As we celebrate the beautiful month of Ramadan, the blessed days and nights, the zikr and Qur’anic recitations, relishing Suhoors (pre-dawn meals) and Iftars (breaking of fasts), we are constantly reminded of our Lord’s countless bounties on us and one of them is – Good Health.
He sends down water from the sky. From it you drink, and from it come the shrubs among which you graze your herds. By it He makes crops grow for you, as well as olives and dates and grapes and fruit of every kind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect.
(Surat An-Nahl: 10-11, The Noble Qur’an)
Mankind is the most beloved creation of our Creator and He did not just create different foods for us to savour & satiate ourselves but wrapped them with healthy essential nutrients beneficial to us.
While there are quite a number of foods mentioned in the Holy Qur’an & that have been emphasised by our Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), I would like to mention a few here.
The essence of every living being. We all know how precious it is but we sometimes forget this and tend to believe that it is in abundance.
In one of the hadiths our Prophet states:
Do not waste water even if you were at a running stream.
Season (your food) with olive oil and anoint yourselves with it, for it comes from a blessed tree.
We are all aware of the antioxidant & anti-inflammatory properties of olive and just as our Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) recommended, it is the best seasoning ingredient for salad recipes.
Indeed in dates, there is a cure
Dates needs a special mention as it is the all time favourite food with which we break our fasts. Ajwa dates have been prominently emphasized for their super healing properties.
The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) mentioned figs and stated, “If I had to mention a fruit that descended from Paradise, I would say this is it, because the paradisiacal fruits do not have pits. Eat from these fruits for they prevent hemorrhoids, piles and gout”
Figs are a rich source of fiber, sugars, antioxidants, vitamins (A, C, K), and minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron). Their low calorific value make them a boon to weight watchers.
Then to eat of all the produce (of the earth), and find with skill the spacious paths of its Lord: there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colours, wherein is healing for men: verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought.
(Surah An-Nahl: 69, The Noble Qur’an)
Many nutritionists recommend honey as a better alternative to sugar. It is rich in antioxidants. Since ancient times, healers have prescribed honey for its therapeutic effects – to fight cough and to heal burns and wounds.
And verily! In the cattle, there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies,from between excretions and blood, pure milk; palatable to the drinkers
(An Nahl 16:66, The Noble Qur’an)
In addition to proteins such as caesin and whey, milk is a rich source of minerals such as calcium and phosphorous as well as vitamins B2, B12, and D.
Other foods like ginger, garlic, vinegar, cucumber, black seeds, barley and fruits – melon, banana, grapes too have found their places in Qur’an and various hadiths.
Finally, as has been very rightly said by our Prophet in one of the hadiths, eating in moderation during fasts or on any other days is the best way to stay fit & healthy:
A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.
Health tips during fasting :
- Eat in moderation
- Avoid fried foods and biryanis for Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and Iftar (breaking of fast) as they cause acidity and indigestion.
- Light exercise or walking after Iftar for those who want to keep the fitness regime on even while fasting
- Adequate rest
- Stay well hydrated, especially at this time, while we are battling it out with the temperatures outside.
- Ramadan is also the best time to quit smoking / alcohol. During fasts, we also try refraining ourselves from negative human emotions like anger / backbiting / lying which one should intend to carry forward to the rest of the life.
Wishing you all a healthy Ramadan. Stay blessed!
About the Author
Nazia Sultana is a senior member of our team. She is a fitness enthusiast. She believes that one can maintain good health through healthy eating and activity choices, even while fasting during the Holy Ramadan.