How to maintain a healthy home


Health is a blessing from Allaah The Almighty, the virtue of which is not recognized by many people. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “There are two blessings which many people waste: (they are) health and free time (for doing good).”[Al-Bukhaari, At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah] Health is a crown that adorns healthy people, so the Muslim family should take care of the following things in order to enjoy good health:

  • Discipline is the key to the health of a Muslim home and is required in all aspects of life such as sleeping and eating well.
  • Living in a well-ventilated house which lets in plenty of air and sunlight is also necessary, as they are important for health.
  • Having natural plants inside and around the house, as they purify the air and provide more oxygen.
  • Maintaining a moderate temperature in the home.
  • Maintaining cleanliness is one of the most important factors for good health.
  • Having furniture which meets health and safety standards to ensure the comfort of family members.
  • Bearing in mind that ‘prevention is better than cure’.
  • Taking all family members for regular health check-ups in order to avoid epidemics and seasonal outbreaks of diseases.
  • Taking the necessary precautions to prevent illnesses, such as following a schedule for vaccines and various prophylactic medicines.
  • Wearing comfortable clothes that would not prevent blood circulation in the body. Also, wearing heavy clothes in the winter  and light clothes in the summer.
  • Following health instructions when standing, sitting, sleeping, ascending or descending the stairs, watching television and carrying or lifting heavy things.
  • Eating a balanced diet that contains all the nutritional elements that are necessary for the body. Food should meet the nutritional requirements for every family member according to their age and health.
Necessary nutritional elements:
The types of essential nutrients necessary for the body and the kinds of food that contain them:
Proteins: They help in building the body as they provide it with the compounds that the body needs in order to grow and compensate the body for the tissues that it loses. Therefore, proteins are necessary for children as their deficiency slows down the process of building and renewing body tissues. Proteins can be found in meat, fish, eggs, milk, soya beans, lima beans , peas etc.
Carbohydrates and Fats: These provide the body with the energy it needs in order to move and exert physical effort. One should not eat a lot of this kind of food as it may lead to obesity . Foods that contain carbohydrates are cereals such as wheat, corn and rice, fruit, jam, candy, potatoes, taro etc. Animal fats such as butter and ghee andvegetable fats  such as olive,corn and cottonseed oil are also rich sources of energy.
Vitamins and Minerals: They protect the body from diseases and increase its vitality. They can be found in vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish.
Some bad nutritional habits:
  • Drinking tea or stimulants while eating or directly after a meal. This prevents the absorption of iron and causes anemia. Thus, it is better to drink tea two hours or more after eating.
  • Failing to chew food well overstrains the stomach and causes indigestion.
  • Eating a lot of hot, spicy food causes gastric ulcers.
  • Eating too much fried food that is cooked in fats causes indigestion and overstrains the digestive system.
  • Not having breakfast weakens the body and lowers energy levels.
  • Drinking soda or water while eating causes indigestion as it decreases the secretion and efficacy of gastric juices.
  • Hands should be washed before eating or preparing food. Hair should not be combed in the kitchen so that it does not fall into the food.
Some health tips while cooking:
  • Refreezing meat and fish more than once spoils them. Thus, they should be cut and divided into packs each of which would be sufficient for one meal.
  • Salad should be prepared immediately before a meal so that it does not lose its vitamins because of being exposed to the air.
  • Oil should not be used for frying more than twice, and it should be filtered in order to remove impurities.
  • Water used for boiling vegetables can be reused, except that which has been used for boiling cabbage, potatoes and cauliflower.
  • Meat, chicken and fish should be seasoned with onion and lemon before frying or grilling, then salt and spices should be added after that.
  • If cooked food is over salted, the extra salt can be absorbed by adding a whole potato then removing it after it is cooked.
  • The nutrients of certain vegetables like potatoes, squash, carrots and eggplant lie on the surface, so they should not be over peeled in order to preserve their nutritional value.
  • When cooking food that has a mucilaginous consistency such as okra or taro, lemon juice should be added to the water before adding the vegetables in order to preserve its nutritional value.
Healthy posture while working:
  • When lifting something heavy, it is preferable to bend the knees while keeping one’s body in an upright position.
  • When carrying heavy objects, they should be held as near to the body as possible.
  • When hanging clothes on a clothesline, wet clothes should be put in a laundry basket or bucket on a chair or a high table in order to avoid bending many times.
  • When sweeping or wiping the floor, the appliances used should be of a suitable length in order to avoid too much bending.
  • When pushing something heavy, the force of pushing should be at the center of the item being pushed.
  • When sitting down to do some work, one must ensure that the height of the table and the chair are suitable for the nature of the task and provide adequate support to the body.
  • Do not consume or administer any medicine unless one is sure that it is suitable for that particular ailment, and use it only after consulting a doctor.
  • In case of a fracture or sprain, one should go to the nearest hospital so that the doctor can make a splint for the patient.
  • If any foreign body penetrates the skin such as a piece of glass, wood, or nail, it should be taken out of the body by tweezers then a disinfectant should be put on the affected part. If it is difficult to take out the foreign body, one should go to the nearest hospital or clinic to do the necessary treatment.
  • It is preferable not to use any medicines for the eye or the ear except after consulting a doctor.
Home pharmacy:
Having a first aid kit at home is necessary in order to help an injured person quickly until the doctor arrives or until the patient is taken to the hospital. It is not necessary that one of family members be a doctor or a pharmacist in order to prepare this kit. However, one should take the following factors into consideration:
  • The first aid kit should be kept out of reach of children in order to prevent poisoning in children  as a result of them mistakenly taking medications while thinking they are some kind of candy. This is especially necessary nowadays since medicine packages tend to be attractive and colorful, and often lack safety catches that cannot be opened by children.
  • The home first aid kit should consist of separate racks for different types of medications. For instance, one rack may contain medicines to treat burns and injuries, the second one may contain bandages and so forth, while the third one may contain eye drops and ointments prescribed by the doctor, another rack may contain medicines taken orally.
  • It is preferable to have a special first aid kit for children’s medications.
  • The first aid kit should be kept in a well-ventilated place that is neither hot nor humid. Some medicines have to be kept in the refrigerator, so there must be a special area  assigned for this in the refrigerator if possible, which is kept out of reach of children.
  • The name of the medicine should be written in clear and readable handwriting on the packages in which they are placed, if necessary.
  • If several members of the family are sick at the same time, the name of each patient should be written on their medicine in order to avoid confusion.
  • Patients should take the prescribed dosage at the times specified by the doctor and the pharmacist. They should not stop taking the medicine prescribed by the doctor until the doctor has been consulted.
  • Patients should not retake the medicine without consulting the doctor.
  • If taking any medicine results in an allergy such as a rash or redness of the skin, the patient should stop taking the medicine at once, then consult the doctor or the pharmacist as soon as possible in order to avoid any complications.
  • If one of the family members uses medications for chronic conditions such as diabetes, blood pressure, gastric ulcer, rheumatism etc., such medicines should be kept in a separate corner of the home first aid kit. These medicines should only be opened by the patient personally or by the person who gives him the medicine so that they would not be confused with other medicines.
  • The home first aid kit should contain a disinfectant, scissors, tweezers, gloves,bandages, a gauze bandage , plaster, cotton and a thermometer.
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