Understanding disease and what we can do to preserve health.
Disease is a survival mechanism. It is the body’s way of informing us that something is wrong, something needs to be changed. One way of getting rid of the disease is to say, “shut up” to your body rather than listen. This is easily done by taking pain-killers or other symptom suppressing medications. A backache may be a warning that a certain movement will obstruct healing. By taking a painkiller and ignoring that warning, one may end up with a chronic complaint.
The best results are obtained when we follow nature rather than oppose it. When we consider the meaning of disease it transforms from being a hindrance, to being a path to personal growth. To follow the path we may have to change something radically.
One of the reasons human beings are prone to so many diseases is that we are far removed from our natural state. Often the solution is to revert to this natural state. The most common causes of disease are –
1. Wrong eating habits
3. Environmental conditions (Bacteria, virus and parasites can only infect a weak host and are therefore not the cause but the results of disease).
Of all these the easiest to change is our eating habits.
A look at our anatomy makes it obvious that we are predominantly herbivorous. Our dentition, our long intestinal tract and our absence of claws are evidence. All carnivores drink by lapping, and herbivores by gulping. We drink by gulping. We are descendents of apes that are predominantly herbivorous but can also eat insects and small animals. During evolution the mind is much quicker to adapt than the body. We have developed new and varied eating habits by means of our mind but our bodies lag behind in adapting to this new diet.
The best way to regain health is to revert to our natural diet. One of the most unnatural, foods in our diet is milk and milk products. Humans are the only animals that drink milk after infancy and that take another animals milk. Cow’s milk contains 2 times the protein and 3 times the fat of human milk since cows grow to full size much faster than we do. Protein is a growth food. By logic, at no time in our lives should we need more protein as a percentage of our diet than in infancy. Calcium and protein are basic components of each and every living cell in the universe. Its no wonder the cow is able to make protein and calcium rich milk from her diet of grass.
Reverting to a 100 % natural diet alone is a cure for diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and many forms of allergies including asthma, constipation, indigestion, arthritis and gout, and other diseases. Just as the herbivorous cow succumbs to BSE (mad cow disease) when fed slaughterhouse by-products, so we too suffer from diseases through eating foods not meant for our species.
News articles and Medical Journals testify to this.
“A 24-year-old vegetarian has been diagnosed with Cruetzfeld-Jacob disease (the analogue to Mad Cow in humans) Scientists fear that milk and cheese may be the source of infection.”
London Times, August 23, 1997 Michael Hornsby
“In the case of the eight year old female subject, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis was a milk allergy. After avoiding dairy products, all pain was gone in three weeks.”
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine,1985, 78
“Scientific data suggest positive relationships between a vegetarian diet and reduced risk for several chronic degenerative diseases and conditions, including obesity, coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and some types of cancer.”
Journal of the American Dietetic Association, November 1997, 97(1)
“Many cases of asthma and sinus infections are reported to be relieved and even eliminated by cutting out dairy.”
Frank Oski, M.D., Chief of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Medical School Natural Health, July, 1994
“Cow’s milk has become a point of controversy among doctors and nutritionists. There was a time when it was considered very desirable, but research has forced us to rethink this recommendation…dairy products contribute to a surprising number of health problems…”
Benjamin Spock, M.D., “Child Care,” 7th Edition
Today there is yet one more reason to quit food products from animals. They contain far higher levels of pesticides, mercury and other contaminants compared to vegetable food, being higher on the food chain.
From the environmental point of view, raising animals for food spells disaster. It takes 500 litres of water to produce 1 kg of potatoes, 600 for 1 kg of wheat, 2000 for 1 kg of rice, but 100,000 for 1 kg of beef. Livestock consume 80% of the world’s water supply.
It takes approximately 16 kilos of grain to produce 1 kilo of meat or milk. It is far more ecological to grow grains, fruits and vegetables than raise animals. It takes just .07 hectares to produce enough food for a vegan.
How to improve your diet in order to regain health –
1. Slowly change from a conventional diet to vegetarian and then vegan diets. You can improve further by going towards a raw food diet.
2. Make sure the food items you eat are whole rather than refined products (sugar, oil, white flour). Use whole grains, unpeeled fruit and vegetables where possible.
3. Eat foods grown locally and in season and organically grown wherever possible.
4. Understand and use food combining to plan your meals.
5. Read more about this lifestyle, especially the value of vitamins B12 and D.
The benefits of changing your diet will become self evident – you are likely find a positive change in the state of mind, including stress reduction. You will be contributing to improving your environment, and of course you will be in charge or your own health. Last but not least, you will in your own lifetime reduce the suffering of hundreds of animals that are being raised for food by not supporting this industry.
Dr Nandita Shah
For more information please see www.sharan-india.org