Eating is one of the most important events in everyone’s life. We enjoy eating - it’s part of who we are and part of our culture; in fact, eating is the hottest universal topic of all times. We depend on eating: the foods we eat are the sole source of our energy and nutrition.
But at the same times even this is true that we know very little about eating - about how the foods we eat everyday affect our health. Eating is a paradox and a mystery that our ancestors tried and modern scientists are trying to solve.
Based on experiences and traditions, our ancestors have used foods and plant materials to treat various kinds of illness. But the pharmacological roles of everyday foods have long been neglected by modern medicine due to lack of proven scientific validity. The main focus of modern medicine has been on pharmaceuticals. However, while there continues to be great strides made in the understanding and use of pharmaceuticals, there is also widespread dissatisfaction with both, pharmaceuticals and the system of medicine that utilizes them.
This dissatisfaction is centered around the feeling that they are too disease-oriented, and perhaps too limited by their precision to cope effectively with the subtle factors and interrelationships that compromise human health and disease. The precise and pure nature of modern biomedical pharmaceuticals also tends to increase their side effects.
The increasing concerns have started a new movement in medical research. More and more mainstream scientists are reaching back to the truth of ancient food folk medicines and dietary practices for clues to remedies and antidotes to our modern diseases.
Modern scientific research has found out the presence of "Phytochemicals" that is disease preventing substances in all fruits and vegetables. Eat a variety of coloured fruits & vegetables to get a full range of phytochemicals. One should favour the consumption of less animal protein foods or dairy.
Acid-Alkaline Balance - Key Indicator of Health:
Foods either leave an acid ash or an alkaline ash. Maximum health is in an alkaline body. The average 20th century diet, stress, pace, lifestyle & environment produce far more acid than is healthy. The human body is alkaline by design & acidic by function, which means that your body's health is dependent upon it being alkaline.
The original source of stress is known as a stressor. Most of the stressors in todays' society ( cigarette smoke, alcohol, stress itself, bad diet, coffee, sodas, pharmaceuticals) all produce an acid state in the body. All cancerous states are acid states of long duration.
Research indicates that 90% of our general population is far too acidic, which leads to a variety of negative health effects. Over time, being acidic is the main cause of degenerative diseases & Aging. If you have an acidic body, you become energy less, exhausted physically & mentally and you lose the radiance and shine of skin & hair.
It is ideal to incorporate 2 glasses of lime juice along with the 8-12 glasses of water which is taken daily. A diet of 80% alkaline foods is ideal. We have to maintain this ratio - 80 % alkalinity & 20% acidity for optimum health.
The Benefits of having an alkaline body:
1) we are calm & collected
2) we have high energy level
3) our sleep patterns are deep
4) we have less colds and flus than normal
5) the immune system is fortified
6) the body has good absorption/assimilation/digestion.
The Philosophic aspect:
The food that we consume helps us to tap the negative or positive earth energies. Food influences the mind. We are what we eat. Our present and future are influenced by our thoughts. What you think, you become.
The Medical Aspect:
Fruits and vegetables are alkaline by nature and by consuming them we keep our 80-20 percent ratio of alkalinity & acidity.
Vegetarian diet is easier to digest, imposes fewer toxins on the body & provides a wide range of nutrients. Vegetarians are less susceptible to major diseases (because they are more alkaline than acidic) and thus live longer. They have smaller medical bills, fewer physical complaints & less visits to the doctor. Their immune system is stronger, bodies purer & skin more glamorous because of natural foods.
The Spiritual Aspect:
Food is the source of the body's chemistry & the subtle essence of food becomes the mind. What we ingest, affects our Consciousness, emotions and experiential patterns. One should abstain from meat, fish & eggs if one wants to live in higher states of Consciousness. By ingesting the grosser characteristics of animal foods, one introduces in to the mind lust, greed, anger, jealousy, anxiety, suspicion, fear etc all of which are locked into the flesh of the butchered animals. For these reasons, vegetarians live in higher consciousness & non-vegetarians abide in lower states of Consciousness.
Points to remember:
• Have an early dinner. Heavy meals at night can cause indigestion and can lead to fermentation in the gut.
• Respect the food you eat; Eat when you are hungry.
• Chew well before swallowing.
• Use healthy cooking methods like steaming, stir frying, boiling, and baking. Avoid deep frying.
• Opt for vegetarianism. Vegetarian diet is easier to digest and is less acidic in nature.
• Avoid stimulants like caffeine, alcohol, refrigerated foods, soft drinks, cakes, pastries, biscuits, fried snacks, Red Meat, Old Chocolate.
• Prefer food which is unprocessed, without additives, without any artificial enrichment or fortification. Processed food is loaded with preservatives, additives, colorings which are not be good for our system.
• Fresh food has life energy called Prana. Prana is a healing energy. Processed foods may have calories, but absolutely no Prana.
• Wooden, earthen or steel containers are best to store food items. Steel utensils are the second best. Food cooked in any other medium, especially tin, aluminum and non-stick, is a health hazard. Food cooked in such metallic mediums, including copper and brass, is said to react with the metal and produce a toxic effect on our body.