General Health Advice – Q&A [Food Choices]

Posted by Madan Gopal Das | Posted in Ayurvedic Health, General Health Advice, Personal Reflections, Vedic Lifestyle | Posted on 01-07-2010

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Hare Krsna!

This is a email conversation between myself and Mr. Daniel Kumar who wrote to me after reading my article about General Health Advice For Devotees.

Here I have answered to his long email that had a list of queries and arguments about the things I wrote in my last post. Reading this conversation will clarify my many reasons to introduce this matter of food preference to our readers.

For reading convenience. Mr. Daniel’s comments are printed in Dark Brown Color and my comments are in black color.

I am open to further questions on this topic at all times.

Thank you very much.

Argument #1

Sir,

“Avoid following vegetables – cauliflower, cabbage, capsicum, lady finger, brinjal, carrot, French beans, potato.”

When you say above statements to the people they are not even giving these to kids. stop doing this sir.

My Answer:

I forgot to include tomatos in the list. Also in my latest post called ‘My Menu’ which I prefer not for taste. For taste I might like all the items in the world, but I select items according to intelligence i.e. vedic scriptures.

Thanks for the comment and I am happy that you appreciated the work, even though there is lot of difference of opinion. I am putting forward some points in the blog and it is people’s choice whether to follow it or not.  I am able to tell you this authoritatively because I have evidence from vedic texts and culture.

If your logic of blaming me for doing bad to kids is to be used then first try to stop all those bad advertising on media which a child sees. In media there is 2% advise for good food and 98% for junk and harmful food. These companies by promoting their own products are doing more harm than my saying not to eat carrot.

Children gulping down all those nonsense food in the form of chips, chocolates, soft drinks, fast foods, junk foods is doing incalculable more harm than not eating carrot or potato.

Certainly television or other advertisement wrong doing cannot be used to justify my statements, but my information is based on vedic texts and parampara (disciplic succession). These advertisements are subconsciously altering the minds of people as to what one should do and behave more powerfully than my blog.

As you will read I am doing good to people and so I should not stop. In following points I will show the defects of vegetables mentioned in the list. I do agree that those vegetables have good qualities as mentioned by you. But for your information all those good nutrients can be sufficiently had by our body by eating vegetables mentioned in the list which are suggested. I have given a list of lot of vegetables which one should eat. All those vegetables can take care of all requirements of Vitamin A,B,C, D etc. and all other nutrients.

But if the vegetables not suggested have lot of unwanted elements as I will explain then still why we should foolishly continue eating them and why should I not tell people to stop eating them?

Argument #2

Please don’t mix religious faith(related to soul) to vegetables what they should or should not eat. Almost you are framing rules subconsciously in people minds.

God is amazing not of rules and he is concerned with heart what you think, what you do . Please don’t  elate spritiuality with food and how many times he need pray to god .

I understand when people don’t eat meat because they don’t want to kill.  What did above listed  vegetables have done? (also garlic and onion).

My Answer:
Religious faith has to do with soul. But to understand soul a certain type of diet and lifestyle is useful or rather needed. We cannot go on eating all types of food and progress on knowledge of soul. To  understand soul we require basic goodness and health.

In any spiritual path it is very important what one eats. Especially so in vedic science of Bhagavad Gita where one is raised to epitome of God and soul realization. There is great connection between food and mind and health and one cannot separate them.

If spirituality should not to be related with food then why in all scriptures of world including The Bible and The Koran so many advices have been given what to eat and not. Spirituality has to do with food for those who mean serious spiritual business. For those who want spirituality as show case, fashion or
hobby then it has nothing to do with food. For your information even though I am in a spiritual  organization I not a big leader or so. I have been around for a few years but at any point in my life till now or in future I have never and will never make my followers do something because I am saying so. I might say and I tell them you do it only if you understand and you are convinced.

In the blog here I am just writing what I know and those who have faith in my words and want to know more read it. No where I am and will be in a mood to tell people what they should eat just because I am their religious leader. I don’t favor nor dislike people because they agree or disagree with my personal understanding and knowledge. You can reconfirm this from those who know me. In fact many of my own followers do not follow any of it right in front of me and I have absolutely no objection for it. If they ask me I will tell them that it is not good for their health.

God likes what we think and what we think is influenced by what we eat. So it is important to decide what we eat. Also God has told us what we should eat. For eg. in bible he has told ‘Thou shall not kill’. So we can’t kill and eat against the order of the ten commanments.

Argument #3

Benefits of carrot

The health benefits of carrot include reduced cholesterol, prevention from heart attacks, warding off certain cancers and many others. Most of the benefits of carrot can be attributed to its beta carotene and fiber content. This root, which has a scientific name of Daucus Carota, is a good source of antioxidant agents as well. Carrots are rich in vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and potassium.

Both adults and children like carrots because of its crunchy texture and sweet taste. Even though the color of original carrot is orange it grows in other colors including white, yellow, red or purple.

Prevent heart diseases: In a study meant to reveal therapeutic value of carrots researchers at the Wolfson Gastrointestinal Laboratory in Edinburgh, Scotland revealed that cholesterol level reduces by 11 percent if seven ounces of raw carrots a day is taken for three weeks. High cholesterol is a major factor for heart disease. Since regular consumption of carrots reduces cholesterol level it is good to prevent heart related problems. A group of Swedish scientists discovered that root vegetables can reduce the chances of having a heart attack. A study conducted at the Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research in Italy found that those who ate more carrots had one third the risk of heart attack as compared with those who ate fewer carrots.

Prevent cancer: Beta-carotene consumption has been linked to reduced risk of several cancers, notably lung cancer. British researchers discovered that increasing beta-carotene consumption from 1.7 to 2.7 milligrams a day reduced lung cancer risk more than 40 percent. The average carrot contains
about three milligrams of Beta-carotene. In a study, researchers found that eating fiber rich carrots reduce the risk of colon cancer by as much as 24 percent. Another study shows that women who ate raw carrots were five to eight times less likely to develop breast cancer than women who did not eat carrots.

Macular degeneration: This is a common eye disease of elderly. It impairs the macula. Researchers found that people who ate the most Beta-carotene had a forty percent lower risk of macular degeneration compared with those who consumed the least.

Improves eyesight: Deficiency of vitamin A can cause some difficulty seeing in dim light. Since carrot is rich in vitamin A it is good for improving eyesight.

Stroke: A carrot a day reduces stroke risk by 68 percent. Many studies have strengthened the “carrot effect” on brain. Studies conducted on stroke patients revealed that those with highest levels of Beta carotene have the best survival rate.

Diabetes: Carrot is good for blood sugar regulation because of the presence of carotenoids in carrot. Carotenoids inversely affect insulin resistance and thus lower blood sugar. Carrots have antiseptic qualities and therefore, can be used as laxative, vermicide and as remedy for liver conditions. Carrot oil is good for dry skin.

It makes the skin softer, smoother and firmer. Carrot juice improves stomach and gastrointestinal health.

Highest eye disease is in India because of lack of nutrition required for kids and when kids have eye issue don’t say it is Karma for God sake.

Benefits of cauliflower

Cauliflower, a highly nutritious vegetable, contains many nutrients that can help prevent a range of diseases from cancer to cataracts.

Cauliflower is a vegetable that is many times overlooked. It is a member of the cruciferous family, a family which is known for containing nutrients that fight against several diseases.

There are two main ingredients in cauliflower, and all of the cruciferous family, that are the main disease fighters. These are indole-3-carbinol, or 13C, and the photonutrient sulforaphane. In research done at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, sulforaphane lowered the occurrence of breast tumors in lab animals by almost 40%. Toxins that would normally damage the cells and turn cancerous, are swept out of the system by sulforaphane, preventing tumors before they begin. 13C works in concert with the sulforaphane by acting as an anti-estrogen. Estrogen in high levels is known to foster tumor growth, especially in the breasts and the prostate glands. 13c helps to lower the estrogen count, thus lowering the chances of tumor growth.

Cauliflower also contains vitamin C and folate. Folate helps the blood work more efficiently and is often recommended for preventing anemia. Folate is also essential for proper tissue growth and not getting enough can make you susceptible to many diseases down the road such as cancer and heart disease.
Vitamin C is considered an antioxidant. When used alongside other antioxidants such as vitamin E and betacarotene, you can keep your immune system strong.

Three florets of cauliflower a day will provide you with 67% of your daily vitamin C requirement. When purchasing cauliflower, make sure the tops are white. If the floret has begun to spot brown or puple, it is past its nutritional peak. Serving the cauliflower raw will give you the highest nutritional benefits

Just my  thoughts.
Daniel

My Answer:
I suggest to avoid follwoing vegetables.

Tomato, capsicum, brinjal, potato, chilli (both red and green), cauliflower, cabbage, lady finger, carrot, French beans

Following are the reason why I suggest they should not be eaten. Everyone can take his own decision after that.

Reason 1 –

The knowledge available in vedas is complete and perfect. The vedic sages with far insight and understanding protected and promoted certain eating habits for the welfare of world physically, mentally and spiritually as well. For my personal self I don’t need to go beyond the vedic instruction to decide what to eat and not. I don’t want to waste time and energy to discover what was already know to vedic saints and just understand that all over again. For myself the vedic instructions are enough.

Some may argue that these vegetables were not know to vedic sages. But I will put the point that they were known and were on purpose neglected so that they were not available in India and actually rest of world did not eat these vegetables as well. I would like to stick to vedic instruction of recommended items to eat and I am sure they can give me all the nutrients I need.

Reason 2 –

All these vegetables under discussion at one point in history were not eaten in all parts of world. Most of these vegetables were spread all over the world originating from South American countries of Chile, Peru, Mexico etc. All the vegetable under discussion were not consumed in the entire world until just 500 years back. In fact they became popular in Europe only 300 – 400 years back  and in India just 250 years back or less.

I would like to accept what the vedic sages had recommended after their in depth study and not follow the vegetables coming from people where perfect vedic knowledge was not present then. Following are the details of where these vegetables originated from.

From South America – capsicum, potato, tomato, chili, French beans.

Brinjal/ eggplant – only small white varity with thorns(India), other varieties (South America)

origin not surely known – cauliflower (mostly from turkey), cabbage (various opinions but mostly from Mediterranean), carrot (confusion – mostly Afghanistan, middle east), lady finger/okra(Ethiopia),

Reason 3 –

Here I am only writing about the vegetables that have originated in South America as pointed out. All these vegetables are categorized in scientific terms in the botanical  family called ‘Solanaceae’. In common language they are called nightshades.

All chilies, big and small except black pepper, capsicum, tomato, potato, eggplant, french beans etc fall in this category. Even plants like morning glory (besharmi – marathi), tobacco, dhatura(jimson weed) and other poisonous plants fall in this family.

There is a substance in the plants and fruit of this family called alkaloids. These alkaloids bring in lot of severe diseases to humans especially arthritis and also BP and heart diseases. Sometimes we can see it and sometime we cannot as it happens over a period of time. Yes these alkaloids do have a medical use but when used as food they have an adverse effect.

These alkaloids in nightshades (or solanaceae) if eaten as food do have effect on calcium in bones. They remove the calcium from bones and deposit in softer tissue thus causing problems at both places. The diseases resulting from such action are arthirtis, rheumatism, BP, heart blockages etc. These if taken in more quantities also obstruct nervous system and so causing symptoms like paralysis temporarily or permanently.

Tobacco is a member of these nightshades (or solanaceae). We all know tobacco contains nicotine which is toxic and addictive in nature. All the plants in nightshades (or solanaceae) do contain nicotine. Even the food plants of nightshades (or solanaceae) like tomato, potato etc. Yes the level of nicotine is very less in food nightshades (or solanaceae). Modern science in spite of not doing enough research says that these low levels are not harmful. I would say this is a typical, purposefully neglected field of research. They have spent lakhs of dollars to find out what vitamins are there in these nightshades as written by our friend Mr Daniel then why did the scientist not conduct enough research on the negative part of nightshades (or solanaceae). This is because they want to hide the facts from people so that their pharmaceutical industry keeps booming. Nicotine except used therapeutically is toxic, whether in small quantity or large. Yes these nightshades (or solanaceae) may have some vitamins and minerals and enzymes.
But they are not the only source of these and the vegetables in recommended list can supply all these as well without the toxic and addictive part.

Now I understand that why the vedic scriptures and sages did not entertain these vegetables in their lifestyle. The sages of India are again right. We are fools to not heed their advice. I am aware that I have not covered all the vegetables in ‘the not recommended group’. But I don’t need to as my logic of following the vedic-ayurvedic scriptural advice as already researched knowledge is enough for me and those who are intelligent to have faith in vedic scriptures. I don’t want to waste time in doing the same exercise as done above for certain vegetables.

I am sure that they are not good for humans as ayurveda doesn’t recommend them. Those who doubt vedas and have time and money to do the research are welcome to do so and come to same conclusion latter on after wasting so much time and money. I don’t want to do it. Better accept vedic authority, save
time and save health.

Infact I would like to tell the readers here of the genius of vedic advice.
Although peppers of nightshades (or solanaceae) family are not recommended in ayurveda but black pepper is glorified. Similarly potato is not recommended sweet potato is. Why?

Black pepper (also pungent) and sweet potato has all good qualities of green pepper and potatos respectively minus the negative qulities. We see in vedas black pepper recommended and sweet potato sanctioned. If we see the modern scientific qualification we can see the genius of vedic scriptures again.
The modern classification is again given below.

Although the sweet potato, whose scientific name is Ipomoea batatas, belongs to the same plant order as the nightshades (Polemoniales), it does not belong to the Solanaceae family found in this order, but to a different plant family called Convolvulaceae.

The pepper family in the order Piperales, commercially important because of Piper nigrum, the source of black and white pepper. The family comprises about 5 genera, of which 2—Piper  (about 2,000 species) and Peperomia (about 1,600 species)—are the most important.

Reason 4 –
Common sense logic given by vedic texts which doesn’t require research of millions of dollars wasted.

Atleast in India but most probably in west as well these vegetables mentioned in the ‘not recommended’ list do require a lot of pesticide use in farming. In India these vegetables have lot of pests and insects which can be observed while we cut them for cooking. Anyone who has cut vegetables in India know that cauliflower, capsicum, potato, okra(lady finger), eggplant, french beans do mostly have lot of insects inside them. But we rarely find insects in ayurvedic recommended vegetables like snake gourd(parval), bitter gourd(karela), Ivy Gourd or Gherkins(tondli), Ridge gourd(turiya) etc.

So our body is going to develop similar qualities like the food we eat. If we eat food which attracts pest and insect then our body will be attracting infection and diseases. If we eat food which naturally does not attract pests and insects then our body will develop similar qualities.

Reason 5 –
Now from spiritual point of view also in fact i now strongly recommend those who want to advance on path of soul to not eat these vegetables as they belong to family of addictive and toxic plants. In my opinion they are mild
toxic and addictive. So all those who want to advance spiritually should give them up knowing well that vedic scriptures and sages did not eat them. Be rest assured all your nutrition requirements will be taken care of if we eat other recommended vegetables in balanced and intelligent way as per season.

Also those who have eaten the vegetables mentioned in recommended list we see that even if we like those vegetables they don’t make craving in us like those mentioned here. We have a craving for vegetables mentioned in not to be eaten list. At least to all devotees to whom I mentioned this point agreed that there is a craving for not recommended vegetables.

Reason- 6

This is for those who know something about Bhagavad Gita. These vegetables as shown above fall in passionate category where there is pleasure in beginning and pain in end. On the other hand item recommended will be little unpleasant in beginning and pleasure in end.

I would like to thank Mr Daniel kumar to raise this point here so that I could clarify things which would had remained here without my writing down.
Also I would also occasionally eat the not recommended vegetables when I was in some other people’s house and was helpless to express my opinion but after writing the above answer I have now decided that I will never touch these items again. I thank you for helping me to reinforce my understanding and determination which is now like solid rock and which was a little soft before.

Your Servant.

Madan Gopal Das

Comments (8)

our consciousness is so ingrained with being right in doing anything we do. this is cos we have been doing it since time immemorial. when there is a change, it is difficult. but like Madan Gopal Das has said sastric following can change our consciousness cos they are none but the Lords words. it may be difficult to do what he is saying and which he is referring from sastra since we are bombarded by many other scientific views abt the same. i knew a person in a chemical co who was a 10th dropout but he had become production superviosr of a huge chemical plant. he knew the ins and outs of the plant, the pipes, the boilers, the vessels et al. why so? cos he is there since the past 25 years. similarly we are here for the past 25 infinite years or more so and we have been taught to do all sorts of things which become a source of gratification for us altho it may be harmful to us. a sincere and humble approach to sastra and its followers can open our eyes to the stark reality of peril. and like he said what abt our children being exposed to media, bad company and the like. do we ever check that….just cos our gratification seems to be in danger we go red…

this is an excellent post by Madan Gopal Das and I am very much impressed by the logic he has given for the type of food items to be eaten and those not to be avoided.

I’ve realised Ignorance is NOT AT ALL bliss.

thank you very much Mr. Madan Gopal. Please keep the blog running.

Hello Mr. Das,
I liked the logic : ” So our body is going to develop similar qualities like the food we eat. If we eat food which attracts pest and insect then our body will be attracting infection and diseases. If we eat food which naturally does not attract pests and insects then our body will develop similar qualities.”
I fully accept what you say .I was also very happy to get sweet potato as a substitute for POTATO .I just started growing some Bhindis/Okras , but I think i will have to terminate the plants to replace them with the ones you have recommended .Fortunately i did nto grow lots of Okrah though i had a nice stock of seeds .
Also please give us a recipie by which we can avoid chilie and make the sabji as spicy using just Black Pepper only.
One more thing : I recently read a book Rushi Krishi which gives the techniques used by sages to grow plants .The techniques mentioned in the book are so effective using just things like soil under banyan tree , ghee , honey , cow dung etc. to get a bumper crop every year .This again goes to prove the Authenticity of vedic knowledge , which we should accept as it is .
I would like to personally thank you for all the endevour to bring us the knowledge from revealed vedas .
Please let me know if can be of any help to you and your mission.
Regards,
S R Das

Thanks for the mail. Its simple. Just add black pepper powder instead of chillies. Our prasad need not be very spicy all the time.
I have not read rishi krishi throughly. But I wanted to put that up in blog for everyone’s benefit. If you can do that I will be eternally grateful. You can write nice articles or information from rishi krishi and what ever your experiences and send them to me. I will put it up in blog and i will give all credit to you of writing that and mention it that way in blog. I just want it to be know to maximum people possible.

Madan Gopal Das

Dandavat Prabhu, I really thank you a lot coz this article shows that how effort and study is been done by you only for the people health. I thank u from the bottom of my heart prabhu. Please pray for me so I can follow all this in my food.

THIS ARTICLE IS CONFUSING AFTER ALL THE DISCUSSIONS ABOVE PLEASE IT IS NOT SPECIFYING WHAT ARE THE BEST VEGETABLES THAT ONE SHOULD EAT IN DAILY LIFE. REQUEST THE AUTHOR TO BE MORE CANDID ON THIS AS HE HAS REJECTED MOST OF THE VEGETABLES

REGARDS

Ans –
Thanks for writting. This post or article has to be read after reading main post i.e. http://mgdas.com/2010/07/my-menu/

Here I have given many vegetables which are recommended. You can go through the whole list. Its not that I have rejected lot of vegetables. These vegetalbes were not eaten all over the world just before 300-400 years. People survived healthily for 1000s of years without these modern vegetables.

If some point is unclear you can write directly to me. I have asked others and for them it is clear.

Dandavat prabhu,
In Govind dham store we have 2 Ghanavati’s, one from Vada & other from Belgaum. The one from Belgaum has a lot of powder in it. Once the tablets are over can we take powder as well in warm water. Also, is that powder the same of that tablet or something else.
ur servant

Sohan

Ans –
see following link

http://mgdas.com/2010/06/cow-urine-qa-part-2/

As you have cows best is to make your own tablets or better drink fresh cow urine daily.

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