Vitamin B 12

Statistics say that approximately 15% of the world’s population suffers from B12 deficiency, due to our lifestyles. Even among my clients I have often noticed that they don’t know enough about this important nutrient. B12 is important for replication of our DNA. It is vital for the formation of Rd blood cells and for the proper working of our central nervous system.

Symptoms of B12 deficiency are wide ranging. Some of the common symptoms are weakness, apathy, memory loss, acidity, loss of weight, nausea and vomiting, anaemia, mental confusion, delusions, paranoia, respiratory symptoms, allergies. Long-term deficiency can even lead to heart attacks or stroke and irreversible damage to brain and nervous system.

What is interesting to know is that B12 in fact is not a vitamin at all. It is a bacteria produced by soil microbes that live in symbiotic relationship with plant roots. In a more natural world, vitamin B12 would be naturally available in organic fruits and vegetables straight off the farm and water in natural sources such as ponds and rivers. We would never find an outdoor person such as a farmer working in the soil to be deficient in B12, because they would absorb it directly from the soil. However most of us living in the city do not have enough contact with soil and hence are always short on B12.

We tend to look B12 in animal foods such as milk and meat, as these animals are getting the B12 from the soil. However these days, vegetarians and non-vegetarians may be deficient in B 12 for a number of reasons. There is not enough B12 in the animal foods, because animals are being farmed and they don’t feed from the soil any more. Their food is inorganic, and hence lacks the bacteria. Secondly, B12 may not be getting absorbed if our gut flora is destroyed.

Use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers in the soil, and injection of chemicals into food, use of preservatives chlorine in the water, chemical toothpastes which destroy oral bacteria, all end up destroying the naturally existing and available B12.

The best way to get B12 naturally would be to eat as much organic produce as possible and get out in the soil. However, if you’re suffering any symptoms, do get your levels checked and consult a doctor for supplementation!

Illness is a gateway to Wellness!!!

Are Illness and Wellness two different roads?  I’ve actually come to believe that exactly the opposite is true. Illness in fact is the Gateway to Wellness.

Most of us look at illness as a monster we never want to encounter, but in fact illness is an important signal from our body, that it is cleansing itself, fighting infections, and fighting to get healthier and better. So it is something we should be grateful for.

Our immune system is the system within our body that protects us against disease. Basically there are cells in the body that keep moving around like security guards. The moment they see something which does not belong to the body, like a bad bacteria or virus they restrict entry. If these are in big numbers, then they need to put up a fight. This is when, say we have an infection, a swelling, an inflamation or a fever. These are all signs that the body is putting up a fight.

It is really important that our security guards be strong, because how long the fight goes on, and whether we win or lose, depends entirely on the strength of these guards or our immune system. A strong immune system will fight it out in a short time, a weak system on the other hand will take longer to fight the same infection.

What determines the strength ?– everything that we always keep talking about on this page – the quality of our food, our physical activity, how the food is digested and assimilated, the quality of our sleep, emotions and attitude, they all together build immunity.

What else determines how we fight, is what do we do when we are ill. It is important to support the body when it is fighting. Because the body knows how to heal. So here are a few things to keep in mind –

  1. REST. I’ve often seen that just resting a lot itself is half the battle won. If we use our energy in doing other things while we are ill, it is almost like Kargil War is on, and we are diverting supplies from the base to other states. Without supplies, how will the army fight.
  2. EAT LIGHT ENERGISING FOODS. Other things to keep in mind are to eat light, and eat foods which give more energy and take up less digestive energy. Fruits and leafy greens are great!
  3. Go easy on exercise.
  4. CONSUME ANTI BACTERIALS. Nature has given us the perfect anti bacterials like onion, garlic, turmeric and ginger. We take these in measured doses throughout the year. Our body anyway cannot take big quantities as their smell and flavor are pungent and strong. And this is the quality that repels bacteria too!

Turmeric is a great antiseptic. Juice of onion is great for bringing fever down naturally. Even children can be given spoonfuls. Ginger works wonderfully to soothe inflammation and pain.

The way these anti bacterials work is that they destroy the bad bacteria. However when we end taking them in big quantities, they may also end up destroying some of the good bacteria within. Hence, once better, it is a good idea to take some probiotics to improve good bacteria counts within our system 🙂

Checkout Kanji Recipe from my recipe blog !