Purposeful Eating - the Effect of Body Types on Nutrition Print

Purposeful eating is an approach to nutrition based individual body type, personality, habits and temperament. It aims ay healthy eating and drinking. Unani-Tibb practitioners recognise physical, mental, emotional and spiritual causes of illness or wellbeing, as well as the techniques of modern science and medicine. They place a high priority on food as a health medium.

Sages through the ages have emphasised proper eating for health. As far back as ancient Greece, Hippocrates exhorted "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food".

Tibb stresses the need for people to take responsibility for their own health. It categorises body types into four– sanguinous, phlegmatic, melancholic or bilious. These are determined according to scores of characteristics such as physical frame, skin texture, complexion, hair and eye colour as well as personality and emotional traits, speech, sleep and memory patterns, even climatic preferences.

One body type is dominant and another sub-dominant in all people and together should determine most of the food we eat. At the same time, when in a state of good health everything in moderation is allowed.

Many people suffer from aches, pains and fatigue. We develop diseases and chronic conditions early in life and accept this as normal part of life. Yet there is nothing normal about feeling below par. Tibb advocates that it is natural and normal to feel completely healthy everyday. This can be achieved through eating according to our body type.

The four categories


  • Frame: large with more muscle
  • Skin texture: moderately soft and dry and warm to the touch.
  • Complexion: reddish, glowing
  • Personality traits: persuasive, sociable, outgoing, talkative
  • Good foods: Beef, biltong, fish, brinjal, cabbage, avocados
  • Foods to avoid: lamb, liver, bananas, dates


  • Frame: medium, lean
  • Skin texture: warm, dry
  • Complexion: yellowish
  • Personality traits: Resourceful, outspoken, may be short-tempered
  • Good foods: Duck, rabbit, soya, beetroot,
  • Foods to avoid: Chicken, prawns, green pepper, grapes, eggs


  • Frame: large with more fat
  • Skin texture: cool, moist, soft
  • Complexion: pale, white
  • Personality traits: calm, accommodating, patient, good listener
  • Good foods: chicken, prawns, grapes, chickpeas, eggs
  • Foods to avoid: Duck, rabbit, soya, beetroot


  • Frame: thin, bony
  • Skin texture: dry, rough, cold
  • Complexion: greyish
  • Personality traits: thoughtful, logical, analytical, tends to perfectionism
  • Good foods: Lamb, liver, turkey, bananas, dates
  • Foods to avoid: beef, biltong, fish, brinjal

10 tips on cooking for health

  1. Do not cook when you are in a bad mood. Cook with love.
  2. Plan your day so cooking fits into your routine. Try not to cook the day before, as nutritional quality diminishes when food is reheated.
  3. Create a relaxed atmosphere in your kitchen. Change into clean clothing and wash your hands.
  4. Clean dishes and surfaces as you cook.
  5. Arrange all equipment and ingredients so they are easily accessible to minimise stress during cooking.
  6. Do not stand for too long during food preparation. Have a chair nearby to use when you chop ingredients.
  7. Drink lots of water while cooking, to neutralise digestive juices generated by cooking smells, and to prevent dehydration from heat in the kitchen.
  8. Do not taste or smell the food too much, as this will spoil your appetite.
  9. Excessive planning can decrease enjoyment and turn cooking into a chore.
  10. Consider the specific tastes, body type and preferences of each person sharing the meal.

As Muslims we observe in addition:

  1. The food should be Halaal.
  2. To begin cooking and eating with the name of Allah.
  3. To eat according to the Sunnah.

sk/2008-02-13 12:28:51

< Prev   Next >


SANHA Mailing List

 SANHA Mailing List Subscribe

This website is powered by NET31