Everything Begins With What Inside Our Stomach
From Ali (AS), who said: Do not sit for food unless you are hungry; and do not leave the table but you still have an appetite for it, and chew your food in your mouth well. (Biharul-Anwar – Volume 24, Page 245. al-Majlisi, 1627 (AR)
(Truly) Over-indulgence of food causes various kinds of diseases. (Ghurarul-Hikam – Page 359)
The religion Islam has one of the most comprehensive eating and dietary habits and one even wonders as to why all the strict rulings. This is true because the stomach is one of those bodily organs that is largely unstable in electrical terms and when there is over-eating , this over-stresses the stomach and the organs concerned with digestion become chemically and electrically at fault. The resulting faults in the surrounding energy would not only cause alimentary and digestive disorders, but also mental disorders. Such a person would have weak and low charge energy surrounding him making him more vulnerable to unsteady fields of energy.
Understanding how food is digested helps to explain why it is so important to eat healthy and nutritious food that have plenty of vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates along with fiber and good fats.The phrase everything begins inside our stomach is to emphasize that anything we eat can affect our body as the food digestion begins from mouth to small intestine.So, it is important for us to watch what goes inside our digestive tract. Good food will be digested properly and the nutrients will be absorbed and distributed all over the body.
The nutrients in food enable the cells in our bodies to perform their necessary functions. “Nutrients are the nourishing substances in food that are essential for the growth, development and maintenance of body functions”. If the food does not contain any nutrient, it will cause declining in health.When nutrient intake does not regularly meet the nutrient needs dictated by the cell activity, the metabolic processes slow down or even stop.(Perspectives in Nutrition, Wardlow and Insel, 1996).
In United States, there are workforce plagued with absenteeism and reduced productivity because of chronic health problems, including depression and 78 percent of healthcare expenditures are spent for the treatment of chronic diseases. Many researchers now believe that these problems are partly related to diet. While they used to believe that diseases such as type II diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers were caused by a single gene mutation, they are now generally attributing these conditions to a network of biological dysfunction and the food we eat is an important factor in that dysfunction, in part because of nutrient deficiency in our diet. (Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 2004).
Unhealthy diets are high in fat (saturated and trans fat), sodium, sugar, refined carbohydrates and artificial gradient as well as low in nutrients and fiber. These type of diets for example processed or fast foods, are high in calories and lack of nutrients.This encourage weight gain and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Processed foods are addictive and designed to make you overeat, it also encourage excessive food cravings, leading to weight gain. Eating processed foods also promotes insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, which are hallmarks of most chronic diseases.
The World Health Organization estimated that approximately 2.6 million deaths each year are due to obesity-related illnesses. Obesity raises your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, sleep problems, arthritis, infertility and cancer. Up to 40 percent of cancers may be due, in part, to following an unhealthy diet, according to BreastCancer.org.
Over-consumption of refined carbs, or lack of dietary fiber, also can cause constipation, indigestion, non-ulcer dyspepsia, or can lead to certain specific digestion-related conditions such as diverticulitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), or nutritional deficiencies.
On the other hand, foods packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients contain a variety of protective substances that can lower disease risks and boost the body’s immunity. Vitamins A and C rich in red food such as strawberry, orange, sweet potatoes, carrots help lymphocytes reproduce properly when the body is exposed to a virus, and they enable neutrophils and macrophages to surround and kill invasive bacteria. Vitamin A is also important for strong and healthy skin.
Including fruits and vegetables in your regular diet, for example, can lower your risk of health problems including cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, heart disease, high blood pressure, high fiber, low-calorie, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables and whole-grains are associated with better weight control
Learning and memory, illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease benefit from fish which high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon. Healthy diets are also associated with lower overall mortality rates.
While some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important. That means switching to a healthy diet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition.. Despite what fad diets(weight reduction diet) would have you believe, we all need a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body.
The new food guide, USDA’s MyPlate, was introduced in 2010 replacing the food pyramid , as the new guidelines for proper dietary nutrition.
MyPlate is made of four sections with the colors orange, green, blue and red, plus a side order in blue. Each color represent a specific food group and provides certain nutritional benefits. This plate model illustrates the importance of a varied diet with foods from each food group. The purpose with this design is to help people make healthier and smarter food choices. Let’s see what each color in MyPlate represents:
- Orange represents the grain group – “Make at least half your grains whole.”
- Green represents the vegetable group – “Vary your vegetables.”
- Red represents the fruit group – “Focus on fruits.”
- Purple represents the protein foods group – “Go lean with protein.”
- Blue represents the dairy group – “Get your calcium rich foods.”
One of the main principles of good health is a balanced diet. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) emphasized the habit of eating less as a method of preventing sickness and disease. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Nothing is worse than a person who fills his stomach. It should be enough for the son of Adam to have a few bites to satisfy his hunger. If he wishes more, it should be: One third for his food, one third for his liquids, and one third for his breath.” (Tirmidhi & Ibn Majah) It is interesting to note that this fact was recently realized by the scientific community (after 1400 years), as it is manifested in the popular slogan by the American Dietetic Association (in March 1983): “Say yes to less… A Health plus +.” .
From this hadith we would noticed Islam recommend its follower to drink a lots of water throughout the day. Despite having several eletrical and chemical merits, drinking water also cleanse oneself from toxins inside the body and introduce a highly charged energy to the energy field surrounding the stomach and intestine. The Prophet (S) only drank water half-hour before and after his meals, and never during meals.
Eating slowly is recommended for health. Slow eating reduces the consumption of food, as it postpones much of the meal to a time when the absorption of nutrients begins to produce physiological signals of satiety.Slow eating helps in chewing the food well. This results in the exercise of the jaws (mandibles) and mixing of saliva with food. Hence, efficient digestion takes place because the food particles are cut into smaller pieces, not requiring as much churning in the stomach or intestine.
Fasting also is one of the most effective ways to correct blockages in the energy (Lindgren and Dlitt, 2000), and this prescription has been given to Muslims one whole month every year. The difference between therapeutic fasting (where vegetable juices and raw fruits are allowed) and fasting in Islam is that the fasting for Muslims is not only therapeutic, but also spiritual and a revolution of one’s soul, balancing each and every blockage in the fields of energy regardless of its origin – mental, physical, spiritual or even emotional origin.
Key to any healthy diet is moderation. But what is moderation? In essence, it means eating only as much food as your body needs. You should feel satisfied at the end of a meal, but not stuffed. Moderation is also about balance. As no single food provides all the calories and nutrients we need to stay healthy, it’s important to eat a variety of foods to make a balanced diet.
There are verses in Islam promoting the taking of healthy, wholesome food and doing it in moderation.
Eat of what is lawful and wholesome on the earth.(2:168)
Eat and drink, but avoid excess. (20:81)
And so, the more reason for you to start taking healthy foods and keeping away from junk foods. Too many people have taken eating for granted anf forgetten it could either be a friend or a foe. Lets try make our food beneficial to us not the one who causes diseases.
As say, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates (460-377 BC)
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