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Ten Foods to Stay Nourished This Ramadan (Part 3)

Part 1 | Part 2

I hope you found the previous two parts of this article useful and were able to introduce some, if not all, of these main foods into your Ramadan suhur and iftar.

I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.


This is a Chinese herb that looks like a popsicle stick (ice lolly) and is slightly sweet. The root is dried to produce the herb that is very popular in traditional Chinese medicine.

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Astagalus is categorized in herbalism as a herb, meaning it aids in the adapting. This could be adapting to change in climate, a life situation or in preventing and overcoming jet lag.

As an adaptogenic, this herb is considered safe for everyone and for everyday use.

Ramadan can be a stressful time.

The body is under physical stress and adding a herb like astragalus to your diet can provide your body with the boost it needs to adapt to the changes and it can help prevent you from becoming ill.

The easiest way to introduce this herb into your diet is by simply sucking on it.

Another way is to add it to anything that includes boiling water.

Add it to your tea, soup and while you cook rice or stew.

It doesn’t add any flavor that might alter the taste of the dish, but it will turn what you are cooking into a pot of stress-busting goodness. (1,2,3,4).

Coconut waterCoconut water

Rich in electrolytes and full of nutrients, coconut water is just about the most perfect drink to quench your post-fast thirst (1).

Fresh is always best, but it isn’t easy to find. Look for coconut waters that have no added sugars or preservatives.


Many people avoid them because of the fishy smell and taste associated with them. There are many types of seaweeds and not all have a strong taste or odor.

Two such seaweeds are kombu and kelp flakes. These two versatile seaweeds are easy to use and have no adverse after-flavor.

What’s the big deal about seaweed and why are they so important?

Seaweed and other “sea vegetables” are rich in trace minerals and iodine (3).

Yes, iodine is added to most table salts, but the name of the game is absorption.

Sea vegetables provide a type ofiodine that is very easy to absorb. Your body can’t use what it cannot absorb (2).

Kelp flakes can be sprinkled on your food like a condiment. Kombu is a very firm seaweed that does not easily dissolve into food when it is cooking.

Add an inch (10 cm) piece of kombu to cooking water to extract the nutrients found in it.

Make sure you purchase seaweed that is ethically and sustainably harvested. Also, look for seaweeds that are tested for heavy metals.

You also might want to avoid seaweeds from locations where there were oil spills or where there might be radioactive contamination.

Water is the universal solvent and seaweed is in the sea, hence, seaweeds can be subjected to different levels of water pollution.

Thus, if you have hypertension or hyperthyroidism, please consult your healthcare practitioner before adding it to your diet.

Cocoa nibs (raw chocolate)

Cocoa nibsThis unsweetened raw form of chocolate has the highest content of magnesium compared to any other food. Magnesium is used in over 200 processes in the body and is half of the magnesium/calcium pump that keeps your heart beating (3).

Magnesium is also called upon when your body is under stress. Boost your magnesium intake by having a few bits of raw chocolate nibs. Your body will thank you.

Ramadan is a great time to add these foods into your diet to stay healthy and well-nourished all month long and beyond.

May your Ramadan be blessed and I hope you and your family enjoy these new flavors and foods!

This article is from Science’s archive and we’ve originally published it on an earlier date.


  1. Fife, Bruce, Dr. C.N., N.D, Coconut Cures. Piccadilly Books, Limited (March 1, 2005).
  2. The World’s Healthiest Foods.
  3. Abeytia, Anisa, “Chocolate: Good and Good for You.” (November 25, 2010).
About Anisa Abeytia
Anisa Abeytia, B.A. USC , M.A., Stanford is an integrative health specialist currently pursuing a M.S. in Holistic Nutrition. Over the past ten years Anisa has pursued various fields of holistic and traditional medicine. She has studied at the oldest herbal school in the United States and pursued a two year certificate program in Islamic Healing. She writes regularly on the topics of health and nutrition. She maintains the website Women's Healing Circle, a site dedicated to the natural health of women and their families.