Grains of the Prophet: Cures Heart Diseases

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There is a famous Hadith reported by Abu Hurairah that, "Allah never inflicts a disease unless he makes a cure for it..." (Sahih Bukhari).

While some of us may assume that this cure is always in the form of a medicine or herbs, the Hadith does not state that. Two of the greatest cures Allah has given us for heart disease are foods that the Prophet (PBUH) ate: whole wheat and barley.

Both of them provide multiple benefits in the fight against heart disease as they both lower cholesterol, increase proper elimination of wastes by the body, facilitate proper blood clotting, and improve general circulation and cellular health. When Sahl bin Sad was asked, "Did Allah's Apostle ever eat white flour?" he replied, "Allah's Apostle never saw white flour [from the time] Allah sent him as an Apostle till He took him unto Him."

Modern science has long been against processed breads, even when they are supposedly "enriched." E. Cheraskin, in his book Diet and Disease, compares enriching white flour with "robbing someone in a dark alley of their clothes and wallet, and then giving them back their underclothes and bus money to get home."

In addition to the fact that white flour has no nutritional value, it can leech vitamins and minerals from the body as well. This is because nutrient-void foods do not supply all of the nutrients that are needed for their digestion; hence, they must take the nutrients that are lacking from the body. White flour can even mimic white sugar, creating problems for the hypoglycemic or diabetic person (Pritchard, Healing with Whole Foods).

According to nutritionists Jean Anderson and Barbara Deskin, whole-wheat flour, high in protein and fiber, is far superior in nutrition to white flour. Whole grain wheat contains a large amount of Vitamin E, mostly concentrated in its germ layer.

Research on the Vitamin E found in wheat discovered that of 31,000 people studied, those who ate whole wheat bread had a much lower risk of heart disease than those who ate white bread. Michael H. Davidson, MD, president of the Chicago Center for Clinical Research, says that this is because the Vitamin E in wheat causes the liver to produce less cholesterol. He found that subjects in his study who consumed ½-cup of wheat germ daily for 14 weeks saw their cholesterol levels drop by seven percent.

Although wheat has undeniable health benefits, we need to be aware of the dangers of its overuse. Eaten daily, whole wheat can be detrimental to the health as it causes bloating in many people and often encourages the growth of unfriendly (candida albicanus) bacteria in the colon. It can also encourage weight gain and cause allergic reactions in many people when overeaten.

It is revealing that Prophet Muhammad (PBUP) did not indulge in regular wheat consumption, but ate instead mostly barley and bread made from barley flour. Abu Hazim narrated (in Sahih Bukhari) that he asked the Prophet (PBUH), "Did you use to sift barley flour?" The Prophet answered, "No, but we used to blow off the husk (of the barley)." Barley is so easily digested that the Prophet even recommended that barley soup (talbinah) be used for all stomach ailments (Sahih Bukhari). Possessing even more health benefits than wheat, barley is extremely high in calcium and protein, and is far less allergenic. It does not encourage bloating or unhealthy bacterial growth; therefore, while wheat is healthful, barley is better for daily consumption.

One of the richest sources of tocotrienols, powerful antioxidants that help reduce damage to the body from dangerous oxygen molecules called free radicals, barley also reduces the body's production of cholesterol in the liver. David Jenkins, MD, professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto says, “Tocotrienols are potentially more powerful antioxidants than other chemical versions of vitamin E.” Barley is also a lot more affordable than most vitamin E supplements on the market.

Furthermore, it contains lignana, found to prevent tiny blood clots from forming – perhaps providing a similar benefit to the recently popular “daily dose of aspirin” against heart disease. Just one-half cup of barley contains half the daily requirement for selenium in the diet and almost twenty-percent of the USRDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of Vitamin E. Both of these have been found to be powerful allies in the fight against cancer. Barley also contains beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that forms a gel in the small intestine to which cholesterol binds and is then excreted from the body. This gel forming action also prevents constipation and colon cancer. To get barley's healing benefits, it is recommended by health experts that it be eaten in the same way that the Prophet (PBUH) did. Hulled barley (the husk loosely intact or “blown off”) is superior to processed barley which has been cleaned and scrubbed more than five times to create a quicker- cooking version that lacks most of barley's healthful fiber, minerals and thiamin.

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