By Mubarakah Ibrahim – Health and Fitness Consultant
The biggest concern for Muslims fasting in the heat of the summer is dehydration. Drinking water during the evening hours is essential to being able to last 16 hours without food and drink and still maintain healthy hydration levels.
However all our hydration does not come from liquids alone. Eating foods with a high water content will not compensate for your need to drink water however it can be an added beneficial to the hydration process.
Here are five foods that will multitask not only adding to hydration but they are also in season during the warm months so you’ll find them fresher, from local farm sources and on sale at the stores.
Percentage Water: 98%
Iceberg lettuce is relatively bereft of nutrients, so it’s wise to opt for the darker leafed, more nutrient-rich varieties. At just 35 calories per boiled cup, kale provides antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting benefits. Dark green leafy vegetables, including romaine lettuce, kale, spinach and mustard greens, are packed with essential nutrients such as water. These foods have lots of water, dietary fiber, iron, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants.
How to Eat: Besides eating lettuce in your garden salads, explore the options of cooked greens. Add spinach in your chicken soup or uncooked kale in your fruits salad for a refreshing change.
Percentage Water: 97%-94%
Most varieties of squash are water dense. Zucchini is 97 percent water; butternut and summer squash, 94 percent; The squash family Each of these vegetables is nutrient dense, containing a variety of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and dietary fiber.
How to Eat: Add a squash to your diet by baking, grilling or sautéing it in your favorite oil.
Percentage Water: 92%
Eggplant is a deep purple vegetable with a unique texture and taste. This water-dense vegetable contains 92 percent water by weight. It is also rich in B vitamins, potassium, copper, manganese, folic acid, tryptophan and phenolic antioxidant compounds.
How to Eat: Eggplant can be cooked and eaten in a variety of ways. Stir fry baking, grille or sauté or go a more tradition route of Eggplant Parmesan.
Percentage Water: 91%
Red, sweet and juicy, strawberries are packed with vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and dietary fiber.
How to Eat: Strawberries add a refreshing, sweet taste to any meal or dessert. Blend them with other fruits for a thirst-quenching fruit salad, smoothie or sorbet. Add them to your garden salad or just eat plan.
Mubarakah Ibrahim is the owner of BALANCE Fitness Studio for Women in New Haven, CT. She is an AFAA Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Counselor and Authorized Oasis in the Overwhelm® Trainer. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show “Thirty-something in America”, is a contributing expert to Prevention Magazine on fitness for women over 40, appeared on the covers of the Hartford Current, New Haven Advocate and Chicago Tribune. Mubarakah lectures, promotes and conducts workshops on alternative health, fitness and healthy living throughout the World. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-624-9999