Life & other drugs
Be it weight loss or cancer, neither nutrition nor exercise alone can produce results. When it comes to building health, lifestyle is THE drug. The way we eat , sleep, think and align with laws of nature are not only connected to the physical aspect of our health, but also the emotional, spiritual and mental part of it.
2017 saw a decline in the use of OTC quick-fixes like antacids, antihistamines and antibiotics. This will continue in the new year. People have started to realise their toxicity, the damage they cause to the gut, and that they treat only the symptom rather than the cause. Alternative therapies like naturopathy, homeopathy, yoga, meditation, massage and acupuncture are getting popular as they are safer, works with the whole body and has no side-effects if followed correctly.
Fasting is being embraced again to give the digestive system a rest and allow the body to detox. Water fasting, dry fasting and intermittent fasting were seen as powerful lifestyle tools that played a massive role in cancer control, boosting immunity, anti-aging, maintaining a healthy weight, managing acidosis and insulin sensitivity, better growth hormone production and general well-being.
Acidity, inflammation or low immunity – all indicators of gut health. And today they have been proven to cause anything from auto-immune diseases and skin allergies to cancer. Anything from excessive intake of sugar and processed foods, overuse of medicines like contraceptives and antacids, also to eating too fast and to stress; as well as to the questionable quality of dairy and wheat, all wreak havoc in the gut and poke holes in its mucosal lining leading to seepage of protein molecules into the bloodstream. Solutions? Probiotic foods, supplements and regular detoxes.
Food isn’t safe anymore, and it gets even worse in the case of meat, fish, chicken, eggs and milk because of animals are bred and fed, beside hygiene issues. Safer is eating a plant-based diet, going for regular organ detoxification, growing your own food, eating micro-greens and consuming quality meat or dairy in moderation.
Back to roots
Eat what you grew up eating because that forms the information for your genes. Each country has its own food culture that exists due to its climate, soil, microflora and genetic predisposition, and we must respect that. Pasta, kale, quinoa, chia, soy and blueberries are great health boosting foods but works best only for people born and bought up in the particular region where they are cultivated.
Luke Coutinho is the Mumbai-based founder of Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine – Holistic Nutrition