By Nazima Qureshi
This year once again Ramadan will fall in the summer months, which means long and hot summer fasts. In Canada, the average fast is about 17 hours, leaving those fasting with very little time to refuel and rehydrate. Drinking water during non-fasting hours is a given, but it can be difficult to drink enough to stay hydrated. There are many fruits and vegetables that are not only packed with nutrients but also have over 90% water content.
Try incorporating these 10 foods to keep you hydrated during Ramadan:
Celery is a very popular low calorie food, probably because it has 95% water content! Not only is it low calorie, it is also packed with nutrients such as Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and Fibre.
Serve it up: Spoon peanut butter on to celery and sprinkle dark chocolate chips for your very own “ants on the log”.
It is probably not a surprise to see cucumbers on this list. Cucumbers have a whopping 95% water content. They don’t say “cool as a cucumber” for nothing! While you are enjoying this refreshing veggie, you are also getting a good dose of vitamin C and folate.
Serve it up: Slice em’ up and dip em’ in ranch dressing.
I like to think of zucchini as the sophisticated cousin of cucumber. Similar to cucumbers, zucchini also has 95% water content. Growing up, I always thought that zucchini should be cooked before eating since it only appeared in curries in my household. When I started cooking myself, I realized that there are so many possibilities with zucchini that don’t require the heat. On a hot summer day of fasting, that’s a win in my books!
Serve it up: Use a vegetable peeler or spiralizer to make strips to add to salad or swap with noodles.
- Romaine Lettuce
While iceberg lettuce has a higher water content at 96%, romaine lettuce is a close second with a 94% water content. However, the big win comes from a higher nutrient content in romaine lettuce with more folate, fibre, and vitamin K.
Serve it up: Swap your burger bun for lettuce “buns”.
Tomatoes are a staple in almost every kitchen and with 94% water content they should be a staple during your Ramadan too. Tomatoes are also a source of antioxidants, folate, and vitamin C.
Serve it up: Make a fresh salsa with chopped tomatoes, onions, salt, pepper, and lime.
6. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers bring in a lot of crunch but also 93% water content. While all colours of bell peppers are packed with nutrients, red peppers have the most beta-carotene and vitamin C. In fact, red peppers have more vitamin C than an orange!
Serve it up: Cut into thin strips and pair with hummus for a post iftar snack.
This white vegetable may not seem like a hydrating choice but you would be surprised to know it has a water content of 92%. Cauliflower is also a source of fibre, folate, and vitamin C.
Serve it up: Steam and pulse in a food processor to create cauliflower “rice”.
Watermelon is most likely the first fruit you think of when you think of hydrating foods. The water content of watermelon is a whopping 91%. Watermelon provides potassium, vitamin B6, and antioxidants.
Serve it up: Blend with ice and a sprig of mint for a refreshing beverage.
Strawberries have water content of 91% and since Ramadan is during strawberry season this year, there is no excuse to pass out on these gems! Strawberries also provide you with the benefit of vitamin C, fibre, folate, and potassium.
Serve it up: Add frozen strawberries to your Suhoor smoothie.
Melons in general are a great hydrating option for Ramadan. Cantaloupe is packed with 90% water content, while also providing vitamin A.
Serve it up: Use a melon baller to make balls and serve them on a toothpick.
The great thing is that all of these fruits and veggies can be eaten raw, which means less time by the stove for you!
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