You are what you eat. This is based on the saying ‘As you sow, so you reaps’. Whether you feel richer by a million, stay young longer or just keep fit, to be in glowing health, be able to bounce back unharmed by any momentary misfortunes and to spread cheer to all, or remain crippled all your life – your body and mind needs a well balanced, carefully planned diet rich and adequate in required, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. It must be remembered that if the body is deficient in any one or more of these vital elements, its miraculous and delicate clock work mechanism will be thrown out of balance and the system will be crippled and left limping. You may suffer poor eyesight due to Vitamin A deficiency an overweight disfigurement may be due to lack of protein or iron in the diet or the feet can be sore and painful for lack of Vitamin E.
All the different factors are interdependent and work together to keep body and mind healthy. For example, healing qualities of Vitamin A are enhanced by intake of Vitamin E. Lecithin helps vitamin A, D, E K and fat to be absorbed in the body.
Another instance is the marvelous Vitamin B- Complex, which is synergistic. That is, the balance between the B Vitamins, (over 20 are known and more are being discovered) is the most delicate, too much of one can cause deficiency of another. The vitamin B group has been tested and has been proved to play a vital role in the maintenance of good health, staying of ageing processes and even changes in the personality. So let us look at the vitamins that make us what we are.
It is this group of Vitamin B, unfortunately, that we modern people are very deficient in. Vitamin B are naturally present in liver, Brewer’s yeast, molasses, whole wheat cereals and breads, heart, kidneys, rice bran, muscle meats, egg yolk, bean peas, honey, mushrooms etc.
In the Vitamin B Complex, Niacin (B3): is sometimes termed the “courage vitamin”. It is effective is pellagra, “nerves” depression, schizophrenia, loss of appetite, diarrhea due to lack of hydrochloric acid.
Pyridoxine (B6): is a nerve relaxer, anti stress vitamin, effective in trembling, play (Parkinson’s disease, nausea, water retention in pregnancy, migraine, headaches, excessively oily skin, airsickness, it is especially effective with magnesium.
Some deficiency symptoms are bad breath, irritability, headaches “nerves” abdominal cramps, fouled smelling gas, rash in the genital area, hemorrhoids, diarrhea, vomiting, dandruff, soreness in the lips and mouth, eczema on the face and scalp, dry hands insomnia.
Pantothenic Acid: “Anti-stress vitamin” especially when antibiotics are taken, with burns and severe injuries, effective in premature grey hair, wrinkled skin. Fat and sugar conversion with energy is not possible without it – dieters should take steps to take it to prevent gout and arthritis.
Deficiency symptoms are hypoglycemia, headaches dizziness, depression, gas constipation, stomach ulcers, allergies asthma and insomnia.
PABA: prevents graying of hair, mental depression and is required for conception.
Inositol helps prevent baldness indigestion, hardening of arteries by reducing cholesterol.
Cholorine: this influences longevity, helps in shortness of breath and heart pain, cirrhosis of the liver, stomach ulcer, muscular dystrophy. A deficiency has been found to cause cancer in animals. This is also present in Lecithin.
Biothin: deficiency symptoms are evident in dry skin, scaly scalp (eczema), heart pains, and depression in animals, stunted growth and cancer.
Folic Acid: Effective in large cells anemia and weight gain. Deficiency symptoms are fatigue, dizziness, depression, shortness of breath, important during pregnancy.
B10: deficiency symptoms are fatigue, sore mouth, neuritis, menstrual problems, waking difficulties.
An interesting experiment carried out at Mayo foundation revealed that volunteers fed on a diet deficient in Vitamin B, Thiamine, showed adverse personality changes. The volunteers become inefficient, quarrelsome, mentally slugging and depressed. They later developed fatigue, constipation, mumbles of hands and fee, insomnia, as also low blood pressure, neuritis with pain in carves and legs and lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Volunteers became exhausted and could not work. These volunteers were kept on a diet of white bread, cornflakes, polished rice, potatoes, sugar, skimmed milk, cheese, butter, gelatin, canned fruits and vegetables, cocoa and coffee.
The diet sound very familiar in Asia, where refined, preserved, pack aged, fast foods have replaced natural wholesome foods, due to industrialization, pressurized modern lifestyle and non availability of fresh foods due to transportation delays etc.
The volunteers of the Mayo Foundation test, where restored to normal health, mental alertness as soon as they were administered dosages of Vitamin B – lack of this vitamin had led to forgetfulness and poor judgment. Pyurvic and lactic acids accumulate in the brain cells which become toxic, adversely affecting the personality with mental depression, mental confusion, moodiness, forgetfulness, inability and irritability.
Even with mild storage of niacin amide cause weepiness from depression. Dizziness, tension, irritability and recurring headaches, diarrhea, inflammation of the intestinal tract with rectal and anal soreness are other debilitating symptoms. Fortunately these can all be rectified quite satisfactorily with the introduction of niacin and a diet of vitalizing food stuffs.
Tests putting volunteers on restricted and near starvation diets lacking in vital proteins, vitamins and minerals led to apathy which was the first sign of mental depression, followed by boredom lack of concentration and loss of confidence, frustrations, strong irritations and even loss of mental balance, lack of sense of humor mistrust, resentment, suspiciousness, self doubt, feeling of persecution and martyrdom, mental confusion, and morbid indefinable fears were some of the personality characteristics that developed and were evident in people subject to or fed on poor, nutrient deficient diets. Our diet that is high I carbohydrates, fats, sugar and short of or absent in proteins, vitamins and minerals have contributed to low efficiency and personality of the malnutrition of worker
It has been proved that a mere deficiency of Vitamin B produces a mild form of mental and emotional disorganization. It is also known that adequate nutrition is closely related to the ability of a person to think constructively. Poor nutrition can cause mental illness and even suicidal tendencies. An absence of niacin in the diet can produce strong psychotic illness. Dr Hoffer I Saskatchewan has used Vitamin B3 (niacin) for treatment of schizophrenia with a great cure rate. Full fledged neurosis can result with a deficiency. So, we now know that Vitamin B1 is essential for the integration of the personality. “Even the so called natural breakdown in old persons can be slowed down and their mental faculties kept bright and alert if their nutrition is ample and well balanced, According to Dr Mae Millnan, “Adequate quantities of food according to a person’s need, rich in essential Vitamins and Minerals can be all that will be required to make for either bouncing, tension and stress free living or one of crippling with malnutrition of body and mind”. It is evident that the type of person you are and the health & life you enjoy are very dependent on what you eat. How necessary it is then for us to know what to eat, how much is necessary and in what combinations.
I firmly believe that the whole universe is inter-connected. Our body, mind and spirit are deeply rooted with each other. If body is sick, the mind cannot relax or feel good. And if mind is not relaxed, it will give birth to stress and that will lead to chronic health problems.
So, it is clear that in order to posses a sound body we must have a calm and peaceful mind. Without a sound mind we cannot expect our potential growth or development.