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A Practical Guide to Sunnah Foods and Healthy Eating [ with benefits & references ]

sunnah-foods-confused-what-to-eat
Carbs. Proteins. Fats. 

Literally gazillions of diet experts and nutritionists today are talking about those three components of a diet. Some say carbs are bad for you while others say humans shouldn’t eat meat at all (vegetarians).

According to some dieticians, fats make you gain weight and increase the risk of various diseases. Yet there are others who say eating fats everyday is great for hair, skin and immunity!

Basically if you listen to them ALL at the same time, you can safely live your life eating NOTHING.  Why listen to all the noise when the sweet voice of Sunnah is calling out to us?

The Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (S.A.W) is the best “Health advice” you will ever need to eat healthy, feel great about yourself, prevent diseases and stay physically and mentally fit. The sunnah foods ( foods Prophet Muhammad S.A.W liked and ate) should be a part of our everyday lives.

To make things easier for you, I’ve created a FULL-DAY meal plan comprising of sunnah foods that you can use as a guide for healthy eating throughout the day. You obviously don’t have to follow each and every step exactly like mentioned. Start by developing ONE healthy habit. And then gradually try to add as many nutritious items from the sunnah foods list in your everyday food as you can.

Pssttt.. I have also designed a printable checklist for you to keep a track of your daily essential sunnah food item intake!

In general, there are 4 rules of HEALTHY EATING: 

  1.  Selecting healthy organic ingredients
  2.  Making proper food combinations
  3.  Eating appropriate quantities of food
  4.  Considering the timings of food consumption

Without a further ado, let’s see what sunnah foods a healthy Muslim typically eats in a day!

A) Morning

Sunnah foods: Vinegar, Lemon (citrus), Honey
On an empty stomach:
  • Drink apple cider vinegar 1-2 spoonfuls in a glass of water (normal room temp).  Add one teaspoon of honey if you want. OR
  • A glass of water ( either lukewarm or normal temp ) with freshly squeezed lemon juice (1/2  or 1 small lemon ) with 1 teaspoon of honey. 
Wait atleast 1/2 hour to let it do the detoxification. Go ahead and read Quran in that time.
Wake up early for fajar. Before you start following your morning routine, begin your day all energized with the following sunnah foods. By staying awake after fajar,  you will get a bucket load of things done  while these magical foods from the sunnah of our beloved Prophet ( S.A.W) cleanse your body!
sunnah-foods-lemon-water (1)

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HEALTH BENEFITS OF LEMON:

sunnah-foods-lemon
  • Aids digestion
  • Detoxifies body
  • Good source of vitamin C
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Reduces skin wrinkling
  • Helps prevent kidney stones
  • Reduces risk of stroke
  • Reduces blood pressure

hEALTH BENEFITS OF HONEY:

sunnah-foods-honey
  • Boosts energy
  • Reduces muscle fatigue
  • Reduces weight
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Treats cough
  • Heals wounds and cuts
  • Heals minor burns
  • Beats insomnia
  • Improves digestion
  • Good for skin

REFERENCES FROM THE QURAN & SUNNAH:

Allah says in the Quran:

” And your Lord inspired to the bee, “Take for yourself among the mountains, houses and among the trees and [ in] that which they construct. Then eat from all the fruits and follow the ways of your Lord laid down [ for you]. ” There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colors, in which there is a healing for people. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought. ”  

The Prophet Muhammad [ S.A.W] said:

” 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. “

SUNNAH FOODS- Honey-pin

Breakfast

DON’T skip this. It is the most important meal of the day. If eaten right, it can help burn extra fat!
Sunnah foods: Milk, Oatmeal, Black cumin, Barley 
PRE-MEAL: 1-2 Glasses of water ( 5-10 mins before meal )
MEAL OPTIONS: * A cup of tea or coffee is acceptable if it gets your day kickin! But try not to drink more than 1 cup.
1) Oatmeal with Almond Milk and 1 or 2 boiled eggs
2) Eggs omelette with mushrooms, or vegetables
3) Sandwich made from brown bread with cheese, cinnamon powder, and      nigella kativa seeds ( black cumin/ kalongi)
4) Muesli with Almond milk
5) Baked beans and olives on a mixed grain loaf
6) Tuna sandwich using tuna, brown bread and olives
7) Barley porridge ( cooked in milk) with dried fruits
8) Barley bread with curry ( preferably vegetable curry )
I know it’s really hard to remember these little things everyday, which is why I have made this checklist for you. Print it and stick it on your fridge or your kitchen wall to remember what sunnah foods to eat daily!

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HEALTH BENEFITS OF BARLEY:

sunnah-foods-barley
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Helps to control the blood sugar levels
  • Provides antioxidants
  • lowers the risk of cancer
  • Lowers high cholesterol
  • Improves digestion
  • High source of fiber
  • Protects against heart disease
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals

HEALTH benefits of oats:

sunnah-foods-oats
  • Very filling and help in losing weight
  • Lowers blood cholesterol levels
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Help relieve constipation
  • Incredibly nutritious
  • Can be used for skin-care
  • Improve blood sugar control

HEALTH BENEFITS OF MILK:

sunnah-foods-milk
  • Calcium: Makes bones and teeth healthy and maintains bone mass
  • Protein: Provides a  source of energy & builds/repairs muscles
  • Vitamin D: Aids in maintainance of bones
  • Phosphorus: Makes the bones strong & serves as an energy source
  • Vitamin A: Maintains the immune system & helps maintain vision and skin
  • Vitamin B12: Maintains healthy red blood cells and nerve tissue
  • Potassium: Helps control the blood pressure
  • Riboflavin (B2):Converts food into energy
  • Niacin: Metabolizes sugars and fatty acids

REFERENCES FROM QURAN AND SUNNAH:

Allah says in the Quran:

“There is instruction for you in cattle. From the contents of their bellies, between that which is to be eliminated (from the animal’s body) and (its) blood, We give you pure milk to drink, easy for drinkers to swallow.” [Surat an‐Nahl: 66]

Allah also says in the Quran:

An image of the Garden promised to those who have fear of Allah. In it there are rivers of water that will never spoil, rivers of milk whose taste will never change, rivers of wine delightful to all who drink it, and rivers of honey of undiluted purity. In it they will have fruit of every kind and forgiveness from their Lord. Is that like those who will be in the Fire timelessly, for ever, with boiling water to drink, which lacerates their bowels? [Surah Mohammed: 15]

Aisha (r.a) said:

“When a member of the family of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) would fall sick, he would order that barley soup is made and then the ill person would be commanded to have some of it. He used to say, ‘It strengthens the heart of the sad person and relieves the heart of the ill person, just as one of you would wash the dirt off her face with water’.” [Ibn Majah]

B) Mid-Morning and/or Mid-Afternoon

These are optional ofcourse. It is a good idea to eat snacks because snack-times provide great opportunity for taking in fruits and nuts. However, if you don’t feel hungry around these times, then don’t feel the need to overload yourself.
Sunnah foods: Watermelon (fruits), dates, cucumbers, olive oil & olives
PRE-MEAL: 1-2 glasses of water ( 5-10 mins befoe meal )
MEAL OPTIONS: 
1) A yogurt bowl (preferably unsweetened or with brown sugar) with sprinkled resins or seasonal berries
2) Green tea ( use one teaspoon of honey for sweetening) with 3-5 dates
3) Smoothies ( fruit or vegetable smoothies)
4) Watermelon or a fruit-bowl made from seasonal fruit
5) Cucumbers with olive oil, olives and lemon juice
6) Cucumbers with cheese and hummus  OR tuna and crackers
7) Dates with cucumbers OR watermelon OR almonds
8) A small bowl of nuts
9) A glass of milk with 3-5 dates

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HEALTH BENEFITS OF WATERMELON:

  • Boosts Immunity
  • Relieves pain and muscle soreness
  • Helps control high blood pressure
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Prevents kidney stones
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Relieves acid reflux
  • Protects skin health
  • Improves eye health
  • Helps prevent cancer

HEALTH BENEFITS OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES:

sunnah-foods-vegetables
  • Reduce risk of stroke, CVDs, and Type-2 Diabetes
  • Reduce the risk of kidney stones
  • Instant energy suppliers
  • Keep skin supple and hydrated
  • Aid in digestion
  • Prevent and treat constipation
  •  Aid in weight loss
  • Make hair healthy, soft and strong

REFERENCES FROM QURAN AND SUNNAH:

Allah says in the Quran:

“ It is He who sends down rain from the sky, and with it We bring forth vegetation of all kinds, and out of it We bring forth thick clustered grain. And out of the date palm and its spate come clusters of dates hanging low and near, and gardens of grapes, olives and pomegranates each similar (in kind) yet different (in variety and taste). Look at their fruits when then begin to bear, and the ripeness thereof. ”                                     [Surah Al-An’am : 99)

Allah also says in the Quran:

He sends down water from the sky. From it you drink, and from it come the shrubs among which you graze your herds. By it He makes crops grow for you, as well as olives and dates and grapes and fruit of every kind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect.      [Surah An‐Nahl: 10‐11]

It is narrated in Abu Dawood and At-Tirmidhi that the Prophet (saw) used to eat watermelon with ripe dates, saying:

“The hotness of this substance (dates) neutralizes the coolness of that (watermelon).”

C) Lunch & Dinner

Sunnah foods: Vinegar, vegetables, meat (specially bird meat & fish)

PRE-MEAL: 1-2 glasses of water ( 5-10 mins befoe meal ) or 1 glass of lemon water with honey 1/2 hour before meal

DURING MEAL:
1) Include fresh salad to your lunch and dinner ( to get in your daily greens ) with olive oil and lemon/ vinegar ( preferably apple cider) dressing
2) Eat a couple spoonfuls of yogurt
MEAL OPTIONS:
There are numerous healthy options for lunch and dinner. Therefore, rather than discussing options, I will describe some rules from Sunnah for these two meals of the day that you can use as a guide to cook your lunch and dinner.
1) Eat wholesome foods
2) Prefer vegetables over meat. Eat meat approx. 3-4 times a week and vegetables everyday
3) Choose to eat mostly fish and other seafood, bird meat, or organic chicken. Eat less red meat.
4) Make proper food combinations. For eg. eat carbs with vegetables or meat with vegetables as compared to carbs with meat
5) Eat more protein ( dried beans, lentils, nuts, quinoa, soba-noodles, green peas etc ) and less carbohydrates / starchy foods ( white rice, wheat, flour, pasta, potatoes etc)
6) Add turmeric, and ginger to your meals while cooking.

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22 Comments

  1. Sal

    JazakAllah khair intending to try this

    How did you decide some of the rules for the meals sister as far as vegetable over meat etc etc?

    Reply
    • Aimen

      I didn’t. 🙂 I simply extracted all the best info from a long list of books on nutrition and books on the health principles from the Prophet’s life!

      Reply
  2. Jebraan

    Assalaualaikum Sister,

    This is amazing! Thank you so much for putting this together, may Allah reward you for every bite we all take. Ameen.
    Would you have any recipes for anything?
    I found one for Talbeenah or Barley porridge here: Put a forward slash or “/” in front of the muslim hands website and oast the following: latest/2016/06/sunnah-recipes-barley

    Reply
  3. Idris O Onike

    Jazakallahum kheirum Aimen for the wonderful article. Gems for a healthy lifestyle
    Shukran
    Idris

    Reply
    • Aimen

      Waiyyakum! Yeah, what with the WFH situation and lockdowns, I keep coming back to this! 😀 I’m glad you liked it Idris!

      Reply
  4. Rabeena

    Ma sha allah very nicely presented. May allah reward you for taking the time and the effort to put this together. I found it very useful and definitely need to implement into my life. Keep up the good work you are doing an amazing job.

    Reply
  5. Abubakar

    I have simar problems. What alkaline foods do you mostly?

    Reply
  6. Sheeraz Shafi

    What about conclusion

    Reply
  7. Aufa

    I have inflammation in my gut and I can’t take anything acidic like apple cider vinegar, lemon and tomato because I feel worse after that. So I gotta stick to alkaline food forever. I totally agree with you that we should all take more vegetables than meat. Lesser work for our digestive system. Thank you for this useful advice. May Allah reward you 🙂

    Reply
  8. Aimen

    I’d say choose one healthy meal option for each meal- dinner, lunch and breakfast. And then you can adjust the quantity/ proportions of different foods in that meal option according to your taste. Also, keep in mind the meal portion size (meaning, your portion size shouldn’t be too much that it will cause weight gain especially if you don’t want to gain weight).

    Reply
  9. Mahbuba

    How many options should I choose for a meal ?

    Reply
  10. Karima

    Health but I want to gain weight 😔

    Reply
  11. Naghma

    Great info..loved it..i am a simple housewife but want to start the same by advicing people how to take a proper diet in the light of quran and sunnah..dua for me and help me

    Reply
    • Aimen

      My duas are with you dear. You goal is beautiful, I love the concept and there sure are many Muslims out there who could really use your advice. May Allah help you achieve all your goals and bless you with reward in Dunya and Akhirah! Ameen.

      Reply
  12. Naghma

    Love your article…i also want to serve the ummah just like you by advicing them that this is the way of taking a proper balanced diet in the light of sunnah.. I am a simple housewife plz dua for me so that i can start

    Reply
  13. Saba

    i got lot to know about sunnah food through your article.. Thanks a lot sister😊

    Reply
    • Aimen

      Ohh that’s great Masha’Allah! You’re most welcome Saba ❤️

      Reply
  14. Mahdi Dahir Miganeh

    I love this page! May Allaah SWT Bless you and your organization and their families. Ameen

    Reply
    • Aimen

      That’s amazing to know Mahdi 🙂 Ameen! We need your kind duas. May Allah help you in everything you do and add barakah in your life, ameen.

      Reply
  15. Agie

    What about the thayyib aspect of foos? I know that milk produces nowadays isn’t the same as the milk explained in the hadith.

    Reply
    • Aimen

      That’s a good question. We should definitely try eating organic/Thayyib (meaning pure) food and stay away from poultry and fish that is given feed, as well as stay away from milk, wheat, maze , barley and all the other healthy food items that are not organic and are mixed with artificial ingredients. How to do that? Since every market or store is loaded with inorganic food items mostly, and the organic pure ones are highly priced that an average man can’t afford to buy organic food on a daily basis, there’s something else we can do. I personally have created little plant pots in the backyard where I grow vegetables needed daily such as tomatoes, lettuce, lemons etc. If you are lucky enough to have some land where you can grow vegetables, keep a few chickens etc to supply healthy food on a daily basis, then you should put every effort in to do so. It’s necessary we start taking care of our health by avoiding as much of the fake, artificial, unhealthy food available in the markets these days. It takes a little bit of an effort to get organic food but it’s totally worth the effort. And some of you are probably lucky enough to live in rural areas which is great since you get healthy food everyday MashaÁllah 🙂

      Reply
  16. Aimen

    I am glad to know that you found the article useful Sam!

    Reply

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