It is extremely important in Ramadan to maintain a healthy lifestyle and ensure that the food we consume is nutritious and easily digestible. We should take care of our health while fasting and make sure that we eat healthily. Fresh fruits, vegetables and fish keep the body hydrated and prevent bloating. Our Prophet (PBUH) paid a lot of attention to his health and favoured some food because of their great benefits and healing qualities. Allah (SWT) has blessed us with an array of great food and if we look towards various Hadiths, we will find plenty of guidance for eating healthily.
The first thing that comes to mind when we think of food (that is Sunnah to eat) during Ramadan is Dates. We break our fast with fresh dates just like the Prophet (PBUH) did but there are other categories of food also that are beneficial for body and mind. Here is the list of top ten Sunnah food for Ramadan that you must include in your diet to make the most of this Ramadan.
The Prophet (PBUH) said,
“If somebody takes some Ajwa dates every morning, he will not be affected by poison or magic on that day till night.”
Dates are rich in vitamins and protein and, it greatly benefits our diet and lowers cholesterol. Eating dates during Iftar and Suhoor is the Sunnah way to eat and highly recommended as it helps equip the body with nutrients, helping the body to maintain the fast. Also, dates are rich in iron and help prevent being fatigued or experiencing dizziness during the day. It greatly helps with digestion and after a long day of fasting, consuming dates will help take the food into our system with much more ease.
[Read Also: Tips for a Healthy Suhoor & Iftar]
Olives are a good source of vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants. It has a positive effect on keeping the blood healthy and boosts iron levels, thereby keeping energy levels consistent. The Quran and Hadiths state the importance of consuming olives and olive oil.
“A blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well-nigh luminous…”
“Eat the olive oil and massage it on your hair and skin, for it comes from a blessed tree.”
Narrated by Abu Darda (RA), the Prophet (PBUH) said,
“Eat figs! If I would say a certain type of fruit was sent down to us from the heavens I would say it was the fig because it has no seeds. It ends piles and is useful for rheumatism.”
Figs are a good source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. These are known to prevent constipation and improve the digestive system. Being a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, figs also help improve the heart’s health and prevent heart diseases in the long run. These benefits will help greatly, specifically in the digestion and keeping a healthy stomach during Ramadan!
Squash is among the vegetables mentioned by the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). A Hadith was narrated by Ibn Malik (RA) who said,
“A tailor invited the Prophet (PBUH) to a meal that he had prepared, and I went along with the Prophet (PBUH). The tailor presented barley bread and soup containing gourd and cured meat. I saw the Prophet (PBUH) picking the pieces of gourd from around the dish, and since then I have kept on liking gourd.”
Most varieties of squash are water dense and including them in your diet during Ramadan will help to keep you hydrated. Highly versatile, it can be stuffed, baked or blended into a soup. You can stuff it with couscous and bake it in the oven for a healthy Iftar.
It is narrated in Abu Dawood and At-Tirmidhi that the Prophet (PBUH) used to eat watermelon with ripe dates, saying:
“The hotness of this substance (dates) neutralizes the coolness of that (watermelon).”
Watermelon consists of mostly water (about 92%) and carries many nutrients. It has significant levels of vitamin A, B6 and C and a rich source of healthy plant compounds like lycopene that has been linked to heart health, bone health and even cancer prevention. Watermelon has the highest levels of lycopene than any other fresh fruit. It is also a source of antioxidants and helps relieve stomach ache and gastric problems.
[Read Also: Importance of Iftar and Suhoor during Ramadan]
Pomegranate is often called the fruit of Jannah. Allah (SWT) says:
“in them (both) will be fruits, and date- palms and pomegranates”
[Surah Ar-Rahmaan 55:68]
It is tasty, incredibly versatile and a rich source of vitamins such as vitamins A, C, E and antioxidants. In fact, pomegranates are three times more powerful than green tea as an anti-oxidant. It is great for digestion so make sure that you have a glass of pomegranate juice after Iftar. For a fruity kick, you can add the seeds to a salad mixed with feta cheese or just enjoy eating with a simple fruit salad.
The Prophet (PBUH) said,
“Honey is a remedy for every illness and the Qur’an is a remedy for all illness of the mind, therefore I recommend to you both remedies, the Qur’an and honey.”
Honey has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is beneficial for wounds and poor skin conditions. Honey intake strengthens the immune system and regulates blood sugar levels. Ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders can be reduced to a certain extent with the use of honey. The risk of certain types of cancers and heart diseases can also be reduced with the inclusion of honey in your diet. Consuming honey keeps the energy levels high and can have immense benefits for maintaining our fast.
[Read Also: Importance of the Three Ashras of Ramadan]
Abdullah bin Ja’far narrated:
“The Prophet (PBUH) used to eat Qith’tha (wild cucumbers) with ripe dates.”
Cucumbers are made up of about 95% water, thus great to eat on hot summer days to keep the body hydrated. But, there are several other reasons to eat cucumbers. These are high in antioxidants and quite a good source of vitamin A, C, B complex, potassium, iron and magnesium. Cucumbers also have high levels of antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds that can help protect the brain and fight against a certain type of cancers.
A great source of protein, iron, vitamin D and omega 3, Fish often gets overlooked for meat. Eating fish can even improve your quality of sleep so it is quite good for Iftar. Swap the meat for healthy grilled or baked salmon. Salmon is not only easier to digest and but also boosts brain development and can help ease depression. According to a hadith narrated by Thawbaan (RA), the freed slave of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) who said, the first food offered to welcome the people of Paradise upon entering will be “the caudate lobe of whale liver”.
[Read Also: Spiritual Purpose of Fasting in Ramadhan]
“Amid thornless lote-trees, and banana-trees (with fruits), one above another, and extended shade, and water flowing constantly, and abundant fruit, neither intercepted nor forbidden”
Banana is a versatile fruit and widely consumed all over the world for its nutritional value. It is incredibly easy to digest. A specific enzyme found in bananas actually speeds up the digestion process which is why it is great for you when you head to bed after Isha. They keep the energy level high, help in reducing stress and improve your mood. It also cures ulcers and heartburn. Banana is a must-eat fruit for Ramadan. Add it to a fresh fruit salad for Iftar or blend into a smoothie for Suhur.
[Read Also: Importance of Umrah in Ramadan]