"How to Eat to Live"

In Honorable Elijah Muhammad's "How To Eat To Live" books, the focus is on eating foods that promote health and longevity, with a strong emphasis on natural and wholesome foods. The guidance provided on fruits and vegetables is quite specific, reflecting the overall philosophy of moderation and purity. Here are some of the key recommendations regarding fruits and vegetables from these books:


  1. Fresh Fruits: Emphasized for their health benefits. Fruits are considered the best foods for the human body when eaten in moderation.

    • Approved Fruits: Apples, bananas, grapes, pears, peaches, and berries are highlighted as beneficial.
    • Citrus Fruits: Oranges and grapefruits are also recommended but should be consumed in moderation due to their acidity.
    • Dates and Figs: Specifically recommended for their high nutritional value and natural sugars.
  2. Dried Fruits: Can be consumed but should be approached with caution due to their concentrated sugars.

  3. Avoid Overeating Fruits: Although fruits are healthy, overconsumption can lead to imbalances and health issues.


  1. Fresh Vegetables: Encouraged for their vitamins and minerals. Vegetables are seen as an essential part of a balanced diet.

    • Approved Vegetables: Spinach, carrots, string beans, and leafy greens are recommended.
    • Cruciferous Vegetables: Broccoli and cauliflower are encouraged but should be eaten cooked rather than raw to aid digestion.
  2. Cooked Vegetables: Preferred over raw vegetables as cooking helps to break down fibers and makes them easier to digest.

    • Avoid Overcooking: Vegetables should not be overcooked to preserve their nutritional value.
  3. Specific Recommendations:

    • Avoid Certain Vegetables: Certain vegetables like cabbage and turnips are discouraged due to their tendency to produce gas and other digestive issues.
    • Potatoes: Should be eaten sparingly, particularly white potatoes, as they are seen as starchy and not as nutritious as other vegetables.
  4. Legumes and Beans: Mentioned but should be consumed in moderation. Beans and legumes are recognized for their protein content but also noted for their potential to cause gas.

General Guidelines:

  • Seasonality and Freshness: Eating fruits and vegetables that are in season and as fresh as possible is emphasized for optimal health benefits.
  • Moderation: Both books consistently stress the importance of moderation in all aspects of eating. Overeating even healthy foods can be detrimental to health.
  • Simple Preparations: Simple cooking methods without excessive seasoning or processing are recommended to maintain the natural benefits of fruits and vegetables.

Honorable Elijah Muhammad's dietary guidelines in "How To Eat To Live" reflect a balanced approach, promoting natural, wholesome foods while cautioning against overconsumption and processed items. Fruits and vegetables are seen as crucial components of a healthy diet, provided they are consumed thoughtfully and in their most natural state.