Eat With Purpose This Ramadan

By A. Kurniawan Ulung | 16, May, 2019
Eat With Purpose This Ramadan

Ramadan - a time when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk every single day of the month. It is the time in which Muslims try their best to get close to Allah SWT. Concurrently, this blessed month serves as a great opportunity for individuals to strengthen their bonds with each other as they enjoy their iftar (breaking fast) and suhoor (before Subuh prayer) meals together.

Having said that, here are six food items that I would recommend you to eat during Ramadan not only because they are nutritious, but also because they are Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W)’s favorites! Eating what the Prophet (S.A.W) loves is sunnah and thus, eating the following will undoubtedly give you great rewards in this earth and/or the hereafter.

 

1) Barley

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) said that barley in soup form is good for treating fevers. This is true because barley consists of a range of vitamins, minerals and other plant compounds which can help strenghten your immune system.

Additionally, its high fiber count will serve to reduce your feelings of hunger, thus leading to weight loss.

Next, eating barley can also lower cholesterol levels because it contains 'beta-glucans' which reduce bad LDL cholesterol.

Lastly, another benefit of consuming barley is that it can save you from the risk of diabetes. Due to its rich magnesium content, barley will lower your blood sugar levels and improve your insulin secretion at the same time! 

 

2) Dates

The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) loved dates. He once said that a house without dates has no food. Indeed, dates are very nutritious. Dates are rich in fiber and so, it can benefit your digestive health and control your blood sugar levels!

What's more, dates are very sweet due to its high fructose level, which is a natural type of sugar in fruits. Henceforth, all the nutrients, antioxidants and fiber found in dates make this dried fruit a far better choice than granulated white sugar if you are looking for a natural sweetener.

 

3) Figs

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) once said that figs are fruits from paradise. Figs are sweet and have a unique texture. They are often the main ingredient used in cookie and fig bars. Their flesh is chewy, their skin is smooth and their seed is very crunchy.

Moreover, Figs are extremely nutritious as they are rich in natural sugars, soluble fibers, minerals, calcium and magnesium.

What do all these nutrients mean? Well, its high fiber content can give you feelings of fullness as it simultaneously reduces your hunger and cravings. Thus, similar to barley, figs can help reduce weight loss - if you're focusing on looking leaner for Eid.

Next, its high calcium content can strengthen bones and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.

Last but not least, figs can also improve your digestive wellness because it has prebiotics that support the pre-existing good bacteria in the gut. 

 

4) Grapes

The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) once said that grapes can purify the blood, provide vigor and strengthen the kidneys. It is true because they contain high levels of beneficial plant compounds - protein, fiber and vitamins. According to research, one cup of grapes provides more than a quarter of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin K, a vitamin important for blood clotting and healthy bones.

Among other benefits, eating grapes has proven to reduce your risk of cancer. Research has shown that grape extracts can block the growth and spread of breast cancer cells. Another research said that eating 1 pound of grapes per day for two weeks can lower markers of colon cancer risk. So load up on grapes the next time you go groccery shopping at the supermarket!

 

5) Honey

Did you know that honey can be used as medicine? Especially when it is mixed with hot water, it becomes the best remedy for diarrhea!

It is also no secret that honey contains many other beneficial plant compounds. Researchers believe that honey has an antioxidant power, which has proven to reduce the risks of heart attacks, cancer, strokes and high blood pressure.

Interestingly, ever since the era of ancient Egypt, honey is believed to have the power to heal wounds and burns. It can be also used to treat diabetic foot ulcers, which are known to lead to foot amputation. According to various kinds of research, the healing powers of honey comes from its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

 

6) Melon

The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) loved melon. And melon contains a high content of carotenoids - an element which is essential to prevent cancer and lower the risk of lung cancer. If consumed regularly, melon can kill cancer seeds in your body.

In addition, melon can protect you from stroke or heart disease because it is rich in anticoagulant, which will smoothen the blood in the body.

Melon is also a good food choice if you're looking to lose weight because it is low in calories and does not contain any fat or cholesterol.

Finally, if you have bad skin, melons can also improve your skin because it contains natural collagen. Its Vitamin A, B, and C can tone your skin too. Especially for those who have dry and rough skin, you can add eating melon to your skincare routine! 

A Jakarta-based journalist passionate about art and culture, human rights, lifestyle, environment, music and film. He is a former reporter of The Jakarta Post and Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun.