(Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center in Abu Dhabi. Photo:Unsplash)
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food and drink from dawn until sunset, breaking their fast at sunset with a meal called iftar. It's important to make healthy food choices during Ramadan to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet.
For those who prefer plant-based options, we've compiled a list of some of the most nourishing and delicious options to try during Ramadan, or any other time of the year.
● Dates Dates are a traditional food eaten to break the fast during Ramadan, and they are a great source of energy. They are high in fiber and antioxidants, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and promote digestive health. You can eat dates on their own or use them as a natural sweetener in recipes.
● Lentils Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber, which can help keep you feeling full for longer. They are also rich in essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron and folate. You can add lentils to soups, or stews, or use them as a base for vegan burgers or patties.
(Falafel made with chickpeas. Photo: Unsplash)
● Chickpeas Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a versatile legume that can be used in a variety of dishes. They are high in protein and fiber, making them a great addition to stews. You can also make homemade hummus or falafel with chickpeas - a great dipping alternative.
● Quinoa Quinoa is a gluten-free grain that is high in protein and fiber. It is also a great source of essential vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and iron. Quinoa can be used as a base for healthier rice-bowls, or used in place of rice in dishes.
(Rainbow bowl with hummus on the side. Photo: Unsplash)
● Sweet Potatoes Sweet potatoes are a great source of complex carbohydrates, which can provide sustained energy throughout the day. Incorporating them into Suhur/Suhoor, the pre-dawn meal before the sun rises, could replace the high-fat foods traditionally eaten during this time of day. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A and potassium. You can roast sweet potatoes and use them as a base for a Buddha bowl or as a side dish for your iftar meal. ● Spinach Spinach is a nutrient-dense leafy green that is rich in vitamins and minerals, such as iron and calcium. It can be added to lentil or chickpea-based dishes to add an extra nutritional boost.
Incorporating the above foods into your diet during Ramadan can provide a variety of essential nutrients, such as protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, to help you stay healthy and nourished while observing your fast.
By making mindful and healthy food choices, you can ensure that you are getting the most out of this important month of reflection and community.
What are your favourite plant-based options to eat during Ramadan?
About the Writer
Jaslyn Goh is a Sales Specialist at Actxa Wellness delivering employee wellness solutions and elevating teams. She is also the founder (at the age of 20!) of Souley Green, a one-stop online marketplace for all-natural and responsibly made products. A firm believer in making a difference through consuming all-natural products, she has helped build a bridge between ethical companies and conscious consumers. Jaslyn also shares valuable insights and practical tips for enhancing productivity and promoting wellness on her social media channels.
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