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Aliments and medicinal plants which favours the enjoyment of happiness (1)
 
by ayurveda teacher Andrei Gamulea
 
What we are all looking for is happiness and as some researchers thinks, one of the mysteries of the state of happiness resides also in the mysterious transformations that occurs in the nature, more precisely, in the phisyological modifications that take place in our body under the action of various ingredients contained in the aliments and medicinal plants that we use. Taking into consideration that, most of us are what we eat, here you can find in the following several aliments and medicinal plants which can help us to awaken and amplify in our beings, in a perfectly natural way, well being, calm, the psycho-emotional balance and in the end even the state of happiness, whcih we can say, we can „taste” it in this manner, here and now.

The bananas
 
Sweet and of a nice consistency, the well mellow bananas are rich in fibers, potasium and magnesium. Through their content, these fruits lead fast to a psychic state of well being, they reduce and helps fighting against depression, maintaining the emotional balance. Tasted separately or in a delicious fruits salad, fresh bananas can adjust the level of magnesium in the body, favouring a fast recovery of the body after prolonged efforts, both physical and mental. The association of the potasium with magnesium in the content of bananas ensures a remarcable effect of relaxation and recovery at the level of nervous cells. This association offers also an excellent adaptability at the possible emotional fluctuations that may occur, leading in the end to attain a better emotional selfcontrol.




The sweet oranges

 
There are two main categories of oranges: the sweet ones and the sour ones. The number of varieties of sweet oranges is remarcable. The sweet oranges contains inozitol, a substance that adjust the levels of serotonin and insulin. By the same token, the regular consumption of sweet oranges attenuates the fluctuations of psychic and mental dispositions and helps eliminate the depression and anxiety. The constant use of sweet oranges, could also help reduce the exceeding fats and cholesterol, favouring the harmonization of the physical body. In addition, the sweet oranges are an important source of vitamin C, only one orange fruit offering up to 150% from the daily recommended dose of vitamin C. In this respect is known that in conditions of great stress, large amounts of vitamin C are very helpful because then both the consume of noradrenalin as well as the consume of adrenalin is considerably increased. Both the taste and the flavour of the oranges are extremely invigorating. Recent studies shows that only the smell of fresh orange can reduce considerably the states of anxiety, awakening the well being and the optimism.
 


The peaches

 
Originating from Tibet and China, the peach tree is being cultivated from over 200 years for its sweet and juicy fruits. Peaches contains antioxidants and fibers. An amount of 150 grams of fresh peaches supplies 8% from the daily recommended dose of soluble fibers which reduces the level of cholesterol from the blood stream. This effect is usually felt by those that tastes several mellow peaches, as a sensation of energetical refreshment, similar with the sensation we have after a walk in plain air, in a mountain forest. Peaches contains also potasium, element which is not at all accidentally called „the mineral element of youth”, because it has an extremely  important role in the adjustment of a high number of chemical processes in the body.







The ananas

 
Rarely used in their natural form, the ananas fruits are an excellent source of macronutrients. Only 100 grams of fresh ananas fruit can supply 25% from the daily recommended dose of vitamin C for an adult. Refreshing and tasty, the ananas is also an excellent activator of the digestive processes. The ananas contains bromeline, an enzyme well known for accelerating especially the digestion of proteins. In the end, the effect felt after consuming almost 200 grams of fresh ananas is one of considerably instant refreshment both physical and psychic.





The grapefruit

 
The grapefruit is rich in folic acid (vitamin B9), which is crucial for the distribution of oxygen to the brain. According to a recent american study, the sanguine level of folic acid is lower at those that suffers often states of depression. The folic acid (vitamin B9) contributes in forming healthy cells and plays a very important role in preventing the anomalies of the nervous system. In the same time, grapefruit is a key ingredient for the serotonine production which is sometimes suggestively called „the hormone of happiness”. By the same token, the consumption of only one grapefruit daily can bring an instant state of psychic serenity. Besides, one of the main effects of folic acid (vitamin B9) is that of maintaining the emotional and psychic balance. By the same token, a glass of fresh grapefruit juice, sweetened with honey, can make dissapear almost instantly the bad psychic states.




The pumpkin

 
This vegetable has a high content of zinc which, as some polish researches discovered, maintains alive the nervous cells, eliminating the burdensome states of spirit. This oligo-element, the zinc, is used in transforming the aminated acid tryptophan in serotonine, called „the hormone of happiness”, and some researches states that i tis also involved in what we can call „the secret chemistry of love“. Mellow pumpkin is a real tasty feast if it is served with honey and aromatic plants. You can also peel the pumpkin of its skin, cut it in small pieces and then it can be fried slightly in olive oil, adding various aromatic plants such as sage, rosemary, basil or mint and condiments (coriander, fennel, caraway, anise, cinnamon or vanilla). The zinc contained by the pumpkin is responsible of the stimulation of taste and smell buds and of the sight receptors. Hereby, the zinc present in the pumpkin increase sight, taste and smell. By the same token, as we will taste the specific flavour of a well cokked pumpkin, we can feel as the attraction towards the shiny pumpkin will increase „as we speak”.


The spinach
 
 
Originating from ancient Persia antică, the spinach has an impressive. In the VIIth century, the king of  Nepal sent spinach in China as a gift. In the XIth century, it was introduced in Spain by the moors and in England it was known as the „spanish vegetable”. In the XVIth century, the spinach was highly appreciated by the king of France. At the end of firt half of the past century, the spinach became already famous due to Popeye, the character created by the designer E. C. Segar. Related with the beet, the spinach is rich in folic acid (vitamin B9) which is soluble in water an dis very important to keep the psychic balance. Besides, even the name of this vitamin - „folic acid” – cames from the latin word „folium”, meaning leaf, beacause the folic acid can be found mostly in green vegetables such as spinach. A serving of spinach consumed daily is recommended to eliminate the states of depression. In addition, the spinach proved to be an excellent neuroprotector. The constant consumption of raw spinach, as salad or cooked, leads to increased cerebral functions.






The cauliflower

 
The cauliflower originates from Turkey and its farming spread throughout Europe starting with the XVIth century. The cauiflower is a vegetable rich in vitamin C. The alimentation poor in this vitamin inhibates the production of dopamine, this being responsible of the absorbtion of iron which stimulates the general energy of the body. The dopamine is involved too in the control of the general state of well being. A recent british study showed that 100 grams of raw cauliflower offers to the body 70 mg of vitamin C, quantity which is an excellent stimulator of well being. In addition, the cauliflower contains a considerable amount of folic acid (vitamin B9), reason for which, if we will serve in the evening, before going to sleep, some raw cauliflower with cream and some crisp food, such as corn flakes, we could have after that a profound state of calm which will ensure us in the following night a calm and refreshing sleep.






The mushrooms

The eastern civilisations used the mushrooms both as food as well as medicine. The mushrooms are a very good source of vitamin B2 (riboflavine) and vitamine B3 (niacine). The vitamine B2 is involved in a great number of  reactions that produces energy. This is why, a mushroom dish is so appreciated for its regenerating effect that occurs. On the other hand, a deficit of niacine (vitamine B3) can cause depression. When the niacine level is low, the body produces vitamine B3 from tryptophane, and so the quantity left to be transformed in serotonine being very low. This reaction is not favourable for maintaining a state of well being and the psychic balance. Because the mushrooms are rich in niacine (vitaminea B3), their use in the alimentation proves to be very useful. The mushrooms can be cooked with olive oi land then fried on the grill. Some of them, as the mushrooms called champignion could be consumed even raw, in salads.






Avocado

 
The avocado fruit is known and used in alimentation from more than 7000 years. Incas and aztecs appreciated avocado for its soft texture and the multiple great effects of this fruit. The avocado fruit contains potasium, follats, carotenoids, and vitamine B6 (piridoxine). A cup of avocado sliced in small pieces (146 grams) contains 874,54 mg potasium, 90,37 mcg follats and 0,41mg vitamine B6 (piridoxine). The avocado fruit is a very good source of potasium, fighting against states of tiredness and helping acheiving a state of general calm. The vitamine B6, present in the avocado fruit, contributes also in maintaining the psychic and psychosomatic balance. It appears in the processes of decarboxylation from which results precursors alamines of the neurotransmitters (noradrenaline and serotonine). Consequently, either is served simple, fresh, or i tis added in raws salads, with tomatoes, mushrooms or squashes, the avocado fruit is a real beneficent „vegetable butter”, which makes dissapearing instantly depression, irritability, anxiety or agitation.



The carrots

 
Carrots cultivation and their use in alimentation is a subject for thousands of years. There are an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C. A recent British study made a connection between lack of vitamin B8 (biotin) from the carrots and the nervous breakdowns. It is well known the fact that vitaminB8 (biotin) it‘s a key in the glucid, lipid and proteins metabolism, and that it stimulates vitamin C activity. As a result, regulate consume of carots, as fresh juices in the morning or even added in daily food gives us all a general state of well being and keeps us in a permanent good mood. Carrots' Beta-carotene it’s an excellent antioxidant, which gives us all no beyound our age regenerative virtues .So a good cup of fresh carrots juice it’s an excellent solution for fatigue states.






The string bean

 
The string bean has a rich content of magnesium (28 mg from 100 grams). According to a british study, those that suffers of depression presents a lower level of magnesium. The magnesium is an important factor that interferes in maintaining the psychic balance, is a very good sedative of the nervous system and has an antidepression effect. The magnesium is present in almost all green vegetables, particularly in the string bean. Therefore, a dish with fresh string bean can increase the level of magnesium in our body, helping us stay on the right side of the emotional balance. In addition, the magnesium from the string bean has a complex action at the cerebral level, generating a stimulation of the nervous cells.






The algae

The algae are some primitive plants, photosynthetisants, with a very simple structure. They have been used even from 5000 years ago as nourishment for the man, thanks to the high nutritional properties that they have. The algae are rich in iodine that is excellent to stabilize the tendencies to mental fluctuations, to eliminate the states of depression and to improve the general level of energy. At the same time the algae facilitate the mental concentration and the vigilance state of attention. Having a content of over 50% proteins, the algae are used to the preparing of soups and sour soups and especially of the dishes based on rice and of a great variety of raw vegetable salads. Frequently the algae replace some vegetables in the nourishment of a big number of people.





The sweet cheese

 
The sweet cheese guaranties us a “sweet sleep”. This is because it is one of the best sources of triptofane, an aminat acid used in the production of melatonin that encourages the sleep. The triptofane is one of the 10 essential aminoacids that the human organism uses to synthesize the proteins. It has an important role in the best functioning of the nervous system, especially connected with the relaxation, the sleep and to the natural capacity of rest. From the benefits it provides is also the one of regulating the appetite. The triptofane share is useful in the cases of insomnias. At the same time the triptofane positively influences the psychic and emotional state, or otherwise said, it cheers up. The triptofane acts as a forerunner of serotonin, neurotransmitter that helps the organism in regulating the appetite, in the capacity of rest and of general psychic state. Thanks to the function of increasing the serotonin’s level, the triptofane contributes to the treatment of a great number of disorders, among which the insomnia, the depression and the anxiety. So if the insomnia or the state of well-being gives signs of weakness, don’t avoid taking a snack consisting of integral bread and fresh sweet cheese. You can also add on top some fresh leaves of parsley that are also an excellent natural source of triptofane.



The goat milk
 
The goat milk has rich calcium content: 500 ml goat milk contains 70% from the daily necessary recommended dose of calcium. As it is known, the calcium is an important re-balancing element of the psychic and mental disposition. From a physiological point of view, it is very useful for the transmission of nervous impulses. Therefore, remember in time that a calcium deficiency often leads the increase of nervousness. So, the use of the fresh goat milk can be of great help for the maintaining of the psycho-mental balance. This is one of the reasons for which the calcium can be called, for good reason, “the mineral responsible for our state of calmness”. Therefore, don’t delay the use of goat milk each time it is necessary.


Read part 2 here: 
Aliments and medicinal plants which favours the enjoyment of happiness (2)  

Article fromThe spiritual book of the International Yoga Symposium,Costineşti 2009

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