Faith and fitness; what do they have in common? I believe wholeheartedly in the importance of connecting our quest for health with our spirituality. This makes out path to wellness much more meaningful and full of remembrance. One way that we can do this, as Muslims, is by incorporating sunnah foods into our diet. Sunnah foods hold so many amazing blessings and benefits. Here are some easy ways to eat sunnah foods on a daily basis.
The Prophet (saw) said, “Upon you is the two cures: the honey and the Qur’aan” [Ibn Maajah]
Honey not only has a high nutritional value containing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants but it has medicinal uses as well. It can treat nausea, cough and cold and has been shown to be effective against advanced cases of stomach and bone cancer.
Honey can be easily integrated into your diet by having one tablespoon every day. You can eat it plain, mix it into your tea or drizzle it over some toast with peanut butter. It is also popular in baking as a natural sugar substitute to table sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Allah’s Apostle said, “He who eats seven ‘Ajwa dates every morning, will not be affected by poison or magic on the day he eats them.” [Bukhari]
Dates are a very low-fat, nutrient-dense food that provide a great source of energy and a natural sweetness. They contain a rich amount of dietary fiber, antioxidants and minerals. Dates aid in healthy digestion, heart problems, admoninal cancer and more. They are also great for providing natural energy.
I like to eat 1 or 2 dates just before a quick, HIIT workout. It provides me with the short burst of energy I need. Dates are a great, natural replacement for processed sweets like candy or chocolate bars. Lastly, it’s sunnah to break your fast with dates. This is effective because they give you energy after a tiring day of fasting, and they hold you over to perform your prayer before eating your larger meal.
The Messenger (saw) said, “The example of a believer who recited the Qur’aan, is that of a citron which smells good and tastes good.” [Bukhari]
Citrus fruits (lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit etc) are rich in vitamin C which can help protect against the cold and other illnesses. They also contain anti inflammatory and pain relieving properties, can relieve heartburn, can help maintain a healthy mouth and act as a natural remedy for bad breath.
Lemons/limes are probably the most common and popular citrus fruits and I personally always keep them in my house. They are great to have around for cooking. Adding the juice and/or zest of these fruits can brighten up the flavors of your dishes. Squeeze some lemon/lime juice on top of fish and other seafood dishes or add them to your salad to make it extra refreshing. They are also commonly used in dressings and can be used in baking as well. You can also cut up citrus fruits and use them in your water for added flavor and freshness.
Rasulullah (saw) said, “Pomegranate and its rind strengthen digestion(stomach).” [Abu Nuaim]
This amazing, bright and delicious fruit has many benefits. It can help to lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and has anti-cancer effects. It can also stem a cough.
Throw some pomegranates seeds onto your salad for a beautiful presentation and delicious crunch. They pair particularly well with arugula. You can also throw them into a blender with some of your other favorite fruits to make a smoothie, or simply eat them plain with a side of nuts or low-fat cheese.
Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, “Allah has put blessing in vinegar, for truly it was used by the Prophets before me.” [Muslim and Ibn Maja]
Vinegar is pretty well-known for its benefits, particularly apple cider vinegar. Vinegar has antioxidants which can help to prevent cancer, it is heart healthy, it may improve insulin-sensitivity and it may help with diabetes.
Vinegar is another thing that I always have in my house, specifically balsamic and apple cider vinegar. They are great for homemade salad dressings which are much cheaper and healthier than buying them in the store. A basic vinaigrette recipe is 3 parts oil and 1 part vinegar. To add more sunnah foods throw in some honey for sweetness and squeeze lemon or lime for citrus flavor.
Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, “Fumigate your houses with Mugwort, Myrrh & Thyme.” [Kanz-ul-Ummal]
Thyme is not only an herb with a distinctive taste, but it has medicinal benefits as well. It can help to lower blood pressure, suppress cough, boost the immune system and mood, and is used in many skin care products for its wonderful scent.
Right next to basil, thyme is one of my favorite herbs. I think it has a very warm, minty taste and is such a great way to add flavor to dishes. It pairs very well with lamb and also many vegetables. I like to roast my Brussles sprouts, tomatoes and sweet potato with some thyme and a dash of salt and pepper. Next time you are cooking lamb or vegetables, consider the addition of this wonderful herb.