Tackling food & nutrition in the modern world.
I read the many responses to the ayurvedic food choices post I had posted yesterday (given below). Even the microbiome theory of modern medicine strongly suggests we consume the food of our ancestors. That locally grown food should be eaten is good advice as only local crops will take care of the local problems that populations face. There is a strong relationship between the soil and health.
We observe in the plant world that herbs for particular diseases grow in places where people are afflicted with such ailments. Herbs for cough and cold problems grow in cold regions. Herbs for heat related problems grow in hot regions. Herbs tackling fatigue and pain grow in mountainous regions where people need to over strain. Thus nature provides for us.
The problem is that our food system and chain is grossly disturbed at a scale that is difficult to manage. Governments and corporations have destroyed agriculture. Modern medicine has neglected the nurturing of herbs, knows nothing about food and has corrupted the holistic sciences. People today do not stay in their native regions and migrate. So what do we do?
We need to adjust with common sense. The first thing is to avoid processed food and eat real food. The second is to eat organic as much as possible. Third ensure variety in food; cereals, grains, vegetables, greens, legumes, nuts and seeds, a little of fish dairy eggs and meat again with an eye towards food safety and pollution. Non vegetarian items pose danger for the antibiotics, vaccines and steroids given to animals and birds. Fish are contaminated with mercury. Overall there is the problem of cruelty towards farm animals which is immoral and also makes the products toxic with fear and stress hormones. Also take care of taste. Eat food of all tastes; sweet sour bitter and astringent. Take care that you must eat bitter. Avoid modern sugar and salt. Use organic jaggery and sea or Himalayan salt.
If you can read up on ayurvedic body mind types, discover your own and choose your food accordingly that would be excellent.
Regarding locality; locality is about the food where you currently live because you are subjected to the same conditions where the food grows.
Food alone is not everything. You should be able to relish and digest the food. Add healthy spices. Keep your gut healthy with fermented foods and by avoiding vaccines antibiotics and pharma drugs. Do yoga, exercise, go on walks to improve your digestive system and general health. Be happy and mindful while eating. Also make others happy as that process does you great good. Eat as a family.
Let festivals be about food and good cheer. That is what India is all about; respecting nature, agriculture, and food through mass celebrations. Prayers and worship are essential for mental and spiritual health. In India festivity was about worship and worship was festive in nature. People went en masse to temples and built a religious and spiritual atmosphere around them that all could bask in.
The system took care of all and nature blossomed and provided for all. Industrial civilization is about creating and spreading toxicity. Everything is toxic today; our bodies, minds, relationships, soil, food, water, air, and our intentions.
Let taking care of our mental and physical food and the consequent move towards health be about removing that toxicity and filling up the space with purity and piety.
An Ayurved writes;
Reposting a comment I discussed with Dr. Shantala Priyadarshini madam related to misconceptions about #Healthy #Food among public and what #Ayurveda says about #HealthyFood!
When it comes to healthy eating, My suggestion to people is, eat traditional foods (which your forefathers were eating) grown locally! That will be ever Satmya (habituated) to your body and maintains health. People tell me here in North Karnataka that they use Raagi (as Ganji and in other forms) considering it as healthy for them! Similarly many people are using oats, olive oil etc etc which are not grown locally. I say, it’s foolish to decide these non-local foods are healthy based on some news paper articles! People of North Karnataka should eat Jowar and not Ragi as it doesn’t grow here! Similarly oats and olive oil are not our native food products and hence are disease causing instead of being healthy!
One more important point what I always tell to my patients in Bijapur, those who believe in the statement “An Apple a day keeps the doctors away” is that, An apple a day for people of Bijapur will take you to the doctor every day!!! Where as a Pomegranate (Dalimbe) or a Guava (Peru) or a Chikku (sapota) or a bunch of Grapes a day during the season keeps the doctor away for people of Bijapur. Apple doesn’t grow here! An apple a day may keep the doctor away for people of Kashmir or Himachal!
Similarly regarding cooking oils, Keralites should use coconut oil, people of Punjab, Haryana etc where mustard grows should use mustard oil and people here in N. Karnataka should use either Groundnut oil, Sunflower or even Sesame oil (non-refined of course!!).
These are most important inputs from Dr Shantala Priyadarshi madam;
Siridhanya can b consumed in moderation by people who have satmya for it but Ayurveda considers it a kudhanya....today people are lead to believe it's the best food for all...its creating digestive problems in long run to people who are not used to it.
But unfortunately many Ayurveda doctors are also advocating it for all patients who are diabetic....such patients who have never eaten navane or ragi eat it and come with constipation or loose stools..We need to educate patients with regard to food n life style.
When we Ayurvedic people educate common public about such basic concepts of Ayurveda like Desha Satmya, Prakriti, Ahara Vidhi etc only then we can build a healthy society