Healthy Living, Online Magazine, Spirituality, Wellness

Iron-Rich Foods from Quran and Sunnah 

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Eat these for the sake of iron!


Iron is an important nutrient that carries oxygen in our blood and gives us energy. The two types of iron are heme, which comes from animal sources and is easily absorbed by the human body, and non-heme, which is obtained from plant sources and is not easily absorbed. Here are some great sources of iron:

  1. Meat

يَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا أُحِلَّ لَهُمْ ۖ قُلْ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ ۙ وَمَا عَلَّمْتُمْ مِنَ الْجَوَارِحِ مُكَلِّبِينَ تُعَلِّمُونَهُنَّ مِمَّا عَلَّمَكُمُ اللَّهُ ۖ فَكُلُوا مِمَّا أَمْسَكْنَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَاذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ – Surah Al Ma’idah [5:4]

“They ask you, [O Muhammad], what has been made lawful for them. Say, “Lawful for you are [all] good foods and [game caught by] what you have trained of hunting animals which you train as Allah has taught you. So eat of what they catch for you, and mention the name of Allah upon it, and fear Allah.” Indeed, Allah is swift in account.”

Meat such as chicken liver, mutton liver and other organ meats, is the best source of heme iron.

  1. Nabidh

سُوَيْدٌ، قَالَ أَنْبَأَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ سُفْيَانَ، سُئِلَ عَنِ النَّبِيذِ، قَالَ انْتَبِذْ عَشِيًّا وَاشْرَبْهُ غُدْوَةً ‏.‏

Abdullah (RAA) said, “I heard Sufyan being asked about Nabidh. He said: “Make Nabidh at night and drink it in the morning.” (Sunan An Nasai)

وَهُزِّي إِلَيْكِ بِجِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ تُسَاقِطْ عَلَيْكِ رُطَبًا جَنِيًّا – Surah Maryam [19:25]

“And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates.”

Dates soaked in water overnight is called nabidh. Dates are a good source of non-heme iron, so they must be taken with foods rich in Vitamin C.

  1. Talbina

فَرْوَةُ بْنُ أَبِي الْمَغْرَاءِ، حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُسْهِرٍ، عَنْ هِشَامٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّهَا كَانَتْ تَأْمُرُ بِالتَّلْبِينَةِ وَتَقُولُ هُوَ الْبَغِيضُ النَّافِعُ‏.‏

Narrated by Hisham’s father: “Aisha used to recommend at-Talbina and used to say, “It is disliked (by the patient) although it is beneficial.” (Bukhari)

Talbina is a porridge made with barley flour, which is full of iron. It is a great breakfast food, as it is nutritious and filling.

  1. Figs

وَالتِّينِ وَالزَّيْتُونِ – Surah At Tin [95:1]

“By the fig and the olive.”

Dried figs can be eaten as is, or they can be soaked in water for a few hours before consumption. They provide a lot of energy.

  1. Lentils

وَإِذْ قُلْتُمْ يَا مُوسَىٰ لَنْ نَصْبِرَ عَلَىٰ طَعَامٍ وَاحِدٍ فَادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُخْرِجْ لَنَا مِمَّا تُنْبِتُ الْأَرْضُ مِنْ بَقْلِهَا وَقِثَّائِهَا وَفُومِهَا وَعَدَسِهَا وَبَصَلِهَا – Surah Al Baqarah [2:61]

“And [recall] when you said, “O Moses, we can never endure one [kind of] food. So call upon your Lord to bring forth for us from the earth its green herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions.”

Red lentils can be boiled and eaten with bread. They strengthen the muscles as they are full of protein as well.

Calcium inhibits iron absorption, therefore iron foods should not be eaten along with diary and other calcium rich foods.

To prepare Talbina:

  • Boil one cup of water.
  • Lower flame and slowly add 1 tbsp barley flour while constantly stirring, to avoid forming lumps.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes then serve.

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