Recommended Foods during Pregnancy

The food of a foetus is obtained from the blood of the mother and so most of what the mother eats and drinks eventually reaches the child in one form or another.

It is narrated from Imām Alī (as): ”Allāh (swt) has trapped the blood in the stomach of the mother, so that it becomes the sustenance of the child.”

It is therefore again, as with conception, very important that the mother takes care with the food that she eats. About harām intake and harām food in particular, it is narrated from Imām as-Sādiq (AS) that ”The effects of harām earnings become apparent in the offspring of a person.”

In another tradition it is narrated from Imām al-Bāqir (AS): ”All sins are grave, and the gravest of them is that of which blood and meat grows on (i.e. harām intake).”

It is recommended to eat the following foods during pregnancy:

1. Breast of animal meat
a. Is very useful for pregnant women and makes the newborn child beautiful and strong.

2. Chicory
a. Is good for the increase (in size) of a child.
b. Increases the water around the waist, makes the child good and increases the masculinity of a male child.
c. Is a cause of beauty of the child.
d. Eating a lot is a cause of increase of wealth, and a male child.
Chicory is also good medicine for the liver.

3. Dates
a. It is apparent from traditions that the best food and medicine for a pregnant woman is dates.
b. It is narrated from Imām ‘Alī (as): ”No food is better for a pregnant woman than fresh dates.”
c. It is narrated from the Prophet (s): ”For pregnant women, especially when giving birth, the best food is dates, because Allāh (swt) has sworn by its greatness and glory. And if women use ratb (a type of fresh dates) in these days, their newborn children, whether son or daughter, will be forbearing and patient.”
d. It is narrated from Imām as-Sādiq (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 and dates strengthens the body.”
e. Dates are known as the fruits of paradise and were the fruit of choice of the Prophet (s). They have also been mentioned in the Noble Qur’an.

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.

4. Fig
a. Has been mentioned and sworn upon in the Qur’an.
b. Eat it dry, as this increases the strength of sexual intercourse and prevents piles.
c. Eating it prevents colic.
d. It is narrated from Imām al-Ridā (as) that figs remove bad smells from the mouth, make the bones firm, cause hair to grow and prevent illnesses.
e. 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.
5. Makka Ubani
a. It has been narrated from the Prophet(s) that one should make pregnant women eat makka ubani, for surely when the makka ubani becomes food for the child in the stomach, it will make his/her heart strong and increase his/her intellect.

6. Olive oil
a. 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.
7. Pomegranate
a. Highly recommended to be eaten before breakfast on Fridays.
b. Makes the child good (righteous).
c. Very good for easing nausea, anemia, jaundice, joint aches, blood pressure and piles.
d. Anyone who eats 1 pomegranate, their heart will be filled with Nūr (Noble light) and Satan will not whisper to them for 40 days.

8. Qawoot
a. If eaten by both parents, it is a cause of strength and lack of stupidity, weak mindedness and foolishness in the child.
b. Feeding the child qawoot causes increase in strength, growth of the flesh, and firmness of the bones.

9. Quince
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.
c. It has been narrated from Imām as-Sādiq (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-Sādiq (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.

10. Watermelon
a. Makes the child cheerful and good natured.
b. 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.”

11. Various other things
a. Eating almonds, bran rice, vegetables, black plums, fish, lentils, cabbage, lettuce, honey, beans, grapes, peaches, olive oil, hazel-nuts, nuts and dairy products (especially milk) is also beneficial during pregnancy.

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