Food

A Replete Ramadan: Health & Hydration Tips For Summer

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Priya MahadevanFood,,,,,,,,,,,

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As we approach the religious month of Ramadan and the fasting that goes along with it, hydration is an important aspect to keep in mind. Our bodies can withstand hunger for many hours, but thirst is a whole different ball game. A Muslim usually practices his or her faith in entirety, which also means he or she will also abstain from drinking water when the sun is up. The scorching temperatures of Eastern summers are not conducive to maintaining a rigid fast.

This year, the heat index seems to have reached new and alarming highs, with many people in India and elsewhere dying of sun strokes and absolute dehydration. To quell hunger and quench thirst, I would recommend you eat your water.

In this piece, I would like to share some tips and foods, besides water, that will keep you hydrated for a long time besides helping keep your electrolytes in balance. I will also touch upon some super vegetarian foods that will help stave off hunger for longer periods of time. You can add them to your lean meats during this fasting period.

You have probably read this type of thing in whole or in parts from time to time, but an apt reminder to do the right thing is something you owe to yourself:

The most hydrating vegetables are celery, green peppers, cauliflower, lettuce, broccoli, and spinach. They are packed with nutrients. For instance, cauliflower or broccoli can keep you sated for a long time!

Key fruits to put on the table when you break your fast are watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, strawberries, raspberries, pears, apples, and grapefruit. Eating them whole as opposed to juicing them means you are also consuming the fiber, which can help fill up your stomach.

The most compatible companion to all the fruits mentioned above is yogurt. You can find ways of seasoning yogurt to your liking, or you can incorporate vegetables or fruits that you are not particularly fond of but need during your fast. A smoothie for instance, is another way to do it. In the Eastern culture, yogurt is also believed to keep our bodies cool, and this would be an added benefit considering the weather at this time!

Vegetarian foods that can keep you happily full for extended periods of time are lentils, oatmeal, beans, barley, quinoa and nuts. Easy foods to prepare with these are dals, hummus, salads, and puddings. The beauty of these foods is you can make a salad medley with your fruits and veggie groups along with the grains, lentils and nuts.

Here are some sample recipes of each of the categories of foods. They are swift and easy while being delicious and completely nourishing, especially for this always-on -the-go world.

Vegetables: Apple-Cauliflower Soup, Cauliflower Dip with Pine Nuts, Vegetables au Gratin, Colorful Veggie Stir Fry, Home Garden Veggie Tian,

Fruits: Watermelon Sorbet, Apple and Cottage Cheese Salad, Blood Orange Rasam, Cucumber Rasam, Pure Fruit Smoothie,

Yogurt: Cucumber Raita, Rosy Raita with Beets, Simple Spinach Dip, Trendy Thayir Vadai,

Grains/Lentils: Colorful Quinoa Kichdi, Quinoa and Oats Idlis, Garden Veggie Burger, Walnut Apple Sauce and Purple Cauliflower Stir Fry, Hummus Fest