Killing You Slowly

Iris C F Gomes

Darryl D’Souza has regular programmes explaining and discussing a gamut of health issues in consideration for the needs of the common man. Having dealt with a host of health problems, he realised the best alternative to conventional medicine was a holistic approach to treatment using simple remedies which could be found among our food items stocked at home.

Dietary habits, aging of digestive organs and hormonal imbalance were highlighted as the three prominent causes for weight gain. Many of us are caught up in a vicious cycle where we eat food that does not have much nutrition which in turn causes fatigue. The lack of energy drives us to eat more.

The consumption of fattening foods is the dietary downfall of many. In our culture, we are conditioned to believe that a meal without some form of grain, be it rice or wheat, is incomplete. Thus people consume grains at least two to three times a day. Darryl says, ‘When we look to nature, we find that animals and birds will consume grains, fruit and vegetables just as we do. But unlike humans they do not have the capacity for storage and hence eat different foods according to availability.’ They eat fruit during the fruit season and move on to vegetables and roots when these are not available. They scavenge for grains mostly during the severe winter. The acidic nature of grains allows for the creation of heat when they are broken down during digestion which provides some protection against the harsh cold of winter.

Rice, wheat and dals are part of the group of complex carbohydrates and produce sugar that is in part used up immediately by the body. Some of it is stored in the liver and the excess is distributed and stored as fat all over the body. In the winter, this creates an insulation against cold weather. The difference between us and the animals and birds is that they stop eating the grains during fruit season and consequently shed the fat they have gained. Humans, on the other hand, continue with the grains in their diet and the fat carries on being added to the body, resulting in weight gain.

The economic viability of growing food grain makes it a preferred food choice, without consideration for its overall nutritional value. This is one of the reasons we are assailed with refined wheat and rice products when we step into a food store. Our genetic make-up, metabolism and age, all play a determining role in whether or not weight gain will occur and to what extent. Our dietary needs should be calculated keeping in mind that we are unique in these aspects as individuals.

There are substitute grains such as quinoa, ragi, jowar and bajra, which have more fibre and other nutrients than rice or wheat, and are comparatively less acidic. Brown rice in place of polished rice and whole wheat bread instead of white bread, also make effective alternatives.

Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in India and the reason is overconsumption of complex carbohydrates. The pancreas is weakened over a period of time as it struggles to keep sugar levels normal by secreting insulin.

Processed sugars should be limited or avoided completely. When we do not consume foods that allow the body to avail of different kinds of sugars such as fructose and glucose, our body automatically seeks sugar from other sources and we develop a craving for sweet foods. But we can condition our bodies by eating fruit, twice a day, for 21 to 30 days. Darryl says, ‘Your sweet tooth will be satisfied by fruit alone, giving you natural sugars instead of processed sugars.’

The natural food of humans in order of nutritional importance is fruit, vegetables, roots, nuts, legumes (beans and peas), grain and meat. Vegetables are more beneficial than meat and can be a better supply of protein with the exclusion of fat content.

Darryl recommends 15-20 minutes of exercise, either in the morning or evening rather than rigorous exercise, with a combination of changes in diet. Yoga, which stretches the body and increases blood flow and movement of lymphatic and cerebrospinal fluid, is a better option.

All foods have different levels of alkalinity and acidity. Alkalinity aids anabolism in the human body while acidity promotes catabolism. ‘For good health and long life, eat 80% of alkaline food and 20% of acidic food,’ suggests Darryl. The cells of the human body are slightly acidic and must exist in a slightly alkaline environment. We eat more of acidic food and therefore the aging process is accelerated and we are prone to digestive acidity.

Most vegetables are highly alkaline in nature. Milk, milk products, meat and grain are more acidic. Various oils are acidic too. Coconut oil falls low on the list of acidic oils and is recommended over the others.

Bile and pancreatic enzymes provide alkaline secretion to aid digestion. However, an excess of acidic food causes the acidity to be absorbed into the intestine and results in the blood becoming acidic. The body adjusts this imbalance with the blood drawing alkaline elements (calcium) from bones. When the situation persists it leads to inflammation of the bones which is arthritis. This can be reversed by increasing alkaline foods in the diet. The blood has the intelligence to understand where calcium is needed the most and will return it to the bones.

A great deal of hormonal imbalance issues occur due to the consumption of hormone infused meat and milk, and processed foods. Animals are given hormones so that they grow faster and bigger; cows are injected with hormones to increase milk production; fruits have hormones to give them a longer shelf life and livestock is medicated with antibiotics in case of illness or injury. These hormones find their way into the human system and are responsible for conditions such polycystic ovarian syndrome, autoimmune disorders and uterine fibroids. The carcinogens present in milk and meat can cause cancer. Other problems that overconsumption of milk can bring about are chronic fatigue syndrome, anaemia and asthma.

In the natural scheme of life, all mammals cease drinking milk after the age of three. The exception is the human being. If you notice, children above the age of four instinctively hate the taste and smell of milk. They are only induced to drink milk with aids such as Complan, Horlicks, Bournvita, etc.

Cows’ milk has three times as much protein as human milk and 50 % more fat. This makes it difficult to digest in addition to causing acidic residue when the human body tries to digest the protein casein. Calcium in the milk is bonded to casein and cannot be used by the body without the enzymes rennin and lactase, which humans above the age of four do not produce. Vegetables, in fact, have more calcium than milk and it can be easily absorbed by the human body.

Hyperthyroidism as well as hypothyroidism can be related to the food we eat. Environmental pollutants and emotional stress in the throat region are causes too.

Apart from food, internal toxicity can be caused by chemicals in soaps, shampoos, pollutants and internal parasites. This toxicity finds its way into the blood, cerebrospinal fluid and lymph (lymphatic fluid). To dilute this toxicity, the body retains water and this causes weight gain.

The most logical way to go about reversing health problems that are a result of bad eating habits, is to make a lifestyle change. This will not only allow for better health but also help maintain a reasonable body weight. Other suggestions put forward to counter the debilitating effects of an unhealthy lifestyle are the practice of acupressure, yoga and the use of organ cleansers.

(For more information you can download the e-book or contact Darryl D’Souza at 9821758877)