As the above quote shows, the connection between food and health has been well understood in India since centuries. But except for a few, the knowledge is largely academic since few1 follow it. Most of us have processed foods, unbalanced diets, irregular eating habits and unhealthy choices, forgetting the axiom that we are what we eat.
No wonder that as per WHO (World health Organization) nearly 35% of all deaths in India happen due to preventable chronic diseases including cardiovascular disorders, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cancers, poor bone health, etc. And these are mainly caused due to poor quality of nutrient intake and physical inactivity.
In fact a unique and interesting concept called Ama exists in Ayurveda, and which has no modern medical equivalent. It is the toxin created whenever something is left incomplete in its transformation, especially food. The word Ama literally means 'uncooked' or 'undigested' in Sanskrit. The toxin then starts to build up in the weaker parts of the body, blocking the body's channels, and resulting in diseases. Ayurveda is thus clear on the root cause of illnesses.
Prakratik Living and its experts have extensively studied the impact of food as medicine, and most of the baskets on our site are based on this understanding. For instance our Immunity Booster (Vedic) “http://www.prakratikliving.com/vedic-immunity-booster” is a basket curated with select ingredients, each of which individually and in combination help enhance immunity naturally and without any medicines. These include organic / naturally produced are carefully selected Cumin Seeds, Turmeric Powder, Almonds, Amla Juice, Cinnamon Bark, Oat Flakes, Multi-Grain, Soya-Bean White, Barley Flour, Honey, etc.
But it would be disingenuous to claim that only Ayurveda understands this connection. The Far East has Yakuzen, which is a Japanese term for food that's prepared by combining nutritional ingredients with traditional Chinese herbs that have therapeutic benefits. Attention is also paid to the flavour, aroma, colour and presentation.
Interestingly, even science has accepted this as fact. A browse through the dietary guidelines (2015-2020) of the United States Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services is very illuminating. The report starts thus: “Nutrition and Health Are Closely Related”.
It would be a good idea to read and follow these guidelines:
Choose and follow a healthy eating pattern at an appropriate calorie level to help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, support nutrient adequacy, and reduce the risk of chronic disease. All food and beverage choices matter.
A healthy eating pattern includes:
- A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other.
- Fruits, especially whole fruits.
- Grains, at least half of which are whole grains.
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yoghurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages.
- A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products.
A healthy eating pattern limits consumption of:
- Added sugars to less than 10% of calorie intake per day.
- Saturated fats to less than 10% of calorie intake per day.
- Sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day.
- Alcohol to moderate levels. Up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.
Knowing that each morsel that you eat has the ability to power or drain you, is frightening and empowering. Scary because you can no longer blame anyone else for your ill health and fatigue. Powerful because all it takes is some commitment, some guidance, and some discipline, and you can turn your life and its energy around.
So what are you waiting for?