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Benefits of holistic food and alternative medicines

In order to maintain our total health (physical, emotional, spiritual), we need to become flexible at tall times and adapt to the various changes around us. Each day has its particularly rhythms in terms of sunrise and sunset. Assuming responsibility for the food we put into our bodies is a primary concern—where it is grown, whether it has been sprayed with pesticides, as well as preparation and combination with other foods.

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Each of us requires particular nutrients at different times.

To follow any one diet, such as a Raw Food Diet or Macrobiotic Diet, is to shift responsibility to another human being—the responsibility for tuning in to our own physical vehicles and determining our individual needs, regardless of what is in vogue at the time. Introduction More and more Americans are looking to alternative health care for their own health problems. This is also known as holistic or unconventional medicine. (Complementary and Alternative Medicine). There is a great difference between needs and desires when it comes to food. What we desire may not always be best for our bodies.

If we can distinguish between the two, we can balance ourselves accordingly. There are several ways of determining an individual’s nutrition needs. Laboratory blood tests and hair analysis may or may not be helpful in determining vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The taking of the pulses in Oriental and Ayurvedic medicine, along with facial diagnosis, studying the tongue, and the iris of the eyes, are all excellent ways of diagnosing what is happening in the body. , More moderate diets than simply raw foods or Macrobiotics work for most people.

Whole grains are very grounding and contain most of the B-complex vitamins and other nutrients. Most people do well eating a whole-grain cereal or the whole grains themselves in the morning. This is because the grain is a complex carbohydrate and takes about eight hours to break down in the body. This process of breaking down helps keep the blood sugar up. Whole-grain breads are okay but do not have as many nutrients as the grains themselves. Vegetable maybe added to the grain; proteins like eggs, tofu or fish may also be eaten with the grain for a more substantial meal.

Those with low blood sugar do well it they have some protein in the morning. As was mentioned previously, certain metabolic types that tend to accumulate mucus function better on a very light breakfast of vegetable juices or cooked vegetables or fruit (Kulvinskas 1975). The midday meal should be the largest meal, but this is not always possible for many people who work and bring their food to the office or have to eat at a restaurant. Midday meals should include some vegetables, whether in the form of soups, steamed, or raw in salads. Certain metabolic types and those with low blood sugar benefit from good protein at their midday meal.

This may be eggs or fish (if they are eaten) or a soy product like tofu. (Dairy products like cheese tend to form a lot of mucus and are responsible for many allergic conditions. They should be used primarily in the form of soured-milk products like yogurts, kefir, buttermilk, acidophilus cottage cheese, or a small amount of goat milk cheese). Some people need heavier food at midday – a grain or bread, or root vegetables like potatoes or squash. Dinner depends on what one has eaten for the midday meal. Ideally, dinner should be the lightest meal since one goes to sleep several hours afterwards.

Digestive enzymes work best at midday; that is when our fire is at its greatest (the internal fire creates the enzymes that break down food). (Kulvinskas 1975). Steamed or raw vegetables should be included at dinner with some protein, grain or root vegetable. Heavy carbohydrates such as pasta, beans, and breads should be avoided, as well as heavy proteins and fatty foods like meats and dairy products. Fruits should be eaten separately as snacks in between meals unless it is an all-fruit meal. Fruits can be very acid and are difficult to digest with other foods.

Beverages are best after a meal as well, except for vegetable juices which may be drunk before a meal. Herbal teas and grain beverages should be served a short while after eating since the liquids wash away the digestive enzymes. Alcoholic beverage drunk with meals also have an acidic effect and may interfere with the digestive process. Alcoholic beverages in general are not particularly good for the liver and may interfere with bile production. Certain foods like vinegar, nutritional yeast, cranberries, raw spinach, raw green pepper, and tomatoes are very acidic and should be avoided.

(Tomatoes may be used on occasion in a cooked sauce. ) Wheat products form a lot of mucus, and many people are allergic to them. Rye bread, corn bread, and other wheat less breads such as millet bread may be substitute. Rye flour, rice flour, buck wheat flour, and soy flour may be used in baking instead of whole wheat flour. A balanced diet includes whole grains at least once a day; vegetables, raw or cooked, twice a day; protein, once or twice a day; and fruit as a snack. If sweets are used, they should be made with honey, barley malt syrup, or rice syrup.

Those with low blood sugar do best with the syrups made form grains because they have more complex carbohydrates. There are many cookies and candy bars where these syrups are used; many are also fruit-juice sweetened (Trum Hunter, 1971). For those who have certain food addictions and cravings, there are ways to balance the today and substitute healthier foods. Many people are used to drinking coffee in the morning and at other times of the day to wake them up. The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant to the nervous system, but it can make one very wired without really increasing vitality or energy.

Herbs as gotu-kola or fo-ti which do, in fact, increase adrenal energy, can be used instead. If one likes the taste of coffee, there are grain beverages, such as Roma, Cafix, or Pero, which are coffee substitutes; some of these even come in a package similar to coffee and can be used in drip coffeepots for a comparable taste. (Trum Hunter, 1971). Many people crave sugar, especially mid-afternoon when their energy drops. Usually if they eat as substantial breakfast with a cooked whole-grain product, blood sugar remains higher. Also, a pancreas glandular supplement after meal can help to stabilize the blood sugar.

However, it is a good idea to have a mid-afternoon snack like a piece of fresh or some raw vegetables, nuts or seeds. If one wants something sweet, cookies or a candy bar with natural sweetening may be used. (Kulvinskas 1975). Variety in foods is a good principle to abide by in order to obtain nutrients and to avoid allergies. Eating a different grain every morning is a way to vary breakfasts. Using different vegetables for lunch and dinner and alternating the type of protein is another way to seek variety. The way foods are served may also add nutrition.

Foods in combination with certain proteins produce essential amino acids; for example, adding seeds or tofu to a grain dish. Diet includes much more than the food itself. Diet includes the type of food we buy. Is it organic, or does it have chemical additives? Where was it grown? What kind of store was it bought in? all these factors affect the vibrational quality of the food we eat. How we prepare the food also affects it; if we are feeling angry or upset, it might be better to have a snack and wait until we feel more balanced. In fact, we will take in those angry vibrations with our food; this often is why people get indigestion.

It is better to eat meals slowly in a relaxed atmosphere than at one’s desk of white driving to and from places. Food eaten in a relaxed atmosphere will be much more healing to our bodies than food, no matter how high the quality, eaten on the run. (Kulvinskas 1975). We are what we eat has been a much – overused statement. As spiritual beings, we know we are more than our food intake. Perhaps we could change the statement to “We are how we eat. ” How we eat reflects how we nurture ourselves and each other, and ultimately, how we treat our environment. Chemical Drama in the Cells What is a free radical?

It is a molecule that has lots a vital piece of itself – one of its electrically charged electrons that orbit in pairs. To restore balance, the radical frantically steals an electron from nearby molecules or gives away the unpaired one. In so doing, it creates molecular mayhem, careening into the protein, fats and genetic DNA of cells, disfiguring and corroding them. If the target is fat, the radical can set off wildly destructive chain reactions that break down membranes, leaving cells to disintegrate. Upon meeting protein, the radical may shave off bits, destroying its ability to function.

Hits on DNA, especially in the cells’ tiny power factories called mitochondria, cause mutations that incite cells to aberrant behavior: Over time, the free radical damage takes its toll by leaving the body aged and diseased (Kushi, 1977). Enter the saviors – antioxidants. Simply, an antioxidants is a chemical that can donate a sought-after electron to a free radical without becoming dangerous itself. Thus an antioxidant, meeting a radical, puts an end to its rampage of cellular and bodily destruction – the slow degeneration known as aging. (Kushi, 1977).

How do scientists know that antioxidants can stop aging? The proof is not total because the theory has not been, and probably never can be, tested on generations of human. That many experiments with human cells and other species show the theory has biologically validity. Consider, for example, a recent thrilling experiment on fruit flies that, some say, offer absolute proof of the free radical theory of aging. If it can happen to fruit flies, it can happen to man. Experiments were done where scientists genetically altered a living creature so that it produced antioxidant enzymes to mop up free radicals.

They presupposed such creatures lived longer and remain younger than identical creatures not treated to the antioxidant – bolstering gene. According to Earl Stastman, “chief of the laboratory of biochemistry at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and an authority on aging ”It would be pretty good proof that free radicals foster aging and that stronger antioxidant defenses slow down aging. ” That’s exactly happened to fruit flies in ground breaking experiments in 1994 by geneticists William Orr and Rajindar Sohal at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Fruit flies is genetically engineered to have souped up antioxidant system exceeded there normal life spans by one third! Some even lived an unprecedented ninety-three days, setting a life span for fruit flies. (Complementary and Alternative Medicine). More exciting also was their youthful vigor into old age. Scientists watching the tiny flies under magnifying glasses instantly spot which had received the antioxidant-producing genes because they were “so much more vigorous. ” They walked 10 to 20 percent faster than normal flies their age.

Halfway through life most could walk one centimeter per second- a brisk pace for a young fruit fly. ” In other words, the quality of life of the flies was better. They were stronger physiologically,” said Dr. Sohal (Complementary and Alternative Medicine). This is not to suggest that it’s time to insert such genes in humans but the experiment does dramatically prove the principle that an oversupply of an oxidants defenses in the body stretches life and vigor. For now, you must get antioxidants through your diet. But however they get into the cells of your body, they are apt to deter aging and prolong life.

All life, after all, works on the same basic principles, says Dr. Harman. (Rohe, 1983). Conclusions Variety in foods is a good principle to abide by in order to obtain nutrients and to avoid allergies. Eating a different grain every morning is a way to vary breakfasts. Using different vegetables for lunch and dinner and alternating the type of protein is another way to seek variety. The way foods are served may also add nutrition. Foods in combination with certain proteins produce essential amino acids; for example, adding seeds or tofu to a grain dish.

Holistic foods include much more than the food itself. Diet includes the type of food we buy. Is it organic, or does it have chemical additives? Where was it grown? What kind of store was it bought in? All these factors affect the vibrational quality of the food we eat. How we prepare the food also affects it; if we are feeling angry or upset, it might be better to have a snack and wait until we feel more balanced. In fact, we will take in those angry vibrations with our food; this often is why people get indigestion.

It is better to eat meals slowly in a relaxed atmosphere than at one’s desk or while driving to and from places. Food eaten in a relaxed atmosphere will be much more healing to our bodies than food, no matter how high the quality, eaten on the run. We are what we eat has been a much-overused statement. We know we are more than our food intake. Perhaps, we could change the statement to “We are how we eat. ” How we eat reflects how we nurture ourselves and each other, and ultimately, how we treat our environment. REFERENCES Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Retrieved April 16, 2007 at: http://www. aarp. org/health/staying_healthy/prevention/complementary_and_alternative_medicine. html Kulvinskas. V. (1975). Survival into the 21st Century (Woodstock Valley, CT: O’Mawgo D Press. p. 41. Kushi, M. (1977). The Book of Macrobiotics: The Universal Way of Health and Happiness (Tokyo: Japan Publications, Inc. p. 78 Rohe, F. (1983). The Complete Book of Natural Foods (Boulder, CO: Shambhala Pubns. P. 31 Trum Hunter, B. (1971). Consumer Beware. New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc. p. 114.