Natural Remedies to Improve Your Fitness and Health
By Methmal Subasinghe
Health of a person cannot be limited to sophisticated workout routines or expensive diet plans. Healthy living is the absolute basis of natural fitness and well-being. If someone adopts a lifestyle that is similar to our ancestors and some very simple practices, that is sure to yield fantastic fitness outcomes. Even with the advancement of scientific and medical fields today, natural remedies are still valued as golden options in improving health in a natural manner.
During the evolutionary process of human beings, many lifestyle changes had been occurred for the adaptation to their environment that they lived in. There is a clear disassociation between our lifestyle and the nature today. Hence, our health and fitness have become subjected to deterioration. Our ancestors had an unbreakable and sacred bond with the nature and their lives were intertwined with it. They found their food and medicine from the nature and such medications had shown great success. Since nature was a part and parcel of the lives of our predecessors,
the frequency of falling ill was low and their fitness was incredibly high. One reason for that is the natural food they ate and such food itself acted as medicine. In Sidhdha Ayurveda stream of medicine, the ancient ascetics who gained proficiency over medicine had said that, ‘Food itself should be medicine and medicine itself should be food’. This explicitly shows the interconnection between food that we eat and our health. It also shows the importance of ‘eating right’. Right portion and right type of food void of any chemical or toxic ingredients can of course be a medicine.
With today’s sophisticated lifestyles, people have detached themselves from the nature and natural remedies. They are accustomed with swallowing pills in the name of gaining youthful and beautiful appearance, health as well as fitness. Yet, we must not disregard the power of natural remedies in improving health and fitness. Here, I would like to enlighten you on the importance of natural remedies in improving health and fitness.
That is to say, many youth as well as middle aged persons rely highly on processed nutrition that is claimed to improve health, fitness and appearance. Yet, a very few has drawn their attention to the golden mine of natural remedies which have no side effects whatsoever when administered orally. Most of the times these natural remedies have become tasteful dishes while improving health and fitness. Those natural remedies which were popular during the ancient times had won the trust of the users by delivering great results. Even today, such remedies can be used for improving overall health, as well as fitness, losing weight, strengthening muscles and cardio-vascular health.
Green tea is abundantly available in the stores and can easily be procured. Green tea is laden with anti-oxidants and helps clean the body. Green tea is shown to improve memory power, vascular and brain function. Studies have shown that green tea increases metabolism in the body, hence helps shred body fat. Some studies have also shown that green tea helps curb certain carcinogen cells that cause cancer.
It is hard to find a kitchen which has no pepper. Pepper is an ingredient that everyone loves and commonly used for seasoning dishes. Apart from being an essential ingredient in preparing meals, pepper has its own health benefits. It is said that pepper is healthier than red chili powder. If someone can get used to adding pepper in meals to season, instead of red chili powder, the health benefits that person can derive are immense.
Pepper is known to help lose body weight. Pepper bolsters metabolism- as a result of which the fat is burnt in the body. It is known to have thermogenic effects.
This tiny seeds contain high amount of Omega-3 fatty acids which is shown to improve cardio-vascular health. Hence, chia seeds can be used for improving fitness.
Another popular source of Omega-3 fatty acid is fish which is often avoided by vegetarians and vegans. Hence, chia seed is the best ingredient for the vegans to fulfil their Omega-3 fatty acid requirement. Chia seeds can be included in the diet in many ways. Chia seed pudding is made by adding milk into it. Some prefer drinking chia seed water after soaking chia seed overnight. Chia seeds also contain high fiber content and regular intake can help cure digestive problems such as constipation.
Ginger can be regarded as the queen of natural remedies. Ginger adds flavour to dishes while help improve digestion and health. Ginger increases metabolism and helps shred body fat. Ginger is also known as a stress relief ingredient as it helps suppress stress- hormone production and release.
The easiest way to include ginger in the diet to lose weight and to improve health is by adding a small crushed piece of ginger into a cup of tea. Tea with ginger will surely rejuvenate, dispel fatigue and tiredness.
Lemon/lime is a common ingredient found in the market. Some of us have lime trees in our backyards. Lemon/ lime is also another essential ingredient in cuisine. Lemon water with added honey in it is refreshing and reduces fatigue and tiredness at any time. Lemon water is known as a detox that helps flush away toxins from body (more strong research is needed to establish this notion)
Bitter orange is also known as a good food to burn body fat and to maintain muscle strength.
Curry Leaves, garlic and cinnamon are also other spices that are found in every kitchen. They improve metabolism and help lose body weight. Curry leaves are known to reduce cholesterols in the body and also to reduce the blood sugar levels.
Soy bean has high protein content. That helps the regeneration and growth of muscles.
Peanuts in the market can be found for peanuts. This is one of the healthy foods that we love to eat. It is laden with protein and supports building of muscles. It is good for those who regularly engage in workouts.
These are not expensive remedies where as we can procure them easily and are less expensive. In fact, most of the natural remedies are used daily by us without our knowledge. A cup of tea with ginger has many a health and fitness benefits, yet we do not need to make extra effort to incorporate into our diets. They are tasty additions into our diets and we can surely enjoy these natural remedies. They become our food as well medicine.
The writer is an MBBS undergraduate at the Faculty of Medicine at University of Peradeniya. He is a freelance nutrition and fitness instructor and holds a Higher Diploma in Sports and Exercise Science.