Watch: How Vegan Diet Helped Cure Diabetes for 70-year-old Mahendra Palesha
Vegan diet is slowly gaining popularity as one of the effective diets for the maintenance of health. Most people adopt a vegan diet as a step against animal cruelty while others adopt it for health reasons.
HappyAging met 70-year-old Mahendra Palesha, an industrialist who has converted to a vegan lifestyle and has benefitted immensely from it. Now he tries to spread awareness about this diet by giving lectures. He wants more people to benefit from this lifestyle so that they can live a happy and medicine-free life.
What is a Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet involves having completely plant-based food. This includes avoiding dairy and eggs also. Vegan diet started during World War 2 when meat, milk and other animal-related products were banned by the German government. People started looking for other options to substitute and fulfill their nutritional needs.
Soon, people started realizing that such a diet is beneficial for health. Besides, most of the materials are easy to procure and are affordable. This made turning vegan more attractive. In Western countries, a vegan diet is a very popular concept. In recent times, this concept is slowly taking root in India.
Mahendra Palesha prefers the term, “cooked by God,” to describe a vegan diet. He prefers to eat fruits and vegetables raw as originally intended by nature instead of cooking them and seasoning them, changing their nutrition value and taste completely.
Also Read: Know Your Food Better
How is a Vegan Diet Beneficial for Older Adults?
Casein protein present in milk prevents our cells from absorbing sugar
Mahendra Palesha says that older adults are more at risk with a non-vegetarian or even a vegetarian diet. Many older adults use milk as a source of calcium and protein. However, the casein protein present in milk prevents our cells from absorbing sugar. This, in turn, leads to sugar build-up in the blood leading to diabetes.
He says that we can avoid this by adopting a vegan diet. By totally eliminating milk and other dairy products from our diet, older adults can force their bodies to detoxify and eliminate toxins accumulated in their body for a long lifetime of bad habits. He has cured his own diabetes, following the vegan principles.
Many older adults also believe that oil is necessary for tasty food. As such, this idea has been around for such a long time that nobody cooks without oil. Palesha says that the oil that we get nowadays is refined to the point that all oils taste the same. Instead, he suggests us to eat nuts that contain sufficient oils required for the body. These nuts (peanuts, walnuts, almonds) provide roughage to the body as well. If at all you wish to use oil, he asks you to use raw oil, also known as the “kachcha ghana” oil.
Is Vegan Diet Related to Natural Eating Principles?
In the natural state, humans are herbivores, says Palesha. Our teeth are equipped to easily bite and chew fruits and vegetables. However, with the discovery of fire, humans started cooking meat and other animal-related products as well. They softened due to cooking and started tasting better too. Then humans started using oils and seasoning to improve the taste of the food. Thus, the original taste of the food changed completely.
Ayurveda recommends eating a vegetarian diet for good health. There are other principles of Ayurveda like eating when you feel hungry and eating dinner before sunset. Humans have totally forgotten these concepts with the advent of electricity.
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A vegan diet is similar to these principles of Ayurveda or natural eating, says Palesha. He recommends adopting this diet for activating your body’s self-healing system again and curing itself of all ailments including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and cancer.
How can Older Adults Adopt a Vegan Diet?
Milk and milk products, which form a major part of a vegetarian diet, are the major causes of ailments in older adults, says the 70-year-old vegan diet follower. Avoiding these completely is a start. Instead, you can have other rich sources of proteins like lentils (dal) and nuts. They are nutritionally sound and help your body eliminate unwanted toxins accumulated since years of improper eating habits.
Even at this age, Palesha follows a strict fruitarian diet, having food only once a day. He works for more than 10 hours daily yet has the energy to do more at the end of the day.
Mahendra Palesha conducts lectures and workshops for older adults so that they can partake of this knowledge and improve their health.
He says, “There are 3 things in life everyone wants – good health, money, and peace of mind (Tan-Man-Dhan). Only if the body is in good shape will you have peace of mind and you can enjoy your money. If you suffer from bad health, you will be miserable, no matter how much money you have. In other words, take care of your body, the other aspects will automatically be fine.”
With these parting words, HappyAging wishes him luck in his endeavours and hopes that he continues to spread his knowledge far and wide to benefit humanity.
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