The ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda is mainly based on diet control. Food is used to stabilize the “Doshas” along with other things such as meditation, yoga etc. Since diet, along with daily habits, is crucial to the health of an individual. There is no standard ideal diet for all people in general. The various factors that need to be kept in mind while working out the ideal diet for each person, which will be distinctly different based on the person’s specific constitutional characteristics, are as listed below:
A variety of alternative diets are offered for treating cancer, cardiovascular disease, and food allergies. Virtually all these interventions focus on eating more fresh and freshly prepared vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.
Recent studies have also reported that certain cultural eating styles, such as the Asian especially Indian and Mediterranean diets, appear to lower risk factors for heart disease and certain forms of cancer as well. Eskimo diet is another one, which has fascinated researchers. In spite of the high fat food they eat, they are found to be very healthy. The latest theory is that it is because of the marine fat rich in Omega-3 three that they eat which offer them such protection.
Food can be therapeutic in several ways. It provides nutrient that is needed by a sick person in a form he or she can use. It also provides nutrients for persons who are deficient in them. Sometimes food also supplies an agent or chemical that aids in the metabolism of other nutrients. Food such as buttermilk can help stabilize the fungus/bacteria balance in the mouth. Such foods act by changing the ecology within the human body.
Many people are allergic to some foods such as chocolate, lactose etc. Similarly some people get constipation from excessive high intake of fiber. Diabetes patients, need to watch out what they eat especially food containing sugar. Arthritis, need to watch out what they eat especially food containing heavy, late digestive, unctuous preparation. People with heart disease need to control the intake of foods containing high amount of fat and cholesterol. These are all common sense diet therapies.
While cooking food we should keep in mind following instruction:
Ø The natural qualities of each food.
Ø How those natural qualities can get altered.
Ø Taste of food we intake.
Ø The quantity of food intake.
Ø The places & climate where the food is grown, prepared and consumed.
Ø The effects of combining foods – proper and unacceptable combinations.
Ø Properly cooked food unripe, ripened or burned food
Ø Individual differences in food intake.
Ø The effects of the seasons and time of day.
Ø Avoidance of artificial flavors, chemicals, preservatives and colors.
It is one of the factors that have remained a matter of great debate worldwide over the ages. Initially it was common belief that non-vegetarian diet is superior in that it is full of energetic ingredients and thus provides more strength and stamina. But now it has been scientifically established that vegetarian diet is more natural and useful to human nature.
Non-vegetarian diet contains cholesterol-saturated fatty acids that are the root cause of diseases as coronary heart problems, cerebro-vascular accidents (strokes), eye disorders & high blood pressure. With only about 60% of its contents useful for human body, the rest 40% contains harmful toxins. In addition, such diet is usually heavy for the stomach and produces acidity, which in turn can cause problems in the gastrointestinal system.
Another significantly important difference between the two is that fruits & vegetables (cereals & grains, seedy fruits, legumes, citrus fruits, celery, green leafy vegetables, dry fruits, fruits like mango apples, melons, peaches, pears etc.) are rich in dietary fibers that reduces incidence of coronary heart diseases, cancer of intestinal tract, piles, obesity, diabetes, constipation, hiatus hernia, irritable bowel syndrome, dental caries and gallstones.
Many disease-causing organisms are transmitted through and thrive in animal protein – chickens and others cause bird serious ailments such as Bird flu. Bovine Spongi causes encephalopathy and Mad Cow diseases. Similarly the Salmonella Typhimurium bacteria can be passed on through consumed eggs, causing diseases like pneumonia, bronchitis and typhoid.
Given that the body of non-vegetarian animals contains ten times more amount of hydrochloric acid than that of vegetarian ones, and that the human body should not be having such a high concentration of hydrochloric acid, it is reasonable to assume that the fact human body is basically meant for a vegetarian diet.