Sunday, April 14, 2013

"World Health Day"

.....was a day on which a lot of medical professionals talked mainly about disease......and risk factors and their consequences. The theme though was to focus on Blood Pressure and Salt Consumption..... A valuable statement that was released by not only the WHO but several national medical associations around the world was that each adult should be consuming a maximum of 5 g (1 teaspoon) of salt per day ~ 2000 mg of Sodium per day to prevent heart disease.

     However, this post isn't about our salt consumption though I promise that's coming soon....... rather this post is about the medical advice I listened to on World Health Day last Sunday......


     I've been treated with the homoeopathic medical system since I was around 12 years of age (when we moved to Mysore in Karnataka). Our Homoeopath, Dr Khader, who is also a close family friend has helped me get through various illnesses that plagued me - from healing my liver (had 2 bouts of jaundice when I was younger) to dealing with viral infections and more (I wasn't exactly a picture of perfect health, especially as a child and young adult).


     Dr Khader used to work for a pharma major in the US, always planning to ultimately return to India. He saw first-hand the methods used, unscrupulous dealings and the actual effects these chemicals had on one's body. He also saw the way man has become dependent on artificial materials rather than natural. He decided that this life was not for him and although he worked for a year or two with the same company in their location in India, he chose to give up a cushy job and move back to Mysore with his wife and daughter to practice Homoeopathy.


     He makes a difference in several ways...firstly, treating / curing thousands of people through homoeopathy, a gentle, natural system of medicine. Secondly, he owns an organic farm, the produce of which he makes available to his friends and patients for a nominal price. Thirdly, he has addressed hundreds of thousands of people in Karnataka and other states on Organic / Natural Farming.....assisting thousands of farmers mainly in Karnataka to convert to sustainable, natural, organic methods of farming. Finally, he creates awareness among individuals and communities on healthy, earth-friendly living at public speaking opportunities.


     His lecture on World Health Day was a combination of advice he has personally given me and countless other patients as well as new nuggets to chew on......I've compiled a list of thought-provoking ideas that he communicated......


   ---   Disturbing Trends..... Children developing Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, girls as young as 7 years of age entering puberty, toddlers having seizures and suffering from a variety of autoimmune disorders.


   ---   Even rising number of cases of breast cancer in women. He was describing watching a 'Run for breast cancer awareness' held recently with everyone in pink shirts. The irony was, did they know what were they really running for? Fighting this type of cancer? Or Prevention? If prevention, then what information are they actually giving women out there to prevent breast cancer?


   ---   One of the simplest ways to kill two birds with one stone (only figuratively speaking) is 'Breastfeeding'. The natural process of humans feeding their young with the most complete source of nutrition is being sidelined nowadays in favour of formula feeding. There are of course those very real instances of non-availability of breast milk or other feeding problems which need to be dealt with separately but the bottom line is women should by any and every means possible feed their child solely with breast milk for the first 6 months of life. Breastfeeding has a protective effect for women in later life - rate of gynaecological cancers and many other disorders are lower in women who breastfed their children.


   ---   For children, exclusive mother's milk for the first 6 months of life gives the maximum protection against chronic disease in later life and the strongest immune system during childhood itself! The risk of the above childhood problems then is reduced considerably. A woman can continue breastfeeding for up to 3 years! Needless to say, the maternal diet during these critical phases of life also play a huge role in the health of the foetus / infant.


   ---   Another way to prevent childhood health disturbances is by feeding your children (after 6 months of age) whole grains - millets (like ragi, bajra, jowar, foxtail, etc), red and brown rice, whole wheat (all preferably organic) and locally grown apart from a variety of whole pulses and legumes. Millets which were once labelled as 'kirudhanya' (lesser grains) have been renamed 'siridhanya' (valuable / rich grains) and are making a comeback into kitchens - explore different ways in which you can use these grains - they contain abundant nutrients and add fibre and variety to the diet. For more info, refer my post on whole grains.


   ---    A source of ills is our dependence on only two main types of cereal grains - white rice and wheat. White rice has almost no real nutritional value - just supplying refined starch and the problem with wheat is the varieties available now in stores are so hybridized and genetically diverse from natural strains that they have a huge impact on health.


   ---  Our country is under the monopoly of food industries and pharma companies -neither of which is really interested in anything but their own profits. Going by the media advertisements, eating healthy food is infra-dig and the real food is all that tasty fast stuff. Unfortunately, natural, whole foods cannot speak for themselves or advertise and are therefore not considered as important by the public!


   ---  Processed food available freely across the country is the major culprit of our deteriorating health....there are countless toxic chemical ingredients in these foods that may be regarded as clinically safe but in reality, build disease in our bodies with regular consumption.


   ---   It's critical to understand that there's no end to living healthily - start making changes that last a lifetime if you want your whole family to reap the benefits - if you want the disorders you started out with or were at risk for, they'll be back the minute you get back to your old ways! Get real - wellness involves creating healthy habits for life...


Parting gem.........


........ include green leaves at least 3-4 times a week in your eating pattern - they are your liver's best friends. They help detoxify the body ongoingly. Try different local varieties - here in Karnataka - honge, amruthaballi, neem, hongone, vandelega, doddipatre, etc. all have medicinal value. Also, don't forget the medicine cabinet in your kitchen - the spices you use on a daily basis are some of the most potent remedies for our ills. For more on this, refer the post on Kitchen Secrets.








   









5 comments:

  1. Excellent Article. Could you please give me DR.Khadar's mail id?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, please mail me at smitha.nutrition@gmail.com and I will put you in touch.

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. Thank you very much for taking the time to go through this post. I am always interested in prevention of chronic disease and this is what I write about, however I also acknowledge that truly healing cancer treatment is necessary and hope that your esteemed institution also largely takes a 'Food as Medicine' and holistic approach in bringing about your patients' wellness.

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