'EAT AND DRINK BUT NOT TO EXCESS'.
(Noble Quran S.7: V.31)
In order to maintain a healthy body, Islam offers a diet that still is used and recognized by today's standards as very sufficient.
The Prophet’s guidance with regard to food is perfect guidance. The Best of Teachers and the Mercy of the Worlds is reported to have clarified the meaning and limit of moderation in a tradition in which he is reported to have said that one’s worst weakness is one’s belly. He taught his ummah something to protect them from diseases caused by eating and drinking. He said: “The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat a few mouthfuls, to keep him going. If he must do that (fill his stomach), then let him fill one third with food, one third with drink and one third with air.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1381), Ibn Maajah (3349); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (2265).
In another narration, the reason for moderation has been clearly stated. The Prophet is reported to have said:
“The stomach is the tank of the body and the veins go down to it. When the stomach is healthy the veins come back in a healthy condition, but when it is in a bad condition, they return diseased.”
In short, believers are advised to always take care of their stomachs and refrain from foods and practices that might pollute the stomach with various diseases. In order to do so the Prophet is reported to have advised believers to always stop eating before their stomachs are completely full i.e. stop eating when the urge to eat more is still present.
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.
One will also feel heaviness in his body, his heart and spirit will experience languor and drowiness and his limbs will fail to obey him in performing his basic religious duties. Hence a filled stomach is damaging to one's body, heart and spirit. Moderation is the path of good health and the body benefits from moderate and nutritious meals.
There remains much work to be done in publicising the dietary rules according to the Sunnah (traditions of Prophet Muhammad) in the prevention of disease, including the posture of eating, i.e. that one should not lean against the wall whilst eating, or in a recumbent position, that one should drink water in sips, etc. Refinement in eating was brought about by the noble Prophet, since before Islam, the custom was to gulp food and overeat.
Allow me to summarise this, if you are still with me. It is important to eat only when you are hungry. When you do eat, you should not eat in excess. As advised by the Prophet, one should divide his / her stomach into 3 parts - a third each for food, fluid, and respiration.
Apart from adhering to other Islamic injunctions regarding nutrition such as moderation, eating etiquette, Halaal (permissable foods), etc. Islam also enjoins the importance of a balanced diet. Analyses of various verses from the Qur’an clearly show that the foods recommended in it, will fulfil one's daily protein, carbohydrate, fat and vitamin requirements.
Quranic verses speak about the importance of among other things meat (6;118) dates (6;141), milk (16;66), olives (95;1), pomegranates (6;141), figs (95;1), seafood (5;99), fish (16;14), etc. Other than Quranic verses, we have the authentic Sunnah of The Messenger of God, Muhammad (PBUH) also testifying to the importance of a balanced diet. Many examples can be cited here as well. Suffice it to say that extremes in diet were not the practice of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and are not recommended in Islam.
Islam itself is a balanced way of life that is pure from all sorts of excesses in any form. This is why a balanced diet fits beautifully into the balanced teaching of Islam. Islam is a natural lifestyle suited to the temperament of mankind at large. It is against the naturalness of Islam that extremes be pursued in physical as well as spiritual matters. Islam always promotes the middle path and this Community has been declared in the Noble Quran as being the nation of the middle path. As long as Muslims adhere to this general principle of Islam in every matter of their lives, they can look forward to not only good physical health but also an excellent mental, psychological and spiritual state of well being by the will of Allah Ta'ala.