( By Dr. S. R. Jindal )

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Dietetics (food & Natural Nutrition)

Fasting Dr. Otto Buchinger, an internationally famous authority on fasting, cured himself of severe rheumatic fever by fasting for 19 days , and liver disorder after fasting for 28 days - the man who had been chronically and severely sick was healed for good. He not only regained his health but also his full capacity to work. ( He remained healthy until his death at a ripe age of 89 years.) We all know that when animals or even birds fall ill, their first and foremost step is giving up eating until they show signs of recovery. This gives a clear impression that fasting itself is healing. It is at the same time very strange that human beings do not have even as much control over the palate or mind as the animals have. Fasting, undoubtedly, is one of the most important and incidentally, the cheapest of all natural remedies. It is the quickest, simplest and most efficient method of relieving the body of overloaded food and preventing it from poisoning the system. It is surprising to know that only a small quantity of food is actually required to keep the human system in good condition. The majority of the people are eating food in excess even though they believe they are eating moderately. It is an established fact that people do not die of fasting, whereas people who eat liberally may die earlier due to one disease or the other, caused by eating the so-called delicious food which is junk, and over-indulgence. There are millions of bacteria present in the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe which maintain themselves in a kind of equilibrium. When conditions are favorable to them, they multiply enormously, which means there must be a fertile soil for bacteria to gain sufficient foothhold and dominate. It is Nature’s rule that nearly all diseases are caused directly or indirectly by auto-intoxication or self-poisoning. Nature cure treatment aims at killing these bacteria and curing the disease through cleansing, overhauling, or detoxifying the system through fasting, drinking lemon water and enema. Fasting should not be confused with starvation. Fasting is constructive ; whereas starvation is destructive. Through fasting, all important organs like the stomach, intestines, liver and pancreas, besides kidneys and lungs, are given rest. In short, fasting is a real cleansing device - an overhauling and purifying process. Periodical fasting is very essential to keep the body healthy, but fasting for longer periods should be undertaken only under the guidance of an expert / Naturopath. It is worth noting that the method of breaking the fast is more important than the fast itself, as wrong methods could lead to damage of the digestive system. We have to resume normal diet slowly and gradually starting with fruit juice and raw food for a few days. Similarly, for a couple of days, go on a fruit and raw vegetable diet, before resorting to fasting on water. Clear the bowels daily enema. The Effects of Fasting Fasting is one of the most effective and natural treatments covering a wide range of disorders. It works as preventive and healing / curing measures, enables quick and safe weight loss, reduces high blood pressure, lessens the fat content of the blood (cholesterol), adjusts the sugar level of the blood and improves the condition of stomach and intestinal passage. The resulting loss of weight alleviates pain in the spine and joints of the body, particularly of overweight people having orthopaedic disorders.

Natural Nutrition

In this era of scientific inventions, much progress has been made in various areas for the benefit of mankind. Unfortunately , much ‘progress’ has also been made towards destruction and harm to the people. The major harmful effects are from newly developed food items of numerous varieties which are available right from the street to an expensive restaurant. Sellers do not care for the food value and its effects on health. Their main motto is that it must be very tasty and enjoyable, so that it fetches more money for their pocket. Simple food, as was available in olden times is no more, except perhaps, in some poor families.

Food plays one of the most important roles in maintaining good health. "The right kind of food is the most important single factor in the promotion of health and the wrong kind of food is the most important single factor in the promotion of disease ", so said Sir Robert Mac Carrison, the greatest of food scientists. If one has WILL POWER, one should remain on a mono-diet (one food item like papaya, banana, apple, skimmed milk, butter milk etc.) for cleansing purposes as long as one can manage, but not less than 7 days as a cleansing diet cures the disease only upto a degree, depending on its intensity. Absolutely nothing else is to be taken throughout the day, except mono-diet, as and when one feels hungry.The best is papaya - 4 or 5 times a day. It has a great curative effect. Lot of water has to be taken too.

Unfortunately, dietetics finds no place in the curriculum of medical colleges and no knowledge of the subject is, therefore, acquired by young medicos while pursuing their degrees. It seems that the medical profession of the future will be as ill-informed about these vitally important matters as the present generation of doctors is.

Countless cases are on record, of seemingly miraculous cures effected simply by means of dieting, aided by simple remedial measures such as cold pack, manipulative treatment, sunlight etc. Moreover, it is noteworthy that many of the people thus restored to health had been labelled previously as incurable by orthodox medical men.

Most people blissfully imagine that they can eat whatever they feel like, and as long as no direct bad after -effects are felt, the matter deserves no attention. But in reality, this is only a wrong notion and it beckons the beginning of a trouble. Regularity, punctuality ( at a particular time), thorough chewing, feeling of hunger and avoiding hurry, worry, tension and emotion while taking meal are very essential if the body is to derive the maximum benefit from its food intake. Further, water is not to be taken while eating food and 60 minutes thereafter, to aid good digestion.

Although proper diet is the basis for curing all diseases, yet diet alone is not everything. Other health building measures such as proper exercise, sleep, deep breathing, care of the teeth and skin etc.are to be employed.

A major problem of diet among the rich is that an average adult normally eats more than what is necessary for one’s health. In fact, the excess intake of food causes more harm than good. Eating less is, therefore, not only the most effective device through which one can reduce weight but also helps greatly to give one a feeling of well-being. It is not the quantity and richness of the food that one eats, which really matters, but how far it is digested and assimilated to offer the required stamina and benefit is all the more important and of key consideration in Naturopathy.

Skimmed milk is an excellent food. It has all the valuable nutrients of whole milk except the fat. A cup of whole milk contains about 130 calories as against a cup of skimmed milk which has only about 80 calories ; but the nutritive value of both is almost the same. It is also rich in Vitamins A and D.Naturally sweet yoghurt (curds) is better and more nutritious than ghee or milk , as it is pre-digested milk. Similarly, butter milk is highly beneficial. One can take yoghurt liberally if it suits one’s system. Procedure for preparing skimmed milk is : Add some water and boil milk for about 30 minutes, keep it in fridge when not too hot. After about two hours, remove the cream (Malai). Repeat the same process,if desired.

One should eat a diet rich in roughage and fibre because its bulk would tend to make one eat less fat and carbohydrates compared to the usual highly refined and processed diet which is full of calories and fats. Roughage / fibre is essential for satisfactory evacuation and good bowel movement. This roughage / fibre can be obtained from food items such as wholewheat flour, bran, unpolished rice, sprouts, fruits and vegetables. Half of what is eaten should be in raw form.

Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fats, Vitamins, Minerals, Enzymes etc.

Protein is an integral part of our dietary system and is essential for the growth and development of the body. It builds muscles, hair, skin, and is a component of enzymes, hormones, haemoglobin, myoglobin etc. Excess protein consumption has dangerous consequences. The toxic byproduct from protein conversion and metabolism enters the bloodstream in the form of uric acid, urea and other amonia-like compounds. These toxins are responsible for gout, arthritis, kidney damage,gastritis, hyperacidity, constipation, heart disease and other ailments. High protein intake forces extra work on the body particularly on the liver / kidneys.

Carbohydrates in their natural forms such as fresh and dried fruits, vegetables, sprouts etc. should always be used in preference to concentrated protein food. Dr. Helen C. Kiefer of Northwestern University, U.S.A. , has this to say about the relative importance of carbohydrates and proteins in a well balanced diet :

"Proteins, unlike carbohydrates or fats, contain the element nitrogen. When we strip this nitrogen from the amino acid components of proteins in order to convert them to carbohydrates for energy, we run the risk of building up amonia in our bloodstream. Ammonia is highly toxic. Carbohydrates constitute the only source of energy for the nervous system. "

Fat is very commonly known to be and is obviously, harmful beyond a limit. Ghee, butter, saturated oil, concentrated and heavy food - all are super rich in fat.

On the other hand, natural food and a well balanced diet supply us abundant natural carbohydrates - our body’s number one nutrient requirement. In addition, we receive a fully array of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins and many yet to be discovered elements from this fresh and wholesome food package by Nature in its different products. The richest sources of all nutritious elements are in the living food , i.e. raw vegetables, fresh fruits, sprouts, unrefined cereals, some nuts and seeds - everything is adequately supplied by living food. Consume 50 to 100 grams of leafy vegetables comprising of fenugreek leaves, spinach, raddish leaves, mustard leaves, coriander, mint etc. daily as they constitute an important source of proteins, minerals, vitamins, besides the dietary fibre which maintain bowel movement. Vitamins and enzymes are generally destroyed by cooking. See Table III - " VITAMINS IN YOUR FOOD ".

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