Good nutrition : No need for medicine

nutraNutrition is one of the most influential factors in growth. The kinds of nutrients that one consumes during childhood affect the physical structure for the rest of one’s life, either positively or negatively.

Malnutrition does not only mean lack of food, but it also means consuming poor nutrients.
In other words, malnutrition means imbalance between the quantity and quality of food the body needs, the growth stage and one’s physical activities. Moderation must be observed in nutrition, because eating many foods — especially foods that are rich in sugar, carbohydrates and fats — irrespective of the quality and the actual requirements of the body needs, causes obesity and several serious diseases including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and stomach diseases.
Food is necessary for the body, but food consumption should remain within reasonable limits. It is equally harmful to consume food that does not satisfy the body’s needs or exceed them. Several diseases are caused by quantitative or qualitative malnutrition (excess or shortage). There is a strong relationship between good health and good nutrition.
In the following paragraphs, we will speak about the nutrients that are necessary for a healthy body:
1-   Proteins:
Proteins are indispensable materials for the structure of the cells, and the need for them increases over time according to the growth phase. Proteins are divided into two types:
A- Animal proteins: This type of protein can be found in meat, fish, milk, cheese, egg, and so on.
This type should represent one third of the proteins that one consumes. However, there should be moderation in consuming these proteins because excessive consumption may harm the body and cause serious diseases such as kidney diseases, joint diseases, increase in blood cholesterol, and so on.
B- Plant proteins: This type of proteins can be found in chickpeas, beans, lentils, green peas, walnut, hazelnut and other plants. This type is very important in building the body and maintaining health.
2-   Carbohydrates and fats: These can be found in the foods that contain sugar and starch such as wheat, barley, rice, macaroni, potatoes, sugar, honey, dry fruits, and so on.
They are next to the proteins in importance, because they are necessary for energy production and warmth. Likewise, these nutrients should be consumed moderately so as not to exhaust the digestive system including the liver and the stomach.
Obese people should consume small amounts of foods that contain fats and sugar because the body transforms any excess sugar to fats and stores them. Such persons should also do physical activities to burn the stored fats.
3-   Mineral salts and vitamins:
They can be found in plant foods such as vegetables and fresh fruits and they help in activating the intestines and facilitating the excretion process and the indigestible cellulosic materials it contains.
Salts contain important materials for bone structure such as calcium and phosphorus and for blood structure too such as iron.
These salts and minerals can be found in abundance in vegetables and animal products. Similarly, vitamins are very important and their deficiency causes feebleness, weakness, gum bleeding (due to lack of vitamin C), rickets (due to lack of vitamin D), neuritis and weakness of the heart as well as inappetence (‎due to lack of vitamin B); immunodeficiency and weak resistance of infection (due to lack of vitamin A).
Good nutrition requires a balanced and integrated weekly food menu that contains all the mentioned materials (proteins, fats, mineral salts and vitamins).
One of the blessings that Allah The Almighty bestowed upon humanity is that He made it possible for all people, whether poor or rich, to have a sufficient and balanced diet if we only observe integration in nutrition.
Dear educator, the first step towards raising an athletic child is to provide him with a healthy nutritious diet, because playing sports without good food is like a tree without water.
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), urged parents in several Hadeeths (narrations) to take care of the nutrition of their children and to spend on them.
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said:
-      “The best Dinar that a man spends is the Dinar which he spends on his family, the Dinar which he spends on his companions in the cause of Allah  and the Dinar which he spends on his riding animal in the cause of Allah .” [At-Tirmithi on the authority of Thawbaan, may Allah be pleased with him]
-      “A Dinar that you spend in the cause of Allah, or to free a slave, or as a charity you give to a needy person, or to support your family, the one yielding the greatest reward is that which you spend on your family.” [Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may ‎Allah be pleased with him]
Allah The Exalted Says (what means):
·        {Say, “Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah  which He has produced for His servants and the good [lawful] things of provision?” Say, “They are for those who believe during the worldly life [but] exclusively for them on the Day of Resurrection.”}[Quran 7:32]
·        {Eat from the Provisions of your Lord and be grateful to Him.}[Quran 34:15]
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) never found fault with food. If he had inclination to eating it, he would eat; and if he disliked it, he would leave it.” [Al-Bukhari]
If we consider the foods that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), used to eat, we will find important educational hints that direct us to choose the specifically beneficial foods as supported by modern scientific research.
These hints include directing us to eat protein-rich foods, as the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), ate chicken and ate the shoulder of a sheep and as well as grilled meat from a sheep.
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), used to eat soft and easily digestible meat. That is why he chose the soft parts of the sheep (shoulder and side) to eat from. He also ate cooked and grilled meat.
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) also used to drink milk for its great health benefits. ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), used to like sweet edible things (syrup and so on) and honey. [Al-Bukhari]
According to Al-Bukhari, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) also used to eat barley, which is starchy.
He also ate dates, which are sugary and contain other important elements.
It was also narrated that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), used to eat ripe dates (fruit) and cucumbers (vegetable). [Al-Bukhari]
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), directed us to be moderate in food consumption saying:“The believer eats in one intestine (is satisfied with a little food), and the disbeliever eats in seven intestines (eats too much).”
Modern medical and scientific experiments proved that these prophetic instructions and recommendations are very beneficial. These experiments confirm that eating excessively disturbs the digestive system, prevents it from extracting energy that the body needs from food, and causes obesity.
We should follow the instructions of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), and the conclusions of modern researchers by taking care of the food our children eat.
This is the first step towards having an active and healthy child that all of us want to have.