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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

With under 90 days until the blessed month of Ramadhan InshAllah, when the sales of dates hit higher roofs than the Shard’s, I thought it would be interesting to write about why we should eat dates during the other 11 months of the year.

One good reason we should eat dates often, is simply because Rasul Allah Muhammad (saw) used to eat 7 dates in the morning. And we should always try to live as similarly to him as possible. I’ll leave the details of this hadith for another time. 

But let’s look at several health benefits dates are enriched with:

  1. Dates are rich in vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Some of these are found in our plasma and are advantageous for our health
  2. Dates have high sugar content which will give you energy very quickly after consumption
  3. Dates have huge benefits during pregnancy and due to their high energy and iron source, which aids mothers during the weakening of their bodies and loss of blood during birth
  4. Dates are said to help in the cure of intestinal disorders. They help the friendly bacteria in our intestines keep any abnormal activity in check
  5. Dates are considered laxatives, and so will help with constipation
  6. They have been reported to keep our hearts healthy
  7. Studies suggest that dates are beneficial against abdominal cancer

With the unfortunate spread of cancers worldwide and the other health conditions we’re faced with, it’s important for us to be aware of foods that may help cure them, but also prevent from reaching us in the first place.

These are just some of the benefits of dates and I hope that they will encourage you to eat them more regularly, rather than only in Ramadhan.

I hope you are all in the best of health InshAllah.

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Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: ‘I do not eat reclining’ (Sahih Bukhari)

There are many interpretations by scholars as to what ‘reclining’ means, whether it is leaning to one side, or against a wall. And they each tell us different ways in which we should sit, but the main idea is that when we come to eat, we shouldn’t have a casual attitude towards it (in other words eating as a pastime or hobby), as ‘eating when reclining’ suggests.

Haven’t you noticed that on days when you have a hundred and one things to do, and you’re rushing from one place to another, you often forget to eat? Or you have very little to eat because you’re just too busy?

Well we should spend our time in this Dunya fulfilling its higher purpose; living to serve Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). We should eat to get by, and to allow us to fulfill this role, not to eat in huge amounts for the sake of it and for the fun of it. This hadith reminds us to eat in moderation.

Jannah is where we can eat reclining, and enjoy the bounties that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has prepared InshAllah.

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Health Tip Two: Water

We have to drink 8 glasses of water, yeah yeah, we’ve heard it a million times before. We’re quite bored of the same old tips regarding water. So instead, I’d like to note where water has been mentioned in the Quran and the Sunnah.

And We have made from water every living thing. (Quran 21:30)

And We have given you to drink sweet water (Quran 77:27)

So yes water is the most abundant substance on Earth, as we’re around 3 quarters water ourselves and it fills the oceans and rivers of our planet.

We already know we need water to survive, it regulates our body temperature, makes our skin clearer and so on. But here are some functions of water that we don’t always read about in health books or sites:

  • Water is a lubricant found between joints as well as in our gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestines)
  • Water moistens different body tissues like our eyes, nose and mouth
  • Water is found in the amniotic fluid surrounding the little foetus during pregnancy, having a protective role
  • Water is involved in several of the chemical reactions that go on in our bodies, an example being the breakdown and digestion of food
  • Water is the main component of all fluids in our bodies – blood, gastric juice, saliva and of course urine

SubhanAllah! And these are just a few of the many more reasons why we need water in our systems. No wonder we’re told to drink 8 glasses a day.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) used to drink it (water) in three sips, not exhaling into the cup, and said of this method – This is more healthful and better in quenching the thirst. (Muslim)

InshAllah we can implement this in our daily lives, to follow our Nabi Muhammad (saw) every time we drink water and gain reward in such a simple way.

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We don’t need to go on the latest diets and deprive ourselves of certain foods to maintain our weight, because eventually this will lead to cravings, binging and then gaining the weight again. The most obvious way to avoid gaining weight is to eat in moderation, which is exactly what the Quran tells us to do.

‘And eat and drink but do not waste by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) does not like those who waste by extravagance’ (Quran 7:31)

So we should eat what we like but not overdo it. In fact, Muhammad (saw) said:

‘No human fills a vessel worse than his own abdomen; a few bites are enough for man to keep his body upright, but if it is indispensable, then a third for his food, a third for his drink, and a third for his breath.’ (Tirmidhi)

Our stomachs should have equal thirds for food, water and air. We should only eat enough to keep us going, not until we feel full. Scientists have recently explained that the message sent from the stomach to the brain which gives us the feeling of satiety, actually takes 20 minutes to arrive. This is probably why we keep eating and then we realise we feel super bloated!  We’ve filled our stomachs with food and left no space for air. We should have stopped eating 20 minutes earlier.

Another point to make is that we tend to eat when we’re bored. I call it being ‘bungry’, we’re not really hungry, we’re only bored-hungry, and so we end up overeating. As a consequence, this overeating causes us to feel sick at times and certainly lazy. So not only is it bad for our health but also makes us sluggish, stopping us from performing our prayers well and other duties, hence we are advised to avoid this by eating in moderation. To combat this, we should keep ourselves busy achieving our personal goals, carrying out our Islamic duties, helping others and doing things we enjoy so we are not bored! 

Many nutritionists nowadays will tell you to eat just enough to give the body what it needs, as it will improve health and increase longevity according to their studies. An example is Patrick Holford in his book Optimum Nutrition Bible. There’s no harm in reading what nutritionists and scientists have to say about diets and health, but it is clear that the Quran and Hadith from our Prophet (saw) already have the health tips we’re looking for, and these researches are just backing it up Alhamdulilah.

Let’s follow these tips and stay healthy InshAllah!

Note: Some of these tips are inspired by the book – Healing Body and Soul by Amira Ayad.

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