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Dr K K Aggarwal

All will not benefit by reducing salt

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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An analysis from the large international PURE trial reopened the debate over the link between sodium and blood pressure. Presenting PURE SODIUM at the European Society of Cardiology 2013 Congress, Dr Andrew Mente (McMaster University, Hamilton, ON) and colleagues said that only certain subgroups will actually experience blood pressure benefits from restricting their sodium consumption.

Ayurveda has been talking about it for some time. People with Kapha personality and pitta personality will benefit and not those with vata personality.

The Science behind eating Khichdi in Paush Month

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • It is wet winter full of fog and smog.
  • From Ayurveda point of view, Kapha is aggravating, Vata is accumulating and Pitta is at its minimum.
  • The food intake should therefore contain Kapha-pacifying foods, which are light, easily digestible, hot, warm and Pitta increasing, so that they can increase the digestive fire to digest.
  • One of the main foods is eating Khichidi or a mix of brown rice and lentils /moong daal/ or bajara khichdi
  • Khichdi or lentil rice mix is light to eat and digest.
  • In Allopathy terms when we eat proteins it must contain all essential amino acids. Normally foods from animal sources, such as meat, eggs and dairy products, are complete proteins. Soy and quinoa are the only two plant-based protein sources that provide complete protein. Incomplete protein sources lack one or more of the essential amino acids.

The essential amino acid deficit of one plant food can be overcome by combining it with a complementary plant food that provides adequate amounts of the limited essential amino acid.

As an example, grains (rice) are low in the essential amino acid lysine and high in methionine, whereas legumes (lentils, pulses, beans) are low in methionine and high in lysine. Peanuts are another complementary protein for rice.

Pairing complete proteins, such as milk, soya, meat, fish or eggs with incomplete proteins like brown rice also provides complete protein. Rice and dal is therefore eaten with curd as a tradition.

You don’t need to consume complementary proteins at the same meal, but you do need to consume them in the same day. The adequacy of protein intake is determined by the total quantity of protein and amino acids from the variety of foods consumed during the day.

  • Khichidi gives energy. All Gods are worshipped in this season with this food. In khichidi Rice and pulses should be in ratio of 1:2.
  • Bajra khichdi is another favorite food item in this month. It is health-friendly as it has complex non refined carbs. To balance it is served with desi ghee to take away its dry effect.
  • To make it equivalent to 56 bhog of winter, heeng, saunth (garam masala has less saunth), peepali, mirch, ajwain, javitri and jaiphal are added.
  • Bajra khichidi is usually eaten with garlic (counters constipation), less butter/ghee.
  • It is also eaten with garlic chatni, or amla chatni ( both are good for the heart)
  • In constipation: eat khichdi with curd, salad, white butter, ghee

 (Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Human body needs servicing too

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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While automobile vehicles need preventive servicing every three months, the human body needs it every two months. According to Ayurveda, the seasons change every two months, approximately in the middle of the month. Ayurveda describes these changes and precautions to be taken in great detail. The current makar rashi season, which starts today with sun changing its direction northwards resulting into lengthening of day and shortening of night time needs many lifestyle changes to balance health and prevent diseases. Vata gets aggravated, kapha gets accumulated and pitta gets depleted in this season. In allopathic language, pitta denotes metabolic functions, vata signifies movement functions and kapha stands for secretory functions of the body. Lohri, Makar Sankranti and Pongal are celebrated with khichdi, milk, gur, bhaat, sesame (Til) laddu, light hot food and beverages, etc. all indicating measures to reduce vata and kapha and to increase pitta in the body.

Understanding Your Personality: Vata, Pitta, Kapha

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Ayurveda classifies human personality and body into different types scientifically. As per the concept the universe is made up of five elements: space, air, fire, water and earth.

As is the macrocosm so is the microcosm is a common Vedic saying. Human body according to Ayurveda is also made up of these five elements, which in turn in the body unites together to perform three main functions:  movement, metabolism and structure. Ayurveda terms them as doshas and the person as per the predominant dosha is said to have a particular prakriti called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. In allopathic language the Vata represents movement function, Pitta metabolism and Kapha represents structure.

 People with Vata predominant dosha have predominant space and air elements, Pitta have fire and water elements and Kapha have earth and water elements.

Having predominant space and air elements, Vata people are thin built and have tendencies for movement and airy disorders. They suffer from pain, palpitation, dysmenorrhea, renal colic, gall bladder colic, anxiety, insomnia, constipation, diarrhea, addictions, etc. Vata people have dry and cold hands.

Pitta being predominant in metabolism, fire and water, are medium built in personality and often suffer from acidity, skin infections, fevers, spleen, kidney and liver disorders, early graying of hair, heart disease, paralysis, etc. Pitta people have hot and moist hands.

Kapha people with predominant structure, earth and water components, are heavy built and often suffer from depression, diabetes, obesity, lethargies, early morning sleepiness, etc. Kapha people have moist and cold hands.

The main purpose of Ayurveda is to balance these doshas in respective persons. According to ayurvedic texts all doshas are perfect provided the doshas are not vitiated.

In terms of food, Vata gets aggravated with astringent, pungent and bitter tastes, Pitta by pungent, sour and salt tastes and Kapha by sweet, sour and salt tastes.

In terms of colour preference, Vata likes green colour, Pitta like blue and Kapha like red colour. In terms of music Vata people like fast music and Kapha people like slow music. In terms of sports, Vata and Pitta are fast runners and Kapha like indoor games.

 Take an example of a person waiting at railway station for the train. Vata person will become restless if the train is late enquiring about the same again and again often with a cigarette in the hand. Pitta person on the other hand will go to the enquiry counter, enquire and come back. And if the train does not come at the speculated time he will start shouting and showing his ego that he will get an enquiry officer terminated using his contacts. The Kapha persons on the other hand will be seen calm and bother less and will tell the enquiry officer that “I am relaxing in the lounge and whenever the train comes please inform me.”

 Vata people are best front line workers, Pitta best managers and Kapha best rulers. In terms of marital relationships, two Vata partners will be seen quarrelling all the time and also settling very fast. The worst relationship is between two Pitta partners especially if both are professionals as their ego will clash on tiny issues. Two Kapha partners are the best partners and often declared as made for each other couple. To be a good wife a lady should have some of the Kapha characters.

As per the constitution a person can be Vata, Pitta or Kapha, Vata-Pitta, Vata-Kapha, Pitta-Vata, Pitta-Kapha, Kapha-Vata and Kapha-Pitta or he can be Vata-Pitta-Kapha in equal proportions.

 In terms of timings 6 am to 10 am is the Kapha period, 10 am – 2 pm is the Pitta period and 2pm to 6 am is the Vata period and so on. In terms of season, Vata season is dry and cold, Pitta hot and humid and Kapha cold and humid.

 In terms of age, childhood is the Kapha period, adulthood is the Pitta period and old age is the Vata period.

By looking at a person, his habits, pulse and other parameters it is possible to know the personality of a person, his or her proneness to diseases and behaviors which will pacify doshas.

 Like Vata, Pitta and Kapha there are Gunas in mind and they are Satwa, Rajas and Tamas where Satwa represents purity of mind, Rajas aggression and Tamas inertia. Tamas usually goes with Kapha, Rajas with Pitta and Satwa with Vata.

 A particular disease may develop according to the personality. In terms of joint involvement, Vata will have arthalgia (joint pains), Pitta will have inflammation and Kapha will have swelling. In tuberculosis a Vata person will suffer from fibrosis, Pitta from inflammatory ulcerative lesions and Kapha from water collection. In terms of cancer, Vata cancers will be stricture based, Pitta ulcerative based and Kapha cauliflower based.