We ought to remember always that NATURAL FOOD IS BOTH PREVENTIVE AND CURATIVE OF MOST AILMENTS. At least 25% of total food intake should be Fruits; another 25% should be the very salads, uncooked, raw, without any dressing, salt or spices. At least 20% of the remaining food intake, needs to be lightly-cooked vegetables. And the rest may consist of whole grain bread, unpolished rice, sprouted legumes, and (if these can not be left put) some little of milk, yogurt, buttermilk or cottage-cheese.
A report from the three-years-old World Heart Forum for Global Cardio-Vascular Prevention in Stockholm, brings us the shocking news that one out of three deaths, world-wide, is from heart disease. It kills seventeen million people a year, and 80% of these deaths are now taking place in South Asian Countries. Dr. Salim Yusuf of the Health Institute of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, has found that, for the same level of fatty deposits in the arteries. South Asians (i.e. Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, and Sri Lankans) have double the rate of heart ailments of Europeans, and triple the rate of Chinese people. Dr. Yusuf found that levels of a chemical in the blood, that promotes blood-clots, were higher in South Asians, than in the other two groups. Dr. Yusuf suggested that genetic abnormalities could not account for the difference between the ethnic groups. His conclusion was that the culprit could be our cooking methods! The Chinese lightly cook their vegetables; they stir-fry or half-cook. The European cooking is also light and quick, not going beyond steaming, except in case of baked dishes; whereas, South Asians, especially indians cook their vegetables to death! Even where pressure cooker is used, the steamed vegetables are almost always, stir-fried later on, in oils, along with onion, garlic, pepper, chillies, mustard seeds, salt, and other spices, in a process named variously as ‘Vaghar’ in Gujrat and ‘Tadka’ or ‘Chhonk’, elsewhere. Such a mode of cooking is destructive of folates, and vitamins B-6 and B-12, which are generally there in the uncooked fresh vegetables. And these vitamins, besides vitamin E, which is there in sprouted legumes, are protectors of our hearts, as also generally all other vital organs. Swami Ram of USA rightly used to reprimand us with remarks such as : “Indians have no idea how our vegetables taste. No Indian has ever enjoyed the original taste of vegetables. Indians taste only the salt, the chillies, and other strong spices, which totally mask the real taste and flavour of their vegetables. And below the lingual level, down the throat, this over-use of spices damage our digestive system, kidneys as well as the heart.”
In India, the average life-span has increased to nearly 60 years. There are of course, deaths due to starvation, but their incidence is going down. However, with villages becoming towns, and towns becoming cities, with increase in population and increasing western style food-culture, non-vegetarian dishes are becoming popular; baked, refined wheat products, such as cakes, bread, biscuits, pasta, burgers, and pix/as, all having a base of refined, devitalised starch, are being consumed more than ever. Pepsi and Coke, which have acids and addictive cola extracts in them, have become the most popular of all aerated, fizzy cold drinks. There is also the wide-spread habit of tobacco chewing, which results in cancer of the cheeks. Increase in consumption of beer as well as harder alcoholic drinks is also increasing alarmingly. Consumption of tea and coffee, containing theine and caffeine, both very harmful alkaloids, is also taking a toll of our health. Protective foods, mainly fruits and vegetables-salads, especially leafy greens, such as cabbage, lettuce, ‘dhaniya’ leaves (coriander leaves), mint and radish leaves, as low-priority items, unfortunately, in most Indian households. The green colouring matter of leaves, and other vegetables, is chlorophyll, and the more one takes this chlorophyll by way of raw salads in every meal, the more is one able to cope with the ravages of high cholesterol. We ought to remember always that natural food is both preventive and curative of most ailments. At least 25% of total food intake should be Fruits; another 25% should be the very salads, uncooked, raw, without any dressing, salt or spices. At least 20% of the remaining food intake, needs to be lightly-cooked vegetables. And the rest may consist of whole grain bread, unpolished nee, sprouted legumes, and (if these can not be left out) some little of milk, yogurt, buttermilk or cottage-cheese.
what do not use, you lose
Besides, the blunder of over-eating of harmful victuals, the other wide-spread health-destroying habit of mankind in general, is indolence or avoidance of manual labour. Our shops and markets are overstocked with labour-saving devices. Though God has given us 32 cutters, grinders, and juicers, firmly fixed in our jaws for at least half-a-century service, we cannot do without mixers, juicers, etc. in our kitchens. Lifts are used even for climbing to third floor; and the shame of shame is, lifts are used even for descending from third floor. Walking even one kilometre distance is avoided by some. No one seems to be keen to make maximum use of physique, especially, the legs of which the calf muscles are like an auxiliary heart; if the legs are not used often enough, the blood is not easily returned from the lower limbs, back to the heart in the chest; there is stagnation, resulting in varicose veins and other circulatory disorders. Dr. Sidney Smith, is the Chief Researcher of the American Heart Association has come to the conclusion that: “Sixty percent of mankind is now judged to be physical inadequately active. Obesity is on increase, world-wide. About 1 50 million people have Diabetes, strongly linked to obesity; and that number is expected to double in 25 years, with much of the increase occuring in india and china.
Shall we not heed one of the greatest Cardiologists of last century, Dr. Paul Dudley White, who had the rare distinction of being nominated the official Cardiologist to four Presidents of USA, one after the other? Dr. White lived to age of 94, and always prescribed suitable exercises to all his heart patients. Besides, he practised what he preached; he himself exercised daily and used a pedal bicycle for commuting in Boston, his hometown. Till late in life, he avoided elevators, and was able to climb over twenty floors without feeling out-of-breath, even at 90 years’ age. He used to say ‘A five-mile walk will do more good to an unhappy, but healthy adult, than all the medicines in the world, and all the psychotherapy…
In case of some one who has suffered coronary thrombosis, but who is free to its symptoms, exercise is usually an important part of the treatment. Even where the symptoms exist, some sort of exercise is generally advisable, if only short walks, light gardening or deep breathing… It is important for us, at all ages, to be more than mere spectators of sports. We should expand our activity beyond that of getting into and out of cars, buses, and planes… a return to the use of our legs is highly recommended.’
The American Medical Association’s ‘Today’s Health’ magazine echoes similar advice, convincingly. It says :
‘Many doctors have recommended gentle running in small steps as one method of recovery for patients suffering from heart disease. In a novel experiment conducted in a heart sanatorium, one group of patients was allowed to walk and climb a gentle-sloped hill every day. A second group was permitted little exercise. In a year’s time, the active heart patients had suffered 70% fewer causalities… All experienced physicians are agreed that exercise is a master conditioner for the healthy and a major therapy for the ailing…’
Even in case of cancer of any organ right alimentation and EXERCISE are of high efficiency. Cancerous tissues are starved of oxygen. And a best way of infusing O2 in them is to do the right type of exercise. Of course, just any type of exercise does not help; only the right type helps. And it is to be done the right way not haphazardly; also breathing in and out is also in a certain manner, as in Yogic Pranayama. Exercises are best learnt from an expert in the science of kinesiology.