Lifestyle diseases like hypertension, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol accounted for 36 percent of deaths in India, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) survey in 2010. In 2012, World Health Sciences reported raised fasting sugar levels in 11.1 percent males and 10.8 percent females in India. Further, the WHO projects that India will have the largest diabetic population in the world by 2030. What makes matters worse is that Indians have a genetic predisposition to chronic lifestyle diseases, which act as a catalyst for more disease like renal failure and heart disease.
But all is not lost. There are ways to turn your body back into a healthy state without relying on allopathic medication, which is believed to suppress symptoms instead of treating them. A blend of ayurveda, naturopathy and yoga can work wonders for those struggling to find harmony in their bodies.
Obesity is called sthoulya in ayurveda. It occurs as a result of excessive accumulation of medas or vasa, which is a type of fat in subcutaneous and deep tissues. Ayurvedic practitioners prescribe a four-pronged approach to preventing and treating obesity.
- Diet low in fat and carbohydrates and rich in fibre.
- To create good appetite, stamina shape up the body and burn extra fat.
- Yoga provides tranquility and increases concentration. It also helps those who indulge in emotional or stress eating, thereby improving your relationship with food.
- Panchkarma therapy is a detoxification programme effective for obesity. The therapies include udwarthanam, elakizhi, kadikizhi and vast procedures like kashya vasti, lekhna vasti and more.
While there is no known way to cure or reverse type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be reversed. The primary causes the main causes of madhumeha or diabetes mellitus type 2 are an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, excessive sleep and stress. It is also important to maintain an ideal body weight. Ayurvedic doctors suggest breaking meals into five small ones through the day and to not leave long gaps between meals. As part of an ayurveda treatment for diabetes, one should avoid smoking, reduce intake of alcohol and sleep adequately.
Don’t blame it on oil, the key is in moderation. The traditional coconut oil does not deserve bad publicity because our bodies are genetically programmed to certain eating habits and lifestyle. Olive oil and raw salad diets are recommended for people in the Mediterranean region but not those in the tropical countries. We should rather have them cooked. Commence your day with fresh fruits and grains such as oats that are high in soluble fibre and minimise consumption of oils and animal products including ghee and dairy. Gorge on antioxidant rich food such as apples, strawberries and nuts. Additionally, don’t forget to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily.
In addition to poor lifestyle choices, stress is considered a major factor in lifestyle diseases. Ayurveda considers stress to be linked with a basic element of the body tissue called ojas. To bring back the lost balance of ojas, ayurveda recommends panchkarma therapies like shirodhara and abhyangam.