Last week, we shared about the preventative measures against pathogens such as covid-19. This week we would like to talk about the long term strategies to acquire “total health” so that we do not become susceptible to such a pandemic.
According to Center for Disease Control (CDC), six in ten adults in the United States have a chronic diseases and four in ten adults have two or more. (1) Despite new heights in science and technology, why do we see this kind of statistics in the one of the most affluent and advanced country in the world? Human biology and the diseases process is complex and sophisticated than modern medicinal diagnosis and treatment model. We have to apply the system’s biology models such as Ayurveda, which deals with treating the whole person, not just the symptoms.
According to Ayurveda, we are what we digest, not what we eat. Based upon one’s quality of metabolic strength (agni), we may be ingesting same food but find a different outcome on back end of assimilation. Quality of food we consume or the information we perceive through the senses are given the highest priority in Ayurveda.
Why this is important? 60–80% of our immune system is located in our gut. A complex, independent nervous system called the enteric nervous system (ENS) lines the gastrointestinal tract. ENS contains many of the major neurotransmitters that are found in the brain, including serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, norepinephrine, and nitric oxide. More than 80% of our body’s neurotransmitters are made in the gut. There is an intimate 2-way communication between gut and brain, mediated by many pathways including the vagus nerve. Therefore, Ayurveda considers gut as the powerhouse or the foundation of our health. The quality of gut has a direct relationship with one’s overall health, vitality, and radiance including skin tone, overall energy, and restful sleep.
“More than 99% of Italy’s coronavirus fatalities were people who suffered from previous medical conditions, according to a study by the country’s national health authority. The Rome-based institute has examined medical records of about 18% of the country’s coronavirus fatalities, finding that just three victims, or 0.8% of the total, had no previous pathology. Almost half of the victims suffered from at least three prior illnesses and about a fourth had either one or two previous conditions. More than 75% had high blood pressure, about 35% had diabetes and a third suffered from heart disease.” (2)
When a pond is polluted, diverse species of organisms cannot thrive to maintain its integrity. Similarly, a compromised human gut can be a storage house for poor immunity, thereby making it susceptible to external pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. Our lifestyle and diet for the past 25-30 years has created a perfect storm for us to be influenced by such a pandemic. This has been a great reminder for all of us to reflect upon our priorities in life and change course.
Here is what we can do in this order to reverse the trend from the past:
1. Heal the gut from an onslaught of incompatible foods and lifestyle from a long period of time. You can read more on our website www.santacruzayurveda.
2. Go back to the basics by integrating foods that supports your unique constitution (dosha). This will strengthen your immunity for long term health.
3. Diet: Let food be the medicine. Supplements do not substitute bio-available nutrients we receive from food.
Consume only whole grains, whole foods, fresh fruits, greens, and vegetables. Avoid processed, packaged, and frozen foods. Organic and non-gmo foods are preferred.
4. Lifestyle: Follow the circadian rhythm which is also known as bio-rhythm of nature. Living in harmony with nature bring us to back to health. Move your body and mind with exercise, yoga, mediation, and spending time in nature.
5. Remember the mantra, “you are what you digest, not what you eat.”
6. Contact us for any help. We are here for you. You are not alone!