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Posts Tagged ‘health’

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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SubhanAllah! If this was the case, we probably would not have our health, we’d lose our eyesight, our hearing, our ability to walk, talk, think and have memories. We’d become vegetables. It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible to think of every single blessing Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has given us and be thankful for it.

But by the great mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, He does not take these blessings away from us, even when we forget to be thankful for the most obvious ones, like the food in our fridges and the roof over our heads.

Let’s remember to be more thankful InshAllah.

Quick Tips:

1) When you wake up in the morning, recite the dua –  ‘Alhamdulilah alethi ahyana ba’da ma amaatena wa ilayhil nishoor’

 (All praise be to Allah, who gave us life after killing us (sleep is a form of death) and to Him will we be raised and returned)

2) Try to say Alhamdulilah as many times as you can every day. Start with 100 times a day, a meager 20 times after every salah. And keep increasing it everyday InshAllah.

May Allah forgive us for our forgetfulness. 

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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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Five Before Five

“Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth, before you become old; and your health, before you fall sick; and your richness, before you become poor; and your free time before you become busy; and your life, before your death.” (Hakim)

Let’s take it one at a time.

1)      ‘Your youth before you become old’

First of all, the word youth doesn’t refer to our adolescent years, it refers to the time we are have the most energy and strength. This can take us up until the age of 40. This is the time we can make use of this energy and enthusiasm to do good in ways that we won’t be able to later when we’ve aged and lost it.

Even Tweety has lost the energy for his usual antics!

When we are older, we may find it more difficult to prostrate in salah, unable to read Quran for long period of time and so on. So we are urged to take advantage of our youth while we still have it.

2)      ‘Your health before you fall sick’

Our health is certainly something we take for granted. We wish for so many things in our day to day life, but when we feel sick or unwell the only thing we want is our health back SubhanAllah. We don’t know what our life has in store for us but we know that with age, our health deteriorates and we might even get a disability la samah Allah. We really mustn’t neglect our health. Words can’t even describe my urgency about this point.

However, the following link captures it perfectly. Please watch this youtube video. Oh, and prepare for some tears.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkEBUC0APMg&list=LLUGsRZ8fNIPacp_hUnx799Q&index=1&feature=plpp_video

Subhanallah, only someone in a similar position to this man could truly understand how that feels, so let’s learn a lesson from him and stop neglecting our prayers and our duties towards Allah (swt).

3) ‘Your richness before you become poor’

Won’t go into too much detail for this one, but use your money wisely. If you are Alhamdulilah blessed with wealth then make donations, give money to those in need. Use your money for good. Mashallah some people put money together to build mosques and to feed families in third world countries. May Allah (swt) bless them and give them more so that they can continue to do amazing things.

4)      ‘Your free time before you become busy’

As with youth, we have more free time than we will later in life, so we should be prompt in doing good with our time before we become busy with more responsibilities, work and families. Of course, these are all parts of life that we can use to gain Allah’s pleasure and mercy with as everything with the right intention can be worship to Allah (swt). However, when we have more time to ourselves, we can really take advantage of that and do great things InshAllah.

5) ‘Your life before your death’

We all know the day we were born, but we will never know the day we will die. We go to sleep each day certain that we will wake up the next day but we shouldn’t. When we sleep, our soul leaves us, and only with Allah’s blessing do we receive our soul again and wake up the following day. We should be thankful we have been given another day on this Earth to make things right and make the most out of it, and refrain from wasting even a second.

As a worldy example – if your boss at work told you that your performance was going to be watched for the next month, and on a random, unspecified day in this month you were going to be told whether you were good enough to keep your job or not, would you not work your hardest everyday to ensure your best performance? Would you waste time surfing the net or would you get on with your tasks?

I’m pretty sure that if any of us were in that situation we would do our very best each day to hold on to our jobs. So why do we waste time every day when we are getting closer and closer to the day we will leave this world, a day that has already been set, but we are just unaware of its proximity. We should be savouring every moment we have for the ultimate goal InshAllah.

I pray that we all take advantage of these 5 matters before we lose them, and that Allah (swt) accepts our efforts and struggles InshAllah.

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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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