by Erum Zehra
Quran gives importance to fruits
The Holy Quran gives special mention to some fruits, which shows us that they should be an important part of our diet on a regular basis. The fruits cited in the Quran are: Olives, Grapes, Bananas, Figs, Dates and Pomegranates.
Can you find the Quranic ayats which mention all these fruits?
It is sunnah to eat fruits
Several ahadith show us that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) loved fruits. The fruits especially referenced in ahadith are dates, pomegranates, melons and cucumbers. Hence eating fruit is not only beneficial for us, it also helps us to follow the Prophet’s (PBUH) sunnah.
Can you find the ahadith which mention fruits?
Fruits are readily available for you to consume and enjoy. You don’t need to cook them or do any kind of lengthy preparation to eat them. This is especially convenient in Ramadan as we would rather do ibadah than spend countless hours in the kitchen.
Fruits are the most rich tasting and delicious food that Allah has provided us. They are also full of essential nutrients like various vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates. During Ramadan, we should consume meals which are nutritious and easily digestible. Fruits come on top of the list for both these qualities.
Our bodies need hydration and water consumption is limited during Ramadan. Hence it is important to eat foods which hydrate our bodies and avoid foods which dehydrate us. Fruits contain lots of fluid which we need after fasting for a long day. Therefore, fruits should be an essential part of any healthy iftar meal. It is also very beneficial to consume hydrating fruits such as melons, cantaloupe, nectarines, plums, peaches etc. during suhoor.
Iftar (and Suhoor) help sustain our fast the following day. So consuming the right food is important. Since fruits are rich in fiber, they increase the feeling of fullness and help prevent constipation. Fruits should be the first thing you consume during any meal. Then give your stomach some time to process the fruit before eating anything else. This will ensure proper digestive functioning. Go on to your main course after waiting for at least 20 minutes, because when combined with minerals, fats, and proteins present in other foods, fruits can hinder digestion.
Help manage weight
Fruit are an excellent aid to reaching or maintaining a moderate weight. They help with sugar cravings and keep your body nourished. This contributes to satiety and keeping blood sugar levels stable. This can help keep appetite in check and prevent eating further after Iftar, leading to better weight management. Fruits that particularly help maintain a healthy weight are: apples, melons, citrus fruits, berries and avocados.
Promote better health
Since fruits are rich in fiber, they are essential during fasting as they increase the feeling of fullness and help prevent constipation. They also contain vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that are vital for good health. A daily dose of fruits can lower acidity, control blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Hence developing the habit of fruits at Iftar will keep illness at bay!
Diets rich in fruits have a positive effect on blood sugar. Fruits are low in sugar compared to carbohydrate rich foods like bread, bakery desserts and potatoes etc. They also contain fiber which controls the absorption of sugar in our bodies. For diabetics patients, this could prevent a drop in sugar levels – which is common – after hours of fasting. One to two and a half cups of fruits are recommended each day, depending on how many calories you need.
Adopt better eating habits
Ramadan is the time to strive and improve ourselves as Muslims and adopt better habits that can benefit us and others. In Ramadan we eat a lower quantity of food and at different times than we are used to. This gives us an opportunity to change our eating habits and improve on them. Eating during Ramadan is about following the right habits for a balanced diet. If you change your eat habits to include fruits on a regular basis, your diet will improve and you will reap health benefits.
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About the Author
Erum Zehra is the Project Manager of Muslimmoms.Ca. She also runs a social media agency where she provides digital communication and branding help to entrepreneurs at Prestige Interactive. Sign up for her course to improve eating habits at https://forms.gle/URWc4nertVNg5FQx6