Anything Benjamin Franklin piques my interest and my visit to library yielded yet another book on Ben – Discover Ben Franklin’s Principles for His Own Good Health by Kelly Wright. I’m always fascinated by Ben’s writing – right combination of logos and pathos with mellifluous flow. He, in many ways, reminds what great Tamil scholars have said on food & eating albeit in his own style addressing his generation on solid research conducted on himself. Still it’s refreshing, invigorating and encouraging to read and subtly calls your action, My friend has succumbed to this call and he’s on a simple diet off late. But let me reserve it for another blog entry on the results of his food experiments.
Let’s look at what Thiruvalluvar (great Tamil Poet) has to say about eating 2500 years ago: [Translation Source G.U.Pope]
From Thirukural – 1330 Couplets:
No need of medicine to heal your body’s pain,
If, what you ate before digested well, you eat again.
With self-denial take the well-selected meal;
So shall thy frame no sudden sickness feel.
Who has a body gained may long the gift retain,
If, food digested well, in measure due he eat again.
Rules of Health and long Life, and to preserve from Malignant Fevers, and Sickness in general.
The Difficulty lies, in finding out an exact Measure; but eat for Necessity, not Pleasure, for Lust knows not where Necessity ends.
Wouldst thou enjoy a long Life, a healthy Body, and a vigorous Mind, and be acquainted also with the wonderful Works of God? labour in the first place to bring thy Appetite into Subjection to Reason.
Rules to find out a fit Measure of Meat and Drink.
If a Man casually exceeds, let him fast the next Meal, and all may be well again, provided it be not too often done; as if he exceed at Dinner, let him refrain a Supper, &c.
A temperate Diet frees from Diseases; such are seldom ill, but if they are surprised with Sickness, they bear it better, and recover sooner; for most Distempers have their Original from Repletion.
Use now and then a little Exercise a quarter of an Hour before Meals, as to swing a Weight, or swing your Arms about with a small Weight in each Hand; to leap, or the like, for that stirs the Muscles of the Breast.
A temperate Diet arms the Body against all external Accidents; so that they are not so easily hurt by Heat, Cold or Labour; if they at any time should be prejudiced, they are more easily cured, either of Wounds, Dislocations or Bruises.
A sober Diet makes a Man die without Pain; it maintains the Senses in Vigour; it mitigates the Violence of Passions and Affections.
It preserves the Memory, it helps the Understanding, it allays the Heat of Lust; it brings a Man to a Consideration of his latter End; it makes the Body a fit Tabernacle for the Lord to dwell in; which makes us happy in this World, and eternally happy in the World to come, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.