Is there a relation between diet and health? If so, what is the relationship? The depth of our ignorance towards these matters is deplorable. The attitude of allopathy towards diet is casual. It advises a balanced diet. That means a diet that contains the requisite proportions of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Ayurveda has gone a little deeper into this question of the interrelationship of diet and health. It classifies food as phlegm promoting or phlegm destroying, bile promoting or bile destroying, and gas-promoting or gas destroying. These are otherwise called the three humours of the human body.
To some extent, food is of two types – heavy and light foods. Ayurveda had its origin thousands of years ago, where methods and equipment were unavailable to analyze foods. Ayurveda had no means of ascertaining what biochemical reactions took place in the human body due to the ingestion of various foods. It emphasizes the liberal consumption of ghee, oil, crystal sugar, and spiced health foods that seems to be a little misguided. There also seems an excessive bias in favour of cooked foods.
Diet is the mainstream of naturopath treatment. This system studies the merits and demerits of each food and drinks detailly. Proper diet can be a veritable elixir of life, lifting one to the pinnacles of health; on the other hand, improper diet can act as a poison, destroying our life.
Food must serve two purposes
1) Supply all essential nutrients to the body
2) Maintain the acid-alkali balance in the blood.
The five essential nutrients that body requires are:
- Vitamins, and
Proteins are essential for the growth, maintenance, and regeneration of the body. Sources of protein are pulses, milk, eggs, meats, etc.
Proteins contain amino acids, and different proteins contain different proportions of the various amino acids. There are twenty- three raw amino acids in food proteins. Out of these amino acids, the human body cannot synthesize Arginine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine which are essential amino acids. Therefore we must supply our body with the requisite amounts of these amino acids through food. The body itself can synthesize the rest of the amino acids.
|S.No||Amino acid||The part of the Body or which it is Needed||Sources|
|Alanine acid||skin and adrenal glands||carrots, celery, lettuce, cucumber, green pepper, spinach, apples, plums, grapes, orange, strawberries, and almonds|
|Agnine acids||muscles cartilage cells, and reproductive organs||green leafy vegetables,carrots beetroots, cucumber, celery, lettuce, radish, and potatoes|
|Aspartic acid||bones, teeth, lungs, heart, and blood vessels||carrots, celery, cucumber, mint, radishes, lemons, grape fruit, plums, pineapple, melons, and almonds|
|Cystine acid||hair, erythrocytes, breasts, and vitality||alfalfa, carrots, cabbages,apples, cauliflower,onion,garlic, apples, pineapple, raspberries and raisins|
|Histidine acid||liver, hemoglobin, and semen||Carrots, celery, mint, spinach garlic, potatoes, figs, oranges raspberries, pomegranates, melons, and almonds|
|Isoleucine||Thymus, spleen, pituitary gland, hemoglobin, and regulation of metabolism.||Papaya, olives, coconuts, almonds, apricots, pistachios, and walnut|
|Leucine||counterbalancing||Papaya, olives, coconuts, almonds, apricots, pistachios, and walnut|
|Lysine||gallbladder, fat metabolism, liver, and prevention of senility||Carrot, beetroot, cucumber, celery, Mint,spinach, germinated soya beans, papaya ,apples, plums, pears, and grapes|
It provides heat and energy to the body. Cereals, tubers, roots, pulses, milk, etc., are important sources of carbohydrates. There is an objection to the use of natural carbohydrates in their original form. But the use of processed carbohydrates is not desirable. De-branded Flours, polished rice, white flour, refined sugar, etc., are instances of such processed foods. Processing removes the fibers and roughage from the food. This result in insufficient elimination of wastes. Toxic substances consequently accumulate in the blood. We cause a lot of damage to our health by consuming canned and bottled fruits, fruit juices, tomato ketchup, jams, jellies, instant gulab jamuns, instant rasagullas, cakes, chocolates, ice cream, bread, biscuits, and other similar processed carbohydrates.
In another article, we will see about fats, vitamins and minerals, acid and alkali balance in the blood, food combinations for easy digestion, and other diets. Always remember health is wealth. Ingestion of excessive proteins results in too many health complications. Intaking processed carbohydrates also leads to obesity, diabetes, and disorders in joints. Too much of anything is good for nothing. Take necessary precautions before taking food. Let’s live a happy life with nature’s care. Let go of past food habits and embrace good naturopathy diets to live a long and happy life.