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A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.

Diet

A proper and balanced diet is essential for the overall wellbeing of the body and mind. It has been seen that ingestion of inadequate amount of nourishments or eating the wrong or harmful types of food results in the amassing of contaminants in our body and this eventually leads to chronic aliments. On the other hand, taking a nourishing diet not only ensures that we are in the pink of health in general, but also enables us to sustain vigorous Body Mass Index (BMI). In the process, a healthy and balanced diet diminishes the perils of degenerating ailments, such as diabetes, cancer, stroke, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and many others.

Many people would ask what actually a well balanced diet is. Well, for the uninitiated, a well balanced diet is one that comprises all the essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and other substances required for the optimum functioning of our body. In other words, a well balanced or nourishing diet basically comprises foods from five diverse food grouping, such as:

  • Cereals (together with cereals for breakfast), bread and potatoes (starch-rich foods).
  • Vegetables and fruits (together with fresh fruit juice).
  • Fish, meat and poultry products.
  • Milk and dairy products.
  • Sugar and fat.

In addition to taking a balanced diet, it is essential that people eat three main meals every day. In fact, it is important that we consume enough of foods rich in starch content and more vegetables and fruits. At the same time, it is essential that we reduce intake of fat, eat a smaller amount of salt and also cut down on alcohol-based beverages. Before buying any foodstuff, we ought to look for their labels and only purchase and consume them if the labels say that the foods contains low fat, especially saturated fat, low salt and are free of any sugary content.

As we all know, vegetables and fruits enclose sufficient amounts of minerals and vitamins. At the same time, they have reduced calorie content and are rich in dietary fiber. In fact, consuming plenty of vegetables and fruits helps to maintain a healthy heart and body. What is more important is the fact that consuming sufficient amount of vegetables and fruits also prove to be a healthier substitute of eating munchies and chocolates as refreshments between main meals.

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Dietary healing

The importance of taking a well balanced and healthy diet and its benefits were known to humans since the earliest period of evolution. Since the time immemorial, people were aware of the health benefits of a nourishing diet as well as the fact that foods have the aptitude to alter the biological functioning of the body. As a result, people formulated specific food therapies to heal an assortment of conditions. While people used limes to avoid scurvy (a disease distinguished by swollen and bleeding gums, bruised spots on the skin and prostration), yogurt was consumed to avert thrush (a contagious disease caused by a fungus, Candida albicans) and contagions by yeasts. People then also consumed warm milk to stimulate sleep. Although the human civilization has come a long way since then, even to this day there is no alternative to a well balanced diet and, most importantly, the healing practices of the olden days are effective even in contemporary times.

Looking at the issue, diet therapy or healing through specific diet is actually an extensive expression that involves using nourishments sensibly to prevent or cure any ailment. Generally, diet therapy entails alteration of the prevailing eating habits to endorse the best possible health. Nevertheless, in a number of instances, one may also develop a substitute dietary routine with the aim of doing away with specific foods so as to restore one's health following an ailment or surgery. For example, dietary therapy involving an alternative food routine is generally advised for patients suffering from different allergic reactions, inclusive of allergies that are not caused by consumption of any food. In effect, such elimination diet healing is occasionally found to be useful in getting rid of the symptoms related to attention deficit disorder (a condition generally diagnosed in children and distinguished by inattentiveness, dreaminess and passivity) as well as hyperactivity among children.

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In addition, there are a number of diet therapy prototypes that are designed to aim or endorse additional counteraction against particular medical conditions. It has been found that usually such diet therapies derive their names from specific cultures and regions that habitually eat specific types of foods that are comparatively free of particular ailments. For example, the Mediterranean Diet emphasizes on the use of hale point of supply of monounsaturated fat like olive oil. In addition, whole grains and lean meat also encloses rich amounts of monounsaturated fats. It is important to note consuming such types of foods can considerably lower the intensity of cholesterol in the blood stream and thereby, less the perils of aliments related to the heart.

The "Eskimo Diet' is another specific nourishment regime that is also known to diminish the hazards of heart ailments. It is interesting to note that though both the Mediterranean Diet and the Eskimo Diet are useful in averting heart-related disease, the two diets are very distinctive from each other. There is a vast difference between the culture as well as the eating habits of the Eskimos and people inhabiting the Mediterranean region. Another notable fact is that despite consuming high amounts of fat and cholesterol in their diet, the Inuit people inhabiting the Greenland and Alaska regions seldom suffer from heart ailments. The reason behind this absurdity is said to be the fact that along with consuming foods that have high fat and cholesterol content, these people also eat plenty of fish, especially mackerel and salmon. Thus, while the diet of the people inhabiting the Mediterranean region contains plenty of monounsaturated fats, the diet of the Eskimos is high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that are considered to be useful in maintaining a healthy heart.

Apart from endorsing the health of the heart and protecting from cardiovascular diseases, diet therapy is also effective in averting cancer as well as an additional treatment for the killer disease. In fact, fruits and vegetables enclose high amounts of bioflavonoids and antioxidants and these help in putting off the oxidative stress in our body, which, in turn, is likely to thwart the development of diverse forms of cancer. For instance, vegetables belonging to the mustard family like cauliflower and broccoli are particularly useful in lowering the hazards of developing stomach and colon cancers. Apart from this, if you are able to restrict your fat consumption to just 30 per cent of calorie intake through your diet, it will also prove to be useful in averting the risks of developing cancers of the breast and colon.

If you are desiring a diet therapy for any particular medical condition you will usually prepare a list of foods that you ought to consume and, also the foods that you should keep away from. For example, if you are taking diet therapy for treating arthritis, your diet will mainly comprise anti-inflammatory foods or foods that neutralize inflammation. At the same time, it is important to do away with all foods that enclose high levels of oxalic acid and also foods that are said to diminish the absorption of calcium by the body. On the other hand, if you are availing diet therapy for depression or mood swings, you need to consume foods that stimulate augmented secretion of specific hormones in the brain like serotonin. This can be achieved by ingesting more of the foods that enclose B vitamins, complex carbohydrates as well as omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

It is very natural that the diet of an ailing person should essentially comprise foods that facilitates the healing or recovery process and, at the same time, reduces uneasiness, tenderness or irritation. In fact, diet therapy is particularly useful in recuperating from an illness when it is used as healthcare method that corresponds with the actual treatment for the condition. In addition, we all are aware of the fact the people who wish to increase or decrease their body weight usually take the help of diet therapy. Diet therapy is also effective for people who have a highly receptive digestive system that is susceptible to allergic reactions; people who have difficulty in assimilating specific types of foods, people who are endeavouring to generate definite results in their body, such as controlling the blood sugar levels or are working to prevail over certain deficiencies, such as inadequacy of essential minerals or vitamins in their body. For example, people who are anemic would be recommended diets that contain high levels of iron. In this care, a dietician or healthcare provider will make a list of the foods that contain high amounts of iron and suggest the patient to consume plenty of those foods every day to overcome the iron deficiency.

Ayurveda and diet therapy

Basically, diet therapy can be defined as a food regimen that says what foods one should precisely eat and what one should avoid keeping their health aspects in view. Alternatively, diet therapy may also be considered a recommended eating manner pursuing the guidelines of Ayurveda, the practice of the ancient Indian herbal therapy, or a macrobiotic diet. Ayurveda is a time-tested therapeutic method that not only helps to avert developing a medical condition, but also aids in invigorating the body and the mind. In fact, the principles of Ayurveda heal each and every part of the body both physically and mentally by means of a food regimen and meditation. On the other hand, dieticians and medical practitioners regularly suggest people enduring different forms of cancer or any chronic ailment to follow the macrobiotic diet since it focuses on consuming foods that have low fat content, but are high in dietary fiber. This type of food needs to be nourishing as well as least processed. On the whole, diet therapy emphasizes on the fact that patients ought to consume food that is fresh, organic and balanced along with an assortment of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

It has been established since times immemorial that what ever we eat has an express impact on our health. In other words, foods we ingest and our wellbeing are directly related. For example, findings of researches printed in eminent scientific journals like The Lancet and Science have discovered a relation between kids consuming foods that are highly processed with chemicals and having poorer periods of concentration. Thus, it is natural that children enduring attention-deficit disorder (ADD) are generally persuaded to consume an organic diet and keep away from foods containing additives that are petroleum based or foods that are synthetically colored.

Patients suffering from depression are recommended to have at least one serving of pasta daily with a view to overcome the condition. In addition, such people are persuaded to consume foods that contain extremely high levels of necessary fatty acids and also restrict their daily fat consumption through foods they ingest to a maximum of 30 per cent. In addition, it has been found that processed sugar, alcohol and caffeine also aggravate depression and hence, it is advisable to shun foods containing these substances or taking alcoholic beverages.

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