How to Boost Immune System with 5 Proven Hacks

how to boost immune system

The COVID-19 outbreak and the events that have followed in the past few weeks have shaken the world and affected our lives in unprecedented ways. To make your body naturally strong enough to protect, resist, and fight COVID-19, it is imperative to understand the relation of healthy nutrition, sleep, and exercise routine with your immune system. In this article, we will share with you some handful of recommendations backed by physicians, scientists, and nutritionists on how to boost immune system simply by adopting these food and lifestyle choices in your daily lives.

1. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Tea

Apple cider vinegar tea to improve immune system

Following centuries of use as a flavorful cooking ingredient, cleaning agent, disinfectant and natural preservative, apple cider vinegar has built its repute as the ‘amber liquid gold’. Cave paintings and scriptures dating back to the 5,0000 B.C show that this versatile liquid was especially lauded by the ancient civilizations for its medicinal properties and numerous health benefits.

Apple cider has numerous cholesterol control, blood sugar-stabilizing and hunger pang management benefits on your body. However, one of the most prolific uses of apple cider vinegar to boost immune system of the user.

As the liquid from pressed apples undergoes fermentation it produces prebiotics, found in the apple cider fibers, and other micro-organisms to help the immune system in maintaining a healthy colony of natural bacteria.

The stringy strands in the raw, undistilled apple cider vinegar also contain probiotic micro-organisms, which promote the growth of friendly bacteria in your gut. When combined, the prebiotic and probiotic can help you achieve a good balance of gut flora, which is essential for maintain an overall healthy immune system.

Apple cider vinegar also possesses antibacterial properties which assist in defending the body against invading antigens. It amps up your immune system to fight off various Gastrointestinal illnesses.

Organic apple cider is often used in healthy-diet routines to break-up mucus in the body and cleanse lymph nodes for better lymph circulation. It is usually used in detoxification tea recipes since it detoxifies the liver and the lymphatic drainage properties aid in toxin removal from the bloodstream for enhanced immune system response.

A cup of green tea infused with apple cider vinegar is a great way to detoxify your body and start your early mornings with a fresh mindset. Just follow the recipe below to get the most benefit of apple cider vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar Tea

Ingredients

• 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
• 1 Cup of Green Tea
• A good squeeze of lemon juice
• 1/4 teaspoon of ginger powder
• 1/2 teaspoon of raw honey

Directions

• Heat 1 cup of water and steep green tea for a few minutes.
• Add the rest of the ingredients into a cup of green tea, stir and enjoy

2. Integrate Workout Routine at Home

boost immune system by workout routinesAdding a small workout routine in your self-quarantine lifestyle shouldn’t be much of a thing nowadays, given that most of us are working from home and have plenty of time to ourselves. According to Mark Moyad, director of preventive and alternative medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center, working out is a highly effective method of strengthening your immune system.

Working out in routine promotes the circulation of antibodies and white blood cells, enhancing their response time in identifying foreign bodies and attacking them with effect. Moyad also added that being physically active also lowers the production of stress hormones in the body, further reducing the chances of getting sick.

Research has also found that exercising regularly also aids in the body’s fight against viruses. According to a study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, people who exercised regularly were significantly at lower risk of contracting cold. In the study, over 1000 people were surveyed and those who worked out at least 5 days a week were found at 50% lesser risk of coming down with a flu. When the body temperature increases during strenuous movements, the heat produced from it helps in killing certain viruses in their tracks that may have entered your body.

According to Moyad, getting a session of at least 30 – 60 minutes a day is sufficient to elevate your antibody levels and increase body temperature to combat foreign pathogens.

3. Add Daily Dose of Kalonji in Your Diet

kalonji helps to strengthen immune systemWhile the immune system booster properties of Kalonji were first scientifically noted by Ibn-e-Sina 1025 A.D in his book Conon of Medicine, the first recorded uses date back to ancient Egyptian civilizations.

Kalonji, also known as Black Cumin Seeds, was also commonly used in the early Islamic era and recommended by the Holy Prophet S.A.W for fighting illnesses, speeding recovery from fatigue and stimulating the body’s energy for activity.

Black Cumin is rich with over 100 different components that are highly valuable to the body’s aid in producing anti-bodies and fighting illnesses. The seeds are abundant in essential fatty acids, carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Today, it is used for a plethora of purposes, from culinary and medicinal, to cosmetic and decoration.The seeds are also an excellent source of antioxidants for helping detoxification of the body and rejuvenation of cells.

The first research to find Black Seeds’ anti-inflammatory properties were officially conducted in 1960 by a group of scientists from the Department of Pharmacy at Kings College in London. The goal was to study how black cumin seeds worked as immune system booster, complementing the body’s natural defense against cough and colds.

The seed’s anti-inflammatory properties were also studied which were known to treat conditions such as rheumatism and different inflammatory disease. The studies found that its derivative thymoquinone was a very powerful anti-inflammatory agent and possessed high antioxidant activity which helped inhibit certain harmful hormones that caused inflammation in the body tissues.

These antioxidants were also found to slow down the cartilage degeneration, which helped users strengthen their bone joints. The findings concluded that all recorded properties in past researches and studies were positive as black cumin did possess pharmacological properties that stimulated enhanced anti-inflammatory reactions in cells.

Most importantly, adding black cumin in your daily routine is quite easy. With the socio-economic status quo, you can easily consume black cumin while working from home and maintaining self-quarantine. There are some very interesting recipes that are simple and quite effective.

For starters, you can learn to prepare a tea mix of black cumin and pure honey. Just crush the black cumin seeds, and mix it in black honey and warm water. The overall holistic approach is to consume it daily to enable its healing properties that help strengthen the body’s immune system, providing optimum resources needed for fighting illness.

4. Take At least Seven Hours of Sleep

proper sleep helps to strong immune systemSleep is something that rarely gets its due attention. The hours that you sleep directly affect the efficacy of your immune system. According to Dr. Yufang Lin MD, a healthy immune response requires a sufficient amount of sleep, and ample time for the body to heal, regenerate and recover.

When your body does not get an adequate amount of sleep, it is unable to effectively support its internal components that are fighting off invading antigens and microbes, making you more susceptible to illnesses.

A study placed in the issue of Behavioral Sleep Medicine in July-August 2017 demonstrates that young, otherwise healthy adults who were insomniacs were more prone to acquiring the flu even after getting vaccinated than young healthy adults who did not suffer from this sleep disorder.

A review published in PflugersArchiv European Journal of Physiology describes the grievous consequences of sleep deprivation on the immune system. According to the journal, during the time that you sleep, the body is busy in producing and distributing vital immune cells such as T cell (a type of lymphocyte which regulates immune response), cytokines (proteins secreted by certain cells that mediate and regulate inflammation and immunity) and interleukin 12 (a pro-inflammatory cytokine). When the balance of these immune cells gets disturbed, the body struggles to defend itself against invading harmful agents.

Lack of sleep also affects cortisol levels by increasing them, which is highly detrimental to the immune system. As a result, the immune system wears and the body renders fewer reserves to fight off or recover from infections and illnesses.

At least seven hours of sleep per night is recommended by The National Sleep Foundation for adults in order to stay healthy and keep the immune system strong. The best method of self-stimulating a healthy sleep is turning off all your electronic devices at least two to three hours before bed and avoiding aggressive or violent conversations.

5. Consume Foods Rich in Vitamin C

immune system booster foodsTalking of how to boost immune system, Vitamin C rich foods are perhaps the most popular diet choices nowadays. Rich food sources of vitamin C include vegetables and fruits such as cantaloupe, broccoli, kiwi, cauliflower, kale, oranges, red, green or yellow pepper, papaya, sweet potato, tomatoes, and strawberries.

Vitamin C functions as an immune system booster, providing resources to antibodies that are on the frontline fighting infections.
Vitamin C is an essential component of the cellular cycle, keeping the immune system supplied and healthy. Once the old cells die, Vitamin C helps in clearing the old dead cells and replacing them with new ones.

Vitamin C is also a very strong antioxidant that serves the function of protecting cells from damage induced by oxidative stress. This is caused by free radicals as they accumulate in cells. If oxidative stress is not controlled, it can weaken the body’s immune system, putting it at high risk of contracting diseases.

Vitamin not only supports the function of different immune cells but also enhances their ability to protect against new types of virus strains, such as COVID-19. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, tests have shown that Vitamin C reduces the severity and duration of upper respiratory tract infections, making it a highly effective treatment source for patients suffering from coronavirus.

Research published by Hemilä H and Chalker E in 2007 showed results from a batch of 11,306 people who were regularly given foods in rich in Vitamin C. Just by adding a dose of 1-2 grams of Vitamin C a day, the batch experienced reduced reaction and duration to colds by 14% in children and 8% in adults.

Another study showed how common cold occurrences were reduced from a batch of marathon runners and soldiers by 50% using Vitamin C supplements. These professionals were at higher risk due to consistent physical stress. Moreover, Vitamin C foods have shown to induce positive symptoms on people suffering from severe viral infections such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Final Words

As of yet, there is no miracle herb or drug that can make you completely impervious to deadly virus strains such as the COVID-19. However, following proper personal hygiene, an effective diet plan and healthy lifestyle practices can help you build a stronger immune system that can resist fight the virus if needed. Using this opportunity, you can easily add these proven tips in your lifestyle get maximum natural protection till this pandemic is contained and beaten.

Learning 10 Health Benefits of Raisins

raisins

Raisins are dry fruit made from grapes. They are mostly dried out in the sun, as the UV from sunlight also disinfects them. Their taste is similar to that of grapes, although much different at the same time. The drying process concentrates the sugar in them while reducing their size and much of their water content. This makes them much sweeter and also increases their shelf storage life. There are numerous health benefits of raisins and it has been used since ancient times for both medicinal and dietary benefits.

10 Health Benefits of Raisins

The following are the health benefits of raisins.

  1. Aids in Digestion

Raisins contain up to 7 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving. Combined with their high sugar content, they are excellent for aiding digestion. They promote peristalsis movement within the digestive tract, which moves the food in the gut. Their sugar promotes probiotic gut bacteria. The fiber swells by absorbing water within the gut and is good for solidifying stool and reducing hunger.

  1. Normalizes pH

The benefits of raisins include reducing acidity within the stomach. They contain high amounts of potassium and magnesium and have a general pH which is above 4. This allows them to neutralize acidity. As a result, it prevents diseases such as arthritis, kidney stones, and cardiovascular complications.

  1. Combats Anemia

Raisins are rich in vitamins and essential minerals, which makes them very effective for increasing blood production within the human body. This, in turn, makes them perfect for combating blood anemia, which can be fatal in some cases. Their high amount of iron, vitamin B-complex and copper promotes the production of red blood cells.

  1. Reduces Chances of Cancer

The benefits of raisins also cover significantly reducing the chances of developing cancer. They are high in an antioxidant called catechin, which fights free radicals within the body. As a result, it prevents the formation of tumorous growths and cancerous cells.

  1. Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Inflammatory

Raisins are used to treat inflammation. They contain polyphenolic phytonutrients, which have been proven to be anti-inflammatory in nature. They are also anti-bacterial by nature, which further helps in eradicating bad bacteria within the digestive tract and promoting probiotic ones.

  1. Increases Libido

Raisins contain an amino acid called arginine, which has been linked with increased libido. The high sugar content, vitamins, and essential minerals are also very nutritious for the body. They are consequently prescribed by doctors to patients ailing from libido related issues.

  1. Improves Eyesight

Raisins contain high amounts of polyphenolic phytonutrients. These have been medically proven to be strong antioxidants, which reduce the amounts of free radicals. They also combat muscular degeneration, which can result in cataracts and other complications that reduce vision. Moreover, the high amounts of A-Carotenoid, vitamin and Beta Carotene also add to the benefits of raisins for improved eyesight.

  1. Vital for Good Dental Health

The benefits of raisins extend to dental health, as they contain oleanolic acid, which is also classified as a phytochemical. It prevents tooth decay, which leads to weak teeth and cavities. It fights bacteria growth and plaque on teeth. The high amounts of calcium promote the development of strong teeth. Combined with its boron content, raisins boost anti-bacterial activity in the mouth and prevent the formation of bad bacteria.

  1. Excellent Energy Source

Raisins contain 59 grams of sugar per 100-gram serving. This makes them an excellent addition to any diet which focuses on weight gain. They significantly increase the energy of the human body because they increase the caloric intake.

There is an authentic hadith from Abu Dawood which narrates that the Holy Prophet (SAW) liked Nabidah, which was made from raisins or dates soaked in water. Care was taken that they were not soaked or left for too long, because it would result in an intoxicating drink with the presence of alcohol from fermentation.

Healthy and Strong Bones

Raisins contain 50 mg of calcium per 100-gram serving. They supplement the formation of strong bones and maintaining skin health.

Benefits of Raisins

Raisins have been an integral part of many different cuisines since ancient times. The benefits of raisins have been proven by modern science and adding them to diet is a smart move to improve health.

The Health Benefits of Zamzam Water

Zamzam water has long been classified as being the most healthy and purest form of water on earth. Islamic history narrates how Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) left his son Hazrat Ishmael (AS) and his wife Hazrat Hajar (RA) in the desert. Desperate to quench his crying son’s thirst, she ran 7 times around the hills of Safa and Marwah but did not find water. However, Hazrat Ishmael’s (RA) heels grinding against the ground produced a spring of water. This is the font of Zamzam.

Benefits of Zamzam

This water is now internationally renowned and considered holy by the Muslim believers. Moreover, medical science has confirmed Zamzam’s numerous benefits, some of which are listed below:

1. Zamzam is Free from Impurities

The water from the holy spring is free of natural impurities that can be found in minute traces in even freshwater springs. It has an impressive bicarbonate ratio which is beneficial for the human body. The source itself is free of any impurities, so the water is safe for drinking as well.

2. High Concentrations of Minerals

The water contains high concentrations of calcium and magnesium elements. These help in alleviating fatigue and contribute towards healthy metabolism. Moreover, they make strong bones. Combined with high fluoride levels, the water becomes a strong factor for promoting rapid healing.

3. Zamzam Optimizes Cellular Metabolism

The effects of the water on cellular metabolism have long been studied. Dr. Knut Pfeiffer at a research center in Germany has studied the effects in detail and confirmed that the water increased cellular energy levels. It strengthens immunity and promotes healthy cellular metabolism, which in turn keeps the energy at optimum levels.

4. Zamzam is Excellent for Strong Bones

High mineral content in pure, unadulterated water makes it simply perfect for strong and healthy bones. It provides the essential minerals needed for strong bones by the human body.

5. Zamzam is Free from Microbial Germs and Bacteria

It inhibits the formation of unhealthy germs and bacteria. Consequently, it is always safe for drinking. This fact has been found to be true by research under Dr. Yahya Koshak and numerous UV tests. The effect can be attributed to the high concentration of fluoride in it.

Zamzam – Pure and Simple

Zamzam has been consumed by humans since ancient times and has been attributed to good health. These facts have been proven through modern science and research. Muslims should avail from the holy water for remaining clean spiritually, mentally and physically.

Healthy Eating Habits in Islam for Good Health

healthy eating habits in islam

Good food is fuel for health – the better the fuel, the healthier you will be. Similarly, a well-balanced, healthy diet is essential for a sound mind, body, and soul. Physical health in Islam is a top priority since health is a gift from Allah and it is our duty to safeguard it. Food in the light of Holy Quran has always been chosen for its benefit for humans, hence healthy eating habits in Islam are a core of the religion by default. There are also numerous benefits of eating less in Islam which has been further authenticated by modern science. Ramadan is the perfect opportunity to put it into practice for reaping the benefits of healthy eating habits in Islam. Moreover, a balanced diet should be followed to ensure the body receives an ample amount of nutrients from food groups as well as vitamins and minerals.

Significance of Healthy Eating Habits in Islam

Islam has always encouraged its believers to follow a proper diet and avoid indulgence. Modern science has contributed overeating to be the major cause of numerous diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, obesity and many more. Improper nutrition, overeating, and binging on a specific food group is always detrimental to health. Following Islamic tips for good health from Sunnah and the Holy Quran is the easiest way to ensure good health. They have been verified over time through scientific research and are hence safe for integrating into daily life. Take the following verses from the Holy Quran and hadith as examples:

“Eat and drink, but avoid excess.” (20:81).

Overeating compromises the stomach’s ability to properly digest food. It is unable to churn it around and maintain the proper concentration of digestive enzymes and acidity for optimum digestion. This in turn significantly reduces its ability to break down complex nutrients into simpler ones. As a result, the villi in the intestines are unable to absorb them and the food is wasted in the body. In short, eating in excess is useless for the body. Not only does it cause stomach ache, bloating and other issues, but there is no real absorption of nutrients from the food. Physical health in Islam is directly linked with food and exercise, and overeating is discouraged at numerous occasions in the Holy Quran and hadith.

“No human being has ever filled a container worse than his own stomach. The son of Adam needs no more than a few morsels of food to keep up his strength, doing so he should consider that a third of his stomach is for food, a third for drink and a third for breathing” (Ibn Maja).

This hadith sheds light on healthy eating habits in Islam and how they are beneficial for the human body. Food in the light of Holy Quran is essential for health, but only when eaten properly and in the form of a balanced diet. Hunger should always be controlled but never should it be allowed to control you. Giving in to the most basic of instincts is synonymous to becoming animals. Overeating strips us of our humanity and leaves no difference between us and animals.

The second part of the hadith emphasizes on the importance of eating 1/3rd food, 1/3rd water and leaving 1/3rd of the stomach empty. The food and water are essential for nutrients and digestion while the empty space facilitates proper digestion. The water is essential for maintaining proper pH levels and the secretion of enzymes. Not only is the food digested efficiently, but the intestines are able to absorb more nutrients through the villi.

“And He enforced the balance. That you exceed not the bounds; but observe the balance strictly, and fall not short thereof.” (55:7-9)

This verse of the Holy Quran strongly establishes the importance of a balanced diet and moderation. Eating excess of any macronutrient (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) can damage the body. Hence, it is advised to consume everything in moderation and in their respective boundaries. Nature is bountiful with whole vegetables, fruits, and livestock being the source of the best foods humans know of. Even modern science has been unable to replicate them, and our food sources so far are almost completely reliant on them.

“Eat of the good things which We have provided for you. (2:173) Eat of what is lawful and wholesome on the earth.” (2:168)

Allah promotes the consumption of wholesome and healthy food in the light of Holy Quran in this verse. The bounties of nature are numerous and we should stick with a wholesome, natural diet. Modernization has brought packaged and processed food which is high in saturated fats, simple carbohydrates, and salt. These are bad for health and should be avoided whenever necessary. Simple sugars are easily absorbed and stored as fat in the body. Excessive salt raises blood pressure and saturated fats contribute towards cholesterol, which increases the chances of cardiovascular diseases.

Genetically modified food has become commonplace nowadays. While selective breeding and certain GMOs are actually good for health, others should be chosen with care. They are often bad for health and lack nutrients to support the body. Healthy eating habits in Islam promote eating whole foods in raw form or cooked minimally. This keeps its nutritional value intact and supplements the body with maximum nutrients.

Black Seed Cure for Asthma and its Evidence

black seed cure for asthma

Asthma is a Greek word which means opening the mouth and breathing heavily. The term was first coined by the famous Greek physician Hippocrates. The disease brings on fits of coughing, uncontrolled breathing, feeling of the chest being constricted, shortness of breath and general bronchial issues. It is characterized by chronic inflammation of the airways which makes breathing hard. This makes physical activities quite problematic for the patients, as exertion brings on asthma attacks. However, there are ways to treat the condition and even cure it in milder cases. These include but are not limited to, better diet, medicine, exercising and black seed cure for asthma.

The Triggers for Asthma Attacks

Following are the major triggers for asthma attacks:

  • Being exposed to irritant particulates such as pollen, dust and mold.
  • Being allergic and exposure to the allergens, such as pollen, dust and mold.
  • Exercising strenuously in cold weather.
  • Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTIs) and related issues which affect the airways.
  • Emotional stress.

Types of Asthma Attack

Following are the major types of an asthma attack.

  • Allergic Asthma: A fit of allergic reaction in an asthmatic patient often points towards an incoming asthmatic attack since the respiratory system is weak and will react to such stress.
  • Intense and Uncontrolled Coughing Asthma: This indicates that the airways are starting to be affected by particulates.
  • Occupational Asthma: Caused by patient working in an environment which contributes towards asthma e.g. a furnace, chemical factory, coal mine, etc.
  • Childhood Asthma: A condition inherited by the child from birth. May turn out to chronic or heal on its own as the child ages .

Unani Formulations and Black Seed Cure for Asthma

Unani concept states that the majority of patients develop asthma because of phlegm. This sticks to the bronchial airways and causes complications in the respiratory tract. It limits oxygen absorption, irritates the mucosal layering and forces the subject to breath heavily. However, the black seed cure for asthma has been around for some time and many people have found it to be effective. Moreover, it has scientific evidence to prove its claims.

Black Seed Oil

Black seed cure for asthma has prompted numerous people to start searching in it. The nigella sativa is commonly found in Pakistan, Turkey, Southern Europe and Saudi Arabia. It is commonly known as black seed, kalonji, black caraway, or black cumin internationally and is readily available in every shop. Black seed oil is specially available at chemists owing to its medicinal properties. It reduces blood pressure, facilitates liver function, improves digestion and gut health, treats diarrhea and improves respiratory system health. It is also loaded with anti-oxidants which fight free radicals for reducing natural cellular aging and chances of cancer. The Holy Prophet (SAW) also praised black seed, saying: “Use this Black Seed regularly, because it is a cure for every disease, except death” (Bukhari & Muslim).

Research on Animals for Verifying Black Seed Cure for Asthma

Black seed oil has strong antispasmodic properties which inhibits the spasms muscles and tissues produce. This greatly facilitates in controlling the fits of coughing which worsen asthma patient’s condition. Tests were conducted on guinea pigs and rats to verify these claims. They were concluded with the knowledge that the subjects had improved respiratory health.

Human Tests For Black Seed Cure for Asthma

Human patients have yielded similar results to animals, though they are much better in comparison. A test group of 29 adults were selected from whom 15 were given black seed oil and the others received placebo for 3 months. Black seed oil group resulted in reduced asthmatic attacks, improved pulmonary function and overall better respiratory health (Tavakkoli et al., 2017).

Medicinal Flora Listed in Holy Quran & Hadith

Quran

The Holy Quran and hadith contain limitless knowledge which can be applied in daily life. The knowledge contained here covers everything from religion and social behavior to general knowledge and medical sciences. Tibenabvi is the Prophetic medicine by which Muslims can gain medical and spiritual knowledge for better health and healing. The Holy Prophet (SAW) used various herbs, plants and medicines with excellent effect on health. As Muslims, we can learn from them and add these tibenabvi herbs, plants and medicine in our daily life. Following are some of the ones which have presence in Quran and hadith.

Medicinal Flora listed in Holy Quran and Hadith

1. Figs

English: Fig

Latin: Ficus carica Linn

Arabic: Teen, Himaat

Urdu: Injeer

Family: Moraceae

Habitat: Asia, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Algeria, Morocco.

Useful parts: Roots, leaves and fruits

Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses

  • Treatment of gastrointestinal issues such as colic, which is caused by abdominal pain resulting from gas and obstruction of digestive tract. The high fiber content works well to promote peristalsis movement and form a proper stool for excretion.
  • Used as a hunger stimulant. The simple sugars in figs stimulate hunger when used in moderation.
  • Treats diarrhea. The high fiber content creates a solid stool to stop diarrhea.
  • Soothes sore throat, reduces fits of coughing and reduces symptoms of basic bronchial problems. Figs form a fine mucosal layer in the airways which allows easy breathing.
  • Reduces inflammation (especially of the throat and respiratory tract).
  • Fig juice is used to induce urine for cleansing the kidneys. It is diuretic by nature, which means it redirects water from kidneys to urine, thus promoting their function.
  • Improves cardiovascular health.

References in Quran and Ahadith

By the fig and the olive! (Sura At-Tin ‚ Verse 1).

The Holy Prophet (SAW) said “Eat fig, for it cures the piles and is useful for rheumatism” (Hazrat Abu Darda (RA)).

2. Garlic

English: Garlic

Arabic: At-thum

Latin: Allium Sativum

Urdu: Lehsun

Family: Liliaceae

Habitat: Egypt, Italy, France, India, Pakistan, China and USA. Fundamental to any modern cuisine, hence grown at some rate around the world.

Parts used: Bulb

Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses

  • Lowers blood cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Improves the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose.
  • Contains antioxidants for fighting free radicals, thus reducing chances of cancer.
  • Antibacterial in nature, hence works well against bacterial infections.
  • Excellent source of dietary Sulphur.

References in Quran and Ahadith

And when you said, “O Moses, we can never endure one food. So call upon your Lord to bring forth for us from the earth its green herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions” (Sura Al-Baqarah‚ Verse 61).

3. Onion

English: Onion

Arabic: Basal

Latin: Allium Cepa

Urdu: Piaz

Family: Liliaceae

Habitat: India, Pakistan, China, Russia, America and Europe. Fundamental to any modern cuisine, hence grown at some rate around the world.

Parts used: Rhizome, leaves and seeds

Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses

  • Contains anti-inflammatory and anti-asthmatic thiosulphinates and cepaenes compounds.
  • Curbs growth of harmful bacteria in gut.
  • Curbs growth of intestinal worms.
  • Contains vitamins and essential minerals which are absorbed from the soil and stored in them.
  • Decreases triglycerides and cholesterol, making it an excellent addition to diet for reducing obesity and better cardiovascular health.
  • Contains 25 different types of flavonoid antioxidants for fighting free radicals, which reduces cellular aging and chances of cancer.

References in Quran and Ahadith

“And [recall] when you said, “O Moses, we can never endure one food. So call upon your Lord to bring forth for us from the earth its green herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions” (Sura Al-Baqarah (The Cow)‚verse 61)

Umar (RA) said: “O people, you eat two plants which I find to be nothing but repugnant, this onion and garlic.

I remember the Messenger of Allah (SAW), if he noticed their smell coming from a man in the mosque, he would issue orders that he taken out to al-Baqee” (Muslim 567).

4. Lentils

English Name: Lentil

Arabic Name: Adas

Latin: L. culinaris

Urdu: Dal Masur

Family: Leguminosae

Habitat: Canada, India, Turkey, U.S. and Nepal. Fundamental to any modern cuisine, hence grown at some rate around the world.

Parts used: Lentils are the seeds, which are high in proteins, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and essential minerals.

Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses

  • Densely packed with plant proteins and complex carbohydrates, which takes time to digest. They are used by the body as they are being absorbed slowly by the intestines.
  • The plant protein does not produce high amounts of uric acid when digested, hence it is highly recommended for patients watching their cholesterol and ailing from joint pains.
  • Complex carbohydrates are an excellent substitute for the simple sugars which contribute towards obesity. They are slowly absorbed and released into the body, which would otherwise cause spike in blood glucose levels.

References in Quran and Ahadith

O Moses, we can never endure one food. So call upon your Lord to bring forth for us from the earth its green herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions” (Sura Al-Baqarah ‚ verse 61).

5. Cucumber

English: Cucumber

Arabic Name: Qissa, Khiarun

Latin: Cucumis Sativus

Urdu: Khira

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Habitat: Tropical and subtropical zones of the world

Parts used: The entire fruit is eaten. Leaves contain free cucurbitasides B and C, ferrodoxin, alpha-apinasterol. Even the flowers are useful as they contain free and bound sterols, proteolic enzymes, ascorbic acid oxidase, and succinic and malic dehydrogenase.

Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses

  • Cucumbers are rich in antioxidants which fight free radicals and cellular aging.
  • Flushes the body along with toxins in the blood.
  • Antibacterial property cleanses the mouth and prevents bad breath.
  • Used in tonics to hydrate the body and cleanse blood.
  • Extremely rich in vitamins and minerals, which include potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and sodium iron, vitamins A, B1, B2 and C.
  • Stimulates hunger, hence is often used for increasing appetite.

References in Quran and Hadith

Hazrat Abdullah bin Ja’far (RA) recalled: “I saw the Holy Prophet (SAW) eating fresh dates with cucumber” (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi, Ibne Maja).

Hazrat Ummul Mu’minin (RA) said: ”My mother intended to make me fat to send me to the Holy Prophet (SAW). But nothing which she desired benefited me till she gave me cucumber with fresh dates to eat. Then I became very fat.

15 Lemon Benefits Since Ancient Times

healthline.com/nutrition/6-lemon-health-benefits lemon health benefits

Lemon is a staple fruit around the world. The tangy yellow fruit is loaded with citric acid and delivers a sour, tangy flavor. It is related to citrus fruits and has numerous health benefits along with non-culinary uses. The main uses for lemon include its juice because it has innumerable culinary uses and cleaning properties. For example, the grated rind and pulp are also used for baking to deliver the unique lemony, bitter kick in baked products along with the appetizing aroma. Moreover, it adds to the nutrition profile as it contains lemon skin benefits. It is a chief ingredient in beverages such as lemonade and carbonated beverages, which infuses them with lemon benefits. It has been a vital ingredient in cooking recipes since ancient times all around the world and especially South-East Asia. Moreover, lemon health benefits make it an excellent addition to any diet.

Reference in Hadith: ليمون.

Reference in Quran: None.

Arabic Name: ليمون.

Latin/Botanical Name: Citrus Limon.

English Name: Lemon.

Urdu Name: لیموں.

Quranic References of Lemons

There are no Quranic references of lemon.

What are Lemons?

Lemons are yellow fruits hailing from the citrus genus. They have a bitter outer peel and a pulpy inside which is filled with lemon juice. Historically, the first instances of lemons to be cultivated and grown can be found in Assam, Burma, and China. Analysis of ancient lemons has indicated that they may be a hybridized species achieved through crossing citrons and bitter oranges and then selectively cultivated to produce the first lemons. The many uses of lemon were the motivating factor for breeding them. 

The European nations and Italy were introduced to lemons around the 2nd century but were considered a rarity and not cultivated. Rather, they were often boxed in glass and displayed as a status symbol. By the 7th century, they had reached Persia, Iran, and Egypt. Their first instance in literature can be found in Arab texts which mention how to farm it and its ornamental purposes as well as lemon benefits in medicinal and culinary fields.

History and Uses of Lemons

Lemons were first mass cultivated in the 15th in Genoa, Europe. They were brought to the Americas by the great explorer Cristopher Columbus in 1493. During the age of sea voyages in the 17th century, lemon benefits were greatly availed by sailors suffering from scurvy. They found the uses of lemons for treating vitamin C deficiency by eating it. Moreover, the rind could treat scurvy, which added to lemon and lemon skin benefits. In present times, Eureka lemon is the most widely cultivated one because it bears fruit throughout the 4 seasons, hence it is commercially viable. Lemon health benefits have been recognized by both modern medicine and ancient texts.

Abu Musa al-Ashari states that The Holy Prophet (SAW) said, “The parable of the believer who recites the Quran is that of a citrus fruit, which tastes good and has a pleasant scent” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 4732, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 797). Another reference states that it strengthens the heart and prevents heart failure (Farooqi, 1998).

Nutritional Information

Following is the nutritional information of lemons per 100 grams:

milligrams0.04 mgmilligrams0.02 mgmilligrams0.1 mgmilligrams0.19 mg

No. Nutrients Unit Value per 100 grams
01 Energy kJ 121
02 Carbohydrates grams 9.32
03 Sugars grams 2.5 g
04 Dietary fiber grams 2.8 g
05 Protein grams 1.1 g
  Fat grams 0.3 g
06 Vitamins
07 Thiamine (B1)
08 Riboflavin (B2)
09 Niacin (B3)
10 Pantothenic acid (B5)
11 Vitamin B6 milligrams 0.08 mg
12 Folate (B9) micrograms 11 μg
13 Choline milligrams 5.1 mg
14 Vitamin C milligrams 53 mg
  Minerals
5 Calcium milligrams 26 mg
16 Iron milligrams 0.6 mg
17 Magnesium milligrams 8 mg
18 Manganese milligrams 0.03 mg
19 Phosphorus milligrams 16 mg
20 Potassium milligrams 138 mg

Lemon Benefits for Health and Uses

The entire lemon along with the plant can be used in numerous ways. Lemon benefits extend from its pulp to the rind.

Benefits of Lemon Water and Juice

Benefits of lemon water and juice are availed in lemonade, carbonated drinks, and other lemony drinks. The juice is used for marinating meats such as fishes, in which it creates a neutralization reaction against amines to produce ammonium salts. It softens the meat by partially digesting the muscle fibers and adds its signature flavor which is much coveted. Benefits of lemon water and juice also include being used as a preservative for foods to prevent oxidation such as preserving fruit. Lemon water for weight loss is often prescribed by doctors to patients suffering from obesity. 

Lemon Skin Benefits and Zest/Peel

The lemon skin benefits are used by adding the zest/peel to dishes to add a complimentary bitter lemon kick to them. The peel itself is dried and stored for later storage. It contains pectin, which makes it a valuable addition to marmalade and other jams. Pectin solidifies the jams, providing them the right consistency. The zest is also added to pies, gravy, meat-based dishes, and even some drinks. The zest repels insects and is often kept near clothes to ward off moths which cause damage to the cloth. Lemon water for weight loss should contain the zest to make it more potent. 

Lemon Oil

Lemon oil has become a common commodity thanks to industrialization. The oil is perfect for aromatic massages as well as flavoring food. It is highly medicinal in nature. Lemon oil extract contains the essence of lemon benefits.

Leaves

Lemon leaves are dried and then used to make special qawa for treating anxiety, constipation and vitamin deficiency. They are also snipped and added in small quantities to meat-based dishes. The uses of lemon leaves are numerous, as they cover everything from medicinal to tea brewing. 

Lemon Benefits According to Tibenabvi

Lemon health benefits are numerous and are visible quickly. Following are some lemon benefits:

1. Fights Infection

Lemon is a citrus fruit, which makes it a natural antibiotic. The benefits of lemon water and juice include being used for external applications on wounds to kill bacteria and significantly reduce the chances of infections. Lemon health benefits include boosting the production of white blood cells and antibodies which fight against foreign contaminants entering the body, thus ensuring good health.

2. Antioxidants

Lemon contains antioxidants that actively fight against free radicals. Routine use delays the natural aging process and ensures protection from associated chronic illnesses such as cancers and heart diseases.

3. Controls Blood Pressure

Routinely consuming lemon controls blood pressure and keeps cholesterol in check. Add lemon water for weight loss to your routine diet to easily get lemon health benefits. 

4. Anti-Carcinogenic

Lemon is anti-carcinogenic which helps fight against cancers. It keeps the metabolism in check and promotes normal cellular mitosis. Irregular cell division causes cancers and controlling metabolic activities to remain under normal range prevents its formation.

5. Detoxifies the Skin and Liver

Drinking a lemon tonic a day keeps the skin glowing as it flushes it of toxins. Lemon juice benefits include flushing the liver and facilitating it in removing toxins. The liver is the natural detoxification organ of the body and it is natural for it to accumulate waste. The body is able to dispose off waste easily with the help of lemon juice.

6. Controls Acne and Soothes Dry Skin

Applying a few drops of lemon on acne spots provides relief and control against it. The natural detoxification and antibacterial property of lemon control the otherwise rapidly spreading acne. A mixture of lemon and glycerin is perfect for preventing dry and cracked skin.

7. Treats Gingivitis, Stomatitis, and Inflammation

Lemon benefits can be attributed to the high amounts of vitamin C. its deficiency was the main cause for scurvy and gingivitis when sailors at sea were not provided with proper rations. However, sailors who ate lemons remained healthy. Lack of vitamin C was found to be the main reason for the illness. Lemon also controls inflammation and stomatitis.

8. Treats UTI and Gonorrhea

When ingested, lemon juice helps treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) and gonorrhea. Lemon juice benefits stem from its strong antibacterial properties that are imperative in fighting off foreign bacteria that have entered the body. Because of these properties, the uses of lemon are often included in ancient medicinal texts.

9. Topical Antiseptic

Lemon health benefits extend to its usage as a topical antiseptic because it kills bacteria. Consequently, it is found suitable application as a topical applicant. Using lemons as a topical antibiotic was commonplace in ancient times, and it is a practice that continues to this day. It also negates the pain of stings and insect bites.

10. Insect Repellant

Lemons work as excellent insect repellants. Simply rub the halved lemon on your skin to ensure insects and bacteria stays away from you.

11. Excellent for Marination

Lemon neutralizes amines in fish, which leaves behind ammonium salts. This is why it is is often used to marinate fish. It tenderizes the meat and adds its flavor to it, consequently enhancing the dish. Its juice also has some preservative qualities which prevent the meat from going bad. The marination extends lemon juice benefits to the gut, where it stops the entry of bad bacteria.

12. A Base for Beverages

Lemon serves as a natural base for numerous drinks, the most notable being lemonade. The market shares for lemon-based fizzy drinks are also quite high because of its refreshing taste. Lemon-mint margarita is the perfect drink for cooling down and beating the summer heat.

13. Lowers Cholesterol

Doctors often recommend lemons to patients suffering from high blood pressure and cholesterol. Lemon benefits include the metabolization of fats in the body. This reduces cholesterol levels and reduces the chances of plaque formation in arteries.

14. Cleanses the Mouth

Lemon water benefits and juice include its antibacterial nature. This allows it to be used as a mouth wash. The bacteria in the mouth cause bad breath damages to the teeth. Using lemon prevents the formation of unhealthy plaque and bad breath.

15. Cleanses the Throat

Lemon benefits include fighting throat infections. Ingesting its juice ensures that its antibacterial nature will give you a clean throat in no time.

Top 15 Foods to Eat Loaded With Healthy Fats

dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7605567/People-eat-trans-fats-likely-dementia.html healthy fats

About Healthy Fats

Fat often gets a negative review for being the main cause of obesity. The truth is far from it though – it is lack of restraint, poor eating habits, no exercise and unbalanced diets which result in an unhealthy physique. There are different kinds of fats, the 4 being polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, saturated and trans fats.

While all of them have the same amount of energy, they have different chemical composition, which changes how they affect the body. Saturated fats should be eaten in moderation because they increase LDL and cholesterol, which ends up being deposited in the blood vessels. Trans fats are artificially created by partially hydrogenating oils which gives them desirable traits. They should be avoided, as they are the main source for unhealthy fats. Packaged biscuits, crisps, margarine and such foods contain trans fats. Read more about the types of fats here. To keep a balanced diet, following are the best sources for adding healthy fats in diet.

1. Avocados

Avocados are often listed among the top foods containing healthy fats, but are not easily available in most countries, especially the Middle Eastern ones. Just one medium sized avocado contains close to 23 grams of mostly monounsaturated fats, has zero sodium and covers 40 percent of daily fiber intake. It also contains lutein, which in an antioxidant and promotes good eyesight.

Best ways to eat it: Avocados can be eaten straight as they are or pureed to be applied on toast.

2. Walnuts

Walnuts are also among the most easily available and tasty sources of healthy fats. They can be easily stored as dry fruits, can be carried around for immediate snacking and are not messy to eat. The bite sized dry fruits are shaped like a brain and are known to stimulate long-term memory of the brain. They are full of omega-3 fatty acids which are good fats and are recommended by doctors. 100 grams of walnuts contains 65 grams of fats, which makes them the perfect food to snack on and fulfill the RDI.

Best ways to eat it: Walnuts can be eaten as they are or roasted. They can be chopped and added in numerous dishes such as chocolate, halwa, cakes, ice cream and protein bars. Their oils can be used to substitute those which are used in foods. Avoid using them for frying.

3. Almonds

Almonds are also dry fruits which are easily obtainable, can be stored and eaten without a mess. They are also good for boosting memory vitamin A and B complex and essential minerals. Almond milk has become a common grocery item over the years because even lactose intolerant people can drink it. It enables them to enjoy milk and milk based foods without having to suffer from allergic reactions owing to medical complication which inhibits milk digestion. Almonds are rich in good fat with 50 grams per 100 gram serving.

Best ways to eat it: Pistachios can be eaten as they are or roasted. They can be chopped and added in numerous dishes such as chocolate, halwa, cakes, ice cream and protein bars. Their oils can be used to substitute those which are used in foods. Avoid using them for frying.

4. Pistachios

Pistachios are dry fruits which are loaded with lutein, zeaxanthin and carotenoids as well as healthy fats which fight free radicals and promote good eyesight. They have a hard, dry shell on them which requires shelling to obtain the nut within. It protects them from moisture and increases their longevity for greater shelf life.  Pistachios have 45 grams of fats per 100 gram serving.

Best ways to eat it: Pistachios can be eaten as they are or roasted. They can be chopped and added in numerous dishes such as chocolate, halwa, cakes, ice cream and protein bars. Their oils can be used to substitute those which are used in foods. Avoid using them for frying.

5. Butter

Before bashing butter for being fattening, let us analyze the daily lifestyle of an average person. The modern desk jobs have forced people to sit for long hours, which reduces the metabolism and forces the body to start storing excess calories in the form of fat. After this, it becomes increasingly difficult to burn them off, as the body is reluctant to let go of deposited brown fat as adipose tissue. It resorts to catabolizing glycogen, blood sugar and other fat deposits. Butter is an excellent source of dietary fat, can be added to almost any recipe and enhances the flavor. The problem lies in butter substitutes, such as margarine, which are loaded with trans fats. These kinds of fats occur naturally in very limited quantities, but when consumed in concentrated quantities such as in vegetable shortenings, they became dangerous.

Best ways to eat it:

Butter is  an important ingredient for baking. Enjoy it in baked products, on toast, on popcorn and in chocolate.

6. Olive Oil

The Mediterranean diet was named after the way Mediterranean people eat. A research into their eating habits revealed that they consumed high levels of fats but still had some of the lowest cardiovascular issues in the entire world. Their main source of fats was identified to be olive oil. A 100 gram serving of olive oil is entirely fat but is almost 85 percent comprised of unsaturated fats. This loads it with healthy fats which are good for the body. Virgin olive oil is taken from the first cold press of olives. There is no chemical solvent involved, therefore the oil is completely pure. The liquid is centrifuged to separate water and additives from oil. This oil is best consumed raw and used for bodily massage.

Virgin olive oil is perfect for drizzling on salads but Pomace olive oil is extracted using chemicals. It is well suited for deep frying since it has a higher temperature and does not go rancid. Virgin olive oil has remnants of olives in them which are denatured upon high heat. This makes it unsuitable for high heat.

Best ways to eat it: Virgin olive oil should be selected for raw consumption. It has not been chemically altered, contains more micro-nutrients owing to first cold press extraction and zero chemical usage. It can be drizzled on salads, used on toast and be used in sparing quantity on almost any kind of bread. Pomace olive oil does not have micronutrients, hence can be used for deep frying food without worrying about loading them with saturated fats which end up as adipose tissue if not metabolized.

7. Ground Flaxseed

Flaxseed is an excellent dietary source of fiber as well as protein. However, its most abundant nutrient is fat, though it is rich in the healthy type. It has an enormous amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are often derived to make flaxseed oil. They are often used to decorate cakes and edibles. 100 grams of flaxseed has 41 grams of fats in them, with the majority being healthy fats.

Best ways to eat it: Flaxseed is a versatile topping and additive for all kinds of breads, bagels, donuts and any baked product. Ground flaxseed flour can be added to a recipe for a wholesome taste along with enhancing its nutritional profile.

8. Salmon

Fatty salmon fish is not only a great source of protein but is also full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Even a 100 gram serving of normal, organic salmon contains 13 grams of healthy fats which are both delicious and compliments the fish flavor of the meat. The same serving contains zero carbohydrates and more than 21 grams of proteins. This makes salmon the perfect addition to the menu for keto diet.

Best ways to eat it: There are more ways to eat salmon than there are fish in the sea. Enjoy salmon as a simple baked fish or spice up the meat with your own combinations of spices. Let it sit overnight in a refrigerator so the meat picks up the flavors. Bake it, shallow fry it or make gravy out of it – you can never go wrong with fish. You can shred the meat for an infinite number of salad combinations and use olive oil to further increase the healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids.

9. Tuna

One cannot mention salmon without going about mentioning tuna. The otherwise lean looking fish has healthy amounts of fats which is almost equal to that of tuna. It must be noted that canned and preserved fish have close to zero amounts of fats because they are removed during flensing and are not kept to ensure a longer shelf life during preservation without cold temperature as fat spoils fast. Tuna is both loaded with protein and delicious to eat. However, care should be taken to purchase fresh tuna to ensure you get the load of fatty acids that will keep the body healthy.

Best ways to eat it: There are more ways to eat tuna than there are fish in the sea. Enjoy tuna as a simple baked fish or spice up the meat with your own combinations of spices. Let it sit overnight in a refrigerator so the meat picks up the flavors. Bake it, shallow fry it or make gravy out of it – you can never go wrong with fish. You can shred the meat for an infinite number of salad combinations and use olive oil to further increase the healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Since it is leaner than salmon, many people prefer to use it more for salads and it also has a longer shelf life.

10. Dark Chocolate

Something to think about – why does chocolate get a bad rep? It is delicious, has an excellent nutrition profile and has flavonoids to which contribute towards antioxidant effectiveness. While it may be labelled as junk food, the reality is far from it. Produced the right way, dark chocolate is among the best foods for promoting good health, especially in the cardiovascular area. It has healthy fats, is loaded with vitamins (A, B, E, etc.) and essential minerals (iron, potassium, magnesium, etc.). Dark chocolate contains 46  grams of fat per 100 gram serving, so take it easy when you nibble on the dark, good stuff.  Dark chocolate should be kept in a cool, dry place and should be consumed in moderation, preferably not more than 100 grams a day.

Best ways to eat it: Chocolate is something which remains a favorite for all people. Enjoy the sweet, dark goodness as it is or feel free to try out the nutty and fruity variants which have walnuts, pistachios, almonds, raisins and other dry fruit to tantalize the taste buds and even further enhance their flavor.

11. Tofu

For those who practice a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, tofu is the way to go. The plant based protein is often prescribed by doctors to those who cannot deal with the uric acid developed as a byproduct from digesting meat. It has very low sodium and while it may not be loaded with fats, its excellent nutritional profile and 4.8 grams of monounsaturated fats per 100 grams serving wins it a position here.

Best ways to eat it: Enjoy tofu fried, boiled or grilled. Use it like you would use any other meat product. Tofu salad with red beans, peas and tomato sauce is a favorite among vegetarians. Add a few eggs in to make it a protein infused super salad.

12. Sunflower Seeds

A favorite snack among parrots and humans alike, salt roasted sunflower seeds bring a new meaning to getting high on your own supply. They are as addictive as they are flavorful, with a 100 grams serving packing 51 grams of fats, much of which is loaded with healthy fats. They are used to derive sunflower oil and are simply perfect for snacking on.

Best ways to eat it: Enjoy sunflower seeds as they are. Crack them open and eat the seed inside the shell. They are also available in shelled form.

13. Eggs

Eggs are the backbone of numerous dishes and are a primary ingredient  in many baking dishes. But they are best eaten on their own, fried with the sunny side up. A dash of salt and pepper adds the perfect flavor to enjoy the runny yolk with the well cooked egg white albumin protein. 100 grams of eggs have 11 grams of fats and 13 grams of proteins. They are the primary source of protein and fats for most of the world. Thank the hens next time you see them.

Best ways to eat it: Eggs are best eaten on their own. Fry them, poach them, boil them; they are delicious as they are. Feel free to add your own variations of vegetables for the perfect omelet or using them in baking.

14. Dairy Milk

Eggs and milk are the chief foods of any household. From being eaten alone to baking, tea, curries, yoghurt and numerous other foods, they are required for the proper functioning of a society itself. Fat in milk is variable from being just 1 gram to over 15 grams because there are numerous types of milk such as whole milk or skimmed and even the type of animal from milk has been sourced plays an integral part in deciding its fat content.

Best ways to eat it: Enjoy milk as it is or use it for yoghurt.

15. Cheddar Cheese

Cheese is produced through fermentation of milk used varying bacteria. This turns milk into curds and whey, which are separated and the curds are further processed to be turned into cheese. 100 grams of cheddar cheese contains about 33 grams of fat healthy fats.

Best ways to eat it: Add grated cheddar to your morning toast or layer it in a sandwich. Use it on a pizza or better yet, savor the flavor on its own.

Are Fats Healthy or Unhealthy?

bodycatalyst.com.au/news/eating-fat-fat-loss/ fats

Fats often get a bad reputation for their role in obesity. However, the truth is far from it – the abuse of any food group is harmful for the body. They are an essential nutrient in daily diet, though it needs to be consumed in moderation, as with all food. It is a calorie dense nutrient which provides 38 kJ of energy per gram. They are important source of energy and required for new cells, especially for the formation of their membrane. Consuming them is important during winter months to ensure the body is supplied with ample energy to remain warm. They are also required for healthy production of hormones and their absorption within the human body.

The Types of Fats

Fats can be divided into 4 major categories. They are different in terms of their chemical composition and physical properties as well as numerous other factors such as flavor, texture, effects on health, etc.

1. Monounsaturated Fats

Found in plant foods like nuts, avocados, olive oil, and canola oil, and in poultry

Monounsaturated fats have the entirety of carbon atoms in one chain in single bond with the exception of a singular double bond. They are good for lowing the cholesterol levels in the body, which helps reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Food sources: Avocado, canola oil, poultry meat, olive oil.

2. Polyunsaturated Fats

Polyunsaturated fats have two or more carbon and carbon double bonds in their hydrocarbon chains. They are also considered healthy and help in reducing cholesterol in blood, which can end up as plague deposits in arteries.

Food source: Fatty fish, walnuts, sunflower seeds, soybeans.

3. Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are normally termed as unhealthy, but the reality lies in their general misuse. Overeating them increases the LDL levels (bad cholesterol) in blood, which gives rise to many health complications.

Food sources: Butter, whole milk, cheese.

4. Trans Fats

Trans fats are a controversial topic. While they are indeed found in small quantities naturally, they have been mass produced artificially, which has drastically increased their production. They are also linked to heart diseases. Its most notable form nowadays is the margarine. In their natural state, they have a cis rather than trans configuration. Hydrogenation of unsaturated fats using a catalyst results in an isomerization reaction which converts the cis double bonds into trans double bonds. Ultimately, add stability and provide better characteristics such as melting points and solidification.

Food sources: Crisco, margarine, vegetable shortenings.

Losing Weight While Eating Fats

As mentioned earlier, eating fats is not the problem – it is the lack of restraint. For one, they are more sating than any other food group. They fill the stomach and stop the cravings for more. If you eat healthy (and even saturated ones in moderation) while counting the calories and exercising a little, they are extremely beneficial for the body. A great example would be the keto diet. It involved caloric consumption from 30 percent proteins and the rest from fats while completely eliminating carbohydrates from diet. The problem lies in processed carbohydrates which are readily absorbed by the body, converted to brown fat and deposited as adipose tissue in the body.   Instead of completely cutting back on fat, it is recommended to do a dietary check and integrate more healthy fat food sources in everyday consumption.

Caloric Value of Different Fats Categories

Carbohydrates and proteins contain 4 calories per gram. Fats contain much more, at 9 calories per gram. All categories of fat have the same amount of calories. Many people tend to opt for fat reduced or zero fat food alternatives without checking their constituent ingredients. More than often, they contain additional carbohydrates and processed sugars which are less healthy than the fat itself. Moreover, reducing the amount of trans and saturated category while replacing them with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated ones ensures they do not increase LDL levels.

Staying Healthy and Eating Fats

Fats are not unhealthy, as the real problem lies in eating habits rather than the nutrients. Excessively consuming them without restraint or physical activity will ultimately cause them to be deposited in the body. As there is no need to use the calories then, they are stored as adipose tissue to be used later, which causes obesity. Saturated kinds have been linked with high blood pressure and cholesterol only when they have not been paired with proper exercise and dietary control. As a macro nutrient, theyare necessary for energy, cellular growth and absorption of vitamins. As such they should not be eliminated from everyday life but should be consumed moderately.

5 Scientific Reasons Why Pig Meat (Pork) is Haram

samurice.sg pork

Internationally, pork is the most widely eaten meat and the world meat production accounts for 38 percent of all meat produced. Pig meat is particularly favored in American and European regions as well as African and East Asian areas because they people there have acquired a taste for it. Even though the consumption continues to grow with the increasing population, the health effects remain because the animal itself is unclean. As the Holy Quran states:

“He has forbidden you only the Maytah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine…”
[Al-Baqarah 2:173]

Pig meat is hazardous for health and is the source for numerous complications. It is considered haram (banned) in several religions.

Pig and Pork– An Unclean Animal and Unhygienic Meat

There is good scientific reason for considering pig meat unsuitable for human consumption and the dangers of pork. The animal itself is a naturally dirty one with preference for unhygienic conditions. Even when raised for meat, they are considered organic waste disposal machines and fed scraps. The scraps range from moldy food to insects and other dirty organic matter with a shred of nutritional value. Pigs are notorious for eating their own feces as well, which just shows the height to which the animal can be dirty. Pigs also have cannibalistic tendencies and have been openly recorded to eat the carcasses of their own dead species. Mothers have also been reported to eat their children.

Pigs do not have sweat glands. They cannot sweat out, which is a core function of mammals to rid their body of toxins. Combined with the fact that they actually prefer unhygienic conditions, their meat and fat actively stores toxins in them. They also have a single stomach for digestion which metabolizes food in approximately 4 hours, thus swiftly storing anything in their body. This also includes toxins. Moreover, the meat itself is loaded with saturated fat, which is very unhealthy for the body. Compared to other livestock reared for meat which have 4 stomachs, pigs are different in the aforementioned numerous ways.

Scientific Reasons Why Pig Meat (Pork) is Haram

Just by validating the pig as an animal deems it dirty for human consumption. It prefers a dirty diet, has revolting hygiene and the meat itself is not good for consumption. Following are 5scientific reasons why pigs are not suitable for human consumption by both Islam and scientific reasons. The dangers of pork are numerous and hence the animal is not considered fit for consumption.

1. The Digestive System

The pig meat is loaded with saturated fat as well as many toxins and in many cases bacteria which it has picked up from digestion. Pigs have a single stomach which digests in approximately 4 hours. Other livestock in comparison have 4 stomachs and digestion takes 24 hours. This extended period of digestion is vital for removing excess toxins and killing off bacteria and viruses. Pig stomach swiftly digests the food and allows it to be passed on to the intestine, which absorbs anything (including toxins). These are later deposited in organs and fat, which are consumed and passed onto humans.

Pigs also have very few sweat glands. These are necessary for flushing out toxins from body via sweat. Combined with the incredibly unhygienic conditions favored by a pig, their bodies become loaded with toxins and bacteria. These issues with digestion and sweat glands lead to many dangerous issues.

2. Increases Risk of Cancer

Pigs are mostly raised on farms which promote production of processed meat. Just consuming 50 grams of pork can increase risk of cancer by 18 percent. Processed bacon is considered a carcinogen (cancer causing substance) which is dangerous for human consumption.

3. Carries for Swine Flu

Swine flu is among the leading factors why pork should not be eaten. The pigs act as vectors for transmitting these viruses and bacteria, which are responsible for making humans sick. H1N1 and H3N2 are common swine flu strains which are prevalent in the United States. The viruses are resistant to heat and even survive after cooking and even baking. This renders pig meat dangerous even after cooking.

4. Dangers of Trichinosis

As discussed earlier, pigs are the carriers for numerous harmful bacteria and viruses. They act as vectors for transmitting them to humans and making them sick. With the rise in eating rare and medium-well meat, the diseases related to them have sharply risen up and become prevalent in Western countries.

Trichinosis is the most dangerous disease related to pork eating. Pig meat can contain trichinella, a worm. The undercooked pig meat contains them, who then enter the human body upon consumption. The worm manages to live in the pig by worming into cysts in the stomach. It enters as larvae into the stomach and then finds its way into the body. Once inside the humans, the cyst is dissolved by the human digestive acids and matures. It then causes a host of health issues, which include headaches, consistently high fever, fatigue, muscle pain, pink eye and swelling, especially of the face.

5. Host of Viruses and Bacteria

The dangers of pork extend as far as risking entry of foreign bacteria and viruses within the body because the completely insanitary living conditions favored by pigs makes them excellent carriers for bacteria and viruses. Consuming pork directly places these within our bodies. These include:

  • Hepatitis E virus.
  • Menangle virus.
  • Nipah virus.
  • Paramyxoviridae virus.
  • Causes Blue-Ear Pig Disease.

Living a Better Lifestyle

As Muslims, pork is considered haram in our religion and for good reason. While we do urge the rest to refrain from the meat because of aforementioned reasons, it ultimately comes down to personal choices, preferences and religion. As such, everyone has a free will to exercise. However, it is imperative that one takes good care of body because health is wealth. The dangers of pork are many and hence it is a meat to refrain from. There are numerous meat alternatives such as chicken, beef, bison, mutton, lamb and even wild game. Good health is a great blessing which should be treasured, hence we recommend refraining from eating pork.