Sunnah Fruit as Modern Day "Superfoods"
Fixing our diet and eating "clean" has become a cliche in modern day living. However, lifestyle guidelines, including diet, exercise, meditation, and sleep are a cornerstone to the Islamic way of life. And, these lifestyle guides were an important part of the message that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught hundreds of years ago. Islam isn't just a religion, but is literally a way of life.
In the past 10-20 years, the prophetic foods and the use of these foods as medicine has been studied extensively. There are a great many benefits to the treatment and prevention of modern day illnesses through these foods. We've read numerous studies over the years published by The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) regarding these prophetic foods. The medicinal benefits of these superfoods are detailed in the chart below.
Table 1: Showing links between superfoods and their health benefits.
Below are some modern day super foods that were part of everyday during the time of the Prophets, and were acknowledged for their numerous health benefits even back then.
1. Dates were prophet Muhammad's (saw) favorite food. Dates are mentionedin the Holy Quran 20 times and are of great importance in Islam. They contain polyphenols, which may help protect against colon cancer and inhibit sarcomas. Dates also contain the bioactive compound proanthocyanidin, which protects against liver toxicity.
Dates are an excellent source of vitamins C and D, that help maintain your skin's elasticity and keeps your skin smooth. Dates also come with anti-aging properties and prevent the accumulation of melanin. They have antioxidant properties that help to prevent the formation of atherosclerosis and prevent cardiac diseases.
“With it He produces for you corn, olives, date palms, grapes, and every kind of fruit: Verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought” (Quran 16:11).
2. Pomegranate is a prophetic food not only mentioned in the Quran but also the Bible and the Torah. Today it is considered a superfood, and for good reason. Pomegranates are known antioxidants and contain the chemical compounds punicalagin, ellagic acid, fibre, iron and other trace elements. Pomegranate seeds are energy boosters, aid in healthy pregnancies and deliveries, and tends to neutralize the effects of mutagens. Pomegranate are also amazing for the skin, The seeds help skin regenerate, detox, and protects against UV radiation.
Studies also suggest that pomegranate juice and/or pomegranate extract may help support the immune system and promote healthy blood circulation, control bad cholesterol and keep arteries clear, reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and the risk of certain cancers. (2)
3. Grapes are a heavenly food. They contain polyphenols, flavonoids, and proanthocyanidins. They are known to reduce systolic blood pressure, reduce cardiac disease, and protect against skin, lung, head, neck, breast, and prostrate cancers. Grape juice has recently been found to be an important source of flavonoids that can lower cholesterol, prevent hardening of the arteries and fight heart disease (3).
The skin and seeds of red grapes contains resveratrol that controls the aging process. Resveratrol is a strong antioxidant that helps to maintain the health of the skin (4). Red grapes and their seeds also contain a good amount of antioxidants. They are 50 times more powerful than Vitamin E and 20 times more powerful than Vitamin C. This helps to protect the skin from pollution and toxin damage. These antioxidants are also useful for collagen repair (4).
4. Figs for heart healt. No, not the scrubs, but the actual fruit, are known to be one of the first fruits cultivated by humans and have a special place in human history.
Heart disease claims millions of lives each year around the world and is the number one killer in the US amongst adults. Diet can play a significant role in reducing a person’s risk of heart disease. Figs have the power to reduce the bad LDL cholesterol in the blood which is associated with a risk for the development of heart disease. Figs are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber, which is great at eliminating excess cholesterol from the digestive tract before it can make its way into the rest of the body to cause problems. Figs are also rich in healthy fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 that can help keep triglyceride levels in check to reduce the risk for heart disease.
Figs contain ficutirucins, compounds that are associated with cancer prevention. Figs are also loaded with antioxidants, which are essential for reducing the number of disease-causing free radicals in the body. Fiber-rich figs are an excellent addition to one's diet if you want to promote digestive health. Figs are regarded as one of the best foods you can eat if you are suffering from constipation (5). And, if thats not enough, figs contain nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and potassium that are associated with optimum bone health.
Figs may also act as a sleep aid. They contain tryptophan, an amino acid that is associated with feelings of drowsiness. This amino acid is used by the body to create melatonin, which is essential for sleep
Lastly, studies have demonstrated that figs can actually help reduce the depth of wrinkles and fine lines. Fig extract is known to help keep the skin hydrated, which is the cornerstone to skin health and beauty.
"By the fig and the olive and [by] Mount Sinai, And [by] this city of security [Makkah]. Verily, We have certainly created man in the best of stature".(Quran 94:1-4).
Olives have been mentioned seven times in the Qur'an and their health benefits have been propounded in Prophetic medicine. The Olive is considered a “blessed” fruit in Islam and apart from it being a good source of nutrition, it is also used as a health food and has is used in “ruqyah treatment.”
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Eat olive oil and use it on your hair and skin, for it comes from a blessed tree.” (al-Tirmidhi, 1775)
Olive oil is considered to be an excellent treatment for skin and imparting strength to hair. It helps in healing inflammation of the stomach and is also linked with slowing down the process of aging. Olives contain a very high vitamin E content and contain many other powerful antioxidants. Studies show that they are good for the heart and may protect against osteoporosis and cancer. The healthy fats in olives are extracted to produce olive oil, one of the key components of the incredibly healthy Mediterranean diet.The Mediterranean diet is thought to be one of the healthiest in the world.
Olives are very high in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants. Studies show that they are good for the heart and may protect against osteoporosis and cancer. The healthy fats in olives are extracted to produce olive oil, one of the key components of the incredibly healthy Mediterranean diet.
Olives contain oleic acid, which prevents colon, breast, prostrate, pancreas, and endometrial cancers. Olives and olive oil is also contain anti-inflammatory properties, is an analgesic, and lowers blood glucose levels, which is great source for diabetics.
Now that we've listed just a few of the benefits of each of these Prophetic Superfoods, we hope you'll find ways to include them in your daily diet to help with overall health and wellness. Our facial oils contain several of the oils mentioned above, check them out on our website for more information.
2. Zarfeshany A, Asgary S, Javanmard SH. Potent health effects of pomegranate. Adv Biomed Res. 2014;3:100. doi:10.4103/2277-9175.129371