Are you following a certain lifestyle and eating habits due to your Islamic or other religion? You might have been taught your whole life about the foods you are allowed to eat and the foods that are not acceptable.
Sometimes, there are those foods that don’t quite cross the line, and you might be unsure whether it is okay to consume them. One of these might be duck meat.
What do sources say?
Let’s start with the term halal. Halal simply means permissible, and duck meat that is a product of correctly done slaughter that follows Islamic ritual should be completely allowed to eat. The other category Islam considers is haram - which means forbidden. These two terms are applied to various areas of life, such as cosmetics, food, and bodily care.
When it comes to types of meat, the terminology of halal is most important for the actual way the animal has been slaughtered. If the duck has been made ready to consume by Islamic rituals, it is halal! That means the animal needs to be blessed by the one who killed it.
The other important part is the blood must be drained from the animal before consumption. It is best done by a practising Muslim, and even the way it is carried out matters - the spine must remain intact while the throat should be sliced in one move.
There is always the question of which foods are halal and which aren’t, chocolate for example. The adherents of Islam follow rules explained in the religious documents, but even people who are outside of their faith are familiar with some of the food and beverage “restrictions”.
The primary source for these is the Qur’an, the holy book of the Muslim faith. Pork is forbidden, as well as carnivorous animals. Lard and casein (animal protein) aren’t allowed as well.
This raises another question: is being vegan or vegetarian allowed in Islam? How to ensure you are eating foods that are not haram?
Islam and vegans/vegeterians
In today’s age, there has been a growing number of Muslims who are vegan, which has been surprising to many people. We know this thanks to the many bloggers and social media groups who are fully going animal-free. There is even a new term for Ramadan - Veganadan.
Even though many types of meat are still allowed in Islam, only the preparation process is what makes them halal or haram, why would veganism be attractive? What is veganism in Muslims based on? Well, those who study the holy book will know that Mohammed, the Holy Prophet, was also considered to have been eating little to no amounts of meat. That could mean - being a vegan as an adult or raising your child vegan can offer many health benefits.
Islam places an emphasis on animals being sentient beings, and that taking care of the environment and its beings is important. This is exactly what veganism is. It just means abstaining from animal products and any form of abuse towards animals. Many vegans that later became Muslim saw no contradictions between the two, which testifies to it being completely appropriate.
It is definitely difficult to admit in a Muslim community this choice that is sort of new. However, seeing all the benefits and improvements this diet brings and knowing it does not interfere with your religion should be an encouragement.
So, how do you make sure your body is still getting all the necessary nutrients and vitamins if you are avoiding certain foods?
Make sure you are being healthy
This whole concept includes a lot of things, such as physical exercise, sleep rhythms, meal plans, external care, and many more. However, there is a fun fact that around 90% of serotonin is made in your gut. Let that sink in. The foods you eat have the power to either put you in the best mood or will make you feel fatigued and sad.
If we break this down further, the foods that boost serotonin are nuts and seeds, eggs, salmon, soy products such as tofu or soy sauce, and spinach. Carbohydrates are key. These are one of the main sources of energy for our bodies and the healthy ones are found in fruits, veggies, whole-grain pasta, and bread. These are also some of the pillars of a vegan lifestyle and diet.
Now, we do not want to be boring and list only the typical ways to acquire these carbs. Islam foods are sometimes accidentally vegan or can be made so. Lokum and helva, the desserts, should be vegan already, but you can also check the ingredients to make sure. A savoury vegan dish would be sarma (leaves of cabbage or grape stuffed with a mixture). All of these foods should be pretty heavy in carbs and satisfy your needs!
Staying healthy also includes some supplements, no matter what your meal plan is. Even people who eat meat can be lacking in many nutrients and vitamins. It is simply hard to satisfy all of our bodies' needs, which is why the multivitamin supplements come in extremely handy.
Make sure to talk with your doctor, make some tests, and choose the best way to supplement the weak spots. Some prefer tablets, some prefer gummies, and some love them in a liquid form. Choose what works for you.
When talking about Islam, for many people the thing that crosses their mind is the different rules for foods and drinks you are allowed to have. Just having Muslim friends should be enough of a reason to get educated. Meats such as duck are permitted, but only if the way they are prepared fits the Muslim religious criteria.
In recent years, there has been a growing number of Muslim followers who are turning to vegan and vegetarian lifestyles and diets. There are already many dishes in the culture that fit into a vegan lifestyle so the transition has not been so hard! However, no matter your eating preferences, health includes many other things. This means sleeping well, taking care of your body, exercising, and supplementing anything that is missing!