Monday, July 13, 2009

What’s Your Body Telling You - The Science and the Quran

Food is an essential prerequisite for life and as such the primary goal of eating and drinking is to enable the body to function normally. With food, or the lack of it, the destinies of individuals are greatly influenced. We should "eat to live", and "not live to eat". The Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) recommended even for pious man the quantity of food "which is just sufficient to keep his back-bone erect".

Islam enjoins us to have a balance diet in order to have a variety of nutrients. When we look at verses from the Holy Qura'n, the recommended foods indicate nutrient density. It states:

"O you people! Eat of what is on earth lawful and good!" (2:168)

"So eat of (meats), on which Allah's name hath been pronounced if ye have faith in his signs." (6:118)

"The game of the sea and its food are permitted to you." (5 :99)

"Pure milk, easy and agreeable to swallow for those who drink." (16:66)

"He it is who produceth gardens with trellises and without, and dates, and tilth with produce of all kinds and olives and pomegranetes, similar and different, eat of their fruit in season." (16:141)

These recommended foods mentioned in the Holy Qur'an, will certainly fulfill daily protein, carbohydrates, fat and vitamins requirements.
Nutrition is a matter of life-long eating habits which become set with age. Dietary patterns also vary from one person to another according to the difference of cultural and geographic environment to another. To ensure a proper supply of the essential nutrients, we must combine food sources of these nutritients in the right amounts. This results in a healthy well-balanced diet. But there are times, when our body produce different signs. The body could be telling us something. Therefore, learning to read your body’s signs can be the key to preventing serious illness.

The Symptom: Crease on Earlobe
People who have a diagonal crease on both earlobes are more prone to heart disease, says a study by the Royal Sussex County Hospital in the UK. “The crease is a diagonal line pointing up towards your eyebrow.,” says Denise Armstrong, lifestyle manager at Hear Research UK. “The crease doesn’t cause heart disease, but people who inherit this characteristic also appear to inherit genes that cause increase risk of heart problems. “Keep risk of heart disease at a minimum by eating a low-fat diet, getting regular exercise and stop smoking.

The Symptom: Red Palms
“Red palms are sign of raised estrogen levels in your blood, so first check you aren’t pregnant,’ says Dr Naomi Harris of Royal Australian College of GPs. “If you’re not pregnant, ask your doctor to run tests on your liver. If your liver isn’t functioning efficiently it won;t be able to break down hormones and toxins in your blood, making it look redder than normal, resulting in red palms. “Maintain a healthy liver by avoiding alcoholic drinks.

The Symptom: Twitching Eyelids

If your eyes are twitching most of the time, you could be lacking magnesium, says Alex McClelland, accredited dietitian with the Dietitians Association of Australia. “Early signs of magnesium deficiency can result in muscle spasms, which may also cause eye twitching, she says. Research from Germany ‘s University of Lubeck shows magnesium deficiency can increase the risk of osteoporosis and hear disease. “Keep magnesium levels at their optimum by including green vegies and nuts in your diet every day,” says McClelland.

The Symptom: Discoloured Hair
Got more grey hair than your uncle or aunt? “If premature greyness doesn’t run in your family, get tested for pernicious anemia,” says Dr Joan Liebman-Smith, co-author of Body Signs: From Warning Signs to False Alarm. This autoimmune disease means your body can’t absorb vitamin B12 properly. Reduced levels of B12 make it hard for your body to produce melanin, which is what gives your hair its colour. Get your daily dose of B12 from red meat, milk and eggs. If you’re experiencing other signs of pernicious anaemia, such as paleness, weakness and tingling in your extremities, visit your doctor.

The Symptom: Blisters
If even your most comfortable shoes are giving you blisters, you should get it check out; it could be an early sign of Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes can damage nerves in your lower limbs, preventing them from functioning properly. So, if your shoes are rubbing, or you’ve walked too far, you won’t feel the pain, causing the blister to occur. Avoid Type 2 Diabetes by eating healthily and getting regular exercise. If you have blisters you can’t feel, go straight to your GP.

The Symptom: Hoarse Voice
If you’re constantly clearing your throat and you’re not a smoker, consider what you ate at your most recent meal,” Dr. Liebmann-Smith suggests. “A horse, croaky voice can often be a symptom of reflux,” she says. “If you’ve eaten a particularly rich meal, the acid from the food in your stomach can rise back u youroesphagus, irritating it and giving you Darth-Vader-style speech. “Cut down on culprit foods such as citrus fruits, coffee, chocolate, onion and garlic. If this doesn’t make a different, see your doctor.”

The Symptom: Knobbly Knucles
Gnarly hands and fingers could be a sign that you’re suffering from early stages of arthritis. “Arthritis can wear away cartilage and bone around the a joint, which makes knuckles look lumpy,” says Dr. Graeme Jones, medical director at Arthritis Australia. “This is particularly noticeable around the knuckles and toes, as they’re so small. “Reduce pain from arthritis by resting a hot or cold pack on the inflamed area. Escaping very cold and humid weather will ease symptoms too.”

The Symptom: Excessive ear wax
Enough wax in your ear to open a candle shop? You might need to include more healthy fats in your diet, says Dr. Liebmann-Smith. “Studies show that excessive ear wax can be caused by a deficiency of essential fatty acids in your diet,” Dr. Liebmann-Smith says. “We’re not sure why this happens, but there’s definitely a proven link. “Boost your intake of good fats by eating mackerel or sardines twice a week. Over-cleaning ears can also cause a build-up of wax, so ditch the cotton buds and let your ears clean themselves.

Read the sign: Rumbling Stomach
The growling noise is caused by your muscles propelling food down the gastrointestinal tract, meaning everything is in working order.

Read the sign: Dark Circles Under the Eyes)

Normally due to nothing more than lack of sleep, these are a reminder that your body needs rest, says Dr. Liebmann-Smith.

In conclusion
, Islam enjoins us to only eat good food and in moderation. Good food must contain three essential components:
• nutritional benefits and efficientcy in producing the needed energy.
• lightness for the stomach
• ease of digestion

Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Qur'an:
"O you who believe, do not forbid the good things which Allah has made lawful for you and do not exceed limits. Surely Allah does not love those who exceeds the limits." (5:90)

And then defining moderation, the Prophetic guidance on the best of common diets is: "one third food, one third water and one third air." Because, when the stomach is saturated with food, it will not be able to take in water, and when food and water exceed their recommended level, one may suffer from pulmonary difficulties, resulting in stress and exhaustion from lungs being unable to easily deliver oxygenated blood to the left atrium of the heart. Wallahu A’lam

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