Monday, 30 October 2006

Satvik Food: Ancient Indian Diet Keeps Heart Problems Away

October 30, 2006
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Oct 30: Intake of Vedic diet comprising fresh uncooked vegetables and raw sprouts will stabilise the heart beat and prevent arrhythmias, which often lead to death.
Arrhythmia is a health problem affecting the electrical system of the cardiac muscle and causes the heart to beat slowly or pump blood less effectively. A research study on various diets mentioned in the ancient Indian texts revealed that those who take a diet comprising vegetables, grains, sprouts, minimum quantity of oil and raw foods showed a rhythmic heart beat.
The study, conducted by Dr P Ravi Shankar and others at the Russian Medical Academy, showed that cells of the same tissue would exist with different resting potentials depending on the dietary intake as prescribed in the Indian system of medicine.
As many as 75 male Wistar rats were used in the study. They were divided into five groups each comprising 15 rats. Three groups of rats were fed with different types of diets referred to in the ancient Indian Scriptures. The other two groups were taken as control groups. The researchers used the action potentials in the heart muscle as a reference parameter. The action potentials showed an average resting potential of about - 84.5 milli volts. At the end of the study, the rats were killed and action potentials were measured from their intact hearts.
The values of action potentials in the rats fed with a diet made up of raw vegetables and grains were very close to the resting potential. The action potentials of those fed with spicy foods had varied between 86.5 milli volts and 93.5 milli volts. The third group which received cooked foods with lot of oil and sweets had action potentials between 105.28 milli volts and 112.28 milli volts.
"The findings prove that the more the resting potential, the lesser the external
stimulus needed to excite and generate an action potential which gives a greater understanding of arrhythmias in cardiac muscles and various nervous and other disorders," the study pointed out

Tuesday, 12 September 2006

Hyderabadi haleem: Medicinal properties of this Ramazan dish

September 12, 2006
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Sept 11: Haleem, the special Ramzan dish of Hyderabad known for its unique taste, has several medicinal properties that improve semen production and stimulate ovulation.
Studies by city Unani physicians and researchers show that Haleem and its variant Harees increase sperm count and promote sperm health and motility in men and assist in better ovulation in women. The special ingredients that go into the preparation of Haleem and Harees stimulate blood circulation to vital body organs thereby reducing sexual dysfunction and the problem of low sperm count.
"The unique feature of this Hyderabadi dish is that it contains both slow-digesting and fast-burning ingredients. The fibre content is also relatively high. The legumes that go into its production increase muscle strength and sexual potency. The ingredients are also rich in potassium and magnesium.
Whole grains like wheat, nuts, vegetables and dry fruits solve the problem of low sperm count, which has of late become a major health and reproductive problem in industrialised nations," says Dr Fazal Ahmad, senior Unani researcher.
Dr Fazal, who also edits Unani monthly Cure for All, points out that Haleem and Harees acquire the aphrodisiac properties primarily because of the five "Gs" that go into its preparation. "Gur (jaggery), gond (natural gum), ghost (meat), ghehoon (wheat) and ghee are special Unani prescriptions. A combination of all five or some of them increases sexual potency primarily by increasing the sperm count. Our research has shown that those who consume Haleem or Harees on regular basis are sexually more active than who don't," he says.
Many residents of Barkas locality in Hyderabad consume Harees at breakfast everyday and this is reflected on their good physique and better reproductive health.
According to senior Unani physician Dr Ilyas Khan, Haleem contains minerals selenium, folic acid, and zinc and vitamins A, C, and E. "It has been scientifically proved that foods rich in these compounds increase the sperm count and sperm motility, thus assisting in reproductive health. Studies have shown that Haleem and Harees increase blood circulation and assist in blood production. The system of Unani medicine says any food that increases blood circulation will promote sperm production," he says.
Hakeem Tariq Mehmood Chughtai in his research publication on the health benefits of Haleem and Harees points out that one should not take water immediately after consuming this special festival dish to derive maximum benefit from it. Since Haleem/Harees contains both "slow and fast digestion ingredients" the benefits will be more if the dish is consumed soon after breaking the day-long fast during Ramzan.