10 super foods to keep you well nourished this Ramadan (part 1)

If you are doing Ramadan right, your intake of food will be reduced, but that does not mean that you need to be ill nourished.

If you are doing Ramadan right, your intake of food will be reduced, but that does not mean that you need to be ill nourished.

If you are doing Ramadan right, your intake of food will be reduced, but that does not mean that you need to be ill nourished. I’ll be sharing 10 nutrient dense foods and herbs with you that will help deliver the nutrients and support your body needs. Including these super foods will help reduce the discomforts of Ramadan fasting and help you adapt, keeping your immune and digestive systems running smoothly.

Ramadan is also a time when your body is cleaning shop because it now has the time and extra enzymes to cleanse and regenerate. Detoxification pathways and the liver will be hard at work clearing all the metabolic waste that has built up during the year, but unlike other processes in the body, if the detoxification system does not have the nutrients it needs, it just won’t function. This is why it is important to keep the nutrients it needs on your plate during Ramadan.

I will share with you how to add these foods and herbs to your regular cooking routine and give you a few recipe ideas to try out.

1. Hibiscus

Easy to come by, Hibiscus is a popular tea throughout the Middle East and the world. Found as pre-packaged tea bags or a loose leaf herb, hibiscus is easy to found in these forms. Rich in vitamin C, it is an immune system super food and is no surprise that traditionally Egyptians served it as a post-iftar drink.

Vitamin C is easily destroyed by light and heat, so when we cook foods rich in vitamin C, we are destroying the very nutrient we need to be healthy. This is one reason why eating a variety of foods prepared in a variety of ways, is healthful. Cooking has a huge role to play in our eating habits and is necessary in many instances to make a food more nutritious and in some cases, safe to eat. Spinach, when eaten raw, has a natural thyroid inhibitor, cooking removes it.

Vitamin C is also a water-soluble nutrient, which means it does not store in our bodies; we do not keep a stockpile of it for use during times of shortage like we do with the fat soluble vitamin D. What this means is that your body requires a regular intake of vitamin C.

Sipping on a cup of hibiscus cooler after a long day of fasting is just the thing to ensure you get the vitamin C your body needs.

Hibiscus Cooler

  • 16 oz water
  • 1 hibiscus tea bag or .5 ounce of loose dried hibiscus flowers (3 or 4)
  • 4-8 ounces of white grape juice


Place the hibiscus flowers in a container and pour cold or room temperature water over it. You can leave it overnight or for a few hours. The longer the tea bad remains will increase the bitterness of the drink. Add in grape juice to taste and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.

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2. Yoghurt

So good for you and so good, the health benefits of yoghurt are well known. We all know the health benefits of yoghurt, but not all yoghurts are created equal. Make sure to purchase yoghurts with active yoghurt cultures to receive the health benefits to your digestive track and immune system.

Extremely versatile, yoghurt can be used as a condiment, in salads, main dishes and as a desert. Yoghurt layered with fruit make an easy velvety dessert that is good enough to serve to guests and easy enough for a family dinner.

3. Pickles

Just like yoghurt, this fermented food is a superfood, but only if it prepared the traditional way using salt and water, not vinegar. One way to know you are getting the real thing is you will find them in the refrigerator section of the supermarket.

What makes picked food, not just cucumbers, so nutritious, is that during the fermentation process, the little microbes are predigesting and making absorption of vitamin and minerals. An interesting fact, fermented food often times will produce new nutrients that did not originally exist in the food before the fermentation process. An example of this is cabbage and the German food sauerkraut. Prior to fermentation, (no alcohol is produced), cabbage is not a food rich in the B vitamins, but after, sauerkraut is abundant in B vitamins.

Check back tomorrow for parts 2 and to learn more about the best foods to have in during Ramadan.

Work Cited:

  1. Murray, Michael, Total Body Tune Up.Batam Books (2003)
  2. Abeytia, Anisa, “Natural Detoxification, OnIslam (July 13, 2014)
  3. Katz, Sandor, Wild Fermentation. Chelsea Green Publishing (2003)
  4. Fallon, Sally, Nourishing Traditions. Newtrends Publishing, Inc (2003)

Featured image courtesy of berries.com.