Why is there a sudden shift of focus to ‘Food, Diet and Nutrition’ ?

In recent years, the world has seen a drastic shift of importance to the ‘healthy life’. Everyone wants to live a healthy and balanced life. Maintaining a certain lifestyle starts with we consume for our mental and physical growth. It is important to understand about Food, Diet and Nutrition and its effects, if we desire certain outcomes. For that, we need to understand what each of these terms means. 

Food is any substance that humans, animals or plants consume in order to sustain life and maintain growth. Food provides nutrition to an individual. The sources of food for humans are generally from plants and animals. The main components of food that we consume are, Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats, Vitamins, Micronutrient and Minerals. 

Food is cooked to make it both palatable and easy to absorb. Obviously, culinary arts are very important and contribute to the taste of the food as well as in making the food interesting and picturesque. 

There are five tastes recognised by modern medicine, namely,

-Sweet, 

-Sour, 

-Salty, 

-Bitter and 

-Umami (Japanese). 

Ayurveda describes six tastes. They are: 

-Madhur (sweet), 

-Amla (sour), 

-Lavana (salt), 

-Tikta (bitter), 

-Katu (pungent) and 

-Kashaya (astringent). 

“Diet” is defined as the food and drinks that is provided and consumed by one. It is meant to provide habitual nourishment. This term ‘diet’ has different meanings and sentiments for each individual. There are various factors which influence ones chosen diet. The various types of diets popularly heard of are, Vegetarian diet, Non-vegetarian diet, Paleo diet, Keto diet, Low-crab Diet etc. The diet culture evolves and changes with time, with new reigning trends taking over the older ones.

Nutrition is not just providing or obtaining food for the purpose of health and growth but, it is also the process involving ingestion or taking in food, digestion and absorption of food. Absorption and assimilation of useful elements is followed by metabolism. Assimilation of the absorbed elements leads to the nourishment and growth of the body. Based on their nutritional value of consumed foods, diets are either termed as ‘balanced’ or ‘deficient’. Severely deficient diets, for a longer duration of time causes malnutrition. Whereas, a well balanced diet bestows health.

Food is not only health promotive but is also described as medicine or containing medicinal properties. For example, The bitter taste of coffee can prevent an asthmatic attack and the sweet taste gives energy and satiety. According to Ayurveda, humans are broadly divided in to three classes based on their constitutional mental makeup,

-Satwic, 

-Rajasic and 

-Tamasic. 

All of these three have different choices regarding diets and tastes. Satwics tend to prefer sweet and nourishing foods. Rajasics prefer hot, salty and sour foods which may cause ill health. Tamasic diet includes unpalatable, stale items or foods that lowers energy levels. There are certain rules related to the method of preparation and consumption of food in these 3 diets. 

Up until recent times, the role of large intestine in the process of digestion was not well understood. Digestion of food in the large intestine is mainly dependent on its micro flora or gut micro biome. Modern scientific research on micro flora has revolutionized the understanding of the structure and function of gut microbiome with reference to digestive, neuro immune and biological processes in the gut, creating a paradigm shift in the understanding of host micro biome symbiosis.

The relation of Diet and gut microbiome: Different types of diets are believed to be associated with colonies of different types of genera of microbes in gut flora. Thus, food borne microbes colonize the gut. These include bacteria, fungi and even viruses. Long term dietary habits influence the structure or composition of colonies, as well as the activity of trillions of gut microflora. 

For example, A non-vegetarian diet promotes bile tolerant microbes, viz., Alistipes, Bacteroides etc. It enhances the expression of genes that biosynthesise vitamins, carcinogenic compounds & beta lactamase genes. An animal origin diet and western diets with high protein, fat and sugar content show a predominant presence of Bilophila wadworthins. They also alter the genetic composition and metabolic profile of gut microbiome leading to genesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBS)  and metabolic syndromes such as, obesity, cardio vascular diseases as well cancer.

Gut microbial metabolic products are known to cause many pathological conditions including several heart diseases. For example, The gut bacterial metabolic by product Trimethyline N-Oxide (TMAO) is now considered as a marker for myocardial infarction (heart attack). Recent research on autism has shown its association with Sutterella wadworthens present in the gut. 

Fermicutes are more prevalent in the gut of those consuming a vegetarian diet. Examples include, Roseburia, Eubacterium, Ruminococcus bromi, etc. These microbes metabolize indigestible plant poly saccharides. 

Dysbiosis is the state of imbalance that disturbs the homeostasis of normal gut microbiota composition leading to a large number of diseases. Malnutrition also promotes disease producing rogue bacteria

The current pandemic has brought back the olden traditions of washing hands and feet before consuming foods. One must sit at ease, preferably in a pleasant environment with peace in his mind. Food must be consumed in moderate and measured quantities. 

Today’s diets are bringing out older practices with new names without paying homage to them. The new age dieting culture has essentially brought back to light some of the practices that were originally prescribed by Acharya Charaka. They are: 

  1. Hitashee syat I – Consume foods that are wholesome. This diet should be balanced in calories and nutrients. Green or coloured vegetables and fruits should form a part of daily diet.
  2. Matrashee syat I – Eat in a measured quantity. 
  3. Jeerne ashneeyat l – Eat only after the previously consumed food is fully digested.  

This brings to our knowledge that, excessive calorie intake with less expenditure of energy, due to sedentary life styles leads to metabolic syndromes such as, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Whenever the food intake is deficient both in quality and quantity it causes malnutrition leading to wasting disorders. 

Acharya Vagbhata advises for good health promotion and disease free life the following.

Lastly, it is important to have a regular daily intake of wholesome foods and follow a balanced life style. Contemplation on objects, disinterest in enjoying the objects of the senses, generous, judicious, truthful, forgiving and ever ready to serve the learned and elderly makes a human disease free and healthy, physically and mentally. 

 

Credits : Dr. H.S Palep & Bhairavi Palep 

Ayurvedic methi seed obesity – Treats all types of weight problems

Ayurvedic methi seed treats obesity and all types of weight problems as it is considered a disease. Ayurvedic treatment’s key aim is to balance the energy (ayurvedic medicine) in the body to maintain average body weight or avoid obesity and all the problems that come with it.

Obesity is the most pressing health problem faced by modern society today, and Ayurvedic medicine has a lot to offer to people who are obese. According to Ayurveda, weight is the product of an imbalance in the constitution of the body. Obesity can be treated or avoided by following the diet and exercise routines of an individual.

Three main factors are affecting the constitution of a human being; Vata, alpha that. Vata or metabolism is a process of food processing or breakdown for the body to utilize nutrients available in the food. On the other hand, alpha is the regulation of body fats that affects nutrition and energy metabolism.

Body fat is divided into three categories and each type has a corresponding region in the body. The thighs and the abdomen’s fatty tissues are generally considered the stored fat of a person. The male (belly) part is regarded as the primary fat-storage area of a human body. The next main fat-storing area is the thigh area or hamstrings. And the third area is the hips or the buttocks, which is called the tabloid fat area of the human body.

When the body’s metabolism is slow down due to any reason, more calories will be stored as fat. This accumulation of grease will slow down the metabolic rate, and consequently, the body will be undernourished.

Other ayurvedic medicines that are very useful to reduce the body’s fat content are Chandraprabha-Vati, Tapyadi-Loh, Arogya-Vardhini, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Kamdudha-Ras, and Tamra-Bhasma.

It is recommended that you increase your intake of proteins and fibres also in the diet. Fruits and green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that help in reducing weight. 

Ayurvedic methi seed obesity is capable of reducing weight permanently, and they do so without causing any side effects.

They not only help in controlling obesity but also improve the overall health of an individual. Hence, it is advisable for people suffering from obesity to resort to medicines like Methi to reduce the weight.


Regular intake of Methi seeds will enhance a person’s immunity, and he will be able to resist diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases more effectively.

 

Ashwagandha capsule For Energy Boosting

Ashwagandha capsule for energy-boosting is a popular ayurvedic medicine product used to treat a wide range of conditions. It is used to improve vitality, stamina, sexual drive, and overall health. 

There are several reasons why a product like this one is used as medicine. These reasons are primarily due to the natural compounds that it contains, making it an excellent addition to any diet or supplement body routine.

Ashwagandha capsules are taken to increase energy levels. This is an ideal product for anyone trying to live a more active lifestyle. You will experience an increase in libido and better energy. 

Your work will become more accessible, and you will focus on more important things without getting distracted by the day to day concerns. 

Ashwagandha extract has also been proven effective in combating fatigue. The product does not only boost your energy level but can also help you reduce stress and prevent further fatigue from affecting you.

Ashwagandha capsule for energy-boosting is also helpful when it comes to your mental clarity. When you are taking this product regularly, your mood will improve, and your alertness will increase.

This product has been used for hundreds of years to treat various disorders, including depression and anxiety. Some of the symptoms people notice when taking this product include mood swings, mild dizziness, increased attention and increased energy.

Ashwagandha supplement is also beneficial due to the way it works with your body. It can help support the functions of your liver and can help regulate blood sugar levels. This supplement can also support the nervous system and your immune system. 

It is considered to be a very safe product that has been proven to be effective by many consumers. However, if you have such medical problems, you might not be able to do so or take medications, it is essential to talk to your doctor before taking Ashwagandha.

As far as weight loss goes, some preliminary studies show a fat reduction and improved insulin sensitivity in laboratory animals that have been given Ashwagandha. 

It is still early on in human studies, so no one can say whether this supplement will help you lose weight. 

Ashwagandha capsule for energy-boosting comes in a variety of forms. You can find this product in the form of a pill, a powder, or in the form of a juice extract. 

If you choose to use the product in the form of a capsule, you should look for an FDA approved product that contains natural ingredients. 

It would be ideal if you also considered that the efficacy of any supplement can vary between individuals, so a capsule that works well for one person might not work as well as the next person.

A good liver for a good life

We all know that the liver is the largest organ in our body. Being the largest it obviously comes with a lot of responsibilities and functions.

While our organs do all they can for us to live a risk free and easy life, do we play our part by trying to the same for our own organs ?

Well , its never too late to start a new practice and realise its benefits.

The three main functions of the liver are :

  • It cleanses the blood
  • It produces an important digestive fluid known as bile
  • It stores energy in the form of a sugar known as glycogen.
  • Taking the active ingredients from medicines and breaking them down ( relieving your body ache ! )

That’s not all , it also plays a vital role in the making of ‘cholesterol’.

This ‘cholesterol’ term might make you think of it as a villain , but that is not true , our bodies do in fact need a certain level of it for proper functioning.

Now that we somewhat know what our liver does for us. Its time to start caring for it to prevent any damage.

What can one do for it ?

The easiest way you can care for your liver is by living a healthy lifestyle.

A healthy lifestyle does not only mean eating healthy or consuming superfoods. It is a balance of :

  • being active ,
  • eating right and
  • sleeping well.

Ayurvedic texts , backed by scientific experiments show us that bitter tasting and cooling herbs such as :

  1. Katuki
  2. Neem
  3. Bitter gourd (Karela)
  4. Aloe vera
  5. Amla
  6. Turmeric

Are used for boosting liver health as well as protection of liver .

Foods that rich in antioxidants and healthy fats are also beneficial in boosting liver health. A few of them are :

  1. Coffee
  2. Tea
  3. Berries (blueberries , cranberries etc.)
  4. Grapes
  5. Green vegetables
  6. Nuts
  7. Fatty fish

Fact : Liver of many animals is consumed worldwide because of it high nutritional content of significant amounts of Vitamin A , folate , iron , protein etc.

Liver- Changing and Regrowing

Liver – Changing and Regrowing

If this past year has taught us all something , it is to be grateful for what we have , appreciate what we have , respect and take care of ourselves and our surroundings.

Time and again we subject our body to various things , some harmful and some helpful , but our bodies never tend to give up on us. Today I want to bring to light one of such miraculous aspect about our bodies , which is the “LIVER”

 

The Liver is the second largest organ in our body and the only visceral organ that has the capacity to regenerate its cell and thereby itself.

Firstly, it is important for us to know the functions of the liver to get an insight into its working.

  • The liver regulates most of the chemical levels in the body and it excretes a product called as bile which is carried to the small intestine . Bile juice is responsible for the carrying away wastes and breaking down fats during the digestion process.
  • It produces cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through the body.
  • It is responsible for conversion of excess glucose into glycogen for storage and to maintain the glycogen-glucose blood levels balance.
  • Processing of haemoglobin for its iron contents , the liver stores iron.
  • First pass metabolism of orally taken drugs
  • Producing blood proteins and immune factors which help in resisting infections

These are some of the main functions of the liver and there are various other interlinked functions as well.

Since, the liver is mainly involved in detoxification of chemicals and metabolism of drugs , it is obvious that the liver cells machinery also gets affected by these chemicals and drugs.

When the liver cells are damaged it affects all the body functions and the working of other organs as well , because the blood will not be filtered and chemicals will remain in the circulation.

Some of the common conditions and their causes associated with the liver are :

  • Infections : these can be caused due to pathogens and viruses and they lead to inflammation of the liver. Viral hepatitis is most commonly observed, which is of the following types –
  • Hepatitis A – Most people get it by consuming something that’s contaminated by fecal matter. There might no be any symptoms and it usually goes away by itself within 6 months without any long-term harm.
  • Hepatitis B – This type is contracted from somebody else, such as through unprotected sex or taking drugs with shared needles. If it lasts longer than 6 months, it makes one more likely to get liver cancer or other diseases.
  • Hepatitis C – comes from infected blood that gets into ones blood. You might get it if you take drugs with shared needles or in connection with HIV. If you are a health-care worker, you might get it from an infected needle that accidentally sticks you. Its symptoms may not show up for many years. For reasons that aren’t quite clear, aged people are at a higher risk for hepatitis C and should be tested for it.
  • Hepatitis D – is a serious form of hepatitis that only develops in people with hepatitis B — it cannot be contracted on its own. It can also be either acute or chronic
  • Hepatitis E – is usually caused by drinking contaminated water. Generally, it clears up on its own within a few weeks without any lasting complications.

2. Alcohol Abuse – consuming excessive amounts of alcohol for a longer duration of time ( over many years ) can lead to cirrhosis . Its long term effects can be nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and in some cases Hepatitis B and C .

3. Cancers and tumours – On the off chance that malignancy appears in your liver, that is probably in light of the fact that it has spread from another part of your body such as lungs, colon, or breast. The most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma. It tends to develop as several small sports of cancer in your liver, though it can also start as a single tumour.

4. Autoimmune Hepatitis – when ones immune system attacks one or more parts of their body this condition is seen. In which it leads to inflammation of your liver. It can lead to other disorders and even liver failure. It is seen in girls and women more often than boys or men.

5. Liver Failure – Chronic liver failure generally occurs when a significant part of your liver is damaged and cannot function properly. Liver failure related to liver disease and cirrhosis happens slowly. You may not have any symptoms at first. But over time, you might start to notice symptoms like :

  • jaundice
  • diarrhoea
  • confusion
  • fatigue and weakness
  • nausea

6. Genetic conditions – these are inherited from parents or further generations due to presence of  that gene in the DNA of an individual . The commonly observed ones are :

  • Hemochromatosis – causes your body to store more iron than it needs. This iron remains in your organs, including the liver. This leads to damage over a long period of time if not managed well before hand.
  • Wilson’s Disease – in which your liver absorbs copper instead of releasing it into the bile ducts. Eventually, the liver becomes too damaged to store more copper, and allows it to travel through the bloodstream and damage other parts and organs of the body, including the brain.
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AT) deficiency –  occurs when the liver cannot make enough alpha-1 antitrypsin, which is a protein that helps in preventing enzyme breakdowns in the body. This condition can cause lung disease as well as liver disease. There is no cure for this condition, but treatment might help.

All these liver conditions can seriously affect ones health and it is crucial that we all take good care of our body to prevent any serious medical conditions. We can ensure the good health of our liver by taking naturally available herbs such as “Katuki”. Prevention is better than cure should be the motto to maintain a healthy lifestyle .

If we start a little before hand and start caring for our organ health we can prevent serious conditions and also prevent the usage of drugs which leads to further liver damage .

In my next article I will be discussing the importance and benefits of detoxification of the liver and in-general immunity building for our body.

Wishing everyone a very Happy and Healthy New Year ! May this new year bless everyone with health, wealth, joy and positivity 🙂

 

Also see for reference: https://houseofhealth.co.in/health-and-beauty-benefits-of-neem/