Thursday, June 09, 2011


                  The nightshades – tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplant, peppers and tobacco…were used in New World for centuries with little difficulty. The deadly nightshades get their name for a definite reason: they concentrate poisonous alkaloids in various parts of their anatomy, particularly their leaves. Nightshades leaves were used, ground up with poisonous mushroom, as deterrent to flies in the old world. But their fruits were highly mistrusted. Are they all dangerous? We are not sure. The solanines in them certainly are. It is often recommended to avoid nightshade family if you are seeking to eliminate a condition of rheumatoid arthritis.
                 White potatoes are cool, light and dry, therefore they imbalance Vata and assist Kapha, and essentially have neutral effect on Pitta. They are one of few nightshades fruits that can accumulate enough toxins in their edible portion to be overtly toxic. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to tell if they have done so. If potatoes have green shade to its peel, it is suspect. The toxic alkaloid solanin and chaconine accumulate close to the surface of the peel in these areas, especially if potatoes are allowed to sit in light or are stored in very cold or fairly warm places. A cool dark storage spot serves potatoes best. Cooking will not remove these toxins. Cutting out the green portion, usually the surface 1/8inch or less, will. Besides greening, a sharp burning sensation on the tongue upon eating the potato is another sign of excessive alkaloid levels. Cutting the potato is usually sufficient.
                 The preparation of potato has a great deal to do with whether it is calming or irritating to a given dosha. While potato is beneficial to Kapha, French fries, potato chips and baked potato with sour cream are not.  Each of these contains lot of oil, inherently light potato become heavy by preparation. Similarly many Vatas can handle backed potato on occasion, if it has generous amount of ghee, yoghurt or sour cream on it. Pittas and Kaphas get best with their potatoes boiled or stewed in dishes, not fried. Backed potatoes are fine for Pitta if they do not over do it on the fatty condiments. Vatas need their potatoes well spiced and moistened. Potatoes are being rich in Vitamin C, have been used in centuries. They are also recommended as an easy digest starch for those with nervous indigestion related to liver weakness.   

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


ABOUT GREENS (VEGGIE)… ‘’BITTER IS BETTER!”  and dark leafy greens  are one of the best way to get bitter taste pleasantly. We find ourselves recommending dark leafy greens very frequently, as an excellent way of counteracting the heaviness. Light, pungent and rich in vitamins and minerals, dark leafies like kale, collards, arugula, dandelion, chicory, and mustard and turnip greens are all specific healers for the liver and immune system. They also provide superb support for the skin, eyes and mucus membranes. Properly prepare they are easy to digest and will stimulate elimination. They can be eaten as much as 3 to 4 times a week or more for their healing properties. They make an excellent spring tonic. Most greens have a pungent Vipak, which is why it is best to prepare them with generous amount of cooling coriander powder.

           Spinach, swiss chard and beet greens are bit different. While fast to cook, they are a concentrated source of oxalic acid. This compounds bind with calcium, preventing its absorption. An occasional meal of these vegetables does no harm, but they are best not eaten as regularly as other greens recommended above.
            Spinach cools, nourishes and soothes, with light, dry attributes and a pungent Vipak. In large quantities it is aggravation to Pitta and Vata, and best served to Kapha. Small amounts are well tolerated by all, and are useful medicinally in the treatment of lung and liver disorders.
              Some greens are obviously more pungent than others, mustard greens being hotter than collards or kale for example. Pittas especially need to take taste into account when choosing their greens. The more pungent greens – mustard, arugula, turnip greens, water cress are easier for mostly Kaphas and Vatas to catabolize, and are best minimized by Pitta. Vatas do well to take their greens well cooked, not raw. Pitta and Kapha can handle them either way.


Vegetarianism…alternative names as Lacto-ovovegetarian; Semi-vegetarian; Partial vegetarian; Vegan; Lacto-vegetarian.

Definition of Vegetarianism:
       A vegetarian diet is a meal plan that contains little or no animal products.

Types of vegetarian diets include:
  • Vegan: Diet consists of only foods of plant origin.
  • Lacto-vegetarian: Diet consists of plant foods plus some or all dairy products.
  • Lacto-ovovegetarian: Diet consists of plant foods, dairy products, and eggs.
  • Semi- or partial vegetarian: Diet consists of plant foods and may include chicken or fish, dairy products, and eggs. It does not include red meat.
                A person may choose to follow a vegetarian diet for a variety of reasons, including religious, moral or political beliefs, economics, or the desire to eat more healthy foods.
The American Dietetic Association states that a well-planned vegetarian diet can deliver good nutrition. Dietary recommendations vary with the type of vegetarian diet. For children and adolescents these diets require special planning, because it may be difficult to obtain all the nutrients required for growth and development.

Nutrients that may be lacking in a vegetarian's diet include:
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Riboflavin
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Protein
               Protein is necessary for good health. There are two types of protein: complete and incomplete. Complete proteins contain adequate amounts of the essential substances (amino acids) needed for health. They are found in meats, milk, fish, soy, and eggs. Incomplete proteins contain all of the essential amino acids, but not enough of them.
You do not have to eat animal products to get complete proteins in your diet. You can mix two incomplete proteins or an incomplete protein with a complete protein to get the proper amount. Some combination's are milk and cereal, peanut butter and bread, beans and rice, beans and corn tortillas, and macaroni and cheese.
Ref: UMMC.