Vegetarian Food

 

 

In blind pursuit of so-called modernity, people who describe their own culture, thinking and traditions as primitive and outdated are falling prey to the false assumption that vegetarian food does not provide adequate proteins and nutrition for body building. This is pure delusion. Modern researchers and scientists have found clear evidence that vegetarion food  not only provides high quality proteins but also supplies all the other necessary nutritive elements like vitamins and minerals of high calorific value. Soyabeans and ground nuts contain more proteins than meat and eggs. Protein content is no less even in common pulses.If green vegetables and pulses are taken in adequate quantity with wheat, rice, jawar, bajra, and maize etc. they not only meet the requirement of protiens but also provide a more balanced nutritive diet, which makes the vegetarian healthier, stronger and long living than the non-vegetarian. Again, meat has no taste of its own. The spices, fats etc. which are added in its cooking lend it their flavour and taste. Whereas all the vegetarian food items like fruit, vegetable, root, nut or tuber etc. have a distinct taste of their own and can be eaten without adding anything. Looking at the animal world, we find that most powerful, hard-working and tolerant animals who can work continuously for days at a stretch like elephant, horse, bull and camel etc. are all pure vegetarians. Recent researches in England have revealed that when hunting dogs which are meat eaters by nature, were kept on a vegetarian diet, they exhibited greater tolerance and enhanced endurance and ability.

Tensing Sherpa, the conqueror of Mount Everest, has disclosed that the secret behind the energy and strength of the Sherpas is that they are vegetarians. Many international players and athletes are also renouncing flesh-foods now and turning to vegetarianism.

Several researchers have found that vegetarians are more energetic, hard working and capable of lifting greater weight. They are peace loving ,and of jovial nature. They can exercise better control on their hunger and can undertake fast for longer period. Studies carried out in Japan have revealed that vegetarians not only remain healthy and disease-immune but also have greater stamina, longer life span and sharper intellects.

Thus, it is wrong to presume that non-veqetarian diet provides more strength than the vegetarian one. "The Nutritive Value of Indian Foods', published by the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, gives a list of comparative nutritional value of various food items. Some of the major items from that list are given below to enable readers to choose food items according to their taste and inclination and have more nutritious vegetarian food than meat, fish and eggs.

Contents of Every 100 Grams

 

Item    

Proteins

Carbo-Hydrate

Fats

Fibre

Minerals

Calories

Wheat

12.1

69.4

1.7

1.9

2.7

341

Barley

11.5

69.6

1.3

3.9

1.2

336

Bajra

11.6

67.5

5.0

1.2

2.3

361

Maize

11.1

66.2

3.6

2.7

1.5

342

G rams

17.1

60.9

5.3

3.9

3.0

360

Rice

13.5

48.4

16.2

4.3

6.6

393

Soyabeans

43.2

20.9

19.5

3.7

4.6

432

Rajmah

22.9

60.6

1.3

4.8

3.2

346

Urad

24.0

59.6

1.4

0.9

3.2

347

Lobia

24.1

54.5

1.0

3.8

3.2

323

Moong

24.0

56.7

1.3

4.1

3.5

334

Masoor

25.1

59.0

0.7

0.7

2.1

343

Moth

23.6

56.5

1.1

4.5

3.5

330

Arhar

22.3

57.6

1.7

1.5

3.5

335

Gram Dal

20.8

60.9

5.6

3.9

2.7

360

Ground Nut

26.2

26.7

39.8

3.1

2.5

570

Almonds

20.8

10.55

8.9

1.7

2.9

655

Walnuts

15.6

11.0

64.5

2.6

1.8

687

Gingelly

18.3

25.0

43.3

2.9

5.2

563

Water Melon Seeds

34.1

4.5

52.6

0.8

3.7

628

Coconut

6.8

18.4

62.3

6.6

1.6

662

Dates

2.5

75.8

0.4

3.9

2.1

317

Munnaqqa

2.7

75.2

0.5

2.2

1.1

316

Amla

0.5

13.7

0.1

3.4

0.5

58

Banana

1.2

27.2

0.3

0.4

0.8

116

Apple

0.2

13.4

0.5

1.0

0.3

59

Cherry

1.1

13.8

0.5

0.4

0.8

64

Grapes

1.0

10.0

0.1

-

0.4

45

Guavas

0.9

11.2

0.3

5.2

0.7

61

Lichi

1.1

13.6

0.2

0.5

0.5

61

Cashew

21.2

22.3

46.9

1.3

2.4

596

Pista

19.8

16.1

53.5

2.1

2.8

626

Chilgoza

13.9

29.0

49.3

1.0

2.8

615

Kishmish

1.8

74.6

0.3

1.1  

2.0

308

Bel Fruit

1.8

31.8

0.3

2.9

1.7

137

Mosambi

0.8

9.3

0.3

0.5

0.7

43

Limes

1.0

11.1

0.9

1.7

0.3

57

Orange

0.7

10.9

0.2

0.3

0.3

48

Mulberry

1.1

10.3

0.4

1.1

0.6

49

Phalsa

1.3

14.7

0.9

1.2

1.1

72

Aru

1.2

10 5

0.3

1.2

0.8

50

Papaya

0.6

7.2

O.1

0.8

0.5

32

Mango

0.6

16.9

0.4

0.7

0.4

74

Raspberry

1.0

11.7

0.6

1.0

0.9

56

Water Chestnut

13.4

68.9

0.8

-

3.1

330

Carrot leaves

5.1

13.1

0.5

1.9

2.8

77

Radish leaves

3.8

2.4

0.4

1.0

1.6

28

Bathua leaves

3.7

2.9

0.4

0.8

2.6

30

Methi leaves

4.4

6.0

0.9

l.l

1.5

49

Palak leaves

2.0

2.9

0.7

0.6

1.7

26

Mint

4.8

5.8

0.6

2.0

1.9

48

Cabbage

1.8

4.67

0.1

1.0

0.6

27

Tinda

1.4

3.4

0.2

1.0

0.5

21

Cauli flower

2.6

4.0

0.4

1.2

1.0

30

Ladies Fingers

1.9

6.4

0.2

1.2

0.7

35

Beans

7.4

29.8

1.0

1.9

1.6

158

Potatoes

1.6

22.6

0.1

0.4

0.6

97

Tomatoes

1.5

6.7

0.2

4.2

1.2

35

Buftalo Milk

4.3

5.0

6.5

-

0.8

117

Cows Milk

3.2

4.4

4.1

-

0.8

67

Curds

3.1

3.0

4.0

-

0.8

60

Yoghurt

18.3

1.2

20.8

-

2.6

265

Cheese

24.1

6.3

25.1

-

4.2

348

Milk Solids

22.32

5.7

1.6 

-

4.3

206

Skimmed Milk Powder

38.05

1.0

0.1

-

6.8

357

Yeast

35.74

6.3

1.8

-

-

344

Butter

-

-

81

-

2.5

729

Ghee (Clarified Butter)

-

-

100

-

-

900

Cooking Oil

-

-

100

-

-

900

Sugarcane Juice

0.1

9.1

0.2

-

0.4

39

Sugar(Cane)

0.1  - - 

99.4

 

-

O.1

398

Honey

0.3

79.5

-

-

0.2

319

Pork

18.7

-

4.4

-

1.0

114

Goat meat

21.4

-

3.6

-

1.1

118

Beef meat

22.6

-

2.6

-

1.0

114

Mutton Muscle

18.5

-

13.3

-

1.3

194

Fish

8.9 to76.10

0 to13.9

0.2  to 19.4

-

0 to 27.5

59 to 413

Eggs

13.3

-

13.3

-

1.0

173

 

Hence we see that the vegetarian food is not lacking in proteins and health giving elements. The cause of ill health of the poor children in our country is not a protein-deficit diet but it is their ignorance or inability to procure sufficient and balanced diet.

From the above table, it is clear that non-vegetarian foods do not contain fibrous content (outer shell of cereals and pulses) at all and it has been scientifically well established that fibres play an important and exclusive role in warding off a number of digestive disorders and other diseases. Vitamins also are very necessary for our health and their best sources are also the vegetarian foods only.

Vitamin A :  It is found in green vegetables, carrots, tomatoes and leaves of radish.

Vitamin B: It is found in green leafy vegetables and cereals.

Vitamin C : It is available in green vegetables and in citrus fruits like lemon I guava, amla, oranges and mosambi etc.

Vitamin D : It is available in both animal and vegetable sources but Ns chief and best source is sun light in which it is available in abundance.

Vitamin E :It is abundant in Ghee and butter etc.

Vitamin K: It is available in green vegetables.

Thus all the vitamins essential for good health are available in vegetarian food and in sun rays.

Dr. Anna Spoerry of the African Research Foundation, after detailed study came to the conclusion that the Masai tribals, who are excessive consumers of meat, show a reduced level ot cholesterol when they consume more curd. According to this study, the bacteria in the curd act as growth inhibiting agents for cholesterol.

Looking at the advantages of vegetarianism, the crusade for vegetarianism is gaining momentum in the Western countries. Salad bars are becoming very popular in America, from where people can take platesfull of salad or canned salads to their homes. Different varieties of salad are made by supplementing vegetable salads with germinated grams etc.

Here are some news items published in Sandhya Times, New Delhi:-

Sandhya Times, New Delhi, 13th February,1990 :  London based property dealer Sardar Paramjit Singh, who was a successful athelete even in his school days, skips 2000 times every day and is well known as the "Skipping Sikh'. According to him, he gets this energy from Chappatis (loaves of wheat flour). He is completely vegetarian.

In Britain, people associated with vegetarianism are now regarded as modern, advanced and forward looking. More than a million people in Britain are now totally vegetarian and their numbers are increasing at an astounding rate. In Britain alone, there are more than 1000 health-food shops where only vegetarian food items are available. In America the number of totally vegetarians have exceeded 50 million.

At the age of 92, Sardar Sujan Singh Kohli, father of Capt. Mohan Singh Kohli, who unfurled Indian flag atop Mount Everest in 1965, reads newspapers without using spectacles. He travels in city buses without any inhibition. His teeths which had given way due to old age are being replaced by the new ones. Sardar Sujain Singh Kohli, resident of J-Block , Navin Shahdara, Delhi, attributes the secret of his healthy life to pure vegetarianism.

Sandhya Times, New Delhi, 19 Feb., 1990:- American scientists, after years, of research on food have discovered the effect of nutritive elements found in fruits, vegetables, milk and cereals and are now working in the direction of curing dreaded diseases like heart troubles, cancer etc. by such food only. Many doctors have suggested that grapes, papaya, mango, melon, tomatoes and dark green leafy vegetables help reducing chances of cancer in the colon and other parts of the digestive system. Eating flesh-foods is one major cause of cancer. Drinking milk is one way to avoid cancer of the intestines. Those American women who consume vegetarian and fibrous foods are comparatively free from breast and uterus cancer. Incidence of breast cancer is more common in those who indulge in excessive intake of fats and flesh foods. According to a study conducted in Howard, an undeniable link has been established between the consumption of animal foods and the cancer of uterus.

Naik Yadunath Singh who won the Paramvir Chakra award for his bravery on Kashmir front in the year 1948, was a strict vegetarian. One day his English officer challanged him and asked how he would get the required strength to fight the enemy from vegetarian diet. Naik Yadunath Singh requested the officer to arrange his wrestling with two flesh-eater soldiers at a time and if he is defeated he would start taking flesh food but  if he wins his  vegetarian food quota be doubled. Naik Yadunath Singh came the winner and his off icer not only permitted him to have more vegetarian food but also said that he too would take vegetarian food in future. There are several such instances to prove tilt towards vegetarian food.

 

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