Natural Supplements for a Healthy Body – Part 2

At Turiya Wellness Center, we had 3 day wellness workshops from July 28-30, 2017. The topic on day 1 was Natural Supplements for a Healthy Body. The lecture was delivered by Dr.Sanjay, MBBS MDRD, Assistant Professor at the Department of Radiodiagnosis, K R Hospital, Mysore medical college and research Institute. We are sharing here the highlights from the talk as written down by one of the participants – Mrs.Geetha Naresh.

The second part of this 3 part blog is about important Vitamins needed for the body and how to make sure we get them.

Vitamin D

The best source of Vitamin D is the morning sunlight. Now we hear more and more Indians living even in South India having Vitamin D deficiency. Earlier it used to be a problem only for people living in cold climate, not having enough exposure to Sunlight. But now in most urban areas, our lifestyle involves being mostly indoors. We don’t make use of the morning sunlight which is natural, free and assured almost every. The blood test to test for Vitamin costs over Rs.1000/-, and most test results will show deficiency. However, the best ways to supplement this deficiency is free. Morning walk, basking in the morning sun, doing Yoga or Surya Namaskar in the morning – all outdoors – helps in eliminating this deficiency. For those with the excuse of time and space to spend time outdoors, there is an alternative available.

Vitamin D sachets which are available in most leading Medical or Organic Stores (60k or 60000 International Units or IU). Take one sachet of this and dissolve in one glass of water and consume once a week for 4 weeks and you will start noticing a stark difference in your energy levels. Anything in excess is toxic so just take it for four weeks @ once a week and this is enough for a whole year.

Vitamin A

Available in carrots and other green vegetables but mainly in Carrots. So include Carrots in your diet once or twice a week and you don’t have to take any artificial supplement.

Vitamin  B – B12

Available in plenty in green leafy vegetables, like spinach, palak, etc. Including in diet once or twice a week will give enough Vitamins B to B12.

However, ensure you wash the vegetables and greens thoroughly in boiled water, or organic liquid cleaner which helps in cleaning the vegetables and fruits thoroughly.

Vitamin C

This is also called a healing vitamin. Vitamin C helps revive/recover quickly from any injury, fracture, etc. While artificial supplements are available in all medical stores, we recommend taking lemon/lime juice, or any citrus fruits. Amla (gooseberry) if natural ones are available, it is recommended. However, it can be supplemented by consuming Amla Powder available in all leading Medical Stores or Organic Stores. Amla has Vitamin C and also is an anti oxidant. It is highly recommended for patients recovering from flu, viral infection, cough, cold, fracture, injury, etc., However people with gastritis and acidity problems need to check with their Physician before taking citrus fruits or Vitamin C supplements.

Vitamin E and K

For non vegetarians it is available in fish. Deep fried fish not recommended as Omega fatty acids are lost. While non-vegetarians can get artificial supplements in the form of fish oil or cod liver oil, for vegetarians it is available in the form of flax seeds which is a natural product.

Multivitamins

Supplement with multivitamin capsules. This covers 100 + vitamins A to K needed for adults.

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Remembering Baapu at Dhatu

Remembering Baapu at Dhatu

We had a heartwarming event at Turiya by Dhatu in Mysore, remembering the Mahatma for Gandhi Jayanthi.

We had an exhibition of rare photographs of the mahatma

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An exhibition of the foods Gandhi ji recommends in his works on the topics ‘Key to Health’, ‘Moral basis of Vegetarianism’ and ‘Diet and Diet Reforms’:

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A cooking demonstration and talk on diet recommended by Baapu

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An art competition for kids on the topics of “If we followed in Gandhi’s footsteps”. It was inspiring to see the vision of Gnadhi’s words take shape in the children’s minds and get expression as art!

After two hours of painting, the children and parents enjoyed special millet delicacies like Raagi (Finger Millet) Laddoo, Bajra (Pearl Millet) Laddoo, and Baragu (Proso Millet) Bisi Bele Bath

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We had a certificate and prize distribution ceremony to all the kids and winners. Smt. Leelavathi S. Rao, author of the kannada children’s book “Kiriyarige Hiriyara Kathegalu” chaired the event.

We thank all those who joined in these events and helped us remember that “The greatness of the man was his Simplicity”. I hope we all aspire to walk in Gandhi’s footsteps in whatever way we feel most inspired!

Baapu’s experiments with food

Baapu’s experiments with food

October 2nd, on Gandhi Jayanthi, we cannot help but remember his autobiography “My experiments with Truth”. Baapu as he is fondly called, experimented with most of the essential aspects of life including diet and food, which remained a lifelong hobby. When he said “Be the change you wish to see in the world”, he meant practicing what you preach, and so he did. In his quest for a simple lifestyle, he also had to find food that allowed him to maintain his energy levels. His findings and preferences are included in his books “Key to Health”, “The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism” and “Diet and Diet Reforms”

Here are a few interesting anecdotes on his food choices:

On raw vegan diet:

Gandhi, apart from being a stanch vegetarian, also promoted a raw vegan diet. For several years his diet consisted of mainly seasonal local fruits, peanuts and olive oil (for fat). Prof N R Malkani, who became Gandhi’s close associate in Sind, recalled that when he first met him, “He was carrying with him a covered tin of groundnut paste which was called his ‘butter’ and when he sat down to eat, he devoured a lot of plantains with this groundnut butter.” In an excerpt from Diet and Diet Reforms, we also get to see that he started consuming Sprouted Wheat when experimenting with a fully raw diet.

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Mahatma Gandhi having Goat Milk Curds at Tea with Mountbatten (Source: Arungandhi.net/Wikimedia Commons) 

 

However, he later had to add Goat milk (as he had taken a vow not to consume cow and buffalo milk), to his diet, as well as, cooked food, when his health started failing. He however kept looking for a way to eliminate all animal products from his life till the end.

On alternate sweeteners:

“The juice of the coconut tree can be transformed into a sugar as soft as honey… Nature created this product such that it could not be processed in factories. Palm sugar can only be produced in palm tree habitats. Local populations can easily turn the nectar into coconut blossom sugar. It is a way to solve the world’s poverty. It is also an antidote against misery.” Gandhi 3.5.1939. Gandhi also advised the consumption of jaggery, palm sugar, palm jaggery, but was vehemently opposed to white or refined sugar.

On cereals:

Gandhi believed cereals such as – wheat, rice, jowar, bajra was required in medium portions. Excerpt from his book “Key to Health”, “The cereals should be properly cleansed, ground on a grinding stone, and the resulting flour used as it is. Sieving of the flour should be avoided. It is likely to remove the bhusi or the pericarp which is a rich source of salt and vitamins and roughage, which are most valuable form the point of view of nutrition and for bowel movement. Important constituents of the cereals are lost with the removal of their pericarp.”

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Gandhi ji eating a simple meal at the ashram

About rice Gandhi ji said, “Rice grain being very delicate, nature has provided it with an outer covering or epicure. This is not edible. In order to remove this inedible portion, rice has to be pounded. Pounding should be just sufficient to remove the epicarp or the outer skin of the rice grain. But machine pounding not only removes the outer skin, but also polishes the rice by removing its pericarp. The explanation of the popularity of polished rice lies in the fact that polishing helps preservation. The pericarp is very sweet and unless it is removed, rice is easily spoilt. Polished rice and wheat without its pericarp, supply us with almost pure starch.”


We invite you to try eating like Gandhi. Unfortunately, what he considered simple and natural, has become the exception rather than the norm. Polished grains, refined sugars, and chemical rich fruits and vegetables are the conventional foods of the day. But we have to be grateful that there are still farmers growing foods in the traditional organic way, and we can still process foods in traditional ways like stone grinding.

Check out Dhatu Organics selection of whole grains, stone ground flours, sprouted foods, unpolished rice, natural sweeteners, and natural mineral rich salts. Visit Rasa Dhatu in Mysore to try our Organic 100% vegetatian cuisine like Roasted Vegetables with Peanut Butter, and several dishes made with millets, whole grains, goat milk and milk alternatives, as well as raw vegan delicacies. Visit Dhatu Stores for a complete range of Organic produce.

 

 

 

Why Choose Organic?

Why Choose Organic?

Many things have changed since the Green Revolution after World War II. Large scale industrialization took place in every sector and the Agriculture Industry exploded –thanks to  synthetic fertilizers & pesticides, hybridization of seeds, and other field management techniques.  Though the immediate effect were beneficial, the unseen impact of this green revolution is becoming evident now. Traditional farming till then was “organic” and there were no inorganic method of cultivation.

Post Industrial Revolution, probably the most significant revolution was in the IT sector. The next boom is happening in the health care industry.  The total health care industry size is expected to touch US$ 160 billion by 2017 and US$ 280 billion by 20202!! It’s a growth of 75% in just three years!!  The reason for this growth lies in a number of factors including chemical farming, wrong diets, unhealthy life choices, stressful work culture and environmental pollution.

Life Style Diseases on the Rise: 

Do you know that India is the capital of diabetes in the world ? Every year, more than 700,000 people die because of Cancer in India alone. Incidences of heart, kidney and neurological diseases have become common. We are living in the era of life style diseases and the definition of primary health care has to be changed. Each house hold has to become a primary health care center.  We are interacting with increasing number of toxic chemicals in our daily life.  It starts from toothpaste (e.g., Sodium Laurel Sulphate), detergents, canned foods (e.g., lead), bug sprays etc.

What can We Do ?

Some simple steps taken at home can go long way.  Some changes are required in our daily life to control or stop our interactions with chemicals.

  • Go for local organic foods.
  • Switch to whole grains (millets, brown rice etc.). Learn to cook them properly.
  • Fermenting, sprouting will increase the nutritional qualities of the grains.
  • Use good oil (e.g. coconut oil) for cooking.
  • Consume lots of vegetables, fruits and greens.
  • Always opt for country side free range (pasture fed) eggs or meat.
  • No junk foods, refined foods (maida, sugar etc.), processed food (canned foods) or carbonated drinks.
  • Do not use synthetic food colors, taste makers, preservatives etc. In your food preparation.
  • Some form of daily physical exercises (cycling, swimming, yoga, running etc.) is a must.
  • Drink copious amount of water – Keep yourself hydrated
  • Good sleep
  • Come out of your work cabins or home and get sufficient sun light daily. Take a walk or run.
  • Throw away your soaps, tooth pastes, shampoos, laundry powder, detergents, cleaners and any other possible chemicals that you are using ! Look for alternatives – there are lots of them. By doing this  you are staying away from all harmful chemicals which are carcinogens (SLSs, parabens etc.)
  • Turn to age old proven methods (traditional medicines like Ayrurveda) for simple problems like cold, cough etc.

Lets not forget that our mother Earth needs to be taken care.  Automobile exhausts, industrial discharges, solid waste dumping, etc is taking a toll on Earth and its inhabitants.  There is a shift in environmental patterns and ecology due to extensive exploitation by humans . There is a deep need for humans to introspect on his activities. Priorities has to be set right.

Zero-Budget Natural Farming

Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) come into being by Subhash Palekar, an agricultural scientist who promotes and actively educates farmers in natural farming techniques, ZBNF involves methods that require no cost input from the farmer’s side in terms of pesticides, fertilizers or even irrigation. Natural methods are used to retain and improve soil health, control pests, and increase yields. A farmer will also be able to produce his own seed, and natural fertilizers are created using cow dung, cow urine and other materials. According to Mr. Palekar, one native cow is all one needs to take up this method of farming on thirty acres of land.

palekarMr. Palekar hails from the state of Maharashtra and is fondly called the “Krishi ka Rishi” or the farmer’s sage! He has trained over 4 million farmers in the last two decades on these sustainable, eco-friendly farming techniques. He was honoured with the Bharat Krishi Ratna award and the Basava Shri, which includes the Dalai Lama and Anna Hazare among its recipients.

How ZBNF Works                                                       

Based on his experience with both natural and chemical farming techniques and his observation of nature, Mr. Palekar designed the following principles of ZBNF:

  • Beejamrita, the treatment of seeds, seedlings or any planting material with a natural concoction to protect the crop from harmful soil borne and seed borne pathogens during the initial stages of growth.
  • Jeevamrita, which is introduced once a fortnight into the farm to promote biological activity in the soil and make nutrients available to the crop.
  • Mulching with organic residues to reduce tillage, suppress weeds, promote humus formation and enhance the soil’s water-holding capacity.
  • Mixed cropping and cultivation of diverse species of crops depending on site-specific agro-climatic conditions, to buffer against total failure of a single crop and widen the income source of farmers.

Organic Farming

Organic Farming
Before the Green Revolution, just over 50 years ago, all farming was “Organic”. Industrialization of the agriculture sector and the short term view of producing higher yields led to large scale adaptation of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and hybridization of seeds. While this certainly led to improved yields, it also made the farmers more and more reliant on these chemicals to keep up yields. Also pests that develop resistance to the pesticides, tend to pose more severe challenges. All the added chemicals in the food is also being linked to increased incidents of lifestyle disorders.

Organic farming is a returning to the roots of traditional farming practices by successfully managing natural resources, while maintaining or enhancing the quality of the environment.

The following are some of the techniques used in Organic Farming:

Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is the practice of growing a series of dissimilar or different types of crops in the same area in sequenced seasons. It helps in reducing soil erosion and increases soil fertility and crop yield. Crop rotation gives various nutrients to the soil. A traditional element of crop rotation is the replenishment of nitrogen through the use of green manure in sequence with cereals and other crops. Crop rotation also mitigates the build-up of pathogens and pests that often occurs when one species is continuously cropped, and can also improve soil structure and fertility by alternating deep-rooted and shallow-rooted plants. Crop rotation is one component of polyculture.

Companion planting

Companion planting in gardening and agriculture is the planting of different crops in proximity for pest control, pollination, providing habitat for beneficial creatures, maximizing use of space, and to otherwise increase crop productivity. Companion planting is a form of polyculture

Intercropping

Intercropping is a multiple cropping practice involving growing two or more crops in proximity. The most common goal of intercropping is to produce a greater yield on a given piece of land by making use of resources that would otherwise not be utilized by a single crop. Careful planning is required, taking into account the soil, climate, crops, and varieties. It is particularly important not to have crops competing with each other for physical space, nutrients, water, or sunlight. Examples of intercropping strategies are planting a deep-rooted crop with a shallow-rooted crop, or planting a tall crop with a shorter crop that requires partial shade.

Biological control

Biological control is a bio effectors-method of controlling pests (including insects, mites, weeds and plant diseases) using other living organisms.[1] It relies on predation, parasitism, herbivory, or other natural mechanisms, but typically also involves an active human management role. It can be an important component of integrated pest management (IPM) programs.