Healthy Eating
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Islam considers health to be one of the greatest blessings to have been given to human beings by Allah, our Creator. Allah says in the Quran:

"..Eat of the good things which We have provided for you with, and be grateful to Allah.." [Quran Baqra 2:172]

A highly important factor of health promotion is proper nutrition. Choosing wholesome food and avoiding what is unwholesome are essential to health. Explained below are some of the foods recommend to us in the Quran, Sunnah or by our Scholars.

Contents

  1. The Fig and the Olive
  2. Dates
  3. Honey
  4. Black Seed
  5. Pomegranate
  6. Guidelines on Healthy Eating

The Fig and the Olive

Allah (swt) has sworn by the fig and the olive in the Quran:

"By the Fig and the Olive, and the Mount of Sinai..." [Quran at-Teen 95 1-2

 

The Fig

Figs are a rich source of calcium, iron, magnesium, Vitamin B6, and potassium. Figs are low in fat and high in fibre. They provide more fiber than any other common fruit or vegetable.

Figs have many health benefits. Fresh and dry figs are high in pectin, a soluble fibre that can reduce blood cholesterol. The fruit is also believed to have a laxative effect and can aid those who suffer from chronic constipation.

The Olivefood

Olives (Zaytun) have numerous health benefits, including being rich in Vitamins (in particular Vitamin E), minerals, monounsaturated fats, and anti-oxidants. They are full of nutritional value, helping to fight against a number of critical diseases; including cancer, arthritis, osteoprosis, constipation, inflammation and asthma.

Dates

The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to break his fast by eating some dates before offering Maghrib prayer, and if ripe dates were not available, he used to substitute them with some dried grapes. When they too were not available, he used to have a few sips of water, according to some reports. Modern science has proved that dates are part of a healthy diet. They contain sugar, fat and proteins, as well as important vitamins. Hence the great importance attached to them by the Prophet.

The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to combine dates with bread sometimes. At other times he mixed ripe dates with cucumber, or dates combined with ghee. He used to take all varieties of dates, but he preferred the variety called Ajwah.

Honey

Nutritionally, honey is a healthy, easily digestible, natural and energy rich food. It contains carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, enzymes and vitamins. One tablespoon of honey provides 60 calories and contains 11g of carbohydrates, 1mg of calcium, 0.2mg of iron, 0.lmg of vitamin B and 1mg of vitamin C.

Tirmithi, Ibn Majah and Baihaqi also reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said,

"Make use of the two remedies: honey and the Quran."

Black Seed

The black seed (also known as Nigella sativa), is known by a variety of different names; the Black caraway, Black cumin, Kalonji, Schwarzcummel, sinouj, Nutmeg flower, Shonaiz, Habba sowda, fennel flower or Habbatul Barakah (in Arabic appropriately meaning the seed of blessing).

In a famous hadith, Abu Hurairah States "I have heard from the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) that there is cure for every disease in black seeds except death.." - Bukhari

For general health, you may take 1 tablespoon blackseed oil morning and night, or at least in the morning before breakfast on its own or with 1 teaspoon pure honey.

Pomegranates

There are three references of the Pomegranate in the Quran under the name of 'Rummana'. One of which is:

"And it is He Who produces gardens trellised and untrellised, and date-palms, and crops of different shape and taste and olives, and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in taste). .." [Quran al-An'am 8:141]

Pomegranate is a good food and a medicine of great value. It is a tonic for heart patients, highly efficacious in the inflammation of the stomach and effective to check heart pain. The juice of the fruit is an excellent cooling beverage and allays thirst in diarrhoea.

Guidelines on Healthy Eating

Raw Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables have high amounts of water, fiber, vitamins and minerals making it easy on your digestive system. Eating more raw than cooked vegetables are better for you because the more they are cooked the less the nutrients there are. Cook vegetables with as little water or fat as possible.

Meat and Seafood

Eat fresh meat and seafood with skin and fat removed. Also, eat less of red meat and eat more chicken and fish. This helps in controlling cholesterol.

Food Combinations

Do not eat fruit after any other food or on an empty stomach. Fruits take 20 minutes to digest whereas other foods take 1-2 hours. When eaten one after another fruits ferment in the stomach while waiting for other foods to digest. This can cause bloating, belching and other non-desirable side effects. It is therefore recommended to eat fruits 20 minutes before your meal or 1-2 hours after your meal. Also, eating protein (dairy foods, fish) and carbohydrates (bread, pasta) with salads or raw or lightly steamed vegetables will help prevent or eliminate many common digestive problems.

Drinking Water

Drinking plain water and not fluids is best to keep the body healthy and functioning properly. Flavored water(e.g. lemon juice added) requires digestion by the body causing extra work to be done by your system.

Exercising regularly also helps to maintain a healthy lifestyle.