November 18th, 2016
Guest writer for Wake Up World
When considering the health benefits of the foods we eat in the West, we tend to think of them in terms of their nutritional value—the vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins and carbohydrates, but in other parts of the world, primarily China, India and the surrounding areas, the health benefits of food are categorized more by their energetic effects on the body and mind. It’s a simple but important distinction, yet these two viewpoints are not necessarily at odds with each other. In fact scientific studies into the nutritional value of foods often confirm ancient views of their energetic effects on the body.
For example, in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine (one of the oldest on the planet dating back over nearly 7,000 years), ghee, which is clarified butter, is believed to be calming and relaxing in its energetic effects. Western nutritional analysis of ghee reveals it is one of the most concentrated sources of beneficial saturated fat known to man. Saturated fat, it has been shown, is an essential component of the myelin sheathing that coats nerve endings. If this myelin sheathing is thin or of low quality (due to consuming refined, low quality foods and fats, or having a deficiency of saturated fat in your diet), it causes over-stimulation of nerve endings, which has been shown to cause anxiety and agitation. Consequently, when we have abundant sources of high quality saturated fats like ghee or coconut oil in our diet, this myelin sheathing is strengthened and we are calmer as a result.
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