Nature abounds in healthy vegetables and fruits (Photo by Ja Ma on Unsplash)
Why not have the Aha moment?
The ‘Leaky gut’ concept and the Ah receptor inspired me to write about this evergreen topic.
The Ah receptor protein has roles in regulating immunity, stem cell maintenance, and cellular differentiation. We have undoubtedly contributed to the expansion and demand of psychologists, psychotherapists, and psychiatrists.
Most diseases in our body begin with the gut. This occurs due to the leaky gut as the 60 trillion intra-epithelial lymphocytes fail to repair and neutralize the toxins from entering the bloodstream.
With modernisation and lifestyle changes, nutrition, dietary fads have hyped, occupying a significant place in our lives. Fear of disease and death drive us towards nutrition and gym rather than a motivation to stay healthy and get rid of the unhealthy habits of over-eating.
I might be a little harsh in my judgement; however, most of the dietary weight-loss programmes fail due to a lack of consistency to change the habits which take a great deal of commitment and courage or even encouragement from loved ones.
Unfortunately, with the modern fast lifestyle, fast food companies have boomed and they promote unhealthy products like burgers and pizzas, while other retail stores sell cigarettes, alcohol and fizzy drinks. Were the fats in the burgers added for taste or gut?
Any consumption in moderation is always good; however excessive addictions, smoking, alcohol consumption puts the body at war rather than nourishment making it difficult to get rid of the symptoms leading to the disease.
Healthy herbs and spices have defined human health for centuries (Pinterest Photo)
Herbal and natural remedies
Even if we proclaim ourselves to be modern, I still believe in the old-style herbal and natural remedies with little or no side effects. Did you know that kale, broccoli, salads (full of Vitamins C and K) are natural dopamine and serotonin enhancers? Avocados, nuts, cheese, milk, pineapple also help in the production of these happy brain chemicals.
“Listen to your body first and then consult an expert. Your body will tell you what to eat and throw out what it doesn’t need.”
I heard the above from a Spiritual Guru who made me laugh and yet realise the profound truth in his statement. It works in many cases.
Old traditional Grandma’s home remedies in my house bring great results without side effects. Cardamom lifts and boosts up your mood naturally and is a good cure for mild depression. Bach flower remedies have proven to heal patients with emotional traumas, loss or grief, mood swings, depression, panic attacks, lack of confidence, low self-esteem issues.
The Ayurvedic concept of Sattvic Bhojan (quality meal) focuses on the concept you become what you eat. Anti-inflammatory spices like Turmeric and Triphala (Indian Gooseberry) in daily cooking help detox and increase the gut power, cleansing and healing holistically.
Curcumin in Turmeric helps in improving memory and has proven to be a strong antioxidant in treating patients with Alzheimer’s and Cancer. Black pepper increases gut absorption several fold. Triphala is a magic medicine for smokers, asthma, skin patients. Clove has antimicrobial qualities and protects us from Cancer.
Obesity and Cancer
Obesity and Cancer besides mental illness are the biggest killers- a consequence of our modern lifestyle and stress, status quo competition. We have been debating for years whether a Vegetarian or Non-vegetarian diet works in the long run and gives longevity, health, and disease-free bodies.
Research has shown that heart disease can be reversed with simple lifestyle changes and a plant-based vegetarian diet.
A broad study conducted on patients with Ischemic Heart Disease in 2017 showed massive improvement in physical and mental fitness and weight loss within six months and some patients dropped medication too. The patients were empowered with the benefits and knowledge of a plant-based diet.
Another study conducted by the clinical research unit from the University of Alabama Hospitals in Birmingham showed a great achievement in weight loss by monitoring the patients with LED (Low Energy Density) meals with large amounts of milk, vegetables, grains, dried beans – minimum fat consumption.
The other group was eating HED (High Energy Density) meals with large amounts of fat.
The key difference between this trial and other weight loss approaches was the patient was informed to focus on diet rather than exercise.
‘Do we eat to live or live to eat?’ is an important question that helps us reflect on major activities during the day. Food must become part of your system. Fish is the best choice, the simplest form of life during evolution, and the simplest energy code that can be metabolised by the body. Gradually, we become what we eat.
So, the animal qualities of anger, rage find expression through the consumption of spicy or non-vegetarian food invariably. The simplest energy code will run farthest in evolution.
The gift of Ayurveda is priceless, timeless (Picture from Benign Evexia)
Some people are well informed and consciously making changes to the diet and lifestyle; however, a majority struggle with breaking the habitual patterns and tend to divert to sugar, alcohol, food, shopping, pleasure addictions- the common happiness traps
Like Homeopathy and Naturopathy, it has a holistic approach to health and wellness which depends on a delicate balance between mind, body, and spirit. The focus is on the balance of Panchmaha Bhoota (Five Elements) within the body which reflects in the external circumstances.
Different tools of breathwork, meditation enhance self-awareness and increase neuroplasticity, boosts digestion and lymphatic drainage. It also aids in a transformational cleansing to boost stem- cell production and cellular anti-aging repair.
Yoga, Acupressure, Tai Chi, Qigong, EFT are some natural alternative forms of healing. Nutrition along with the above modalities practiced consistently can lead us to a healthy, balanced life.
Trans-fats consumption through pastry, cakes, doughnuts leads to inflammation of adipose tissue. MSG – found in pre-packaged soups, fast foods triggers inflammation of the liver. Luckily, the usage has decreased due to mass awareness.
Healthy Vegetarian meals ward off diseases and viruses (Fit Foodie Finds)
The low-fat craze took America and the whole world by storm.
50,000 years ago, humans consumed 100-300 grams of fibre per day. Today, we hardly consume 12 to 15 grams and substitute it with trans-fat, unfortunately.
Chronic fructose exposure causes metabolic syndrome and leads to Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and liver and heart diseases.
Covid-19 has turned our lives upside down.
For decades, researchers, scientists, nutritionists have been investigating public health from a nutrition, mind, body, and mental health point of view. Undoubtedly, a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. In 2015, the World Health Organisation (WHO) compiled a list of widely feared diseases likely to cause severe outbreaks in near future.
Despite social and cultural sensitivity, clear breaches in law need to be enforced to save our species. It certainly is a wake-up call for us.
With awareness and changes in lifestyle, all of us can certainly reduce mental illness.
Pranoti Gupta is an Auckland based teacher. The above article should be read as general information and should not be considered specific or individual advice of social, medical, or legal nature. Please seek professional advice if needed. Pranoti Gupta, Indian Newslink and its management and staff absolve themselves of all liability in this connection.