Thursday, December 12News That Matters

Editorial- January

Description of Quantitative Dietetics mentioned by Charak Samhita (Sutrasthana 5/3-14) is still relevant to people after lots of researches done in field of nutrition and dietetics. Based on power of digestion and metabolism of individual, the quantity of food taken is advocated in Charak Samhita. The proper quantity is referred to the amount not causing any disequilibrium in dhatu and dosas. It is an apparent indication for utilization of nutrients and calorie by the body. The quality of food articles is also discussed in details for healthy regime. The heavy food articles are recommended to be taken in quantity of ½-3/4th when compared to quantity of light food articles. The heavy food articles are rich in ap and prithvi mahabhuta while light foods are rich in Vayu and Agni mahabhuta. The food items suggested by Charak Samhita are rich in fibers and proteins which give higher satiety and thermic effects. Higher satiety provides fullness feeling while thermic effect engages with better metabolism. Charak advises the regular intake of food articles based on quality which are conducive to the maintenance of good health by replenishing the tissue elements of the body and removing the obstacles of good health. Variations in food quality and quantity are also noted based on seasons.

The New York Times of 20th February 2018 highlights a research based on quality preferred to quantity for diet as key for weight loss. Eating plenty of vegetables and whole grains are indicated than taking of processed food. Vegetables and whole grains are rich in fibers. Fibers are inert to digestive enzymes and increases the bulk. They are fermented in colon in to gases and delay gastric emptying which result in feeling of fullness. The feeling of fullness is related with changes in dopamine and serotonin levels and their postsynaptic receptors signaling the hypothalamic food-intake-related nuclei about the need of more meal. Genes responsible for breakdown of carbohydrates and fats are also important and any related genetic defect is not taken in consideration while dealing with quality or quantity of food.
Altogether it is quality of food articles as more important to maintain good health of normal human beings. Seasonal variation of the quality of food articles needs to be explored based on researches.

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