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Dr K K Aggarwal

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).

Best time to sign a deal is at 4 pm

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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As per Ayurveda 2–6 pm in the evening and 2–6 am in the morning are the periods of Vata or creativity. Most poets and writers do their creative work during these times of the day, especially 2–6 am in the morning.

Vata period is more creative and you are less likely to make mistakes. Four PM in the evening is considered the best time to make a deal, sign a document or to send a confession note.

Apart from the time of the day Vata age is old age and Vata month is rainy season. This is one reason that we always pay attention to the advice of the elderly.

 (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.

1. Look for coexisting medical condition, psychiatric disorder, neurologic disease, sleep disorder or drug associated with insomnia.

2. Insomnia that last less than three months: acute insomnia, circadian rhythm sleep disorders (jet lag, shift work), and high altitude insomnia.

  1. Insomnia that last longer than one month: include inadequate sleep hygiene, psycho-physiological insomnia, idiopathic insomnia, behavioral insomnia of childhood, paradoxical insomnia, and insomnia associated with a variety of medical conditions, psychiatric disorders, neurologic diseases, sleep disorders, medications, or drugs.

Acute insomnia

a.     Acute insomnia lasts for less than three months

b.    Is temporally related to an identifiable stressor

c.     Synonyms for acute insomnia include adjustment insomnia, short-term insomnia, stress-related insomnia, and transient insomnia.

d.    Resolve when the stressor resolves or when the individual adapts to it.

e.     Stressors can be physical, psychological, psychosocial, interpersonal, or environmental:

f.     Stressor as mentioned in Vidur Niti: A thief, A lustful person, A person who has lost all his wealth, A person who has failed to achieve success, A person who is weak and has been attacked by a strong person.

g.    Ayurveda describes sleep as an aggravation of Vata. The causes are mental tension; suppressed feelings & acute bitterness.

h.     Other stressors :  Changes in the type or level of background noise; changes in the bedroom, such as a different bed or different furnishings, lighting, temperature, or occupants; consumption of or withdrawal from caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or foods or beverages that contain these substances; stressful life events, such as loss of a loved one, divorce, loss of employment, arguments, particularly happy or sad events, work demands, or school demands; acute or chronic injuries or illnesses, particularly those causing pain or discomfort; medications or illicit drugs that have stimulant properties such as  theophylline, beta blockers, steroids, thyroxine, bronchodilators, or amphetamines, withdrawal from central nervous system depressant drugs and nursing home or hospital admission.

i.       Stress-induced insomnia is related to increased activation of arousal systems rather than decreased drive for sleep.