UNANI DIET PLAN : LISTEN TO YOUR BODY – BY DR AFROZ FATHIMA

THE CAUSE OF SICKNESS IS OVER EATING AND CAUSE OF HEALTH IS EATING LIKE A BIRD ,TAKE FOOD ONLY WHEN YOU HAVE A DESIRE -BY HIPPOCRATES .

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY – As soon as we talk about Diet and lifestyle our body has a key role to play in it . According to Unani Science Everything in nature has a temperament (Mizaj) including Foods and Flavours ,climate ,colours etc .Basically Unani Science Defines  2 TYPES of Diet Plans ; Firstly A diet undertaken to maintain overall health and wellbeing on a regular basis over the long term and secondly A diet undertaken over the short term, or for a limited time period, designed to achieve certain specific therapeutic goals and objectives.

THE BASIC OF DIET PLANNING IN UNANI MEDICINE

Diet and dietary therapy are the main modalities or tools of health management and disease prevention in Unani Medicine.  The great advantages of working with diet are that foods are safe, gentle and effective, and have a very low level of toxicity. As the natural herbal medicines and remedies used in Greek Medicine are usually gentler and milder than modern pharmaceutical drugs. The diet consumed during treatment must support and be congruent with the direction and aim of the therapy.  Ultimately, the success of natural herbal medicines and therapy is greatly reduced, or even nullified altogether if not accompanied by the right diet. 

THE BAKER

THE STOMACH IS THE HOUSE OF DISEASE AND DIET IS THE HEAD OF HEALING -BY GRUNER COMMENTATOR OF ALQANOON .

According to Unani Science ILAJ BIL GHIZA (Dietotherapy) works on the principle of ILAJ BIL ZID (Heteropathic Treatment ) ,Based on this Unani Physicians recommend diet of contrary qualities to the prevailing disease for example : administration of diet possessing cold mizaj in case of diseases caused by the morbidity of hot mizaj or temperament /humours or viceversa. Basically there are 4 different terms to be discussed here-

GHIZA (DIET)- The substance , which after administration and ishtihala (metabolism) becomes the part of the body or organ and provides badal ma yatahallal .

DAWA (DRUG)-The substance used to modify pathological states for the benefit of the recipient it acts through its kaifiyath(quality).

GHIZA DAWAI (DIET CUM DRUG)- The substance which are primarily used as Diet but have some pharmacological activities .These substances have more dietary constituents as compared to drug constituents . eg -cucumber

DAWA GHIZAI(DRUG CUM DIET)-The substances which are mainly used as drug but contain some dietary constituents . eg-Almonds

Ancient Greece Dine

UNANI Medicine assesses the nature and temperament of foods, and their impact on the organism, primarily in terms of the Four Basic Qualities:  Hot(HAAR) Cold(BARID), Wet(RATAB) and Dry(YABUSAT).  This enables us to personalize our food selection, giving preference to foods that complement or remedy imbalances, either innate or acquired, of humor and temperament. 
     Since Hot / Cold is the primary or active polarity, our first consideration must be to the heating or cooling nature of foods.  Heating foods are those which stimulate the metabolism, whereas cooling foods are those which sedate the metabolism and relieve excess heat.  Examples are as follows:
     Heating:  garlic, onions, horseradish, ginger, chicken, eggs, duck, lamb, wheat, sesame seeds, walnuts, garbanzos, lemon, apples, olives and aged cheeses.
     Cooling:  milk and dairy products, fresh cheeses, yogurt, mint, bananas, most tropical fruits, lettuce, cucumber, melons, watermelon, fish.
     Dry / Wet is the passive or secondary polarity.  Wet foods are those which are unctuous, rich, oily, moistening and emollient.  Dry foods are those which are either physically dry, or those which aid the organism in eliminating excess fluids.  Examples are:
     Dry:  most beans, soybeans, garbanzos, pomegranates, asparagus, dried fruits, aged cheeses.
     Wet:  milk and dairy products, bananas, avocados, coconut, fresh cheeses, yogurt.
     Closely related to the Dry / Wet polarity are the qualities of Light and Heavy, respectively.  Light foods produce lightness, alertness and agility in the body, but in excess, they can lead to lightheadedness, spaciness and emaciation.  Heavy foods, of high quality, can give strength and durability to the body, but most commonly they produce sluggishness, heaviness and drowsiness, and are difficult to digest.
     Light:  rice cakes, popcorn, corn, sunflower seeds
     Heavy:  beef, wheat, eggplant, greasy fried foods. 
     I don’t want to give a overwhelming info here , but I do want to cultivate in you an awareness and sensitivity to the effects of the foods we eat upon our health. 

YES FLAVOURS TOO HAVE A MIZAJ !!!

Flavors have temperaments and accordingly would cause warmness, coldness, dryness and wetness in the body. One can simply decide the Mizaj of a food item or a drink by tasting them to a great extent. 

Tasteless food items, also called watery, are cold and wet. Every insipid food item such as lettuce, dairy products such as yoghurt, or doogh (a yogurt-based beverage) and citrus fruits which are not too much sour or sweet are cold and wet. 

Sour flavor is cold and dry and cause dryness and coldness in the body as well. Vinegar and pickled vegetables and fruits preserved in vinegar, sour fruits or sour juices, verjuice, Qarehqurut or black kashk (fabricated from the liquid yoghurt) are all cold and dry.

Salty, bitter and spicy flavors which are usually used to give foods a special taste are warm and dry. Although spicy foods are warmer and dryer than bitter and salty foods respectively. 

Sweet flavor is warm and wet and most food items (including main dishes and high-calorie food) are classified in this group and that’s why many people like sweet food and drinks.

With that being said people with cold and dry Mizaj (SAUDAVI temperament) who are normally thin and don’t gain much weight with dark complexion and rough and dry skin, particularly in autumn (a cold and dry season) and in mountainous areas should avoid consuming sour foods and drinks or they are most likely to develop conditions such as dry skin, depression, and weakness.   

Same goes for people with other temperament, for instance, people with warm and wet Mizaj (DUMVI temperament) should cut back on sweet food stuff, people with warm and dry Mizaj (SAFRAVI temperament) should avoid using much spices and salt, and people with cold and wet Mizaj (BALGHUMI temperament) must use dairy products, water and citrus fruits cautiously.   

Each one of the Four Humors (AKHLATH ) has certain foods that aggravate it.  Consumption of these foods should be greatly reduced or avoided by those with an excess or aggravation of that humor, whether it be innate and constitutional, or an acquired condition or imbalance. 


The main problematic or aggravating foods for each humor are: 
     BALGHUM (Phlegm):  milk, dairy products, fresh cheeses, refined sugar, refined starches and flours, wheat and glutinous foods, cold foods, ice cold drinks; moist, creamy rich foods.



     SAFRA (Yellow Bile):  salt and salty foods, fats and cholesterol, fried foods, vinegar, alcohol, excessive sour or fermented foods, aged cheeses, excessive hot spices and chillies, excessive beef and red meat.


 
     SAUDA (Black Bile):  old, dry stale foods: excessive beans, soy, nuts, astringent foods, peanuts, rancid fats, nightshade vegetables – especially tomatoes and eggplant.



     DUM (Blood) :  As blood is the healthiest, most desirable humor, it’s good to cultivate it with blood-building foods like spinach, green leafy vegetables, molasses, dark red and blue berries, and various types of meat in moderation.  Excessive meat consumption may produce a lot of blood, but it won’t be of very high quality, often being too thick, toxic or acidic; blood circulation is also often compromised.  Therefore, one shouldn’t rely exclusively on meat to build the blood. 



     Excessive consumption of proteins, rich fatty foods and sweets may lead to Sanguine excesses of the blood, like uremia and gout, diabetes or high cholesterol in those so predisposed.  Above all, moderation is needed to avoid the extremes of either overfeeding the body on the one hand or malnourishing it on the other. 

YOUR FOOD MENU IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR TREASURE HUNT!!!

BY DR AFROZ FATHIMA

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