Sunday, December 9, 2007

Vegetarian food at Mount Alvernia Hospital

On Friday, we went to visit our collegue's wife at Mount Alvernia Hospital who gave birth to a handsome baby boy on Thursday. We were given a treat later at the cafe downstairs which offers vegetarian hor fan and vermicelli - which I believe are essentially the same dish, just a choice between flat rice noodles or strand-like rice noodles. The hor fan was average, not as good compared to the one at Cong Cong vegetarian stall. The mock duck used was sour - probably about to spoil, I wonder how long since someone ordered a vegetarian hor fan from the cafe.

Anyway, back to my collegue's wife... She gave birth by Caesaerian method, reminding me of the many animal products often eaten to help patients recover. In Singapore and many Asian countries, snake head fish is usually eaten to help the wound heal faster. Snake head fish has been studied by some scientists and was found to contain many different amino acids. It also has a high concentration of fatty acids such as palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic and arachidonic acid. However, one scientific article reports toxicity in the skin of snake head fish. The substitutes for the major components in snake head fish can be found in the following foods: palm oil (palmitic acid), cocoa butter (stearic acid), olives (oleic acid), and many types of plant oils including safflower oil (linoleic acid). Arachidonic acid which is found in animal foods. But we don't need too much arachidonic acid as it's bad for health, linoleic acid can be converted to Arachidonic acid in the body.

References:
Z. A. Zakaria, A. K. Arifah, A. M. Mat Jais,M. R. Sulaiman & M. N. Somchit; Amino acid and fatty acid compositions of the aqueous extract of Channa striatus

Karmakar S, Dasgupta SC, Gomes A; Pharmacological and haematological study of shol fish (Channa striatus) skin extract on experimental animal; Indian J Exp Biol. 2002 Jan;40(1):115-8
Abdul Manan Mat Jais, Mohd. Fuad Matori, Prasat Kittakoop and Khanit Sowanborirux; Fatty Acid Compositions in Mucus and Roe of Haruan, Channa Striatus, for Wound Healing; General Pharmacology Volume 30, Issue 4, April 1998, Pages 561-563

A. Zurainia et. al.; Fatty acid and amino acid composition of three local Malaysian Channa spp. fish; Food Chemistry Volume 97, Issue 4, August 2006, Pages 674-678

4 comments:

Edanator said...

What's the evidence for faster wound healing with this fish? Isn't this just like chicken soup to cure colds? It's something people have always done and therefore, by twisted logic, it must be good.

dreamy said...

Hmm.. there is one research that mentions that the amino acids and fatty acids are needed to synthesize the collagen fibres during wound healing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=10904151&dopt=AbstractPlus
But with the toxicity of the fish it may be better to substitute these compounds.

Veggie Bun said...

oh, I didn't know all these.. you are so knowledgeable.

But then again, didn't the chinese old ppl said that we shouldn't eat chicken if we have cough? And westerners said chicken soup to cure colds.. Isn't cold and cough usually occur at the same time???

dreamy said...

Hmm.. I'm not knowledgable, it's the researchers who are, that was in the research paper :)

Now that you mention, I didn't thought of this... but who cares, we don't need them for coughs or colds anymore :) (besides we are probably getting less coughs and colds)

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