oranges, grapes, and melons are refreshing and hydrating options for breaking the fast. They provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Photo: iStock/vi-mart


Warm and comforting soups, such as lentil soup (shorba) or vegetable soup, are commonly consumed during Iftar. They provide hydration, nutrients, and help soothe the stomach.

Lentil soup
Lentil soup. Photo: Chef Arun Vijayan


Plain yogurt or yogurt-based drinks like Ayran are popular choices for breaking the fast. They are refreshing, hydrating, and provide probiotics that aid digestion.

Fresh juices

Homemade fruit juices or smoothies are nutritious options for breaking the fast. They provide hydration, vitamins, and natural sugars for energy.

The juice is made of watermelon, pineapple, mango, pomegranate, lettuce and lemon. Representative image/iStock/MajaMitrovic

Bread and spreads

Whole grain bread, pita bread, or crackers served with hummus, labneh (strained yogurt), or cheese are filling options that provide carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.

Protein-rich foods

Foods like boiled eggs, grilled chicken, or legumes like chickpeas or lentils provide protein to help repair and rebuild muscles after fasting.

Hyderabadi biryani. Photo: iStock/rachasuk


Fresh vegetable salads with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other seasonal vegetables are light, hydrating, and provide essential vitamins and minerals.

Carrot, almond and cheese salad
Carrot, almond and cheese salad. Photo: Shutterstock/Alena Haurylik


While it's common to enjoy sweets during Ramadan, it's essential to consume them in moderation. Traditional sweets like baklava, kunafa, or sheer korma can be enjoyed occasionally but should not be overindulged due to their high sugar content.

It's important to consume a balanced meal during Iftar, including a combination of hydrating fluids, fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to replenish nutrients and maintain energy levels throughout the evening.

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