brahmacharya and pineapple

brahmacharya and pineapple
This post is related to a series of post about nutrition & yoga.
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Asana’s work from the outside of the body into the inside of the body, pranayama works from the inside, the core, to the outside of the body. Both work on all aspects of the body mind, from the gross to the subtle. Pratyahara works from the senses and the mind. Dharana works with the mind. Meditation is beyond the mind and works with the subtle energies within the body mind. Nutrients work on molecular level, they can do there work from the inside of the cell, and penetrate the cell from the outside. Taking particular nutrients together with a yoga practice, can upgrade the benificial effects more, what yoga has prepared within the body mind, nutrients can take beyond that. And/or what the nutrients have been doing on a cellular level, yoga can act on.
from the tao te ching;
We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.

We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.
Brahmacharya, can be translated into “celibacy”, but also into “dwelling in oneness”, or seeing the divine in everything. To take it a little bit broader, and within the field of nutrition; many plants contain compounds that science just slowly starts to recognize as beneficial (divine) for a healthy body mind. Nutrition can play a vital role in how our bodies respond to inflammation and soreness following asana and a strenuous practice. There are certain nutritional “must haves” if you want to stay healthy: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, glyconutrients and phytonutrients. Eating a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, seeds and nuts together with a balanced diet will do the job. The herbs turmeric and ginger will do, another very good is option is pineapple. Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is responsible for digesting protein, reducing inflammation as well as joint pain (This bromelain is a combination of several different components, with the cysteine proteinase enzymes being one of the most important because they help with the process of protein digestion). An added benefit is that bromelain also aids in wound healing, angina and muscle soreness. Pineapple is a good source of dietary fiber too. Pineapple in the ayurvedic system of medicine is recommended for the treatment of conditions such as digestive disorders, pneumonia, bronchitis, kidney stones,  infections and worm infestations.
Besides bromelain;

  • Pineapple is rich in thiamine (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), folic acid and vitamin C. Minerals such as manganese and copper are the other components that contribute to the health benefits of pineapple. In fact Pineapple is one of the best source of vitamin C (1 cup has as much as 1.3 times of Vitamin C required on a daily basis by body) and manganese among all fruits.
  • Another enzyme found in pineapple and adds to muscle recovery is papain because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Antioxidant benefits: free radicals generated during the biochemical reactions in the body have wide-ranging deleterious effects on several body systems. Pineapple has a superior antioxidant action against such free radicals because of its rich content of vitamin C that has antioxidant properties. These health benefits of pineapple are most useful for people with heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. Some of pineapple’s antioxidant action is also due to the manganese ion, thiamine and pyridoxine which play an important role as co-factors for the several enzymes involved in reactions to prevent the harmful effects of free radicals.pineapple benefits
  • Immunity-boosting benefits: another of the health benefits of pineapple is that it helps people resist infections that arise due to a weakness of the body’s immune systems. Conditions such as flu, ear infection and the common cold respond well to vitamin C and pineapple being a rich source of this vitamin, helps to build the body’s resistance to infections. Some studies have also found that bromelain has the ability to reduce the inflammatory and allergic responses of hay fever.
  • Benefits in Arthritis: bromelain has been investigated for its action on osteoarthritis and although there is no conclusive evidence yet, one study found that it has an action equivalent to that of painkillers generally used for arthritis.
  • Benefits in cancer: bromelain has shown anti-tumor activity in animal studies and has also been found effective in preventing the spread of cancer cells from the tissue of origin to other organs.
  • The bromelain in pineapple can interfere with the way your body responds to medications such as antibiotics, sedatives and blood thinners. Therefore, it is best to consult your physician about such interactions before you take pineapple.

Some other nutrients which contain some divine compounds that help reducing inflammation and soreness following strenuous practice;

  • bananas; Post practice cramps and soreness often come from a lack of potassium. Bananas are probably the most easy way to re-stock on potassium.
  • berries & cherries; Berries are packed with antioxidants that protect the cells. Cherries are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory goodness. The antioxidants will neutralize free radicals, which can cause inflammation, premature aging, and increase chances of heart disease/cancer. Blueberries or any darker colour berry is great (cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc).
  • ginger & turmeric; (see separate post); Ginger & turmeric are often used as a pain killer in eastern medicine. Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin, a powerful anti- inflammatory. It fights cancer as well as giving antioxidants that are vital for fighting inflammation, soreness, and muscle recovery, read more: ginger for tapas <webpage link> turmeric the most essential herb for a yoga (asana) practice <webpage link>
  • green tea; According to a recent study profiled in Mens Health, people who drank three cups of green tea a day had fewer markers of cell damage caused by resistance to exercise. Also, green tea is loaded with antioxidants called catechins, which help speed up your metabolism.
  • nuts; Nuts are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acid, protein, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and other vitamins/minerals. Plain and not salted or roasted  (no MSG) and soaked overnight are the most beneficial.  Walnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds will do when eaten in moderation.
  • spinach; A recent study found that a compound in spinach increase protein synthesis, which helps the muscles repair faster after a practice.

Please do not consider this text as a medical advice, and always consult your doctor to treat any medical condition.

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