Before We get into the issue of chocolates and their health issues, I thought at least some of you may be interested in knowing where cocoa comes from. As a child of about 8 years, I visited a relative near Kandy in Srilanka where they had a cocoa farm. It was more of a slope hill than the flat land you see in the picture.
Those of you who have never seen where chocolates originate from, these pictures might give you a glimpse of the cocoa plant with the fruit, the pods and the dried beans.
In the next post we will look into the actual place of chocolates in diet and health.
Do share and invite your friends to participate in these posts. We will share and learn together many aspects of life.
In my last post I shared about the fruit sour sop, how I had the privilege of enjoying the fruit of my childhood days here in Vietnam.
My stay in Vietnam is coming to an end as I will be returning to India shortly.
During my stay here some of the other fruits I enjoyed are rambutan and mangoosteen.
As with many tropical foods, these may, reduce hypertension, improve diabetes, have anti cancer properties, reduce weight, and may slow ageing. This is based on animal studies. This is rich in Vitamin A.
This could be baked, or fried as a vegetable. It could be cut into small pieces and boiled and then mashed. Some eat it adding salt and seasoning, while others others add coconut paste or milk and sugar or honey. I enjoy the sweet variety.
Those who live in other tropical countries should taste this yam. It is yummy and healthy.
I did not mean to write on this topic. I wanted to continue on the healthy foods that I had started. Something interesting happened and so I am pitching thi blog in.
Some of you may know that I am in Vietnam enjoying a good holiday with my daughter’s family.
Some of you may also know that I have a linkage in the past with Srilanka. The home where we lived when I was a child was in a big campus. It had some fruit trees growing wildly. We enjoyed eating that fruit.
That fruit is freely available in the markets of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). So I could not resist the temptation to eat the fruit of my childhood days. The fruit is shown below.
This fruit is available in Gudalur of Tamilnadu, India, during this season.
One of the stated benefits of this fruit is that it prevents cancer. I have no hesitation in consuming any natural food that is supposed to prevent cancer without any attempt at trying to prove.
Once we complete the foods good for the heart, we will look at some of the foods stated to prevent cancer.
There are number of questions that arise as the list of foods that are good for the heart grows. Today I want to raise the question of chocolates. Chocolates have always been considered bad for the heart.
Now the message that is being promoted is that dark chocolates are good compared to white and other mild coloured chocolates.
Is it really true?
Is it a trade promotion?
Feedback by those who know the facts behind this would help clarify the true position.
Recently I went through a medical procedure. As I was leaving the ward, I was given a diet sheet. Top on the list of foods that were foods that were to be completely avoided which included some of my favourite oil fried Indian snacks. Mentally I was prepared to give up these.
As I went down the list and looked at the items that I could eat, I was pleased, because there were many items which I liked but had not consumed them in sufficient quantities. As I started recuperating, I was pleased with the new diet pattern that emerged.
That made me think through the question of what food is indeed good for the heart and what foods are not good. I thought it would be fun as well as a learning experience as we share from individual experiences on listing what foods are good for the heart. So here are the questions that you can answer. Hopefully we will have a good list that could be shared.
Which are the foods that are good for the heart?
Which are the foods that are bad for the heart?
How can the foods be prepared in a tasty manner without hurting the heart?
Once we start, more questions may emerge. Please do feel free to add your questions and thoughts into the ongoing discussions. Thanks.
Have you been involved in poverty alleviation? Have you heard tall promises by politicians on eliminating poverty and then hear nothing about it? Here is a book that describes the work of of two doctors sharing their experiences of a lifetime in promoting strategies that actually reduced poverty. Take a peep into this book and then contribute to reducing poverty wherever you live.
The book ‘Businessmen for the Poor’ jointly authored by Dr Daleep Mukarji and Dr Rajaratnam Abel is now available through Amazon.com. This book describes the work carried out by both of them in poverty reduction and reducing catastrophic health expenditure among the poor. The various approaches adopted are described along with relevant successful experiences. It ends up in consolidating the various factors contributing to the reduction of poverty.
Being a book distributed globally online, the cost may be out of reach for many in India. The authors are working on an Indian edition at an affordable cost. In the meantime, the ebook may be ordered if you are comfortable.
“For the poor in our village, the weekly market is more important than the weekly clinic that you conduct in our village” And when we responded in an understanding manner to this passionate statement by my patient and changed the clinic day, they came in large numbers.
This book is written forty years after Daleep Mukarji founded the Rural Unit for Health and Social Affairs popularly known as RUHSA and along with Rajaratnam Abel, developed into the Department of CMC of Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.
Their work involved providing primary and secondary health care to a rural population of over 100,000 people. Equally important was the provision of a wide variety of services for poverty alleviation. This included cattle cross breeding, goat farming, broiler poultry, vocational training of youth, water conserving agricultural development and Self Help Groups among women.
The aim of RUHSA was alleviation of poverty. No one realised that unwittingly a large number of small businessmen and businesswomen were created in the community and thereby reduced poverty. Equally surprising was the observation that both Daleep and Abel had become leaders of a team of Businessmen for the Poor.
One concluding chapter describes briefly each of the factors contributed to the success. Applying these in different situations in India and other situations of poverty in different could help in overcoming poverty.
This is their story of how they reduced poverty. Imagine what would happen to India if every District Collector were to be impressed with the story of Businessmen for the Poor! and practically implemented the concept!.
The links to the book are given below.
The paperback version is available in the following