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A constant metabolism takes place in our body. Daily exercise is recommended, but this increases the metabolism. Good nutrition is essential for this. 

What physical effect does food have on you? 

Nowadays we eat because we like it and we lose sight of what is good for us. We also lack knowledge of what we need. We use fixed products, have habits and customs of which we do not know what effect they have on us. All our problems, illnesses, complaints, everything we are, comes from our eating and living pattern. You are what you eat. To eat and live healthily, you have to drop old habits and customs and learn new ones. The purpose of eating is to get energy, but we eat so often, so much and so wrongly that it costs energy instead of providing it. 

Healthy proteins and healthy fats form the basis needed for metabolism, along with carbohydrates. In addition, the body needs among others vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fibres. The food available everywhere nowadays is manipulated. All processed and packaged food is full of chemical additives that are bad for us. Meat is full of hormones. Fresh products like fruit and vegetables are cultivated, the requirements are large harvests, large fruits and an immaculate appearance. Because of this cultivation, because of impoverishment and pollution of the soil, they contain only a fragment of their original nutritional value. 

Whether you eat consciously or not, whether you are dieting and detoxing or not, none of us gets what we need and everyone gets a lot of toxins that are harmful. However, your body is a genius and adapts itself to your diet and lifestyle. Organs such as our liver become overloaded, but adapt to a ‘survival mode’. 

Our body at birth has the potential to live for 120 years. Of course, this does not have to be a target, but because of our lifestyle, certain organs or body systems can, for example, stop working after only 60 years. This means that the only way to extend your life is through heavy medication. Depending on how your body is set up, you can develop chronic diseases at a certain age. 

Do you know what your body needs? Do you know what is in the products you eat? Do you know what happens in your body with what you eat? 

Grow a habit to look at the ingredients in everything you buy or eat. Ask yourself what it is and what it does to you. 

Healthy fats 

In this article we will focus on fats. There are many different types of fat. Fat contains fatty acids. Fatty acids together with proteins are the basis for the formation of new cells. They are essential building blocks. 

Our bodies cannot produce fats, so we must provide them. Fats have a number of additional functions. Fats store energy in our body. The electrons in fats form the first protection in our body against e.g. viruses. Without fats, some vitamins and antioxidants are not absorbed, so you always combine oils herbs and spices. You use them to prepare vegetables and possibly fruit. Fats are needed to cool down the brain. 

 Most of the fats we consume are unhealthy. In general, many people get their fats from meat. If you live in an (ice) cold environment, this is a necessity, for the rest of the world it can be obtained from other sources. Meat and fish available today contain more bad than good qualities. The meat industry is bad for the environment. Cattle live and eat only partially outside, where they eat grass from poor and polluted soil. They get growth hormones that remain in the meat. Vegetarian food is the right choice according to the Vedas. Also, killing animals is not ethical. The choice to eat vegetarian is a good choice. However, you should do this well-considered. Most western vegetarians do not get enough good fats and proteins. Because of this the choice to be a vegetarian can be harmful for your health. 

Do you decide to keep eating meat? Then learn how to prepare it properly (no raw meat) and use plenty of herbs and spices that will defuse the bad influences. Indian cuisine offers all this knowledge. In India, vegetarian food is the norm. They do not classify people’s eating habits as ‘ordinary’ and ‘vegetarian’, but as ‘ordinary’ and ‘non-vegetarian’. 

If you eat too much fat or the wrong kind of fat, it gets stuck in your body and causes illness. A lot of fat is stored in the brain. If these are the wrong fats, this can lead to memory loss, dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Wrong fats include trans fats, or fats where the raw material has been heated to more than 75 degrees. Find out about what contains fat in the food that you eat and remove it from your diet. The worst fats are all forms of fast food, but also cooking oils, butter, cheese and almost all bakery products contain fats that are not good for you. 

 Your body consumes about 40 grams of fat per day:

  • 5 grams of Omega 3 (polyunsaturated fatty acid) 
  • 15 grams Omega 6 (polyunsaturated fatty acid) 
  • 10 grams MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acid) 
  • 10 grams of healthy saturated fatty acid

Safflower oil contains the highest dose of Omega 3. Especially if you exercise a lot, this is a MUST. An alternative source is fish oil, but you need to have the right fish (salmon from Scandinavian countries). 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the best source of omega 6 (and also contains omega 3). An alternative is mustard oil, but this creates a lot of heat in the body and is therefore only good if you do a lot of physical work in the cold.  

The best source for monounsaturated fatty acid is nut oil, such as almond oil, walnut oil, hazelnut oil etc. You can also get it from raw nuts, just make sure you use unsalted and unroasted nuts. Roasted nuts have also lost some of their value. Walnuts are always raw. Walnuts are good for the brain; almonds help against cancer and hair loss. These fatty acids are also found in seed oil, but to a lesser extent. 

The best source of saturated fatty acids is Ghee (Indian clarified butter). What you get in the shops is an over-treated product that has lost many of its qualities. It is best to make it yourself from raw cream. Ghee is very good for the brain, especially because of its cooling effect. You should take a little of it every day. 

Coconut oil is also a good source of saturated fatty acids. It is easily digested, ensures a fast metabolism and has good properties for skin and hair. Do not use it when it is too cold. 

Make sure that all oils are cold-pressed, preferably with a hydraulic press, and preferably organically. In order not to lose the good properties of the oil and the nutrients it contains, you should cook it on low heat, until the ‘smoke’ point. This is often around 70 degrees. Use a thick-bottomed pan and cook your food slowly. 

To live a healthy life as a vegetarian (and non-vegetarian), this is part of the basics. Make sure you get the right products and apply this knowledge to your daily diet. 

– The information contained in this article has been gathered from classes at The Yoga Institute in Mumbai, The Yoga Healing Foundation and personal experience from Indian home kitchens. If, despite care, there are any errors in the article, they are entirely the author’s own. –