During Ramadan, it’s important to make sure our meals are nutritious and full of easily digestible ingredients. Fresh fruit, vegetables and fish are great to keep hydrated and avoid that lethargic bloated feeling. Allah (swt) has blessed us with an amazing array of foods and if we look to the Qur’an and Sunnah, there’s plenty of guidance of what foods are of great benefit to both the body and mind.
The first food that often comes to mind when we hear the word Ramadan is: dates. We break our fast each day with fresh dates just as The Prophet (saw) did but what other foods can we make the most of this Ramadan? Well here’s our list of ten top Sunnah foods (in no particular order), to keep healthy and hydrated throughout Ramadan.
Most varieties of squash are water dense. Courgettes are 97% water, whilst butternut and summer squash are both made up of 94% water, helping to keep you hydrated. Stuffed, baked or blended into a soup – they’re highly versatile. Stuff with couscous and oven bake for a healthy iftar.
Lentils are low in cholesterol and great for your digestive health. Not only that, they’re a great source of protein with 26% protein composition. Due to their mix of fibre and complex carbohydrates, they also increase steady, slow burning energy and stabilise your blood sugar. Soups are a good way of keeping full and hydrated during Ramadan – why not try lentil soup for suhur and for iftar make a tasty dhal?
No Ramadan would be complete without melon. Cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon - there are a wide variety out there. A great source of fibre and rich in water (90% in fact!), this fabulous fruit will keep you hydrated and help relieve stomach ache and gastric problems. Eat solo or in a tasty smoothie.
Eggs are a great source of protein and vitamins A, D, E B6 and B12, calcium, iron and zinc. A protein packed suhur is essential to keep you going throughout the day. For suhur, make scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast and start your fasting day the right way!
This 'super-fruit' is tasty, incredibly versatile and a great source of vitamins. Not only is pomegranate three times more powerful than green tea as an anti-oxidant but these tasty seeds are also a great source of vitamins A, C, E and folic acid. As pomegranate is great for digestion, be sure to have a glass of pomegranate juice after iftar. For a fruity kick, add the seeds to a salad mixed with feta cheese or enjoy in a simple fruit salad.
Made up of 92% water, this hydrating vegetable is also rich in vitamin B, potassium, folic acid and antioxidant compounds. Keep things low fat and grill thinly sliced aubergines for a great side at your iftar drizzled with olive oil, or add make a great layered oven bake with tomato sauce, topped with cheese.
Rice is another easily digestible food which helps to stimulate digestion and also regulate your blood sugar levels. Stick to brown rather than white varieties for iftar, served with meat or fish. For sahur, make a tasty rice pudding with rose water (a great mood enhancer) topped with pistachio nuts – another food great for digestion.
One of the best hydrating foods is cucumber - composed of a whopping 96% water. What’s more, cucumber is cholesterol and saturated fat free, packed with vitamins K, B6 and iron. A Ramadan must, add to salads, eat with hummus or make your own yoghurt mix (full of healthy bacteria to aid digestion) with grated/diced cucumber, garlic, mint, salt and a few drops of vinegar and olive oil (all top Sunnah ingredients!).
Fish often gets overlooked for meat when it’s actually high in protein, iron, vitamin D and omega 3. Eating fish can even improve your quality of sleep – great for iftar! Why not swap meat for healthy grilled/baked salmon? Not only is salmon easier to digest but it also boosts brain development and can help ease depression. Serve with brown rice or potatoes and a fresh salad or vegetables for an easy to digest meal.
Banana is incredibly easy to digest. A specific enzyme in bananas actually speeds up the digestion process which is great for when you head to bed after isha. Bananas are also a great source of energy, helping to reduce stress, improve your mood and cure ulcers and heartburn. A must eat fruit for Ramadan, add to a fresh fruit salad for iftar. For sahur blend into a smoothie, spread on brown toast or slice onto oats.
Follow these tips to keep hydrated, healthy and energised this Ramadan and let us know what you’ve been eating on social media!