Sub Logo

Dr K K Aggarwal

Navratra: Time to eat buckwheat flour

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Navratra: Time to eat buckwheat flour

Navratra is the time when wheat flour is omitted from the diet and substituted it with buckwheat flour or kuttu ka aata. Buckwheat is not a cereal grain; it is a fruit and hence is a good substitute for Navratra fasts where cereals are prohibited.

  1. The flour is extremely high in protein and is a wonderful substitute for those who are allergic to gluten (found in wheat).
  2. It is good for patients with celiac disease as it is gluten-free.
  3. It contains phytonutrient rutin, which lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.
  4. It is rich in magnesium, vitamin B, iron, calcium, folate, zinc, copper, manganese and phosphorus.
  5. As the buckwheat hulls are hard to chew, traditionally they are soaked for about six hours and then cooked to make them softer and easily digestible.
  6. It also contains alpha linolenic acid, which increases HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) and controls LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol).
  7. It is a good source of insoluble fiber and prevents occurrences of gallbladder stones. According to the American Journal of Gastroenterology, a 5 % increase in the insoluble fiber intake results in a 10% reduced risk of gall-bladder stones.
  8. Kuttu is 75% of complex carbohydrates and 25% of high quality protein, which makes it an ideal food for weight loss.
  9. As the flour is gluten-free, a potato is used to bind the flour together.
  10. The flour tastes different.
  11. Pooris made from kuttu flour are crunchier than the normal wheat flour pooris.
  12. One should not make pooris with hydrogenated oils or vanaspati as it will take away all the medical benefits of buckwheat flour.
  13. Buckwheat flour however is subjected to adulteration.
  14. Mixtures of rye flour, Indian corn flour, wheat flour, and other ground cereals are often used as a substitute for buckwheat.
  15. Being high in fiber and low glycemic index it is good substitute for diabetic patients. The glycemic index for buck wheat is 47 (Low GI foods have a GI value less than 55; medium GI foods have a GI value between 55 and 69 and high GI foods have GI value greater than 70).
  16. The chiro-inositol present in buckwheat has been identified as the diabetes preventing component.
  17. Asthma symptoms can occur in sensitized children when food allergens such as buckwheat are cooked in a confined area. Both acute and late-phase respiratory symptoms are seen.
  18. Eat kuttu ki roti instead of poori or pakodas (fried items) made from kuttu atta (buckwheat flour).
  19. One can also prepare idlis from kuttu atta (buckwheat flour) and dosa from the samak rice (non grain seed)
  20. Food poisoning may occur if flour left over from the previous year is reused.

Cultivating Positive Thoughts

Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Cultivating Positive Thoughts

Darkness present in a room cannot be removed physically. It can only be removed by switching on the light. Darkness therefore can be defined as absence of light.

In the same way negative thoughts can be defined as absence of positive thoughts. It is very difficult to remove negative thoughts but it is very easy to cultivate positive thoughts. Persistent negative thoughts creates sympathetic over activity and leads to lifestyle disorders like blood pressure, acidity, depression, diabetes and heart blockages.

Many Vedic scriptures have talked about modalities of living a positive life and cultivating positive thoughts.  The ritual Navratra observed twice in a year involves three phases of three days each, the first phase where one tries not to do negative things willfully (worshipping the Kali), the second phase of three days where one willfully performs positive activities (worshipping the Laxmi) and finally the last three days where one reads about positive lifestyle (worshipping the Saraswati).

 Yoga Sutras of Patanjali in one of the sutras talks about removal of negativity by cultivating opposite thoughts. For example the thoughts of theft can be removed by bringing the thoughts of charity in mind. Patanjali wrote (2.32, 2.33) “that to counteract destructive attitudes one should cultivate thoughts of the opposite kind. These destructive attitudes, as for example thoughts of violence, whether they are done, caused to be done, or merely approved of; whether motivated by greed, anger, or preceded by ignorance; and whether mild, moderate, or extreme will result in infinite suffering and ignorance. Therefore one should cultivate thoughts of the opposite kind”.

 Lord Buddha in his teachings has given another formula by which one does not have to cultivate opposite thought to cultivate any positive thought. Buddha said that hatred couldn’t be removed by hatred; it can only be removed by bringing the love back. It is a fact that one cannot hate an unknown individual. One can hate only a person to whom he or she loved once. Generalized positive behaviour involves promoting smile, appreciating and passing on compliments to others.

 Adi Shankaracharya in his teachings propagated the third way of negating the negative thoughts. He said that every thought has multiple perspectives and one should think differently for every situation. Giving an example he said that if one happens to face a situation of a young beautiful girl with bare chest, instead of feeling shy or closing the eyes one can look at those breasts and think in the mind that these are very breasts from where I drank milk in my childhood. The feeling of physical desire will immediately change to the feeling of motherhood.

 Cultivation of positive thoughts, opposite thoughts or changing the perception of the thoughts, can be all in the mind, may remain silent or end up with an action. Even giving a silent blessing to some one without his or her knowledge is considered as a positive thought.

 Satwik thoughts comes from satwik mind and satwik mind in turn comes from satwik food. The best way to remember a satwik food is that whatever is offered to God is satwik in nature. The food is fresh, seasonal, locally grown, with cooking done on Ayurvedic principles, usually naturally white and in most instances contained in the top part of the tree or the plant.

 The frame and state of mind also has to do with death and the rebirth. Both Buddha and Bhagwad Gita (chapter 8) describes it in great details. The state of mind at the time of death, determines the rebirth. If the mind is calm and peaceful and imbued with positive thoughts at the time of death, this will augur well for a happy rebirth. However, if the mind is in a state of anger or has strong desire or is fearful etc, this will predispose to an unhappy or lower type of rebirth.

The mind that arises at the time of death is usually the one that the person is most habituated to. People tend to die in character. So Buddha wrote that the time to prepare for death is “now”, because if we gain control over our mind now and create positive aura we will have a calm and controlled mind at the time of death and be free of fear.