• This forum contains old posts that have been closed. New threads and replies may not be made here. Please navigate to the relevant forum to create a new thread or post a reply.
  • Welcome to Tamil Brahmins forums.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our Free Brahmin Community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

The "Tamilian Diet"

Status
Not open for further replies.

MP4U

Member
I am rather concerend about the diet that Tamilians tend to have. The typical Brahmin meal consists of:

1. Sambar with 2 curries
2. Rasam
3. Curd

This is far too much and far too heavy and it concerns me that we, as Tamilians, are overeating. This results in a variety of health problems, among which include heart disease, diabetes and general obesity.

Even more disheartening is that our women tend to gain weight rather easily as a result of this diet. Would appreciate any thoughts (and solutions).

:jaw:
 

Nacchinarkiniyan

Well-known member
Go easy on that Thayir Satham stuff. Reduce Puli in your Sambar. See that the curries are good wholesome vegetables and greens. Not fried stuff.

Take fruits regularly.

That should keep you fit.
 

vijisesh

Active member
Dear Mr.Nacchi ...

Thayir saatham and mhore milagai is the birthright of every Tamil Brahmin !
It helps u to reach upto GOD's with a big Burp!! and provides u with a great sleep !
Yes, its a common sight about Tamil priests to see some protrusion ( a small writing table ) in front , the tummy is the sign of experience in conducting vedic rituals !
Mainly it is because of the Nei - Ghee , these mastros play with especially following the proverb - ooran veetu nei unga appa kai !!
And actually the sandhya vandhanam is also a physical exercise where u need to do surya namaskar and pranayams ! but some of these people go over to the mitham , take water stand there for a few minutes and complete their prayers !
No one takes the trouble of exercising !
 
F

Fehu

Guest
"Pot bellied brahmin perspiring ghee" Thomas Babington Macaulay while visiting Kanceepuram Perumal temple.
 
Last edited:

N.R.Ranganathan

Well-known member
The Tamilian diet

Sir,

During the time of some functions only , we tend to over-eat. Otherwise
our food is simple and sattvic.
Curd , they say now, is rich in Anti-oxidants. Rasam is an appetiser and also
aids digestion. We use quite a lot things in our food. Haldi (manjal) ,
Hing (perungayam ), pepper ( milagu ) - all these have medicinal
properties. Vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals, half-cooked
is better.

Avoid fried things. Reduce tamarind - in North they use a substitute.
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
The Tamilian Diet.

Talking about Vegetarian food in an average Tamil Brahmin household, in my younger days it used to be Just a vegitable curry, Sambar/Vattal Kozhambu, Rasam, Moru/curd and Rice. Sutta Appalam, Pickle and Ghee are usual additions. Occasionally, Chappathi that is Roti was served only in the night with some Kootu. Requirement of calories depends on the type of work we do. In view of the sedentary nature of our work cocooned inside the air-conditioned offices, even this food seems to be health hazard. We are asked to attend health clubs to spend the excess calories accumulated in our body! Let us be honest in our analysis. Have we not forgotten walking outside, except as an excercise?
My grandmother who led a hale and healthy life till 86 years, used to take ghee along with her food and tiffin, in good quantity. But she is to be very strict in following her "sadaacharam", like cold water bath, eating nothing cooked outside homes, no food items grown below the ground (she told that they are meant for animals) above all never used other modes of conveyance except walking within the town.
I have a genuine doubt about the use of "Ghee", which is known as "Gritham"(medicated Ghee) in Sanskrit. Our scriptures insist on "abhiharam" or anointing the food items with ghee before eating. Even there is a Tamil saying "Neiyyilla Undi Paazh" - "The food without ghee is a waste". Many of the Ayurvedic preparations use "Gritham" as base for the preparations. How is that our Purohits and Vedic Scholers who used to take Ghee in good quantity do not seem to have affected by any cholesterol problems in olden days? I shall be thankful if some one who has knowledge on this subject.
 

vijisesh

Active member
On a Program in a tamil tv channel about " Nutrition" , it was mentioned that the " Tamil Food" had all the components for a good balanced diet.
The Idly for instance , a rice cake taken with the right proportions of sambhar/kotsu , with 2-3 types of chutneys like Thenga chutney , thakkali chutney and kottamalli chutney along with milagai podi , gives all proteins , carb , vitamins for a balanced breakfast !
Now a days , with less of Joint families around , very few people toil to make all these available on a daily basis !
the same is true for the Sambar/Vattal Kozhambu, Rasam, Moru/curd - sequence which has been mentioned !

May be the Purohits are still continuing this till date along with the proportions of ghee overflowing into their backhands ( Ooran veetu neiyyu ....)
that being the reason , they are keeping fit with pot bellies !
 

N.R.Ranganathan

Well-known member
Tamilian diet

Sir,

After food, they take plenty of hot/warm water which removes the
excess fat and aids digestion. Spending a lot of time in front of
Homakundam also helps !
 

vijisesh

Active member
And .... the magic of a Poovan Pazham , rasthali or a banana !
It helps in digestion !
Vetrillai was also a major contributor !
 

lotus

Member
In olden days it is not that they never had cholestrol prob after eating so much but just they were not tested for it. My grandmother learnt she was diabetic just before expiring .
So what ever we eat ...make stomach into 4 parts fill into 2 parts ,1 part for water & leave the 4th part empty.
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
Tamilian Diet

True, most of the Brahmins had diabetic complaint previously and now also. This may be due to high intake of sugar and starchy food. Lack of excercise and sedentary life. Cholestorol belongs to different catagory of good (HDL) and bad (LDL) and it is essential to body for cell building.But, my doctor attributed my high Tryglycerides readings to Ghee, which I used to consume a lot. Now it has been brought to level by medicines, excercise and diet. Still I am not convinced that Ghee alone is the cause for the malady. And there are conflicting opinions among the research scholars on the subject. Since Ghee forms an important part of Brahmin food, could some one who has knowledge on the subject give more information on the same.
 

adiyean

Member
The Tamil Brahmin Diet

Dear members,
I am a new member. My regards to all the members.
According to me a typical Tamil Brahmin diet (which was followed by our ancestors) is one of the best diet for a true brahmin!!! (a person who carries out all the nitya karmas of a brahmin) and lives in the climatic conditions of Tamil Nadu and certainly not suitable for the so called TamBrams spending most of the time infront of computer terminals.
Let me take a few things to analyse:

1. Ghee - It is an established fact that Ghee helps in prevention of cancer - which is becoming alarmingly a terrible problem in the modern society which is exposed to all sort of pollutants.
_ Ghee helps the antioxidants to get absorbed in our body quickly.
- Ghee helps in healing inner wounds to heal fastly which may become malignant later.
Yes ! Ghee is bad for people living sedantary life style.

Our ancestors used to chant vedas daily and loudly, doing agnihotrams and spending significant time in front of Agni and used involve a lot of physical activities, if not doing hard physical labour. People using their voice excessively like teachers, gurus, purohits etc were advised to take sufficient amount of ghee.
My suggestion is take a small amount of Ghee - in warm condition (heat it to liquid from) with hot rice everyday. Ghee also contains a lot of Vitamin A ( which is present in concentrated form than compared to milk) which is good for eyes. Don't take in the night.
 

adiyean

Member
Dear Brahmanyan,
Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the body.
Triglycerides in plasma are derived from fats eaten in foods or made in the body from other energy sources mostly like carbohydrates. Calories ingested in a meal and not used immediately by tissues are converted to triglycerides and transported to fat cells to be stored. Hormones regulate the release of triglycerides from fat tissue so they meet the body's needs for energy between meals. So I don't think ghee alone responsible for high triglycerides. In fact, I feel (forgive me if I am wrong as I am not a physician but a physicist) undigested Carbhohydrate is responsible for our TAMBRAHMS. I don't know your level but till 220 mg/dl need not be worried with a good workout and sensible diet for present TAMBRAHMS' life style (again I disclaim the authenticity).
 

vijisesh

Active member
Triglycerides count will generally be high for ******* !

Is there any other thing responsible for this other than GHEE in a Veggie Brahmin diet- Unsaturated Fats ??
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
Tamilian Diet

Many thanks to "Adiyen" for giving detailed information on the properties of Ghee and its relationship to Trigycerides level. The information provided by him is very useful. In fact I am also of the same view that the energy loss in Vedic chanting may be one of the reasons for digesting the extra energy obtained from Ghee. Since Ghee is not used in Western Countries and America, as much we do in Asia, I feel not enough medical research might have been done on the same. But I hope Ayurvedaic samhitas can give more information on Grutham.

Brahmanyan.
 

adiyean

Member
Thanks Brahmanyan for your kind words. You are correct! Not enough literature is available on the usefulness of Ghee (which is classified as Saturated Fat). Most of the people living in Western countries eat "Red Meat" which supplies them the necessary calories even in very cold seasons/environment. I don't know much about Ayurveda except I know "Grutham" or Cow Ghee is extensively used in Ayurvedic Preparations as it has the property of Penetrating several layers of body tissues and good healer of lesions. Medicines mixed with Ghee can reach the destined location effectively.
I would like to mention about "Nal Ennai" - Til Tel (Gingelly Oil) as another factor of high TriGlycerides (as Vijisesh asked). This oil belongs to MUFA category (Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acid). Also similar to Ghee - used extensively in Ayurveda, by TamBrahms - has healing, penetrating properties. It is also a very good cleanser - good for skin maintenance.
 
Last edited:

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
Its good information from Adiyean. I had come away from my native town in TN forty two years ago. So long we were there (TN) we were using only Gingilly oil (Nal Ennai) for cooking and regular oil bath. We used to get the oil directly from native Chekku, where "palm gur" used to be added for taste while extracting oil. I had known no other oil in those days. In fact my district was known for best Nallennai. We had never experienced any health problem due to the use of Oil. It is for the past thirty years only we started using all sort of oils like Groundnut oil, palm Oil, sunflower oil, even rice bran oil, cotton seed oil which come in branded packs. But now the price of Nallennai has gone up considerably and we are not sure of the quality in the packet either.
Thanks to Adiyean for the information.
 
F

Fehu

Guest
My Reply

In Adharva Veda it is stated that after any solid food "equal" quantity of water should be consumed. Equal by weight or volume is not stated. however by practical observation i have found people drinking water in good quantity are healthy.

Further animals like tiger or lion drink water after eating good quantity of food and exist in good health.

While eating we should not drink water in large quantities. the problem of Tamil brahmins is not eating enough minerals and fiber.Ghee is a prescribed diet for brahmins.But liver and choleic acid secretion should be all right for good health.Modern nutritional pundits prescribe more B12 for brahmins.
---Fehu
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
Tamilian Diet.

True,Drinking good quantity of water helps digestion also. In addition I have seen people in Kerala generally drink "Chukku Vellam", hot water with coriander seeds and jeerakam boiled in it. It helps healthy digestion. Our family Purohit (Vadhyar) used to tell in what order food should be taken. First Sambar rice, with vegetables, next,More Kuzhambu, followed by Rasam. Then only the special preparations like Vada and bhakshanam. Payasam and sweet preparations. He used to take lot of honey with plantain fruits. Finish it with Curd rice in the end. He will take a lot of tepid or warm water to fillup the balance space in the stomach. He used to add ghee with every item.
Even at the ripe old age of 80 plus, he leads an active life with good memory. He used to walk a lot.

Regards,
Brahmanyan.
 
Last edited:

adiyean

Member
Dear friends of "The Tamil Brahmin Diet" Thread,
Due to my proffesional and personal obligations I was off the forum for a quite long period.
I am giving my views not that I am an expert! neither I consider myslef an authority on these matters! but purely on the fact that I want to share some of my gained experience with you all.

Drinking water-
Yes ! every one has to drink sufficient water which helps in digestion, absorption of nutrients, maintaining body temperature, keeping the blood circulation in proper manner etc.
But how much ? Varies from person to person, place to place to place where you live (weather conditions apply). A minimum of 1-2 litres /day is essential .
It is suggested generally drinking water can be avoided from : 10 minutes before food to
half an hour after food - This is a general suggestion which reduces the formation of wind(an air column within stomach) as drinking large qty of water while eating make way for air to enter in and get trapped inside the stomach; the movement of such wind is generally painfull. Drinking water immediately after consuming heavily fried food should be avoided as it creates the afore-said wind ( as water dose not mix with oil). Persons having gastric / gas problems may follow this tips. A small quantity of water just before food, during food (some food may create hiccups, irritation etc) and immediately after food may help in many persons depending on the type of food they eat.
Though drinking a lot of water was considered good for health once upon a time, nowadays it is considered that excess drinking of water may create Sinus and other problems. Hydrotherapy or water therapy can be used once in a while during therapy but not regularly. My humble suggestion is to take sufficient qty of water which I feel the individual concerned is the best judge to decide the amount, provided he utilises properly the god given instincts like feel of thirst etc.
I will write amount 'TamBrahms and Vitamin/mineral deficiency " in my next post.

Regards,
Adiyean
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
Tamilian Diet

Dear "Adiyean",

That is a news to me. All these years I was of the impression that drinking good quantity of water immediatly after taking food is essential for activating digestion. Any how thanks for the information.

Talking about Diet I wish to share this experience of mine. Recently during my visit to Chennai, my niece took me to an Ayurvedic Restaurant in Indira Nagar to taste Vegetarian food prepared in earthern, bronze and copper vessels, without using red chillies, Sugar, chemical additives or oil frying. To begin with they served herbal and natural juices, raw vegetable salads, semicooked vegetables, followed by fully cooked vegetables and hand pounded rice.In the end they served raw rice, sambar, butter milk and finish it with a hand full of honey. They requested us to take the food items in a particular order prescribed by them.

it was a different experience,

Regards,
Brahmanyan.
 
Last edited:

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Sri Brahmanyan Ji,

I think I was taken to this same 'Kerala' style restaurant during my visit to India almost a year ago. It was a very interseting experience!

Pranams,
KRS

Dear "Adiyean",

That is a news to me. All these years I was of the impression that drinking good quantity of water immediatly after taking food is essential for activating digestion. Any how thanks for the information.

Talking about Diet I wish to share this experience of mine. Recently during my visit to Chennai, my niece took me to an Ayurvedic Restaurant in Indira Nagar to taste Vegetarian food prepared in earthern, bronze and copper vessels, without using red chillies, Sugar, chemical additives or oil frying. To begin with they served herbal and natural juices, raw vegetable salads, semicooked vegetables, followed by fully cooked vegetables and hand pounded rice.In the end they served raw rice, sambar, butter milk and finish it with a hand full of honey. They requested us to take the food items in a particular order prescribed by them.

it was a different experience,

Regards,
Brahmanyan.
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
Tamilian Diet

Dear Mr.KRS.,

When I took food in that "Kerala" type Restaurant, I wondered if it was possible to cook such items without losing taste in a restaurant why can't we try some such items in our homes. As it is we do not have separate Tamilian Diet in our day to day food habits. A lot of changes have taken place due to various reasons. "Daal Roti" has become a common dinner item for many of us. Chinese and Italian vegetarian cusine have intruded into our Wedding Parties even in small towns. There are quite a number of Speciality Restaurants serving Chettinad, Andhra, Thai, Lebenese, and Italian food have come up in big cities. Interestingly all of them have Vegetarian wings. Some Northern Indian food joints offer Marwari, Maharashtrian, Bengali and Jain food also. I would consider this an evolution in our culinary tastes, due to changes in our communication facilities.

I hope I am not digressing from the main topic. But I feel exchange of views on the changes in culinery habits will be interesting.

Warm Regards,
Brahmanyan.
 

malgova.mango

Active member
Talking about Diet. Nowadays the nutrionist advise take small quantities but eat 5 times are so.

My Grandpa he lived almost 99 years. Till the very end he has never visited any doctor he used to eat one full vengala panai rice for lunch which is very large quantity. Used to eat only one time a day. But till death he lived a active life and enjoyed good health.

I don't know how the nutrionist come up with above advise.

Anyone can clarify this contradiction.

Thanks
Malgova
 

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Sri Brahmanyan Ji,

I live in the US. And here you get every type of food. I think the healthiest foods are vegetarian, fresher the better. No one community, I find, holds the secret to serving healthy food (except perhaps the English)!

Pranams,
KRS




Dear Mr.KRS.,

When I took food in that "Kerala" type Restaurant, I wondered if it was possible to cook such items without losing taste in a restaurant why can't we try some such items in our homes. As it is we do not have separate Tamilian Diet in our day to day food habits. A lot of changes have taken place due to various reasons. "Daal Roti" has become a common dinner item for many of us. Chinese and Italian vegetarian cusine have intruded into our Wedding Parties even in small towns. There are quite a number of Speciality Restaurants serving Chettinad, Andhra, Thai, Lebenese, and Italian food have come up in big cities. Interestingly all of them have Vegetarian wings. Some Northern Indian food joints offer Marwari, Maharashtrian, Bengali and Jain food also. I would consider this an evolution in our culinary tastes, due to changes in our communication facilities.

I hope I am not digressing from the main topic. But I feel exchange of views on the changes in culinery habits will be interesting.

Warm Regards,
Brahmanyan.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top
Thank you for visiting TamilBrahmins.com

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.

We depend on advertising to keep our content free for you. Please consider whitelisting us in your ad blocker so that we can continue to provide the content you have come here to enjoy.

Alternatively, consider upgrading your account to enjoy an ad-free experience along with numerous other benefits. To upgrade your account, please visit the account upgrades page

You can also donate financially if you can. Please Click Here on how you can do that.

I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks