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Akil Palanisamy, MD, is a Harvard-trained physician, author, speaker, and holistic medicine expert in integrative and functional medicine. His new book, “The Paleovedic Diet”, integrates the best of conventional and holistic medicine. Dr. Akil seamlessly blends the Paleo diet with Ayurveda and the latest research in nutrition and medicine to present a customized roadmap to perfect health.
Ayurveda is the traditional medicine from India that believes in body types. Each person is born with a unique body type and there’s a diet that is better for that body type. Doshas are forces in the body that make up body type. Kapha is wind, Pitta is fire, and Vata is earth. Balancing these is a really great tool for people already eating paleo to take it to the next level.
Dr. Akil's new book explores the paleovedic diet: a nutrient-dense, customized paleo diet. The nutrient density aspect focuses on the science of the diet—mainly phytochemicals, the compounds in plants that protect us from diseases. Modern produce is lower in these nutrients than the fruits and vegetables our ancestors ate, so it’s important to choose the right types.
Genetic engineering over the years has significantly changed the structure of grains, which may explain why our bodies may be reacting to wheat and gluten, for example. Ancient grains were also prepared traditionally through soaking or fermenting, etc., which makes a huge difference in how those grains are digested and tolerated.
A 40-year-old stay-at-home mother had been eating paleo for a year but was suffering from constipation, severe fatigue, and anxiety. Using the Ayurvedic perspective to analyze her, her body type turned out to be strongly Vata. For Vata people it's recommended to avoid cold or raw foods and lean towards cooked, warm foods. By cutting out raw foods and switching from drinking ice water to only room temperature water, this dealt with the patient's symptoms within one month.
Spices are considered to be like a medicine in Ayurveda because they have so many benefits. They’re incredibly strong antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body, balance the blood sugar, strengthen the gut and digestion, which is one of the root causes of health. Cooking with spices is the best way to get the benefits, versus taking a supplement.
Visit doctorakil.com to find his new book, The Paleovedic Diet, or to follow his blog about the Ayurvedic approach to paleo and nutrition.