6 Lebanese Proverbs to say: Healthy Happy Independence Day!

November 22, 2015

As Lebanon celebrates its Independence today, we bring you some Healthy and Happy advice inspired by some deeply rooted Lebanese proverbs:


مجدرة ولبن، عافية على البدن   – Mjaddara with yogurt is good health to the body


Mjadara Healthy Happy Us

The quintessential Lebanese dish! Regardless of whether it is blended, made with bulgur or with rice, Mjaddara is a vegetarian dish with great nutritional value. It contains carbohydrates, proteins and with a side dish of yogurt, it really is “good health to the body.” Lentils provide a great source of fiber – 100g of Lentils provides the average adult with 122% of their need. This number is even higher if it is made with bulgur! Which brings me to the next proverb:

العدس مسامير الركب – Lentils are the bolts of the knees



It may not be directly related to knees but lentils are a great source of plant protein- the second-highest ratio of protein per calorie of any legume, after soybeans. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals, including folate (120% DV), thiamin (76% DV), phosphorus (64% DV), iron (58% DV) and zinc (50%) in high amounts. Soaking lentils in warm water overnight (also an ancient tip), decreases the level of phytates, making all these great nutrients easier for your enzymes to digest.


الملوخية أكلة ملوكية – Mlukhieh (Jew’s Mallow) is the food of royalty


Healthy Happy Us Mlukhieh

Who doesn’t love Mlukhieh? Whether you eat them in their whole leaves or chopped in a stew, these legendary greens of the Levant have long been renowned for their nutrition and good taste, so much that they are considered to the food of royalty. The leaves are rich in betacarotene, iron, calcium, Vitamin C and more than 32 vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

Fun fact: “Mloukhiya” is the Moroccan term for okra (Bamieh)


تعشى وتمشى ولو فشختين – Walk after dinner, even if for just two strides


Simple yet golden! We can never emphasize the importance of exercise enough; studies show that low-intensity exercise after a meal, can prevent the elevation of triglyceride and glucose in the blood. Some also show that exercising after meals can help promote weight loss by boosting hormones that suppress appetite. Light exercises and stretching before going to sleep have also been shown to relax the body and promote better sleep.


اذا صاحبك عسل لاتلحسو كلو – If your friend is as sweet as honey, do not lick him/her all!


healthy happy us honey

The same applies to a jar of honey! In moderation, honey is not only sweet and tasty, but also quite nutritious making it a good alternative to table sugar. Honey contains fructose, which is a type of sugar molecule that occurs naturally in fruits & honey. It has a low ‘glycemic index’ which means it has a lower impact on blood sugar. It also contains antioxidants and much research is dedicated to finding the antioxidant capacity of common honey varieties. High intake of fructose however, especially when concentrated, is related to an array of negative health effects, including increased level of blood lipids and obesity.

Remember, never give honey to infants under the age of 1!


الشرب بالجوع مثل الضربة ع الكوع – Drinking on an empty stomach is like hitting an elbow


Healthy Happy Us Funny Bone

Getting hit in the elbow- NOT FUNNY! The electrifying numbing sensation can seem so unpredictably painful. Drinking alcohol should always be done in moderation, even more when one is on an empty stomach. Alcohol is absorbed through your digestive system into your bloods stream much more quickly when drinking on an empty stomach. Having food in the stomach (especially fats, proteins, and dense carbohydrates) can slow the absorption process and give the liver more time to process the alcohol.


Can you think of any more food inspired Lebanese proverbs? We would love to see them! Can you make some new ones up? EVEN BETTER!


*A big thank you to Louai Al-Roumani for his great contribution to this post

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Nadeen Haidar

Co-founder, Dietitian, Blogger at Healthy Happy Us
Her creativity and passion to help people find a healthy lifestyle that they enjoy, make her sessions life-changing. She discovered her passion for cooking in 2016 and has been dazzling the world with her amazing creations since then. Her innate skills in graphic design, marketing and innovative ideas are the essentials of our “behind the scenes” work done all the way from London, UK. Her work with refugees in Lebanon and homeless young people in the UK have given her the skills to help you find easy, cheap, quick, nutritious and most importantly delicious meals to help you reach you health goal. She has helped people all over the world through our online nutrition program.
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