The natural food taken moderately in accordance with the laws of eating for health serves for growth and replacement of cells, supplies nutrients, known and unknown trace elements, enzymes of the body for their repair, maintenance and sustenance of their health, to maintain and regenerate the vital forces or life force.
It is mentioned in our scriptures, the earth, in order of creation occupies fifth position. In order of preference also, we first need space, then air, heat, water and food. But, food is as important as other elements due to its significant role for the acquisition, sustenance, maintenance, and restoration of health. Blood-lymph-hormones, the vital fluids for the body, cells, tissues, muscle organs, skin, bones etc. is the product of the food that we eat. The natural food taken moderately in accordance with the laws of eating for health serves for growth and replacement of cells, supplies nutrients, known and unknown trace elements, enzymes of the body for their repair, maintenance and sustenance of their health, to maintain and regenerate the vital forces or life force.
Hyperacidity, Constipation:- It is believed that constipation is a root cause of all diseases. It is to a greater extent true in cases of digestive disorders. It is always better to go into the causative factors of the diseases and not to give a pill or drug as remedy, which would only suppress the condition and later the very pill or drug becomes a poison due to its side effects and as well as not treating the cause of the diseases.
There are certain symptoms and according to causative factors natural remedies can be advocated.
1. Pain in abdominal region, upper or lower, indicates acidity and constipation respectively, each one is the precipitator of the other.
2. Nausea – due to acidity – wrong eating, constipation.
3. Bloated ness (flatulence) sometimes vomiting due to acidity
5. Gastro- intestinal gas – constipation due to improper eating, improper elimination, worms etc.
6. Stress – adrenalin, the fight hormone increases the acid release in stomach cells of the mucosa, muscles are controlled partly by the nerves which comes through serosal membrane, the vagus nerve, which begins in the brain, blood vessels also come into the stomach which supplies oxygen -creates heart burn.
7. Smoking, excessive alcohol, spicy , preservative and processed foods.
8. Excessive sensory stimulus – which increases the normal production of gastrin. This hormone stimulates and releases HC1 and pepsin into the stomach, it also affects other glands, such as the pancreas to prepare the body for the nutrients, which will soon be absorbed into the blood stream. Gastrin is stimulated by smell, taste, seeing.
The above mentioned symptoms are indicative of the remedial measures, which needs only natural live diet and not drugs or pills. There needs to be balance of acid-alkaline, to bring true health. Foods eaten should leave either alkaline ash or acidic ash. Body is designed for alkalinity and acidic by function, Optimum health is dependent on being alkaline, too much acidic increases early degenerative diseases, early aging, premature death and suffering.
Certain food listed below causes acid-alkaline imbalance and disease :
1. Sugar – no nutrition except calorie and carbohydrate. It produces acidity and for its digestion it need bone calcium.
2. Excessive Spices – They are medicinal valued foods, if consumed in excess and in wrong method or form for example : Frying as masala, its value is lost and creates acidity and constipation.
3. Excessive oils – either deposit as adipose tissue or triglycerides and cholesterol, which harms the body in many ways.
4. Alcohol – Spoils the liver function, reduces sexual activity, creates dehydration, reduces memory, only instantly it suppresses the stress and emotions, hence people feel it to be a elixir, instead it is a slow poison.
5. Soft drinks – Creates acidity, takes away bone calcium.
6. Excessive Tea / Coffee (Note: green Tea is highly beneficial) : – If taken with milk and sugar and minimum boiled it is helpful in mild dosages. If not it creates acidity, irregular heartbeat, in pregnancy it contributes to excretion of calcium, anemia, increased cholesterol, ulcers – erodes mucosal lining.
7. Non Vegetarian foods : acidic in nature high in purines and lacks fiber. It creates colon cancers, uremia, high cholesterol, heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, lowest life expectancy.
8. Ice cream : acidic and it contains harmful chemicals – Diethyl glycol (paint remover), Aldehylie – 17 (used in dyes, plastic and rubber), piperonal (vanilla) used to kill lice, ethylacetate (cleaner for leather and textiles) – damages liver, lungs and heart, Amyl Acitate – oil paint solvent, Benzylacetate – is used as solvent for nitrate salt, flavours used, causes cancer.
9. Excessive Milk : Important factor -quality of milk depends upon the food of the animal milked – for example cows eat dust-bin products, plastic paper etc. It has 8-10 times higher calcium and phosphorus than human milk and obviously God made milk for its infants 65% of it consists of saturated fatty acids. Lacks iron and vitamin C, casein in milk is three times high which causes mucus formation.
10. Preservatives : colouring and flavouring items : Causes acidity due to monosodium glutamate (MSG) causes brain damage, it imbalances sodium-phosphorus balance. Sulfur is toxic and sulphur dioxide is poisonous gas. Causes degeneration of digestive tract lining.
11. White bread : Leads to constipation and piles.
12. Reheat or non heated frozen foods : acidic non nutritious.
As mentioned earlier, it is important to have acid-alkaline balance by eating. 75% alkaline ash forming food – fruits, vegetables, dryfruits, sparingly use of starchy food, low protein and 25 % -cereals, legumes, cheese, milk, coffee, tea, non-veg, etc. More important is the combination of foods and at time not more than two types of foods have to be taken. Too many combination over boiled cooked food, heavily spiced food, fried frozen and reheated food all amounts to high acidity. Hence, cooking methods also is very important factor in diet therapy. We all need food to be cooked in minutes and consumed, but do not oblige for raw foods. Though we know that by cooking most of the nutrients are lost but it adds flavour, taste, variety to our food; it also destroys certain harmful bacteria, legumes, cereals, protein can be easily digested. Frying and roasting causes heavy loss of nutrients, Steaming, boiling and baking with low heat are advisable. While cooking, adding cooking soda causes severe loss of thiamine , riboflavin. Pressure cooking is also not advised. In ordinary cooking, the temperature can raise up to 95degree F -102 degree F, but in pressure cooking, it raises up to 112 degree and 1 15 degree F. Hence, at least vegetables should not be cooked in Pressure cooker and there are some practices, where directly people cook in pressure cooker without the vessels, which needs to be avoided.
Proper food combination is another aspect of diet therapy, though in daily practice it becomes very difficult, carbohydrates and sour items are not good combinations, nuts, oils, sour, carbohydrates are usual combination in Indian cuisine has to be avoided. Proteins go well with green vegetables. Milk has to be taken alone for better digestibility. Too hot and too cold items should not be consumed together.
Raw Diet : It is very important as it contains lot of natural enzymes, which control life. Enzymes are catalysts that control the rate of reactions as well accelerate, retard or modify all cell functions to supply energy and nutrients. There are metabolic function – inside cell and enzymes like catalase, dismutase, thrombin, plasmin and ribonuclease and digestive enzymes – inside the digestive tract are produced by the body from raw materials we get from food in our diet and also for recycling of the body’s own raw material. To function they need the help of co-enzymes found in food that has not been refined, pasteurized or heated too high or too long.
Metabolic enzymes can be destroyed by infection smoking, pollutants, increase UV rays, ambient radiation (microwave, cellular phones, pagers, drugs, carcinogenic or toxic contaminants in our food or water. Its deficiency leads to Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, multiple Sclerosis, osteoporosis, cystic breast disease, fibrosis, myocardial mfarct, thrombosis, arteriosclerosis, immune deficiencies and Alzheimer’s disease.
Digestive enzymes are pancreatic, maltase, lactose, phytase, cellulase, bromelain are destroyed by same agents as mentioned above .stress, and caffeine creates symptoms of bleaching, burping etc. lactose intolerance. Inadequate digestive enzymes leads to chronic inflammation, fibromyalgia, infections, herpes, increase or decrease in weight, migraine, glossitis, skin allergies and rashes etc. Hence consuming ample of fruits, raw vegetables, sprouts, suffices all the enzymes required by the body. They ensure digestion of food, elimination of unwanted toxic metabolites and environmental, contaminants, enhanced healing in injury and pain following athletic activity and enhanced healing following surgery and reduces degenerative diseases.
Some Medicinal Valued Food :
Foods consumed according to the needs of individual in this context to his health or diseases and the value of composition of the foods etc. contribute to the medicinal value of food. For example bitter gourd is to control hyperglycemia and its effect on digestive system is laxative or even purgative sometimes. A diabetic due to various reasons is suffering from diarrhea though bitter gourd is good for diabetic, at that acute condition he is not advised bitter gourd. This understanding in every moment of activity is essential. An another example, today I have no hunger, instead of eating the routine food like rice, dhal, vegetable etc. can take vegetable soup or jeera water according to the cause . The body and mind gets rest and healing from the suffering and then we can regain to normal diet.
1. Aloe Vera : Helps in acidity, digestion, absorption, assimilation of nutrients, enhances immune system, detoxifies the toxins, beneficial in ulcers, potent-anti inflammatory, has antibacterial, anti viral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic effect on the body.
2. Amla (goose berries) : Rich in vitamin ‘C’, it is 15 times more than of lemon. It is antioxidant. It has cooling effect, it brings vigorous healing effect in the body. Good in cold, cough, bronchitis, bronchial asthma.
3. Ash Gourd: Helps in reducing weight, hyper acidity and also helps to neutralize blood acidity. Ulcers, stomatitis, skin allergies, burning micturition, can be treated effectively with this Juice.
4. Apple: It is good in anemia, gout, pyorrhea, ulcers, diabetes, cough, cold, colitis, asthma, and urine inconsistency. However it is always adviced seasonal and fresh because storage reduces lot of nutrients ,it also has soluble fiber which reduces blood cholesterol.
5. Aniseed (Saunf): It is an ancient practice to take Saunf after the meals. It help in easy digestion, reduces flatulence, helps to eliminate the wind from stomach and intestine. It is having soothening effect on stomach. It is used as flavoring agent in many of the sweet dishes. It improves the lactation of nursing mothers.
6. Asafoetida (Hing) : It is used very commonly as a flavoring agent and also for its digestive properties in Indian cuisine. It relieves spasm, indigestion. It has expectorant and analgesic properties. It brings mental alertness and sharpens memory.
7. Beet root: It is rich in potassium, Sodium, magnesium and Iron. The Juice or the syrup prepared by adding organic jaggery helps to treat anemic conditions.
8. Banana Pit: The soft white fibrous portion of banana tree is used in southern part of India as a vegetable. It has diuretic effect which helps to remove the renal stones. Due to its fibrous content the vegetable is filling as well as low calorie.
9. Bitter Gourd: Bitter Gourd helps in neutralizing high sugar levels in the blood. It acts as a laxative if taken with other vegetables and also as a purgative if the juice is taken in an empty stomach.
10. Bishops weeds (Ajwain): It helps in all spasmodic disorders/The decoction of Ajwain, saunf, dhania seeds each of them about 1/2 tsp. in one liter of water boiled for 10-15 minutes gives a good decoction and can be given two to three times a day to relieve gastritis, constipation, indigestion, worm infestations. It also helps in bronchitis, asthma, viral fevers, migraine, skin irritation etc. It is also an antioxidant.
11. Carrot: It is rich in vitamin A, folic acid, sodium, potassium and vitamin C. It is effective in anemia, acidity, underweight, growth etc. Mixed juice of celery, carrot beet, tomato is good to treat most of the diseases. It can be taken as morning drink.
12. Cabbage: A good source of vitamin C, best to be eaten raw. Its juice is good to heal ulcers and hence it is also called vitamin ‘U’.
13. Coriander: It is rich in vitamin A, B1, B2, Niacin and C. Its diluted juice -100 ml and one table spoon honey / organic jaggery powder helps in anemic condition.
14. Cumin seeds (jeera): highly beneficial in treating digestive disorder, morning sickness and indigestion. 1 tsp. of powder mixed with 1 tsp. honey can be given to children for better digestion. The decoction of jeera acts diuretic, antihelmentic (against worm infestation), jaundice, vomiting and nausea. 1 /4 tsp of powder taken in diluted buttermilk helps to control dysentery, diarrhoea and every diarroeha in colitis, insomnia, relieves colicky pain. It is good for lactating mothers. It is used in the seasoning as a flavoring agent but it entirely looses its medicinal value.
15. Curry leaves : juice of 50-100ml with two table spoons honey or organic jaggery powder is useful in anemic conditions, deworming etc, 2-3 tsp juice in 100 ml diluted buttermilk 1/4 tsp. of cumin powder and pinch of salt is a good appetiser and soothening to the stomach. People who complain of bloated feeling immediately after food should take this half an hour before the meals.
16. Drumstick leaves: Raw juice mixed with cold milk is good to relieve chronic constipation. It has to be taken at night 100ml diluted juice with 100 ml of boiled and cooled milk without taking the dinner. It is good for anemic conditions, worms and diabetes. Soup of the leaves or vegetable is also highly beneficial.
17. Fenugreek (Methi) : The seeds are rich in amino acids, choline, essential oil, saponin, volatile oil. It also contains – calcium, phosphorus, iron, Caroline, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin etc. It is good blood and body cleanser, antibiotic, anti-ulcer, anticancer, antidiarrhoel. Research also shows that it is very effective in diabetes to control sugar levels. It helps menstrual and menopausal problems and it helps the nursing mother for better lactation.
18. Gauva: It is rich in Iron and vitamin C, It is beneficial in constipation. Good for growth. Chutneys, jams are good for children but prepared with either molases or honey or organic jaggery, not sugar.
19. Grapes: juice or fruit is rich in vitamin A and B, minerals – potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, chlorine, flourme, sulphur and phosphorus. It contains proteins, carbohydrates. It is good for liver and kidneys, helps in detoxification, Purifies the blood. Though it is sour in nature, it is highly alkaline in action due to the presence of alkaline salts.
20. Ginger : It is used only as a flavoring agent, without realizing the immense medicinal value it possesses. It is blood purifier, Blood thinner (anti coagulant). It reduces gastric secretion in the stomach. It helps in jaundice, cough, cold, colicky, nausea, travel sickness etc. It can also work like antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, decongestant, expectorant and antispasmodic, hence it is beneficial in asthma, cold and cough, fevers, diabetes, hypertension, worm infestations, TB, typhoid etc.
21. Lemon : rich in vitamin C, cures Scurvy, It is best cleanser, good disinfectant, antibacterial, antidote for many of the toxic substance in the body. It is good for asthma, cold, cough, sinusitis, pyorrhoea, stomatitis, It also helps to reduce fat in the body and blood.
22. Parsley: It has calcium, phosphorus, Iron, manganese, vitamin A, B, C, It is good for insomnia, anemia, liver problem and asthma. It is good diuretic.
23. Lemon grass: It contains an essential oil with a pungent taste and lemon juice odour with cirtral as the principal constituent. Lemon grass and its oil is valuable in relieving flatulence. It strengthens the functions of stomach and beneficial in the treatment of indigestion. Its herbal tea is helpful to induce copious perspiration and brings down temperature in fevers. Useful in dysmenorrhoea, rheumatism, sprains and other painful conditions.
24. Liquorice (Jasthimadh): It is a multipurpose, popular flavoring agent. The root of the plant is used for laxative and expectorant purpose. It is good for skin, antibacterial, anticanserous, diuretic and antipyretic affect. It helps to relieve mascular pains.
25. Mint (Pudina): Tasty, good aroma herb used commonly in Indian cuisine in form of chutneys, sauces and in vegetable etc. It is good for gastritis, liver, Kidneys, bladder, It is a good appetizer, kills harmful bacteria and germs.
26. Onion: It has a lot of medicinal value but the way it is used in Indian cuisine is totally anti-medicinal. It has to be consumed raw in form of salads, chutneys etc. but not frying. It reduces cholesterol, diuretic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory.
27. Papaya : It is alkaline in nature, It has vitamin A,B,C and d, calcium, phosphorus and iron. It is very good for all digestive disorders – acidity, indigestion, constipation, It is beneficial for kidney stones.
28. Pineapple : Good source of vit A, C, B. Its enzymes bromelain is good for digesting proteins. It is good anti-inflammatory, pneumonia, -bronchitis. It is good liver rejuvenator.
29. Black Pepper: It is good for cold, cough fever, muscular pain, amnesia and bronchitis. It has a stimulating action on the digestive actions. It acts like antibiotic effect.
30. Poppy seeds: (Khus khus) It contains oxalic acid and opium – which has 25 alkaloids. It is high in protein. It is good for fever inflammation, insomnia, body aches.
31. Spinach (palak) : It is a very nutritive leafy vegetable rich in vitamin A and C. It is good source of protein, fiber, calcium, phosphorus etc. It is beneficial in constipation, anemia and gastritis.
32. Tulsi (Basil) : Every Indian household pray offerings by planting this herb in front of every house. It is also believed to be air purifier. It has antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal effect. Good in skin diseases, cold cough, even in malaria, it is effective, It is beneficial in circulatory, excretory and urinary system problems. It is a multipurpose herb, name any disease and Tulasi is the remedy.
33. Turmeric: It is a very common coloring and flavoring agent in Indian cuisine and not only that, it is used for Pooja (prayer offerings and rituals) if we see the practices, which were interwoven in the lifestyle, it gives them antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, blood purifier, expectorant, antipyretic and anelgesic effect. Can any drug or pill imitate the nature’s product to such an extent. It is good for all intestinal disorders, boils, skin disorder, anemia, cold and cough etc. ( See also : health benefits of turmeric )
Some of the fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices discussed above have high benefits as diet for healing, maintaining health and prevents diseases. Hence, they are needed to be consumed in most natural live forms rather than frying, roasting etc. which makes them loose all the medicinal values of such highly beneficial products of Mother Earth perfect gift to mankind.