Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Super Food for Continued Youthfulness

After some inking of Vaidic Sanskrita language of Vaidic scripture through my studies and researches of over two decades, I began translating the latest Vaidic scripture on Ayurveda - Bhavaprakash, which came out as being authored by Lalshme, wife of Vishnu and sister (Mary) of Jesus Christ. What the scripture says about healthy practices for humans is almost reverse of what present practitioners of Ayurveda are prescribing to their patients. Important lessons I learned from the scripture are listed here-under.

No Medicine but Adjustments in Food Ingredients

Bhavaprakash doesn't contain any medicines or medicinal plants but only food ingredients and plants commonly produced and grown in India. Non-food plants used by current Ayurvedic practitioners have no mention in Bhavaprakash, but its misinterpretations have resulted in many non-food plants as Ayurvedic medicinal plants.
Bhavaprakash lists each component of a food plant like leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, stem-skin, and processed variations of these as a separate item. Thus, though the plants are few, the list becomes large. Current practitioners misinterpret each item in the list as coming from a separate plant, hence many non-mentioned plants are considered as mentioned in the scripture.

Alkaline and Acidic Food Items

Ayurveda strongly recommends alkaline foods and assails acidic foods except in extraordinary circumstances. Even in such cases, an acidic food ingredient must be taken along with some alkaline ingredient. Two highly recommended alkaline food ingredients are Semolina made from Wheat crust and Barley Porridge. White inner content of Wheat grain is highly damaging to human health for adding to abdominal fat.   

Foods having Hot and Cold Effects on Body

Only food ingredients having cooling effect on body are recommended by Ayurveda, however some warming food ingredients may be taken in winter season or under special circumstances. If taking some warming food becomes essential, it must be accompanied by some other ingredient having cooling effect on body.

Vegetable Oils versus Animal Fats

Ayurveda recommends a purely vegetarian diet for humans, hence prohibits eating flesh and fats drawn from animals. Highly recommended oils are from Mustard and Groundnuts for food, and Sesame oil for body massage. Whole Sesame seeds in roasted or boiled form make good human food for built-in alkalinity in the seed. Even milk and its derivative fat (Ghee) is not recommended for humans under normal conditions. Even under abnormal situations if milk becomes essential, it must be from a Goat only.
About oils, it is warned that once oil is heated up and cooled, it should not be used in any food preparation. For this reason, all deep-fried foods are prohibited. For better use of oil in food preparation, it is recommended that the oil must be thoroughly mixed with other food ingredients before cooking to avoid direct contact of hot pan with the oil.

Use of Water in Cooking

As a principle, food ingredients must be cooked using minimum possible amount of water, so that the ingredients get cooked in steam so generated. While cooking with food ingredients dipped in water, nutrients come out from ingredients to water where some of these get destroyed. Low amount of water ensures the nutrients remaining inside pieces of the ingredients and cooked there, hence remain naturally protected. For this reason, baked foods are more nutritious than boiled ones.

Drinking Water

There can't be any fixed rule on how much water must be drunk at what time. It depends on many factors given here-under -
  • Type of Food intake - dry, juicy or watery,
  • Atmospheric Temperature - amount of sweat discharge from body,
  • Type of Physical Activity - sweat producing or not,
  • Urine-Production - output of urine due to food attributes 

Purpose of water intake is to make the food juicy after providing for sweat and urine outputs from a body. The body gets nutrition from food-intake in juicy form only. The food moves through intestines in pulp form where nutrition is extracted out with refuge sent to anal tube for excretion.
Taking more water than required by the body is usually not harmful for health, but taking less is certainly harmful. Water intake proves harmful only when it is taken by a person being hungry, Similarly, food-intake is harmful when the person is thirsty.   

Shape-based Selection

Shapes of a food ingredient matter in their effects on body, as such an ingredient nourishes a body part of its own shape. For example, Walnuts nourish Brain, Mustard (Brassica) nourishes arms and legs (body branches), Lentils nourish Lens of Eyes, etc.

My Serendipity with Beet Root

In my neighborhood, a woman got a tuberous growth in her abdomen and it had been enlarging for about a year. Doctors advised surgery as the only treatment but the family didn't have enough money for surgery, postponing the operation again and again. She had problems of indigestion and was low in hunger too. To treat her latter problems, I gave her a bottle of Beet Root vinegar which I had prepared myself from produce in my garden. I prescribed a dose of about 10 ml everyday in the Morning which she complied. The vinegar lasted for about two months, at the end of which her family was ready for surgery and went to Doctor. The Doctors scanned her abdomen for knowing the latest position and size of the tuber. The Doctor as well as the patient were astonished on knowing that there was no tuber in her abdomen. Obviously, it was gradually eliminated through consumption of Beet Root vinegar. It is therefore concluded that Beet Root cures abdominal infections.

My Super-Meal

Background Philosophy

Basic principle of Ayurveda is that a food items provides its own attributes to the body. Accordingly, tender and growing food ingredients provide tenderness and growth to body, while matured food ingredients, such as food-grains, provide strength and maturity to body. Hence, food-grains contribute to faster ageing effect on body. An exception to this is Maize food-grain of golden color which is highly recommended by Bhavaprakash for the body to attain golden glow of youthfulness.
Other recommended food-grains are from Beans with Lentils and Green-gram being the most preferred food ingredients. Any other food-grains of Beans family may be taken for cooking but in their whole forms only. Particularly alarming food ingredients are Bengal-gram, Pigeon-Pea and Pea cooked in broken condition for causing physical disabilities.   

Recipe

Determined to cut-down on matured food ingredients such as food-grains, with proportional increase in tender still-growing food ingredients in my meals, I devised to prepare my meal from all available seasonal vegetables - mainly green leaves and fruits, roots and tubers, added with vegetable oil, pre-cooked whole Bean grains such as Lentils, Cow-pea, Green and Black Grams, some nuts like cashew-nut, and spices like salt, black pepper, etc to taste.

The preparation begins with pressure-cooking of bean grains. Then cut the washed vegetables into large yet manageable pieces and mix with adequate quantity of some vegetable oil such as that drawn from Mustard, Groundnuts, or Sunflower seeds, etc and spices. If leafy vegetables are enough, you need not to add any water to the mix, else sprinkle some water on the mixture. Add pre-cooked Bean grains and nuts to the mix and put a pan containing the mixture on a low-heat stove with the pan duly covered. Let the water content of the mixture convert into steam and cook the vegetable pieces in due course of time. You may be required to sprinkle more water in the pan for preventing burning of the vegetable mixture.
The meal gets ready when all the vegetable pieces are duly softened. Sometimes for a change, a small amount of Semolina (prepared from Wheat crust), Oatmeal or Barley Porridge may be sprinkled on the vegetable mix before cooking.  


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