The Noble Quran mentions special foods that research has shown to be loaded with nutrients as well as have numerous medicinal properties. Here are few of the most common ones with their appearance in the Quran and their health benefits.
Raw, unfiltered honey –
Your Lord revealed to the bees: “Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow.” From inside them comes a drink of varying colours, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect. (Qur’an, 16:69)
Honey is considered a miracle food and is considered a ‘healing for men” as stated in the verses above. Pure honey has antimicrobial properties, acts as a prebiotic and also has the capacity to serve as a natural food preservative. Honey also contains a good portion of antioxidants and studies have found that consumption of buckwheat honey increased antioxidant levels in subjects. While honey is a high calorie food (one tablespoon of honey has 64 calories while white sugar has 48 calories), studies have ironically shown that participants showed no weight gain in the month they were consuming honey. Some participants also claimed that eating honey for breakfast actually made them feel full and satisfied. The reason behind this is that honey is low to medium GI which means that it takes longer to digest than table sugar and provides more sustained energy. Therefore, replacing white sugar with pure honey which has a lot more nutrients to offer, is a good idea.
All of the combined properties of honey can lead to a healthy immune system, providing protection from colds and flus, as well and boosting resistance to seasonal allergies. The Prophet’s sunnah was to mix a small amount of honey with water, which he drank on an empty stomach every morning.
Dates contain a unique blend of glucose and fructose consist of more than 50% sugar. They are extremely nourishing, for they are high in calories, and can be digested easily and quickly. Dates also have a very high potassium content (about 64% more than bananas). They have a nutrient called beta-D-glucan which is a soluble fiber that can help you feel fuller for longer.
Dates which grow in dry soil in warm climates are perfect nutrition powerhouses. They contain about 2.2% protein, as well as vitamins A, B1, and B2, calcium, iron, manganese, copper and are good sources of iron and potassium.
Dates are also high in GI, which means that they are broken down and released into the blood stream very quickly, making them the ideal foods with which to break fast. This action as well as their high nutrition status ensures that they are great foods to eat during labour or any other mentally and physically exhausting event. It makes perfect sense then that Maryam who was in labour was provided with dates for nourishment.
A voice called out to her from under her: “Do not grieve! Your Lord has placed a small stream at your feet. Shake the trunk of the palm toward you, and fresh, ripe dates will drop down to you. Eat and drink and delight your eyes …” Surah Maryam: 24-26
Olives contain linoleic acid which is especially useful for breast-feeding mothers. Any deficiency in this acid slows a child’s development and contributes to some skin diseases.
Olive oil is an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids that are an important component of any heart healthy diet. Monounsaturated fats are protective against coronary artery disease by reducing the level of LDL cholesterol while increasing the level of beneficial cholesterol HDL in the blood.
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
Figs are not only delicious, but are loaded with potassium and are rich in key minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. They are also a great source of fiber and being very low in calories they are great foods for weight loss.
Potassium is an essential mineral your body needs to regulate your blood pressure. Studies suggest that getting ample amounts of it can help keep blood pressure under control as well as fend off stroke and heart disease.
By the fig, and the olive, by Mount Sinai, and by this city of security (Makkah), Verily, we created man of the best stature, then We reduced him to the lowest of the low, save those who believe and do righteous deeds, then they shall have a reward without end. Then what causes you to deny the Recompense (i.e. Day of Resurrection)? Is not Allah the Best of judges? (Surah At – Tin)
And as a final note, while all of the above are highly nutritious choice, don’t forget that they need to be consumed in moderation. Consuming large amounts of the above will lead to excessive calorie consumption. However, do add consider adding them to your diet if you haven’t already. Adding really nutritious, high fiber foods to your diet means that you are less likely to choose other unhealthy snacks. The Quran states “eat of the good and wholesome things that We have provided for your sustenance, but indulge in no excess therein.” And there you have it, the golden rule for healthy living.
- The Holy Quran
- Beauties for Life in the Quran by Harun Yahya
- European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 2002, 56: 114-120.
Archives of Internal Medicine 1998; 158: 1181-1187.
- Keys A, Menotti A, Karvonen MJ et al., “The diet and 15-year death rate in the Seven Countries Study,” Am J Epidemiol 124: 903-915 (1986); Willett WC, “Diet and coronary heart disease,”
- Monographs in Epidemiology and Biostatistics 15: 341-379 (1990); World Health Organization, “Diet, nutrition, and the prevention of chronic diseases,” Report of a WHO Study Group. WHO Technical Report Series 797, Geneva 1990
- Dr. Joe A. Vinson, “The Functional Food Properties of Figs,” Cereal Foods World, February 1999, vol. 44, no. 2
- “Honey A Source of Antioxidants,” Journal of Apicultural Research, 1998, 37:221-225, http://www.nutritionfarm.com/health_news/1998/antioxidants4.htm; Janet Raloff, “The Color of Honey,” www.sciencenews.org/sn_arc98/9_12_98/Bob1.htm.
- “Honey As Medicine—Australia Produces A World’s First!,” San Diego Earth Times, January 2000, http://www.sdearthtimes.com/et0100/et0100s17.html