Health, Health Conditions

Debunking Myth: Drinking Milk After Eating Fish Causes Leukoderma

How many of us have been warned against drinking a cup of milk soon after having fish in the meal? Well, it is advice being passed on through generations. And this belief that having milk with or shortly after eating fish causes skin disease like leukoderma is popular not only in India but other countries too.

So, what is the authenticity of this belief? Is there any truth or scientific evidence attached to it or is it a mere superstition handed down to us?

The notion that having milk and fish together causes white patches on the skin is supported by ancient medicines like Indian Ayurveda and Arabian medicine. While these traditional medicines are a treasure house of knowledge and play a major role in healing several diseases, this particular claim is not entirely true.

Dr. Manoj Jain, Dermatologist, Navi Mumbai states that there is absolutely no scientific data which supports this claim. There has been no study or research which proves that having milk and fish together can cause white patches on the skin.

Let us see what leukoderma is and what the causes of this disease are.

What is leukoderma?

Leukoderma, also called vitiligo, is a skin disease which causes white patches to appear on the skin. It can affect any part of the body. It may focus on one part or may spread to other parts. The white patches are a result of the partial or complete destruction of skin pigment melanin, which gives the skin its colour.

What causes leukoderma?

Leukoderma is an autoimmune disorder, which means the faulty immune system of the body attacks its own cells and destroys them. Generally, leukoderma runs in families.

There is no correlation between diet and leukoderma in medical literature. So, there is no scientific proof to establish a relation between leukoderma and having milk and fish together.

Then why does our ancient medicine propagate this?

Ayurveda believes that certain types of food are not compatible and hence prohibits consuming such incompatible foods together. Well, there might be some logic which might have led to such beliefs. Let’s check them out!

  1. Some people are lactose intolerant. Drinking milk causes severe allergies in such people. Similarly, fish and other seafood are known to cause allergies in some people. Hence Ayurveda advocates against having milk and fish together.
  2. Milk and fish are both high protein foods. When these two protein-rich foods are consumed together, the body takes a lot of time to break the protein into simpler molecules. This is taxing on the digestive system.
  3. When you consume fish preparations which are high in spices and then subsequently have a glass of milk, there is acid reflux which causes indigestion and a bad stomach.
  4. Another reason Ayurveda claims is that fish is non-vegetarian food whereas milk is vegetarian, rendering the combination incompatible. Consuming the duo together may upset the natural balance of the digestive system.

Over the years, there have been different and multiple reasons for this belief and handed down across generations. But the fact remains that modern medicine does not support this theory. The reason being, for any theory to be proved, there has to be data and evidence. And, in this case, there is no evidence at all.

Not to forget that many cuisines all over the world, including the Mediterranean diet and Bengali fish curries, use curd in their preparations. There have been no reports of people contracting this disease after enjoying this cuisine.

So, relax, sit back and enjoy your favourite fish and the milk cuppa.

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Health Conditions

Superfoods make superheroes: eat and combat life superbly

Eat better – fight stress!

A superfood is, basically, an enhanced food item, with denser nutrition and more goodness for your body.It is especially beneficial for the body and may also provide additional health benefits. A superfood actually has no proven medical benefit – but it enhances metabolism making systems better and body better equipped to fight stress, thereby positively affecting health. Here is a list of the best superfoods:

1. Quinoa : Move over, white rice and wheat – here is a grain, rather pseudo-grain (more of a seed really) which has all the nine essential amino acids and so much protein, any other staple would be put to shame. It gives nearly 8 grams of protein per serving (a cup) and twice as much fiber, which means it’s excellent for diabetics!

2. Chia seeds : These small black particles are a magical additive! With no flavor of their own, they go well with shakes, juices, and even plain water – the magical property being; they swell up into a gelatinous covering nearly 5 times their size and keep you full for long! What’s more, they have a storehouse of omega 3 fatty acids. The minerals and fiber content is high enough to keep your digestion moving forward like a dream!

3. Kale : A rough and tough green!This plant is found to provide more antioxidants than most fruit varieties and is a storehouse of iron and calcium. The plus point of this veggie is, cooking seldom alters the nutritional value by significant range, so you can even eat it as a chip by roasting it. This vegetable also has a low-calorie count and virtually zero fat. So more or less, this is a dieter’s dream!

4. Green Tea : A very popular weight management superfood these days, green tea as a natural anticancer drink has been around for centuries. The rich antioxidant value of green tea makes it refreshing and satiating drink, minus the ill effects of caffeine in tea or coffee. A phytochemical epigallocatechin gallate is present in green tea, and it has been proven that this chemical slows down the growth of abnormal cells.

5. Dark Chocolate : Who does not love a hearty dose of chocolate? But we are talking about dairy free, bitter and unadulterated unsweetened chocolate here, which makes the body better with each ‘dose’! Not only dark chocolate lifts the spirits, but it also fights bad cholesterol, makes blood flow better, and helps cell renewal thanks to its abundant antioxidants. The key here is to look for a dark variety; at least 70% cocoa is essential for metabolically appreciative chocolate.

6. Walnuts : A small handful of walnuts each day go a long way in replenishing the body with omega 3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid, copper and manganese apart from gamma tocopherol, which is a type of vitamin E hardly present anywhere else. Crack the kernels and put them in salads, or munch on fruit (in the form of smoothies) with a couple of teaspoons of walnut butter.

7. Avocado : Scared of the fatty, creamy pulp of the avocado? No need! This superfood is quite a health boosting one, ideal to replace potato in your meal. Avocados are laden with oleic acids and Vitamin E. It is also rich in Folates and monounsaturated fats – all this is responsible for a good heart, cancer free body and sharp eyes.

8. Spinach : Eat your greens! Your mom has been right all along – spinach along with other greens, especially broccoli, have vitamins (E, K, C to be specific), iron, folates and carotenoids all which are necessary for a healthy body. They boost metabolism and also improve digestion ensuring balanced outflow of nutrients into the blood. They are fibrous, which means you are fuller for longer, and there is less craving.

9. Salmon : Protein, iodine, potassium and zinc, vitamin D, selenium and omega 3 fatty acids – all are present in high quantities in the wild salmon, making it the ultimate superfood! Fighting with brain disorders, vision problems, skeletal structure issues and aging at once, salmon is a must have in your diet.

10. Berries : So many to name! strawberries, acai berries, and the like are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin C, which is required for healthy skin and gums and also for better immunity

Superfoods definitely make your body better prepared to fight stress and pressures of today’s fast-paced lifestyle. We need to make a conscious effort to switch to better alternatives than the zero nutrition junk we feed on these days.