Sunnah Recommended Food in Pregnancy
Whatever the mother eats, drinks or breathes during pregnancy, Allāh (SWT) also allots it to the child.”It is therefore very important that the mother takes care with the food that she eats.What appears to be the case that the view of those among the early generations who said that could only be based on experience and custom. For example, Medical research has determined that fresh dates contain a substance that contracts the uterus and strengthens uterine muscles, and helps with childbirth; it also reduces the amount of bleeding that occurs after childbirth.Similarly, they also contain a high amount of simple sugars that are easily digested, which is a basic source of energy and is important and beneficial for the muscles, especially the uterine muscles which play a big role during childbirth.
Cure of diseases through medicinal plant is always a salient feature of Islamic teaching and preaching. Islamic medicine started from Hazrat Adam (A.S.) and was completed at Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) but search and compiling of these medicines is still continued through out the world (Nasr, 1976).
The Holy Quran is the eternal and everlasting basis of Islam. It contains signs and verses which have been leading people of different ages and of different academics and intellectual background to believe in Islam. The Holy Quran from the very start has a claim that it covers every aspect of life and is full of wisdom. It speaks “We have neglected nothing in the Book” (Khan, et al., 1994).
Here we will study about the foods to be eaten during Pregnancy and their Scientific Perspective.It is recommended to eat the following foods during pregnancy:
There are Varius hadeeth which clearly indicated that dates are the best food during Pregnancy and after Childbirth.
“Quran: A voice called out to her from under her: “Do not grieve! Your Lord has placed a small stream at your feet. Shake the trunk of the palm toward you, and fresh, ripe dates will drop down to you. Eat and drink and delight your eyes …” (Surah Maryam: 24‐26)
Al-Khateeb narrated in Tareekh Baghdaad (9/336) that Salamah ibn Qays said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Feed your womenfolk dates during their nifaas, for any woman who eats dates during her nifaas, her child will be forbearing, because that was the food of Maryam when she gave birth to ‘Eesa was born. If Allah knew of any food that was better for her than dates, He would have given it to her.”
Ibn Sam‘oon narrated in al-Amaali (p. 239) from Shahr ibn Hawshab that Abu Umaamah al-Baahili (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Feed your women in nifaas fresh dates.” They said: O Messenger of Allah, fresh dates are not available all the time. He said: “Then dried dates.” They said: O Messenger of Allah, all dried dates are good, but which are the best of dried dates? He said: “The best of your dried dates are al-barni; they bring healing and expel sickness, there is no sickness in them, they are most satisfying for the one who is hungry and they warm up the one who is cold.”
It is narrated from Imām as-Ŝādiq (as): “If one eats apple, her child will be beautiful, and if one eats squash, the memory of both the woman and child will increase, and eating ratb (a type of fresh dates) and dates strengthens the body.”(alliyatul Muttaqīn, pg. 125)
Scientific benefits of Dates in Pregnancy:
Dates are rich sources of proteins, fiber and many vitamins, while being very low in fat. They contain a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber and thus are helpful in maintaining your digestive system. Dates have a good amount of natural sugars. They are rich in potassium and low in sodium, and thus help regulate the nervous system. Infact Dates contain thirteen elements of vital importance, and five types of vitamins, making it a rich food. The calcium in dates is essential for firming bones, the phosphorus for forming the brain and preventing weakness of the nerves and tiredness, and the potassium for preventing wounds/sores in the stomach.
It Has been mentioned and sworn upon in the Quran.“In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. by the fig and the olive! “
You can eat it dry, as this increases the strength of sexual intercourse and prevents piles.Eating it also prevents colic. It is narrated from Imām al-Riďā (as) that figs remove bad smells from the mouth, make the bones firm, cause hair to grow and prevent illnesses.
Also, there is a hadeeth that Hazrat Abu Darda (Radiallahu Anhu) narrates that someone presented the Prophet a plate of figs and he said, “Eat figs! If I would say a certain type of fruit was sent down to us from the heavens I would say it’s a fig because it has no seeds.” It ends (cures) the piles and is useful for rheumatism.
Note: It is not recommended for those with Diabetes Mellitus, stomach or intestine disorders, or overweight people. Overeating also causes problems for the stomach and eyes; however, eating celery neutralises these effects.
Scientific benefits of Figs in Pregnancy:
A serving of three figs contain five grams of fiber. They also have a good amount of calcium, zinc, potassium, and iron and are therefore a very good option to be included in a pregnancy diet. The potassium content in figs is more than in bananas, which are so commonly praised for that mineral attribute.
3)Olive and Olive oil
There is a hadeeth that a pregnant woman should not forego drinking olive oil as it makes her colour white, and clears her liver as well as that of her child.( A~jāz khūrākīhā, pg. 308-311)
Olive is one of the food by which Allah swears by in the Quran.Allah says :
a)“Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as (if there were) a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp is in glass, the glass as it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east (i.e., it neither gets sun‐rays only in the morning) nor of the west (i.e., nor does it get sun‐rays only in the afternoon – but it is exposed to the sun all day long), whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it. Light upon Light! Allah guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All‐Knower of everything.” [al‐Nur 24:35]
b)”And thereby he brings forth crops and olives, palms and vines, and all the fruits. surely, in this there is a sign for a nation who think.”
Scientific benefits of Olives in Pregnancy:
olive oil not only provides enough essential fatty acids for the development of the new-born child; its ratio of linoleic acid to linolenic acid (essential fatty acids) is similar to that of breast milk. The beneficial effect of oleic acid lasts beyond pregnancy.
Quran is another food that is mentioned in Quran and has immense medical benefits.Allah says in Quran,”He produces gardens, both cultivated and wild, and palm‐trees and crops of diverse kinds, and olives and pomegranates, both similar and dissimilar. Eat of their fruits when they bear fruit, pay their due on the day of their harvest, and do not be profligate. He does not love the profligate. (Surat al‐An’am: 141)
a)It is narrated from the Prophet (S): “Eating pomegranate is a cause of increased sperm production for men and makes the child beautiful and healthy as well.”(Wasāil ash-Shī~a, vol. 25, pg. 104, no. 31499)
b) It is narrated from Imām al-Riďā : “Eating sweet pomegranate makes a man powerful in the sexual act and greatly affects the beauty of the child.( al-Kāfī, vol. 5, pg. 355)
Scientific benefits of Pomegranates in Pregnancy:
Pomegranates contain a number of phytochemical compounds, which have been proven to be good for your heart. They may help lower blood pressure, which is great news if you’re in the later stages of pregnancy or suffering from pre-eclampsia when your blood pressure is likely to be elevated. Rich in vitamin C, pomegranates are excellent for the immune system and when your body is busy growing your baby, it needs all the extra immunity it can get. Studies have shown that eating pomegranate has a positive effect on bone health and density – perfect for giving your developing baby a boost. Pomegranates contain more antioxidants than cranberries and green tea, making them ideal for all-round health and nutrition. – See more at:
Qawoot is a powder made by grinding and sifting the following ingredients in relative quantities: Roasted wheat, Roasted Barley, Roasted Sun-flower seeds, Roasted Water melon seeds, Roasted Melon seeds, Roasted Roasted Deep Ribbed melon seeds, Roasted Purslane seeds, Roasted Coriandor, Roasted Hemp-seeds, Roasted Fennel seeds, Roasted poppy seeds, Roasted Peas, Sesame, Pistachio, Coffee, Cardamon, Cinamon, Almond, Sugar.
As this mixture is not readily available in most countries, it is suggested that the above contents are eaten on their own, e.g. pistachios and almonds.
Reference: It is narrated that a man told Imām as-Ŝādiq (as): “O son of the Messenger of Allāh (SwT), a son has just been born who is weak and simple-minded.” Imām replied: “Why didn’t you eat qawoot? Eat that and recommend your family to do so too. Surely, qawoot makes flesh grow and makes the bones firm, and a son will not be born from you except that he is strong.”(Biĥār al-Anwār, vol. 66, pg. 278)
It is narrated from Imām as-Ŝādiq (as): “Eating qawoot with olive oil and meat fattens a person, makes bones firm, makes the body bright and with Nūr (Noble light) and increases the sexual power.”(Ibid., vol. 104, pg. 80)
a. Is a cause of strength of the heart, cleanliness of the stomach, clearness of the mind and bravery and beauty of the child.
b. Gives lustre to the heart, and cures the inner pains (with the permission of Allāh (SwT) ).
c. It has been narrated from Imām as-Ŝādiq (as) that a pregnant woman should eat quince, so that her child is more sweet smelling and his/her colour is purer.
d. It is narrated from Imām as-Ŝādiq (as) : “Make pregnant women eat quince, as it makes their children beautiful.”
e. It is narrated from the Prophet (S) : “Eating quince makes the colour of the skin clear and full of freshness, and makes the child of a person beautiful and healthy as well.”
Quince contains Vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C, magnesium and phosphorus.
It is narrated that Imām as-Ŝādiq (as) saw a beautiful child and said, “It is very likely that the father of this child ate the fruit quince on the night of conception.”(Biĥār al-Anwār, vol. 81, pg. 101)
Another tradition from Imām as-Ŝādiq (as) narrates “Anyone who eats quince on an empty stomach, the source of his seed production (sperm) becomes pure and healthy, and his child will be beautiful and decent.”(Biĥār al-Anwār, vol. 81, pg. 101)
It is narrated from the Prophet (S) : “No pregnant woman eats watermelon with cheese, except that her newborn child becomes beautiful and of a nice figure.” It is also said to Makes the child cheerful and good natured.(ref: Biĥār al-Anwār, vol. 62, pg. 299)
Scientific benefits of Watermelon in Pregnancy:
watermelon is richer than tomatoes in lycopene, an antioxidant that protects against cancer and cardiovascular disease, boosts the body’s immunity to infections and naturally raises the skin’s SPF, according to Steven Pratt, M.D., author of SuperFoods Rx (HarperCollins, 2003).
Even better news for pregnant women: A 2003 study in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics found that daily lycopene supplements reduced the incidence of preeclampsia by 50 percent. Test subjects were given 4 milligrams of lycopene; a single serving of watermelon can have triple that amount. What’s more, scientists have discovered that watermelon is packed with vitamins A, C and B6, as well as potassium and magnesium. These nutrients are important for the development of your baby’s vision, brain, nervous and immune systems, and more. For you, potassium regulates water balance in the blood and body tissues during pregnancy. And you get all these benefits for less than 50 calories per cup.
The worst vessel to fill is the stomach, but leave one-third for food, one-third for water, and one-third for air. Water is a cure of almost all disease and is one of the element to keep our body healthy.
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. (Surat An‐Nahl: 10‐11)
Al-Miqdam ibn Ma’d reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, saying, “There is no vessel which the son of Adam can fill more evil than his stomach, for it is sufficient for him to take a few mouthfuls in order to straighten his back; but if he must, then fill one-third with food, one-third with drink, and one-third with breath.”
[Sunan ibn Majah, Book of Eating, Number 3349, Sahih]
Scientific benefits of Drinking Water in Pregnancy:
During pregnancy, blood volume increases by up to 1.5 liters. Therefore, it is important to stay properly hydrated The fetus usually gets everything it needs, but if you don’t watch your water intake, you may become dehydrated.Symptoms of mild dehydration include headaches, anxiety, tiredness, bad mood and reduced memory Furthermore, increasing water intake may help relieve constipation and reduce the risk of urinary tract infections, which are common during pregnancy
It was narrated that Jabir (r.a) said:
۞ “I entered the house of the Prophet with him and there was some bread and vinegar. The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Eat; what a good condiment is vinegar.’”
(Sunan an-Nasa’i, The Book of Oaths and Vows, Book 35, Hadith 36, Grade: Sahih by Darussalam)
We all know the health benefit of Milk. It is also mentioned in the Quran as a blessing to Mankind.
“There is lesson 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)
Scientific benefits of Drinking Milk in Pregnancy:
Milk and other dairy products provide significant nutrients for pregnant women. While it is possible to obtain the nutrients in milk from other sources, milk consumption in pregnancy has been associated with better pregnancy outcomes in clinical research. According to USDA recommendations, pregnant women should consume three cups of milk or other dairy products each day.
There is infact a whole Surah on the name of a Bee .It is such a blessed and Miraculous food no doubt it has lots of health benefits because ,
Allah the Almighty says in Quran; “Your Lord revealed to the bees: “Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow.” From inside them comes a drink of varying colours, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect” (16: 68)
Scientific benefits of Honey in Pregnancy:
Honey possesses natural antibiotic properties.It has the ability to reduce allergic reactions.It has also been found to reduce and inhibit the growth of H. Pyroli, a bacterium that is known to cause ulcers.Honey also possesses natural analgesic action, which makes it a great natural remedy for burns.Honey is a healthy and natural sweetener, which is perfect for those aiming to keep their weight in check.
12 ) The Green Vegetables and Lentils
Allah replaced the divine food from heaven with the vegetables,the lentils ,the cucumber and the onion . So, they definately must have rich nutrients which would benefit our body and help us survive.
And (remember) when you said, “O Mûsâ (Musa)! we cannot endure one kind of food. So invoke your Lord for us to bring forth for us of what the earth grows, its herbs, its cucumbers, its Fûm (wheat or garlic), its lentils and its onions.” He said, “Would you exchange that which is better for that which is lower? (Al-Hilali and Khan, 1985).
Scientific benefits of Consuming Vegetables and lentils in Pregnancy:
The nutrient contents of different types of vegetables vary considerably and they are not major source of carbohydrates compared to starchy foods which form the bulk of food eaten, but contain vitamins, essential amino acids as well as minerals and antioxidants. Vegetables are included in meals mainly for their nutritional values; however some are reserved for sick and convalescence because of their medicinal properties.