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Simple soups are one of the best sources of nutrition, says Dr Pingfan Rao
Monday, 19 March, 2012, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Bangalore
Consumption of a simple soup is the easiest way to derive the required nutrients. Soups are said to be one of the most effective ways to soothe the body and mind. Another effective way to treat ailments is through acupuncture. China has resorted to both drinking soup and using acupuncture to treat and control disease conditions.

"Therefore, the revival of ancient and simple methods of wellness is being viewed as the future path to prevention and control of diseases. Extracts of herbs, fruits and vegetables form the core of development for the nutraceutical industry," stated Dr Pingfan Rao, president-elect, International Union of Food Science & Technology (IUFoST); vice president, Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology, China; professor & director, Institute of Biotechnology, Fuzhou University, China.

In his keynote address, Dr Rao, at the 7th Nutra Summit 2012, said that soup was the remedy for all conditions spanning from a simple cold to chronic diseases. "We have the scientific evidence on the ability of soup when cooked could produce nano structures that create a positive effect on the body. Traditional Chinese medicine which is developed using over 1,000 herbs can act as a remedy for any disorder. More than 50 per cent of the Chinese medicine has helped to support the health of the people," he said.

Soup can be used as an effective medicine. In China, we use Crusian fish soup to act as lactation enhancer for women. Chicken soup can also inhibit the cold. Fresh water clam soup is a hepatoprotective. The consumption of bitter melon drink increases the energy levels in the body, as it helps to form nano structures which help to easily penetrate the cell membrane and reach the site of infection.

India and China have a strong connection in continuing to adhere to tradition. Both use ancient practices that are still being followed, for instance, consumption of herbs in drinks to stay fit. Citing an example on how tangerine and orange are different from one another, he said, 'tangerine' is hot and 'orange' is cold. "We have come to this conclusion after a mathematical analysis of 25 fruits and arrived to determine the level of hot and cold fruits after testing it on animals. In the case of tangerine, it has indicated that there is a high level of copper, iron and magnesium, which increases toxicity in the body," Dr Rao said.

Moving away from nutraceuticals, he explained the benefits of acupuncture, its interaction with the neural cells that trigger the super-oxide and sodium to metabolise the sugar and bring up the energy levels in the body. There is need to encourage patients suffering from rhinitis to opt for acupuncture as a relief and remedy.

He concluded by emphasising on the need for reviving the ancient and simple methods of wellness as the best and easiest methods to stay healthy.
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