The Importance of Balanced Nutritious Food During Hajj

Every year, millions of believers around the world head to the city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia to complete the Hajj rituals.

As one of the pillars of the Islam faith, Hajj is a religious pilgrimage undertaken by devout and practicing Muslims from the four corners of the planet, providing them with the opportunity to experience sacred rites such as completing the Sai Circuit, drinking holy water from the Well of Zamzam, or completing the Qurban.


An exercise of faith, inner peace and religious connection, the pilgrimage is also a very physically-demanding process that requires a certain amount of sharpness and good health. Muslims are often known to undertake the Hajj ritual when they’re in their physical prime, in order to endure and enjoy the spiritual bonds and marvel in the Sacred City, without worry or physical strain.

One of the most influential factors on the human health and body wellness is, of course, maintaining a balanced and nourishing diet. Today, more and more people have taken notice of the importance of following a rigorous plan for their Hajj rituals. This helps combat conditions such as acute fatigue and dehydration which commonly occur because of the extreme weather of the city as well as physical demands of the pilgrimage.

On the physical end, it is important to start building up your stamina even before your trip. Taking long walks and going on regular running sessions can help better acclimate your body with the trip to come, as endurance will be of the essence.

Many of the Hajj foods common in the Arab Gulf and Saudi Arabia include seeds, grains, nuts and dried fruits. Dates, in particular, are favoured in the Sacred City. Rich in vitamins and proteins, these foods will help build up your stamina and keep your body in top shape.

Makkah is known for its very hot weather, which is why dehydration is one of the most common and unfortunate conditions that pilgrims experience during their holy rituals in the Sacred City. Consuming fresh fruits and water-based vegetables such as watermelons, cucumbers, oranges and green tea leaves will help you maintain your body water and fight off dehydration.

In order to minimize muscle cramping and help your body build stamina, try to consume foods that are rich in Potassium such as bananas and avocados. You can also look for local ingredients such as aloe gel or turmeric.

Accor Hotels have some of the best restaurants in Makkah for pilgrims to stay healthy during Hajj and Umrah.

Ramadan Nutrition: A Healthy Ramadan in Makkah AccorHotels

Every year, more than one billion Muslims around the world observe fasting for approximately 30 days during the Holy Month of Ramadan to honour Sawm, one of the five pillars of Islam. It is during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when the Quran is believed to have been revealed to prophet Mohammed (PBUH).


The other fundamental pillars of Islam and obligatory acts of worship that every Muslim must observe during Ramadan are: Shahadah, the profession of faith in allah; Salat, the daily prayers; Zakat; giving alms/charity to the poor and being kind to the needy; the Hajj, the mandatory pilgrimage to holy mosque in Makkah.

Ramadan Fasting

Fasting from sunrise to sunset is an obligatory spiritual practice that allows for mental and physical renewal, leading to empowerment of the individual. Ramadan brings families closer together, strengthens their foundations, restores their beliefs, reconnects them to their spiritual roots and reinforces in them the need to be thankful for everything they have.

All healthy Muslim adults are mandated to fast, except for prepubertal children, the elderly, pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers and travelers.

Suhoor and Iftar

Friends and families who fast come together to eat two meals a day during the holiest period of the year: Suhoor, the pre-dawn meal before the fast begins, which may be as early as 3am; and Iftar, the post-dusk meal to break their fast. This helps build a strong sense of community happiness and individual wellbeing as they partake in the rituals of Ramadan.

Suhoor is a meal just like breakfast, although in some households it may include supper-like foods in order to provide the body enough fuel to suffice the daytime fasting.

Iftar usually starts with dates and a glass of plain water or milk, followed by a wholesome dinner.

Abstaining from food and water, between suhoor and Iftar, during the sizzling summer months can be gruelling, both mentally and physically. Hence it is important to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.

The most common manifestations of ill health in people who fast during the holy month are hydration, general malaise, indigestion, fatigue, heartburn, irritability or a slight decline in cognitive functions. A well balanced diet of fresh fruits, water-based vegetables, green leaves will help you regulate your body heat, maintain optimum body functions and fight off these common conditions.

All Accor hotels in Makkah are well aware of the havocs of extreme weather and long periods of fasting on your health. A range of services and facilities are on offer to take care of your every dietary need. There are many international restaurants and cafés in the Makkah Royal Tower that serve cuisines from all around the world, and the massive food court at the Abraj Al-Bait Complex comprises of restaurants, small eateries and cafés where you can grab a quick bite on the go.

Check out some of the best restaurants in Makkah for you and your family to enjoy a healthy Suhoor and Iftar.

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