Anshu Bahanda: This is Anshu Bahanda on Wellness Curated. Thanks for joining me on this podcast. My mission is to empower you with health and wellness so that you can then go and empower others.
Today, I have for you someone who is an absolute legend in the field of naturopathy. Dr. S. N. Murthy, who’s currently the director at Pema Wellness Institute at Visakhapatnam in India. Dr. Murthy is one of the senior-most naturopathic doctors in India. And under his guidance, a number of naturopathic centers and colleges have been established. He has treated, I would say, hundreds of thousands of patients.
Dr. Murthy, tell us, what is naturopathy?
Dr. S. N. Murthy: Naturopathy is a healing science based upon the principles of nature. But at the same time, it is also a way of life.
AB: Okay, wonderful. What is metabolism?
Dr. SNM: Metabolism, it is taken as the composition of two parts – one is anabolism and the other is catabolism.
Dr. SNM: There are more than 300 trillion cells all over the body.
Dr. SNM: Each cell is being produced every second. Every minute there are 30 to 40, 000 million cells are produced. And they are replaced. When they are born, they are born like us. They grow, they execute their functions. After a few days, they die. And when they die, they are broken into their basic components again. The entire process is called anabolism. It’s the creation, then catabolism is breaking down of this substance. We are breaking down everywhere in the body. Cells are replaced. Minerals, vitamins, chemicals, all these things will be taken into the body, consumed, and replaced. So, the energy, the process, as long as this process is going long, then naturally life continues.
AB: Tell me, Dr. Murthy, how does our metabolism slow down? Because everyone says that with age, with hormones, with having children, the metabolism slows down. So, what is the process there?
Dr. SNM: The metabolism slows down because the energy-producing level of the cells is very high. You can see that in children, they are more active. So, in the second generation, and third generations, as time passes, the new cells that are produced are not as efficient as the earlier cells. For example, children, honestly, are more active. The cells are active. As we grow up, we stop doing physical work. You can see the difference between an athlete and a non-athlete. Athletes are found to be more active because they are always doing exercise and keeping their muscles active. That is, the muscle will not get swung. But those people who do not do proper exercise, if you don’t use your muscles, they go.
Dr. SNM: Muscles of the internal organs, the heart muscle is there and the liver is there. Pancreas is there. All these are made with muscular tissue. And these tissues are to be maintained properly by giving proper food to them and planning out. The exercise should be maintained very well, in a balanced manner so that your body will be active, kept active. It is better to walk instead of sitting all the time. If you cannot run, at least walk. And if you can’t walk, then don’t sit and don’t sleep. And if you sleep, sitting is better than sleeping.
Dr. SNM: The cells are not in a position to properly discharge their duties. Then various problems arise, like for example, diabetes mellitus, there are problems in the liver, problems in the kidney, digestion problems, and bad habits. See, many people start smoking and they say drinking is injurious to health. So, these bad habits will also be taken care of.
AB: So, explain Dinacharya.
Dr. SNM: Dinacharya is our daily routine. It is based on the circadian rhythm of nature. Accordingly, we have to plan our lifestyle.
Dr. SNM: One should have two to four liters of water per day. Very important. Our body retains water and all the toxins which are to be eliminated through water. That means, through urine and sweat, they get accumulated in the body, producing various problems.
AB: Gout. Yes.
Dr. SNM: Yes. Gout is produced because of uric acid. Urine acid crystals could be eliminated through urine. If it is not eliminated, it gets stored in the joints and produces inflammation and pain. We have to drink two to four liters. Water is required to maintain the temperature of the body. Those people who drink water, they shine. But you should drink cold water.
Dr. SNM: You see, in hydrotherapy, we study that cold water is tonic. It produces a tonic reaction.
AB: So, what temperature?
Dr. SNM: Room temperature.
AB: So, you’re saying drink room-temperature water?
Dr. SNM: Yes, room temperature. So, if you drink cold water, your body reacts which is what we call a thermic reaction. During the process of thermic reaction, metabolic activity is promoted. So, this cold water is always tonic. And hot water is called atonic.
AB: That’s really interesting.
Dr. SNM: For example, suppose when you take a cold bath after finishing a cold bath, even for a shorter period, 15 seconds, your body feels warm, and you feel hot. That means the circulation will rapidly grow. The heat is generated.
AB: How cold? Because people are doing a lot of ice baths these days. What temperature are you talking about?
Dr. SNM: For regular use, it is only cold water at room temperature. And it works like a tonic for the muscles. So cold water is beneficial. And exercise will be one thing. Hyperdynamic foods are important.
AB: What is the word you use, is it Hyperdynamic foods?
Dr. SNM: Hyperdynamic foods are foods rich in calories. A calorie is the measurement of heat.
Dr. SNM: When we consume, this has to be spent for the sake of the cells. They get more strength.
AB: Okay, good. So, sir, I wanted to also ask you what you suggest people eat to keep their metabolism up.
Dr. SNM: They should eat foods that are easily digestible.
Dr. SNM: As the person ages, he has to eat easily digestible foods. So, that type of food is to be selected. So, two meals a day, intermittent fasting is good. It increases your mobility, increases your strength, and your cellular activity, and keeps your excretion good. And there is much time to digest food properly. Other foods should be taken to improve metabolic activities. They work like wonderful medicine. You should avoid sugar. All white sugars. One is sugar, the second is white flour. Salt is required in minimum quantity. Fried food should be avoided, junk food should be avoided and alcoholic drinks also should be avoided. We have to eat naturally rich protein foods which are grown organically. And for sugars, we can use carbohydrates in the form of fruits, and vegetables and unpolished jaggery, unclarified jaggery.
AB: Jaggery, yes.
Dr. SNM: For sweetening purposes, we can use jaggery. Nowadays people talk about the increasing number of diabetics and the pre-diabetics are one of the attractive terms for doctors. To reduce this diabetic population, we should restrict the consumption of white sugar and white flour. One should take protein-rich food and secondly, mineral-rich food. Some people in their houses make the children only drink colas and coke. They don’t allow them to drink water, plain water, and this is harmful to their health. At the same time, they don’t give vegetables. I’ve seen people say I don’t eat any fruits; I don’t eat any vegetables. These people are going to suffer from mineral deficiency and disease related to it. Peppers, all the peppers including black pepper also help.
AB: So, you’re saying put pepper to increase your metabolism?
Dr. SNM: Yes. And next are beans and legumes. These are protein-rich foods. Ginger is good. And then MCT oil.
AB: MCT oil. A lot of people are having it in their coffees. They’re having it in bulletproof coffee.
Dr. SNM: The effect of MCT oil is that it directly goes to the liver.
Dr. SNM: And we advocate naturopathy yoga, especially pranayama, and especially again the right nostril pranayama.
AB: Right nostril pranayama? Please explain that.
Dr. SNM: Yes. Close your left nostril and breathe through your right nostril.
AB: Breathing in and out, just through your right nostril?
Dr. SNM: And do deep breathing ten times, 20 times, 15 times. So, when you breathe, it generates heat in the body.
AB: You prefer yoga to other physical exercises.
Dr. SNM: Because these are non-violent, it doesn’t strain your heart, and the injury chances are very, very less. That’s why non-violent exercises.
AB: There’s different kinds of physiques, right?
Dr. SNM: Yeah.
AB: So, what are they called?
Dr. SNM: Endomorphs are medium. They have medium to large bones and they have less muscle and they are having insulin resistance and they are fatter and their metabolism is slow.
Dr. SNM: So, they should take a low-carb diet. That means they should take more protein and a little bit of fat. And they should do exercise to keep their body in shape. Mesomorphs mean ectomorphs and mesomorphs, these people have large bones and less fat; they lose weight and gain weight very fast. They also gain muscle mass. So, these people need more calories. More rich calorie diet and exercise. And ectomorphs have narrow bones and smaller joints. They have a very high metabolic activity and they can live happily for life. Some people, whatever they eat, they don’t put on weight.
AB: They don’t. I know, it’s so annoying. That’s my husband. Sir, in terms of the treatments you’d recommend, can we talk about some of the treatments to increase metabolism? I know you said to do yoga.
Dr. SNM: There are natural treatments, which we adopt to improve metabolic activity. Very hard treatments like steam baths and sauna baths. And as I told you, cryotherapy, very cold application and this immediately produces a lot of heat in the body. That quick reaction produces the reaction in the body. Immersion bath – If you have a bathtub in the house, put cold water in it and you can take cold water.
AB: So, when you say cold, how cold?
Dr. SNM: Cold. Generally, I prefer two, or three degrees less than your body temperature.
AB: Okay, wonderful.
Dr. SNM: And sharp ice-cold baths. Just have a dip and come out. We use massages. Many people think they are just for fun. It’s not for fun. It’s helping eliminate toxins from the body. Everybody uses Fenugreek in India. And I found fenugreek. It is not only…nowadays many people use fenugreek for controlling diabetes.
AB: Fenugreek, yes.
Dr. SNM: It’s an antibiotic also. And it is also used to control the insulin level to regulate insulin levels in the body. I found, fenugreek is also helpful to reduce the appetite.
AB: Oh, wonderful. I’m going to have it with everything.
Dr. SNM: So many people who come to our place say that we are not getting hungry at all. So, this is the secret. I give one tablespoon of fenugreek seeds. Oregano, turmeric and cinnamon, green coffee beans. Cumin is also good and cumin seeds and cardamom are also good to improve metabolic activity.
AB: Thank you so much for all this wonderful information that you’ve given us. Thanks for joining us. Hope you enjoyed the Wellness Curated podcast. Please subscribe and tell your friends and family about it. And here’s to you leading your best life.