Salams: Where Muslim Meets
Open App
DOWNLOAD APP

An Islamic Diet: Foods Mentioned in the Quran (Part 2)

BY
Radiyah Beyah

What is an Islamic Diet?

What is the hardest thing you have to do every day? The answer to this question can vary from person to person, however my answer was simple. Looking in the mirror was the hardest thing I had to do every day. You may have noticed that I said “was” instead of “is.” This answer may seem depressing but it's not, because I know that this may be the case for many people. However, when I changed my diet, I had changed my life. No, I didn’t join Weight Watchers, I simply pondered over the Quran for several days.

As I reflected over the Quran, I noticed how many times food was mentioned. I then had an epiphany; Islam is a way of life. Allah gives us detailed instructions of how we should live in the Quran, and through the example of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). Allah mentioned so many healthy foods throughout the Quran, and I decided I would try to incorporate each and every one of them into my diet. In the last article I wrote, I described five foods mentioned in the Quran and their health benefits. I have identified 20 foods mentioned in the Quran in total, and now I am going to describe another 5 healthy foods referenced in the Quran.

1. Figs

       Allah named a surah after figs, and swears by them in the first verse of that Surah. surah At-Tin, verse: 1; “By the Fig and the Olive.”

“By the Fig and the Olive.” {Surah At-Tin: 1}

Figs have been known to reduce blood pressure, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure is caused by a potassium imbalance. This imbalance causes you to crave sodium, increasing your sodium raises your blood pressure, which in turn can cause heart disease. Figs are a potassium rich food that can stabilize your potassium levels. They are also very high in fiber, helping you become more regulated; expunging the excess sodium in your blood. Figs are a great source of calcium as well, and can help prevent osteoporosis. Figs can be made into a topical cream for your skin, that can treat psoriasis and dermatitis, whilst decreasing the appearance of wrinkles. Adding a few slices of figs to my morning smoothing made a significant change to my appearance. I felt healthier and lighter and ready to take on the day.


2. Honey

      Honey is mentioned in multiple chapters of the Quran. It is even included in one of the descriptions of Jennah (Paradise). Allah has mentioned the curing effect of Honey in Suratul Nahl(The Chapter of The Bee).

“And thy Lord has inspired the bee, saying, ‘Make thou houses in the hills and in the trees and in the trellises which they build. Then eat of every kind of fruit, and follow the ways of thy Lord that have been made easy for thee.’ There comes forth from their bellies a drink of varying hues. Therein is cure for men. Surely, in that is a Sign for a people who reflect." {Suratul Nahl: 69-70}

Honey is a great sugar alternative and can also be used topically. Honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It can kill unwanted bacteria and fungus, preventing infection and promoting wound healing. Manuka honey is used in medical settings to treat wounds, due to its antiseptic properties and its ability to aid in tissue regeneration. Honey is also rich in antioxidants and can decrease the aging process. The antioxidants in honey can once again prevent heart disease and reduce the risk of cancer. Next time you want to sweeten your coffee, throw out the white sugar and add honey instead.

3. Milk

       Allah mentions milk and honey when describing Jennah (Paradise) in Surah Muhammad.

“Rivers of milk of which taste never changes...”  {Surah Muhammad: 15}

Milk can be extremely beneficial for those who aren’t lactose intolerant. After reading about their substantial benefits, you might just want to pour yourself a milk bath. Milk is packed with vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, magnesium, vitamin B1, and zinc. It contains hundreds of conjugated linoleic acids (CLA’s) and omega-3’s. CLA’s are once again linked to preventing heart disease and can decrease the risk of diabetes. Organic grass-fed cows contain milk packed with antioxidants like vitamin E and beta-carotene. Both of these antioxidants are essential for optimal skin health. They reduce inflammation and fight oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can cause Alzheimer’s, Parkinson disease, asthma, and male infertility. One glass of milk in the morning won’t just increase your calcium levels, it can do so much more.

4. Fish

       Allah references fish in the story of prophet Musa and Kidhr, in Surah Al-Kahf. This verse doesn’t mention a specific kind of fish, but this enables us to add variety to our diet, and choose a fish best suited to our taste.

"...they forgot their fish." {Surah Khaf: 61}

Fish is possibly one of the healthiest sources of protein you can come by. Fish is a low-fat high-quality protein, filled with omega-3’s. It’s rich in vitamin D and riboflavin (Vitamin B2). It’s a great source of calcium, phosphorus and minerals like iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. Once again, it’s great for your heart and your brain. The omega-3’s help increase brain function and reduce the risk of degenerative diseases such as, Alzheimer’s and dementia. It can also reduce the risk of depression and diabetes. So if you're looking for alternative protein source packed full of nutrients, you should definitely add fish to your diet.

5. Pomegranate

Pomegranate is a famously nutritious fruit, mentioned several times within the Quran. It is mentioned in Surah Ar-Rahman,

“In them (both will be fruits and date-palms and pomegranates.” {Surah Ar-Rahman: 68}

Pomegranate is also mentioned in Surah Al-Anaam and other surahs. Pomegranate is famous for its nutritional benefits, they are filled with antioxidants that can help remove free radicals, and can protect cells from damage. Eating pomegranates can help lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, due to its antioxidant components. Pomegranates also contain high levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, potassium, and folate. The vitamins within pomegranates can help boost your immune system, lower your blood pressure, prevent arthritis, increase your memory, and aid in digestion. Pomegranate juice is incredibly beneficial for your heart health. It increases blood flow and improves circulation. Pomegranate seeds are kind of like your daily multivitamin without the bitter taste. But if you're not a fan of it’s seedy texture you should try adding a bunch of pomegranate seeds to your morning smoothie; blending them enhances their vibrant flavor, and adds just the right amount of sweetness.


  As I began to research these astonishingly healthy foods I realized, they have various commonalities. A similarity that really stood out for me, was the fact that all of these foods were significantly beneficial for the heart. The heart is often mentioned in the Quran and in many hadiths. Hadiths such as this one:
“There lies within the body a piece of flesh. If it is sound, the whole body is sound; and if it is corrupted the whole body is corrupted. Verily this piece is the heart.” - Sahih Bukhari Book 2, Hadith: 45
This hadith emphasizes the importance of the heart, and how essential it is to safeguard. Therefore, our diet should consist of food that is beneficial for our heart. Which is why adopting the Islamic diet, which incorporates food that improves your heart health, is so critical. InshaAllah, the Islamic diet can do for you, what it did for me. It can significantly change your life for the better.

   

References:

Brennan, D. (2020, September 8). Figs: Health benefits, nutrients per serving, Preparation information, and more. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-figs.

Kubala, J. (2018, March 18). 5 proven health benefits of milk. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/milk-benefits.

Shoemaker, S. V. (2020, June 3). Figs: Nutrition, benefits, and downsides. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/figs-benefits.

MediLexicon International. (n.d.). What is oxidative stress? Effects on the body and how to reduce. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324863.

Health benefits of fish. Washington State Department of Health. (n.d.). https://www.doh.wa.gov/communityandenvironment/food/fish/healthbenefits#:~:text=Fish%20is%20filled%20with%20omega,part%20of%20a%20healthy%20diet.

Goldman, R. (2019, November 15). The top 6 raw honey benefits: Fights infection, heals wounds, and more. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/top-raw-honey-benefits.

Get married, find Muslim friends, and network on Salams.
Download Salams