Food is your best
Although the influence of a fruit or vegetable is a natural property intrinsic to it, it is subject to change. The leaves of fruit or vegetable plants take up the insecticide solutions with which they are sprayed. Consequently, the fruits that these plants bear acquire the influences of the insecticides.
INDIA’s rich heritage includes the wealth of a deep insight into the properties of foods.The knowledge of influences of foods is a valuable legacy that has been handed to us from our forefathers.
A food which causes an exothermic reaction within our body has a hot influence, while a food which causes an endothermic reaction within our body has a cooling influence. The cashewnut, for instance, has a hot influence while the orange has a cooling effect.
The influence of a
food has a great importance from the medical point of view. The
cooling effect of citrus fruits like the lemon, orange and amla,
for example, determines their medicinal properties. The facts that we
have learnt from western scientists are that the ingredients of citrus
fruits help to remedy deficiency of Vitamin C in our body, increase
the oxygen-carrying capacity of our blood and keep the cholesterol
level in it low, preventing the blockage of coronary arteries. These
fruits have a cooling effect and due to this property that citrus
fruits like the amla and orange keep the temperature of blood
in our body low and protect the heart from the excessive heat that is
generated in our body as a result of our eating foods with an
extremely hot influence.
Fruits like mango have a hot influence. They induce sleep and act as a narcotic. The orange and pomegranate, due to their cooling influence, cause a lack of sleep. Thus, one should avoid eating oranges at night.
Peanut, pecan, walnut, pistachio, cashewnut, dry apricots and grapes do not suit a man with a hot disposition. They have a hot influence and cause a burning sensation in the hands and feet of a man with a hot disposition. If taken in excess, these cause discharge of mucus.
One is apt to think that the cooling effect of a fruit is due to the water it contains, but that would be a wrong notion. Grapes, for example, contain water, but they have a hot influence. Similarly, the wines prepared from various fruits contain 90 per cent water, but they have a hot influence.
The old adage that "Food is your best medicine" is quite true. Onion and garlic possess healing properties due to their hot influence. Those who consume garlic are found to suffer fewer heart attacks and have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol serum levels because (due to its hot influence) it dissolves the atherosclerotic blockages in coronary arteries.
"I suffer from acidity, Sir. Can you suggest a cure?" said a man with a hoarse throat to his medical attendant. The medical attendant advised the man to take a dose of lemon water daily. But, expressing disagreement with the medical attendant’s view, a wise Indian physician warned the man not to do so. "The lemon water will certainly cure your trouble, but it will make your throat more hoarse because lemon juice has a cooling effect," said the physician to the man.
Inflammation of the throat membrane is not necessarily due to an infection. A man with a hot disposition may experience pain while swallowing because he has eaten too much of mango pickle or he has had a spicy dish. Corianderseed and aniseed, two important ingredients of Indian food, are used because they keep the temperature of blood in the human body low. One feels like having a drink of sugarcane or orange juice in the summer season, not only because it is delicious but because it has a cooling effect.
The western view is that a high-protein diet with eggs brings about an increase in one’s weight. This is not true in the case of a man with a hot disposition. As a high-protein diet such as the one with eggs has a hot effect. So, a man with a hot disposition starts losing weight if he takes eggs.
The quality of milk of dairy animals is also determined by the influence of the fodder they eat. Green fodder like bamboo leaves raises the amount of milk yield because it has a cooling effect. On the contrary, the milk yield is reduced and the quality of milk goes down if a dairy animal with a hot disposition is fed on euphorbia or peepal leaves. This is because euphorbia and peepal leaves have a hot influence.
Although the influence of a fruit or vegetable is a natural property of it, it is subject to change. The leaves of fruit/ vegetable plants take up the insecticide solutions with which they are sprayed. Consequently, the fruits that these plants bear acquire the influences of the insecticides. Ayurvedic medicines given to patients, therefore, do not have the desired effect because the altered influence of the food (a fruit or vegetable) prescribed by the physician does not suit the efficacy of the medicine.
The knowledge of influences of foods is
a must for one who wants to maintain good health. A revolution will come
about in the world of medical science if doctors from the allopathic
system of medicine acquire this knowledge and include it in their
system. As food is a medicine, such a knowledge can go a long way
towards minimising the side-effects of many medicines we consume.