Benefits of Watermelons for Iftar

It is a common sight in Muslim countries to see the juicy reddish slices of watermelon served at Iftar (breaking fast). Not only is the watermelon fruit delicious and thirst quenching, especially in hot weather, it also has many health benefits.

The Prophet (saws) is reported to have said, “Whenever you eat fruit, eat melon, because it is the fruit of Paradise and contains a thousand blessings and a thousand mercies. The eating of it cures every disease.” He also said, “None of your women who are pregnant and eat of watermelon will fail to produce offspring who are good in countenance and good in character.”

A Chinese Muslim boy eats a watermelon after he breaks the fast on the first day of Ramadan in Beijing. Fruits are the healthiest thing to eat after a fast due to their high nutrition value. Watermelons are extremely beneficial as they contain a good amount of Vitamin A, E, C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and folate. They help to keep the cool by sweating during this humid weather; and staying hydrated keeps your memory sharp and your mood stable.

Care needs to be taken when breaking the Ramadan fast so as not to overburden your digestive system. The best benefit of fasting is realized when a fast is broken properly. During the fast, the body undergoes several biological changes. Enzymes normally produced by the digestive system have ceased to be produced or have been diminished greatly, so introducing food slowly allows the body time to re-establish this enzyme production.

The protective mucus lining of the stomach may be temporarily diminished as well, making the stomach walls more vulnerable to irritation until it also returns to normal. Gentle reintroduction of foods, beginning with the simplest and easiest-to-digest foods, supports this process.

Breaking fast with watermelon is a good way to improve your health. Watermelon is a fruit of high water content of about 92% and high nutritional content. Water melon contains lycopene which is the pigment responsible for the redness of the inner parts of the fruit as well as the redness of tomatoes, red grapes and guava.

Watermelon has the highest concentration of lycopene – an important antioxidant – than any other fruit or vegetable, including tomatoes. Two cups of watermelon contains 18mg of lycopene, whereas a medium tomato contains only 4mg. A high intake of lycopene is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, as well as protection from breast and prostate cancer. 

The Prophet used to eat dates with watermelon, saying: “The hotness of dates neutralizes the coolness of watermelon.” Watermelon is 92% ¬water and helps combat heat. It is easily digestible. It is good for combating the heat and staying hydrated. Watermelon is a phyto¬nutrient that keeps the heart, bones and prostate healthy.

Lycopene is an antioxidant that has the ability of protecting cells from damage. It is known to prevent heart disease and cancer. Its powerful antioxidant actions are effective in maintaining the strength, thickness and fluidity of cell membranes which serves as the guard screening what goes in and out of the cell. Lycopene also prevents diabetes, cataract, aging of skin and may help in treating infertility.

Watermelon also contains vitamins A, B6 and C, antioxidants and amino acids and some quantity of potassium.

One of the primary health benefits of watermelon is that it improves the function of the kidneys and it has a history of use for the treatment of kidney stones and urinary tract infections. This is not only due to its very high percentage of water but also because watermelon is a mild diuretic (promotes urine flow).

Another advantage of eating watermelon or doing a watermelon fast that will be of particular interest to male readers is that it contains citrulline, which stimulates nitric oxide, relaxing and expanding blood vessels in a similar way to the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra.  It also has a libido-enhancing effect. In addition, citrulline improves cardiovascular function, helping to maintain blood flow within the heart.

Another benefit of citrulline in watermelons is that it reduces muscle soreness. Consuming watermelon before exercise or after is effective in reducing muscle pain.

According to a study published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2013, athletes who were given watermelon juice before ­extreme workouts experienced less ­muscle soreness and better heart-rate recovery.

For more information or to schedule an HijamaHerbs appointment for healing physical, emotional or sihr/jinn ailments and also counseling for married couples, contact Amin Shah at 617-787-5151 or email – aminshah@shahclan.net.

 HijamaHerbs sessions for ladies is performed by Nusrat Shah. For children, we normally do not perform hijama, however herbs, homeopathic remedies and emotional healing is performed.

 

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