Winter brings with it short, cold days and increased hours spent indoors. To many of us that means more opportunities to reach for the fridge and food pantry. We may also eat to battle boredom. A secret to keeping our appetites in check is remembering that eating in moderation means following the sunna or the ways of the Prophet Muhammad. If we make the intention of following the Prophet Muhammad, we are ultimately pleasing God and seeking His reward. It is eating in moderation that rids the body of that lazy and sluggish feeling and, in turn, allows us to be more attentive and energized for prayers. It also helps reset our bodies to launch a new diet pattern to get us on the track to weight loss.


Islam Teaches:

Recommendation Islamic References Tips

Many of us, unfortunately, over indulge food. Many times, eating too much at any meal can cause a dangerous blood sugar spike and leave you feeling lazy.

“…Eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.” (Quran 7:31)

“There is no worse vessel for the son of Adam to fill than his own stomach , but if he must fill it, then let him allow one third for food, one third for drink, and one third for air.”
(Hadith: At-Tirmidhi)

Eat your food slowly. Take smaller bites and chew thoroughly. This helps steadily increase your body’s blood sugar which in turn prevents “binge” eating during the beginning of a meal.

Pre-set your plate with food to avoid heaping portions and second helpings.


Beneficial Foods:

Prophet Muhammad also recommended and ate particular foods which significantly benefit the human body. Some of these foods can be used to substitute nutrient poor ingredients or added to nutritionally enhance our everyday meals. The Prophet, recommended beginning meals with the name of God, reciting bismillah or In the Name of God, in order to bless our food. As importantly, end meals by thanking Him. These two practices will ensure that our stomachs are always satisfied with the amount of food we receive.

Islamic References Tips
Olive Oil (ZAIT)

  • Nutritionally, olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids which helps fight bad cholesterol (LDL) and promote good cholesterol (HDL).
  • Olive oil also contains antioxidative properties that fight free radicals within the body, helping in cancer prevention.
  • “Lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it.” (Quran 24:35)
  • “Eat oil and use it as an ointment because it is from a blessed tree (olive tree).” (Hadith: At-Tirmidhi)
  • Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to your freshly prepared hummus.
  • Enjoy a simple appetizer by dipping some fresh warm bread rolls in seasoned olive oil.
  • Dress-up your garden salad by splashing a few drops of extra virgin olive oil.
Honey (‘ASAL)

  • Honey contains many antimicrobial properties. It inhibits the growth of many bacterial pathogens and fungi found in our digestive tract.
  • Honey possesses a remarkable amount of anti-inflammatory responses. Inflammation is linked to many chronic diseases such as tumors, ulcers, and diabetes.
  • Honey promotes the healing of wounds.
  • “And thy Lord taught the bee to build its cells in hills, on trees and in (men’s) habitations…  there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colors, wherein is healing for mankind. Verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought.” (Quran 16:68-69)
  • “Honey is a remedy for every illness and the Quran is a remedy for all illness of the mind, therefore I recommend to you both remedies; the Quran and honey.” (Hadith: Bukhari)
  • Substitute sugar with a teaspoon of honey in your evening cup of tea or chai.
  • Honey is also a good natural alternative sweeter that can be used in baklava and milk sherbet.
  • Adding honey instead of sugar to fruit chaat not only makes the dish tastier but also helps enhance the flavors of each fruit.
Vinegar (KHALL)

  • Some research has shown that vinegar assists in maintaining and regulating blood sugar levels.
  • Other studies show that vinegar can help in weight loss.
  • “What an excellent food is vinegar.” (Hadith: Sahih Muslim)
  • “God has put blessings in vinegar, for truly it was the seasoning used by the Prophets before me.” (well-known Hadith)
  • Have some vinegar with bread.
  • Make delicious herb and vinegar roasted chicken as the main course.
  • Chop up your favorite vegetables and pickle them in a jar of vinegar. Enjoy at mealtime.

*Editor’s Note: After every mention of Prophet Muhammad, the words ‘Peace be Upon him’ are recited.