DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SALT & SODIUM

 

Well we think salt and sodium are the same thing. This misconception confuses a lot of people but the difference can greatly affect the quality of our diet. Salt is composed of two minerals , that is, sodium and chloride. Table salt contains 40% sodium and 60% chloride. One teaspoon salt contains about 2300 mg of sodium. Sodium is very important for normal heart functioning, fluid balance and even for our muscles. As per RDA, Recommended Daily Allowance sodium intake should be 5000 mg per day. But our intake of sodium per day is as high as 11000 mg which means more than double. This leads to high blood pressure, heart and kidney ailments. Sodium is naturally present in all the vegetables, milk and even leafy vegetables. But the quantity of sodium is very less in these natural food. We get sodium mainly from salt and more than 75% of sodium comes from processed food, canned soups and frozen food. Too much sodium can hurt your heart. Eating high sodium foods regularly can cause your body to retain excess water. And because of this extra body water our organs have to work harder. This increases the risk of High Blood Pressure which can harm heart and kidney function. Some of the foods that account for majority of sodium consumed include pizza, sandwiches, burger, hot dogs, breads and rolls or grains that include sauces. Restaurant foods are high in sodium. There are a few ways to limit your intake of sodium :

  1. Include a variety of fresh and seasonal vegetables and fruits.
  2. Limit your intake of highly processed food
  3. Stop added salt.

Instead of adding salt to recipes experiment with fresh herbs, spices and lemon juice.

SUGAR POISON OR NECTOR

Science says that sugar causes all sorts of diseases. We do our best to be healthy. Reducing or eliminating sugar from our diet is something that lot of people attempt and often fail. Ayurveda says that there are six tastes, sweet is being one of them. The sweet taste is considered one of the most vital and this may come as a surprise to many. Eating sweet food is promoted as important and they certainly don’t recommend eliminating it. Ayurveda diet classed many things as sweet food including fruit, honey, milk, rice, wheat and other grains as well. To reduce the risk of sugar related conditions especially overweight and obesity which gives rise to other health issues. We should focus more on consumption of healthy sugars or sugar alternatives rather trying to give up altogether.

Different types of sugars create different types of reactions in the body and healthy sugar impacts in an entirely different way to refined sugar. Refined sugar has a ‘heating’ effect which upsets the doshas that is vata, pitta & kapha. Whereas healthy sugar alternative such as raw honey or rock sugar that is khadi shakkar has soothing and cooling effect. By consuming these type of sugars we are creating a strengthening effect throughout the body by not causing any damage. By eating healthy sugar alternative we are consuming satvik food and this helps to create peace of mind. Consumption of refined sugars aggravate rajasik and tamasik gunas which in turn leads to depression and other debilitating conditions of mind.

VITAMIN C : IMMUNITY BOOSTER

Vitamin C is also called as Ascorbic acid and it is closely resembles glucose in structure. Ascorbic acid performs a number of functions in the body. It is a part of the cementing material which hold the body cells firmly in place. Thus it plays an important role to build and maintain strong tissues in general especially connective tissues (bone, cartilage, dentin, collagen, etc). blood vessel tissue depends on vitamin C to form strong capillary walls. Vitamin C is an important partner of protein for tissue synthesis. Naturally it is needed in growth stages of life. High concentration of vitamin C are found in metabolically active tissues in the body, indicating its importance in their function. These include brain, liver, kidney, pancreas, adrenal glands, thymus and spleen. It helps the body to build resistance to infection. It helps in the absorption of calcium and ensures the health of bones.

Lemons are highly praised in Ayurveda for their qualities. They stimulate digestion and assimilation. They are healers as they calm the system and provide nutrients. Lemons are rich source of vitamin C and hence they prevent scurvy. Lemon juice is an organic disinfectant that causes no harm to body tissues. A one week lemon water fast cures all diseases of the stomach and intestine. Leafy vegetables like drumstick leaves, amaranth, cabbage are excellent sources of vitamin C.

SATWIK SPICES TO INCLUDE IN DAILY DIET

Well we know spices lend character to food and stimulate the taste buds by producing more saliva they increase the appetite and one’s enjoyment of food. Ayurveda categorizes spices as satwik, rajasik and tamasik. Some of the satwik spices are mentioned below :

  1. Saffron

Saffron is famous for its healing power and gives natural color to the food. Use of saffron regularly in food and sweet dishes keep the system healthy. It is an antiseptic. Application of saffron on forehead relieves pain and tension.

  1. Cardamom

That is commonly called elaichi in India is most popular in Indian cooking. Green cardamom is much stronger than black cardamom. Elaichi is used in Indian sweet dishes and delicacies. Ayurveda states that green elaichi is beneficial for curing cough, tuberculosis and also vomiting.

  1. Coriander

Coriander seeds helps to relieve joint pain and rheumatism. Coriander leaves increases stomach fire and cures vomiting, breathing problems, general weakness.

OVERWEIGHT & HYPOTHYROIDISM

There is a chance you will gain weight if you indulge in too many high calorie and comfort foods or stay away from exercises for too long. But if you have hypothyroidism the numbers on the scale can creep up even if you stick firmly to your diet and exercises regular. Let us understand the relationship between overweight and hypothyroidism. Thyroid is a small gland based at the neck, sits in front of the wind pipe and has two sections. It looks like a butterfly and is very light weight about an ounce. But it is an important part of endocrine system. Thyroid produces 2 key hormones that is T3 and T4 which regulates your metabolism or how efficiently your body burns food for energy. When your thyroid makes less of these hormones as it does in hypothyroidism your metabolism slows down. You won’t burn off calories as quickly and you will gain weight. Some of the weight gain is fat but much of it is fluid build ip from the effects of an underactive thyroid on your kidney function. There are no symptoms as such in the beginning. But later it will lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, obesity and depression. Hence it is very important to adopt a new diet and a new lifestyle.

Start subtracting calories from your diet. Avoid completely junk food, fried food, packeted food, desserts. This is the easiest way to trim those calories. Replace desserts with fresh seasonal fruits. Restrict intake of food like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Another way to trim calories is to eat more energy dense foods as they contain fewer calories that will make you feel full, that is, a bowl of vegetable soup or salad. Include all varieties of dals to get enough protein. If you are non vegetarian then add lean protein source like fish, poultry or tofu.

Exercise is another essential component to any weight loss plan. Regular exercise turns your body into a more efficient fat burning machine. Spend 45 minutes each day for exercise. Either go for brisk walk, resistance exercise or cycling. Any activity that makes your heart beat harder and causes you to break a sweat.

HONEY : MADE NATURALLY BY NATURE

 

Honey starts as flower nectar collected by bees which gets broken down into simple sugars stored inside the honey comb. The design of honey comb and constant fanning of the bees wings causes evaporation creating sweet liquid honey. Honey’s color and flavor varies based on the nectar collected by  the bees. After honey is extracted, it is strained to remove any remaining wax and other particles. Following are some questions related to honey:

  1. How do we differentiate between adulterated and pure honey?

Take a glass of water and add 1 tsp honey. Adulterated honey will dissolve whereas pure honey will settle in the bottom of the glass as lumps  as pure honey is more dense in texture.

  1. Does honey expire ?

Pure honey does not go bad.

  1. Which honey is best?

Unprocessed/ Raw or directly if you get it from beekeeper who asks for vessel.

  1. Can old honey make us sick?

It is safe to eat but if stored for a long time honey may become darker and loose aroma and flavor. Its not tasty or attractive but there is no health risk.

  1. What happens if you eat honey everday?

Honey is linked to health benefits. It is an excellent antioxidant. Best is to replace all other forms of sugar with honey.

  1. Should honey be refrigerated?

No as it will get solidified.

  1. When should we take honey?

Best to take in the  morning on empty stomach in warm water with lemon and bedtime too.

  1. How much honey to be consumed everyday?

Ideally not more than 4 tsp as we get sugars from other sources too.

  1. Can honey be heated?

Honey looses its enzymes and nutrients when heated. It may cause negative chemical change and will taste bitter.

VIBRATIONS & FOOD

 

This is a topic which is not covered in any of the nutrition or diet books. But it is very important for us to understand about the relationship between vibrations and food. Thought vibrations are subtle and their effect on physiology and human psychology is profound and undeniable. Food is not just inert fuel for our bodies. It is as alive as we are. In today’s time we get variety of food but at the same time eating food is treated carelessly. There are people who do not have time to think about food and there are also people who simply eat and they don’t even think about what they are eating. Some are very particular about what they eat and some stick to few easily available choices. Hence it is very important to generate good vibrations wherever food is grown, sold, served, stored or transported. Person who cooks and serves should be happy while cooking and serving. We are aware of our Indian age old tradition where cook takes bath before entering kitchen. This ritual serves two purposes. One is it makes the cook conscious of the job at hand and other is directing attention towards cooking rather than something else and helping the cook in the right frame of mind. In Indian tradition food is offered to God without tasting, still the cooked food contains everything in the right proportions. This is called as cooking by feeling. Making food for God to taste first, then accepting and eating as Prasad impart high vibration to the food.

KNOW YOUR FOOD

Well most of the diseases are the result of wrong eating. By changing food habits and understanding the qualities of food the chances of falling ill is minimal. Well known Ayurveda text book Sushruta Samhita states that by changing dietary habits we may cure ourselves without any medicine. While with hundreds of good medicines diseases cannot be cured if the food is wrong. Food is put into 3 categories, that is, Satvik, Rajasik & Tamasik. The categorizing is done on the basis of their effect on the human body.

  1. SATVIK FOOD

They are fresh, juicy, light, nourishing, tasty and sweet. Examples of satvik food are buttermilk, dates, almonds, cucumber, apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, watermelon, pomegranates, coconut, sprouts, rock salt, honey, raisins, fenugreek, black pepper and leafy vegetables. These fresh food give energy to the body and they are easily digestible.

  1. RAJASIK FOOD

They are bitter, sour, salty, hot, dry and pungent. These food create greed, anger, jealousy and fantasies. These food are tasty but not palatable. They need to be fried and treated with spices before serving. Examples are bread, biscuit, soda, spicy food, fried food, sweets sold in shops and homogenized milk. Ayurveda classifies onions as tamasik but garlic as rajasik because of its medicinal properties.

  1. TAMASIK FOOD

Tamasik food consume a large amount of energy to get digested. They are unpalatable, bad smelling, old and decaying. Examples of tamasik food are processed, canned and frozen food, meat, fish, eggs, candies, stale food and even overcooked food become tamasik.

Therefore it is very important for us to know our food.

ALL ABOUT PCOS

There is a chance you will gain weight if you indulge in too many comfort foods or stay away from exercises or gym for too long. But if you have hypothyroidism the numbers on the scale can go up the even if you stick firmly to your diet and exercise regularly. Let us understand the relationship between overweight and hypothyroidism. Thyroid is a small gland based at the neck, sits in front of the wind pipe and has 2 sections. It looks like butterfly. Is very light weight about an ounce. But it is an important part of the endocrine system. Thyroid produces 2 key hormones T3 & T4 which regulates your metabolism or how efficiently your body burns food for energy. When your thyroid makes less of these hormones as it does in hypothyroidism your metabolism slows down. It will be difficult to burn calories but quickly can gain weight.   Much of the weight gain is due to the underactive thyroid on the kidney function.

There are no symptoms as such in the beginning. But later it leads to muscle weakness, fatigue, tiredness, obesity and depression. Therefore it is very important to adopt a new diet and a new lifestyle. Subtract calories from the diet and completely avoid junk food, fried food, packeted food and desserts. Replace desserts with seasonal fruits. Restrict intake of food like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Another way to cut down calories is to eat more energy dense foods as they contain fewer calories that will make one feel full.

Exercising is compulsory. Spend 45 minutes each day. Either go for brisk walk, resistance exercise or cycling. Any activity that makes your heart beat harder and causes you to break a sweat.

ALKALINE FOOD

Well we know food is fuel. It is important to fill in the fight fuel in your body to maintain good health. We do not give much importance to alkaline food rather lot of us do not know what are alkaline food. Every food has pH value. Now what is pH vaule? pH is is short form of potential of hydrogen. When we talk about food , pH value tells us whether the food is acidic or alkaline. The range of pH is 1-14. At 1 the food is extremely acidic and at 14 food is extremely alkaline. Every food has a pH value. Normal drinking water is neutral which is 7. It varies somewhere between 6.5-7.5. pH value of human blood is neutral varies from 7.35-7.45. in today’s time we talk about lifestyle diseases. What are lifestyle diseases? For example if you want to grow rose or lilly in a dessert it will not grow unless you give an environment or create an atmosphere in the dessert where rose or lily can grow. Same way our body needs oxygen and good environment to stay healthy and this can be provided by giving our body alkaline food. Which means pH of those food which range from 7-14 so that the atmosphere in our body is alkaline. Include more of fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh fruit juices, nuts and seeds, sprouts in your diet as these are alkaline. Specially include more of cucumber and lemon in your diet. If you are eating non vegetarian food or spicy food or aerated drinks ensure that you are balancing it by eating alkaline food. When you start taking more alkaline food you start creating a good environment in your body and hence disease or germs cannot thrive on it.