Top 10 Hydrating Vegetables For A Ramadan Summer
After all the fruits, vegetables are the most important food you will ever eat. With a 70-80% water content, veg are high in almost every ...
Incorporate vegetables into your meals 2-3 times per week (1-1/2 cup = 1 serving) as soups, toss them into vibrant salads, wrap them in rice paper to create veggie rolls or slice and eat raw. Take a gander through some of the most hydrating vegetables for this summer Ramadan.
1. Cucumbers – Hydration rating 95%. British Cucumbers taste refreshing raw, sliced with cheese and crackers or dipped in hummus. Cucumbers contain significant amounts of vitamins C and B, calcium, and are rich in caffeic acid which soothes the skin, while most of the water is contained in the skin. With its diuretic properties for flushing out toxins in the dry summer months, cucumber is a must for every single meal.
EAT IT! Whip grated cucumber with yoghurt, lemon and mint into a chutney, chop up cucumber with avocado and mango to create a salty-sweet salad, or sauté then purée chunks with avocado to create a silky soup that's good warm or cold.
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2. Cabbage – Hydration rating 90%. The University of Kentucky listed fresh cabbage as one the highest hydrating vegetables. Although green cabbage is commonly eaten, red leaves reflect their anti-inflammatory properties while purple and red cabbage contains even more vitamin C than green. One cup of raw cabbage provides an excellent amount of vitamin K, rating it one of the world's healthiest foods according to whfoods.com.
EAT IT! Put cabbage on your burgers for crunch or try an Asian-style slaw by tossing in peanut/canola oil, soy sauce and juice of 2 limes with 1 medium sized shredded cabbage.
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3. Tomatoes – A whopping hydration rating of 94% . New research shows that lycopenes in tomatoes lower stroke risk and cancers. Tomatoes prevent constipation, keep the liver functioning and since they are naturally water-rich, tomatoes keep the body hydrated even after strenuous exercise.
EAT IT! Halve ripe tomatoes and scoop out the seeds, place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt + pepper and bake on the lower temperature for several hours until they're shrunk but a little plump. You've just made your own oven-dried tomatoes! Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months.
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4. Carrots – Hydration rating 87%. They seem like a dense vegetable but many people don't realise carrots are almost all water. Carrots are grown in surprisingly beautiful yellow, green and orange colours, which are all high sources of beta-carotene (which helps eyesight), more potent than any other veg or fruit.
EAT IT! Juice: Blitz whole carrot sticks with cored apples to make the sweetest energy drink (1 carrot: 2 apples). Roast: Cut carrot sticks thinly lengthways, drizzle with olive oil and seasoning and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes until sizzling, golden and tender.
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5. Lettuce – An amazing hydration rating of 96%. Lettuce contains fibre which keeps you fuller for longer. Green salads do not only make for a delicious snack or lunch, but they maintain hydration because the leaves are packed with water. Choose a variety of leaves or grow your own lettuces, it's dead easy.
EAT IT! Use large flexible lettuce leaves as tortilla substitutes; wrap around other foods with sauces galore, the way it's done at Korean BBQs. And try stir-fried iceberg lettuce at the last minute for some extra texture.
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6. Broccoli – Hydration rating 90%. Did you know broccoli has anti-cancer nutrients? It is the most hydrating magnesium rich food and has the capacity to help reduce allergies, supplement your vitamin D deficiency and detoxify the potential toxins we encounter each day. What an amazing vegetable Allah has made.
EAT IT! Steam (don't microwave) or stir-fry for 1-2.5 minutes to avoid losing nutrients. Toss pasta with olive oil, pine nuts and steamed broccoli florets with seasoning for a healthier Iftaar meal (to break the fast).
Image, recipe idea + Tofu for Two
7. Red Bell Peppers – Hydration rating 92%. Red bell peppers are a powerhouse of fantastic nutrients like thiamine, vitamins C and B6, beta-carotene, lycopene and folic acid. One pepper will top up your day's worth of plant vitamin A, which is critical for cell growth, vision and healthy organs.
EAT IT! Slice into wraps and sandwiches, roast halves with garlic-infused oil, or deseed then stuff whole peppers with couscous/mince meat/cheeses and bake until piping hot and charred for a delicious main course.
Image + Sabrina's Passions blog
+ Harvest pepper seeds to grow your own veg
8. Zucchini (aka courgette) – Hydration rating 95%. Zucchini is one of the most hydrating vegetables you can eat. One adult serving is an excellent source of potassium and folate (folic acid), which can repair DNA, speed the healing of wounds and tissue growth, as well as maintain nerve functioning. Although the veg is available all year long, the peak season for zucchini is between May and July.
EAT IT! Peel a stick lengthways and grill slices with olive oil and seasoning, then wrap around steamed fish pieces/grilled chicken. Pierce with wooden skewers for mess free snacking and dip in sweet chilli sauce.
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9. Celery – Hydration rating 95%. Celery is considered a powerful electrolyte food. It is almost all water and gets a reputation for being “negative calories.” But as little as two/three refreshing stalks also provides lots of mineral salts, vitamins and amino acids. Celery is a great snack after intense exercise to rehydrate and rejuvenate the body and the skin.
EAT IT! Dip celery sticks into organic peanut butter (with none of that synthetic stuff), munch on celery to help quit smoking, make an apple and celery juice for breakfast, or braise chopped celery and add carrots and a little oil for a lunch salad. Yum!
Image + Snakeroot.net
10. Radishes – Hydrating rating 90%. Crunchy ruby radishes are sadly underrated but they have a very high water content and are a great source of vitamin C, which we know has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Radishes are also a rich source of potassium to help lower risk of kidney stones, and minerals like sulphur, iron and iodine.
EAT IT! Thinly slice radishes and toss into a leafy green or cold pasta salad. Quickly cook with lemon rind, lemon juice, parsley and olive oil for a light salad.
Image + Gradually Greener blog
+ Make a natural hydrating face mask + Healthy recipe ideas from Channel4
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+ Renewed Living Inc. + Green Living + Huffington Post
Go Green in Ramadan!
+ Top 10 Hydrating Fruits For Ramadan
+ Smoking Free Ramadan Campaign
+ Host Greener Iftaars, Imam Zaid's Video Message