When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use
When diet is right, medicine is of no need
The progress we have made in creating machines, means of communication, medicines, artificial intelligence, etc, is commendable, but what has worsened globally is our “health”. The human body is the most complex arrangement of cells and networks, absolutely unmatched in design. We should understand the simple fact that there is a basic need to create an environment where we start analysing and caring for our bodies as we do for almost every other thing in our life.
Health is of prime importance to every human being but we as a generation have sadly failed to realise this fact for years. The vast majority of the global population simply neglects this fact until they are affected by a disease or begin to see serious symptoms. We have engaged ourselves in attaining stability in our daily lives, achieving our goals, building our future, but have constantly sidelined the need to “care for our bodies” which work for us day and night tirelessly.
The modern world has made us reach a point where judgements, perspectives, social status, careers, belongings and all other tangible things have become more important than our bodies and health, when it should actually be the opposite.
The very fact that we do not suffer from an illness or show no symptoms does not at all indicate that we are healthy. Disease is a state in which our bodies lose the capacity to function the way they should and sometimes we can feel absolutely healthy from the outside while our inner health is constantly being compromised.
We often tend to ignore the signals that our bodies give us every day. We wait and wait till these symptoms manifest into a full blown illness. Our care starts only when the damage has been done and in most cases is almost irreparable.
It is extremely sad that a vast majority of us only resort to help of any sort only once our negligence and food habits have manifested into an illness. According to almost all the modern research, almost all illnesses are a direct outcome of how we feed our bodies. “We are what we eat” is something we must understand and our diet has a remarkable influence on the way our bodies function.
If we take the example of Kashmir, we find very disturbing statistics. In the past three decades, we have witnessed an immense deterioration of health and a significant rise in diseases, especially Diabetes Type 2, Hypertension, Thyroid issues, cardiovascular problems, IBS, and cancers.
All these illnesses have a major link with our daily diet and lifestyle. We as Kashmiris must admit the fact that our food habits are extremely poor and the majority of us practise a sedentary lifestyle. This combination is actually deadly in rendering our bodies to extreme periodical harm.
Our food consists of almost everything overcooked, deep fried, and lacks the basic nutritional attributes which contribute to our health. Something needs to change drastically. We can’t only rely on doctors (who are extremely important in helping us solve our health issues) but need to take the responsibility to dig deep and start asking the very basic questions instead.
We need to invest the most in our health which unfortunately has become the last priority for almost all of us. We must think seriously about our diet, lifestyle, awareness, basic knowledge about the power of our bodies to heal, and awareness about the poisonous products we consume on a daily basis that degrade our health and cause enormous loss to the quality of our lives.
It may seem a daunting task but it is pretty simple. As we need advice in all fields of life, so do we need it for building a healthy lifestyle and improving our overall health. The first steps, for example, could be eliminating foods that make our bodies deteriorate and sick.
The next step is to incorporate foods that are vital for providing nutrients to our bodies. The aim is to build a routine that is sustainable rather than short-term. It is easy to follow a specific diet protocol briefly and return to the same unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle thereafter. Our motive should be to keep a balance of foods we eat on a daily basis, the amount of exercise that needs to be put into our schedules, the calories we need to burn, the protein intake necessary to cater to our body needs, and above all, the regular maintenance of this very schedule so that we attain long-term sustainable health.
I am an International Sports Science Association certified fitness trainer and a nutritionist. My sole aim is to create a sense of understanding among people about the importance of “diet and lifestyle” and its impact on our overall health. I am passionate about educating people with simple things which we all can incorporate to make our lives better. I feel an urge to speak about something that has been kept to shelves or books in Kashmir for long.
I am obsessed with the fact that Allah has made our bodies as the most magnificent machines with functions we cannot even contemplate to design. There is, therefore, the utmost need to care for our bodies through our diet and lifestyle.
It saddens me to the core to see our young blood with diseases like diabetes and hypertension with only medication as their answer. Having spent some time in Europe, I came to realise how massively we could control our health just by being selective about what we eat.
I have personally spoken to so many people who once suffered from illnesses like diabetes, autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, etc, but are now living symptom-free just by tweaking their diets and adopting a healthy lifestyle.
There is a need to create awareness among common people about the possibility of making their symptoms, illnesses or medical conditions better by just following a healthy regime.
The epidemic of self-medication and easy availability of prescription drugs over the counter in Kashmir is a worry as well. A healthy body possesses all traits to heal itself naturally provided it is given the conditions necessary for healing.
I feel it is of utmost importance that we take a serious note of the situation we currently are facing. How long are we going to watch our parents, grandparents, friends, colleagues complain about their health and simply resort to medication for the solution?
When are we going to take responsibility for our own bodies and develop an attitude that our health depends entirely on what we eat?
I feel we should all start taking this blessing from Allah seriously and take full care of it, rather than waiting to fall to a symptom or an illness and then regret or act about it. I would be fascinated to help you build a better version of yourselves because there surely is so much we can improve and so much we can achieve.
Let us all invest our minds and time into creating a healthy version of us and our families and friends. Let us at least start by giving some daily time to our bodies to keep illnesses at bay.
The writer is a fitness trainer and nutritionist.