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THE IMPORTANCE OF BALANCED DIET- PRESCRIBED IN QURAN AND HADITH

A balanced diet is “a diet which consists of a variety of different types of food and also provides adequate amounts of the nutrients that necessary for good health.” Following a balanced diet is important for us to keep body healthy and fit. In Holy Quran, Allah Almighty gives the divine order to people about food that is to eat the lawful foods which Allah (SWT) had created for them. He says: “O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that we have provided you with, and be grateful to Allah, if it is indeed He Whom you worship” (Quran, 2:172). Islam teaches us that we should eat a balanced diet which can help us to stay healthy.

To live in Islam is not just preparing for the Hereafter but also to live a healthy and happy life in this world. Health is one of the greatest blessings from Allah Almighty that He bestowed on mankind. In Holy Quran, there are many verses which promote the eating of healthy food and also eating in moderation. Allah (SWT) stated in Noble Quran: “And He enforced the balance. That you exceed not the bounds; but observe the balance strictly, and fall not short thereof.” (Quran, 55:7-9)

In another verse of Holy Quran, Allah Almighty described the moderate eating. Allah (SWT) says: “Eat and drink but avoid excess” (Quran, 20:81). Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) stated in one of his hadith about the overindulgence and wasting of food in these words:”No human being has ever filled a container worse than his own stomach. The son of Adam needs no more than a few morsels of food to keep up his strength, doing so he should consider that a third of his stomach is for food, a third for drink and a third for breathing.” (Ibn Maja)

The most balanced diets consist of meat, fish, fresh milk, cheese, and fruit. Both direct and indirect references have been given in Holy Quran regarding the above mentioned balanced diets. Reference related to the healthiness in meat is mentioned in the following verse of Noble Quran: “And the cattle, He has created them for you, in them, there is warmth (clothing) and numerous benefits, and of them, you eat” (Quran, 16:5). Fish has always been considered a food of very high protein and is very important for human consumption. Allah says in Holy Quran: “And from them both (fresh and salt water) you eat fresh tender meat (fish).”(Quran, 35:12)

Fresh milk is very useful for us its usefulness is mentioned in Holy Quran in these words: “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 excretion and blood, pure milk, palatable to the drinkers” (Quran, 16:66). Fruits are also very beneficial for us importance of nourishment which we get from fruits is mentioned in Holy Quran: “And from the fruits of date palms and grapes, you desire strong drink and a goodly provision.” (Quran, 16:67)

There are some healthy foods which Holy Prophet (SAW) loved to eat and also the best for nutrition are mentioned below:

1) DATES- Holy Prophet (SAW) loved to eat dates. Dates are free from cholesterol to contain low fat. Good source of vitamin-A, dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, and vitamin-B6.

2) HONEY - Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said. “Honey is the cure for every stomach disease”. He (SAW) used to drink honey and water in the morning. Honey is the food of foods, drink of drinks and drug of drugs. It is used for improving appetite, strengthening the stomach, eliminating phlegm; as a meat preservative, hair conditioner, eye soother, and mouthwash.

3) MILK - Milk strengthens the back, renews vision and improves memory aside from providing calcium for teeth and bones.

4) VINEGAR - Prophet Muhammad (SAW) called Vinegar the best curry. It is healthy and makes for great salad dressings. Vinegar also helps fatigued muscles recover after exhausting physical activity.

5) OLIVES - Olive is also mentioned in Holy Quran. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Eat the olive oil and apply it (locally), since there is a cure for seventy diseases in it, one of them is Leprosy”. Olives are known to be the food of Prophets. Olive oil is an excellent treatment for skin and hair. It delays old age and treats inflammation of the stomach.

FIGS - Figs are low in calories and good for bones. They are also known as one of the fruits of Paradise and offer various health benefits, nutrients, and anti-oxidants.

GRAPES - The Prophet (SAW) was very fond of grapes. They are useful in purifying the blood, provide health, strengthen the kidneys and clear the bowels due to their high fiber content.

In short, the importance of healthy eating, a balanced diet can be understood in the light of the Quran and Sunnah of Holy Prophet (PBUH). Islam has stressed the importance of balanced diet or healthy diet right from the start. Foods mentioned in Holy Quran are a good source of nutrition and considered a key to good healthy life. Being a Muslim we should adopt these above-mentioned things related to balanced diet and also encourage our children to adopt them.

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