Moderation in consuming food during Hajj season is one of the issues to which every pilgrim should pay special attention. This issue is a principle of healthy nutrition in addition to being a Prophetic recommendation. The Prophet, , said:“No man fills a container worse than his stomach. A few morsels that keep his back upright (i.e. adequate him for the needed energy) are sufficient for him. However, if he has to (eat more), then he should keep one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for breathing.” [Ahmad and At-Tirmithi]
In addition to moderation in consuming food, the pilgrim should make sure that his food is healthy and free from any microbes, bacteria, or parasites. The pilgrim also needs various types of food that fulfills his body’s needs, whether of calories, proteins or vitamins during his moving from one place to another while performing the rites of Hajj.
An ideal nutrition plan to be followed during Hajj is as follows:
- Proteins are a vital factor of the daily diet of the pilgrim. Proteins are found in meat, eggs, fish and milk. The pilgrim needs about 100 gm of proteins a day.
- It is also important to consume foods that are rich in vitamins. The best sources of vitamins are liver, fresh fruits, corn and wheat.
- Similarly, fats are an important source of thermal energy and its sources include fatty foods such as cream, butter, shortening and oils.
With regard to the diet of the ill pilgrims, such pilgrims need a special diet during Hajj. For example, the patients who suffer kidney problems must have a diet low in proteins and phosphorus, in addition to consuming little salt. They also need to have plenty water, juice, vegetables and fruits, besides avoiding consuming fat. The same applies to pilgrims who suffer liver problems, diabetes and gout patients.
Therefore, those pilgrims should visit the medical clinic to review their diet to ensure that it is suitable for the circumstances of Hajj. Such pilgrims, particularly the diabetes patients, also should consult a nutritionist before travelling to Hajj.
Here are some important health tips to ensure a balanced diet during Hajj:
1- Avoid eating exposed food and check the expiry date on canned food.
2- Moderation in consuming food is recommended in order not to overburden the stomach. The foods that cause indigestion and gases such as fatty foods should be avoided.
3- Wash fresh vegetables and fruits thoroughly.
4- Cook meat well.
5- Consume fluids that contain an adequate amount of minerals to replenish the body.
6- Take care of personal hygiene by washing one's hands before eating, and using odorless soap.
Food safety during Hajj is a vital factor in keeping healthy and preventing diseases.