WHAT IS A DISEASE BUT A DEFICIENCY?

THE WONDER WORLD OF FRUIT: If organically cultivated they offer excellent nutrition, providing the earth is fertile! Anti-carcinogenic vitamin B17 may be found in fruit stone kernels of apricots, almonds, plums and sprouted grain

Eating is Fun / Eating is Yuck! – A variety food column

By Tara Narayan

THE more I read all the alternative health literature coming my way, the more I’m convinced that disease – any disease – is nothing but a nutrition deficiency! For example, I’ve been reviewing this video which has been making the round on WhatsApp about how cancer is not a disease but a deficiency, as scurvy was once upon a time. I mean, all these seamen were dying in innumerable numbers for want of fresh vitamin C in fruit and veggies while out at sea for months on end and then …..lemon juice was served and everyone got cured of a disease called scurvy! Right or wrong?

So says this friend of ours in this video clip and I’m inclined to believe her. We know that health with a capital H is a mega business today where as a wealthier urban  civilization we’re killing ourselves overeating, and that too overeating on food with less and less nutritional values. (If our earth becomes more and more infertile how can we harvest nutritional dense foods to stay alive). Plus, we have a plethora of junk or industrial food which we’re addicted to from a younger and younger age….so our diseases of degeneration (the body’s chemistry going haywire) starts earlier and earlier and now it’s been established from the time babies are born the foundation for atherosclerosis is laid (courtesy  packaged foods).

We have forgotten how to eat and are actually becoming weakling urban civilizations around the globe. The long and short of all this is that if we grow up drinking and eating low-quality nutrition in our meals, we set the stage for deficiency and disease and especially so as age catches up with us. But to stay with this video clip which is playing over and over again now in my mind, so if the big C or dreaded cancer (of which so many of us are dying) is “not a disease but a deficiency,” why are we squandering money on drugs, chemotherapy, radiotherapy?

And why isn’t our medical fraternity interested in this matter of diminishing vitamin B17 in our body chemistry? Doesn’t anybody want a cure for cancer? Of course, they do. But not if it so easy and if there’s too little money to be made in curing or containing cancer! Sounds like a familiar story? So where can this vitamin B17 be found? Our friend says eat food rich in vitamin B17 — found in fruit kernels of apricot, plums, peaches, almonds…wheat buds, sprouted grain and seeds, barley, rough paddy, millet, linseed, oats, mulberries and all berries, cherries, Brewer’s yeast, pumpkins, etc. Laetrile or Amygladin is something the researchers have zeroed in on in extracted form and the formulae is available in Mexico of all places (and smuggled into the USA)!

Read a book called “World Without Cancer” by Dr G Edward Griffin which has been banned from being translated thanks to the manipulation of the world’s powerful pharmaceutical lobbies. Okay, my thought is, if all this is just an alternative junk line (like junk food, I don’t think so) at least let’s check it out, except that I’m wondering how “apricot stone” and bitter almond kernels are prescribed as B17 rich, isn’t it bitter poison? I guess it’s really the sweet, fresh, kernels of apricot, almonds, plums, peaches, cherries (all stone fruit) which is referred to here. Sometimes it’s a little difficult to make out fact from half-fiction to outright fiction, we need to check it out for common sense but also remember that it’s traditional wisdom that bitter is one of the “rasa” of life and such things as bitter neem juice, bitter gourd juice, fenugreek…are seen as the bitter goodness which we need for various perfectly sound reasons.

Not bitter almonds though I think! I do buy this valuable insight that cancer is not a killer disease but a killer vitamin deficiency and that too of vitamin B17 which I imagine most of us have not even heard about. I hadn’t until I caught this video clip on WhatsApp. The fact remains that vitamin C deficiency was once upon a time a “disease” vis-à-vis scurvy and folk died like folk are dying today of cancer.

It makes sense to think that every disease thrives because as we grow old we become more and more sedentary, and as our teeth give way to rotten eating and drinking habits, we acquire dentures and don’t chew food (either laziness or lack of interest) like it’s meant to be chewed for more efficient digestion. Ask the senior citizens in your family how well they chew their food with their own teeth or dentures! All this is grist for the mill of malnutrition including the fact that what most of us eat day in and day out is not food but junk food (yes, industrially manufactured   biscuits of refined flour/sugar/chemical preservatives, the largest junk food of our times perhaps, and health departments even in Goa think that distributing biscuit packets to angaanwadi children is better than a fresh banana). Malnutrition and lack of exercise is a deadly combination in today’s urban lifestyles be it in rich homes or middle class or rich homes.

The subject of nutrition is vast and never mind the specifics if you are inclined like me to accept that any disease is a deficiency – the bottom-line is check your nutrition and what your specific deficiencies could be and rectify it in your daily meals.

Or like I’m doing try to afford some of the nutraceutical products of say Herbalife! Fact is there is zero or inadequate nutrition (the building blocks of life) in what we’re drinking and eating today and this is because honest agriculture is fading and we’re dependent on an increasingly infertile, chemically-infested earth yielding sub-standardly nutritious crops. And, of course, no young people want to be farmers (even if there’s money in farming providing you go about it the right way). Our farmers who fed and feed us are committing suicide!

So either we continue to feast on our dead industrial foods and when the diseases of malnutrition/nutritional deficiencies start to take a toll of our health sooner or later…we may go from doctor to doctor for a solution (like they know anything about nutrition and how food may be your medicine). Most of us know that the food we eat makes us fat, fatter and finally obese and this is where a lot of things start going wrong.

Some of us (no, more and more of us I like to think) turn to a nutraceutical company like Herbalife to lose weight and regain health. Why Herbalife? I dare say it’s the oldest pioneering company and I find its story quite engaging and from all that I have been reading up their formulae of food supplements do make a lot of folk feel good and they have lost weight in kilos and inches. Not joking. The testimonies are there. Many sports personalities and celebrities (whose professions depend on their fitness) testify to the goodness of Herbalife in their life….

Hey, I’m still withholding my final verdict. But for the time being at least for me it’s either this, replacing my previously eating-out breakfasts with Herbalife’s Formula-I nutri milk shakes-cum-personalized protein inputs, or continuing to consume food which will make me only fatter. Not to mention more vulnerable to our slew of degenerative diseases beginning with obesity, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease…etcetera…until the end!

OF COURSE, you need not turn to Herbalife. There are a slew of other so called nutraceutical companies with various formulae of food supplements and many of them come highly researched (in the ultimate analysis the body is a chemical laboratory), but do check out at ground reality before investing in any food supplements and remember, they may or may not agree with you. My bottom-line is it’s always best to drink and eat organically cultivated fresh local food minimally cooked or un-cooked (raita/kachumbar/combo green juices etc).

Think about all this and don’t just think, okay. I’ll share my favourite morning drink with you here: These days I’ve taken to drinking saffron tea: Put a pinch of saffron in a mug, pour in hot water, steep for a minute till you get a fragrant beautiful gold liquid….sip and enjoy the morning! All about the goodness of the saffron herb another time, keep watching this space.

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