New Delhi: How can we enjoy the festive season by eating the right kind of food and ensuring we stay fit and healthy? Team NDTV-Dettol Banega Swasth India during the Facebook Live session interacts with Dr Shikha Nehru Sharma, Founder, Nutriwel Health to know all about it.
Decoding the first step to good health, Dr Shikha Nehru Sharma said,
During the festivals, ensure you are having foods that are natural and healthy. Start with oils, many of these refined oils are toxic for the gut, which is the key source of good immunity. The biggest toxic accumulation starts with the gut and the gut happens to be the first sight of immunity. That means if you consume bad oils, you will damage your immunity. So, ensure you have the good quality oil, preferably the virgin oil.
Dr Shikha Nehru Sharma further urged people to stay away from items loaded with white sugar and said,
Go easy on white sugar. White sugar changes the whole ecosystem of the gut bacteria and reduces the immunity of the body. When we have food items high in white sugar then the bad bacteria which reduces the immunity in our body multiplies at a faster rate.
Explaining it further, Dr Shikha Nehru Sharma said that this doesn’t mean sweets have to go out of your life. She adds, “You can use natural sugar like dates, raisins, jaggery. Natural sugar items are far more healthier compared to white sugar.”
Sharing a quick tip on how to further enhance the benefits of having natural sugar, Dr Shikha Nehru Sharma said,
Try and have natural sugar alternatives with some form of protein, for example, have a date with milk or paneer. Protein helps slow down the absorption of sugar, which further helps slow down its conversion into a fat deposit.
Dr Shikha Nehru Sharma also stressed on not having very heavy dinners everyday during the festive season. Explaining the dietary dos and don’ts she said,
Once or twice a week if you are having dinners and parties wherein you are enjoying all kinds of food is fine, but not everyday. When you eat after 6pm, the impact on your sleep and insulin is very negative.
Talking about if it is easy to follow a healthy lifestyle, Dr Shikha Nehru Sharma said,
If you fill yourself with things you should be eating then it is easier to let go of things that you shouldn’t be eating. Ensure you are eating in good and wholesome food items as much as possible. If your daily diet has a lot of wholesome grains, your body starts to balance it out on its own.
Dr Shikha Nehru Sharma also talked about the importance of drinking water, she said, “In today’s time, drinking water has taken a back seat. Make sure you have a big bottle with you at all the times from which you are sipping water every now and then.”
Talking about bloating and how one can avoid it during the festive season, Dr Shikha Nehru Sharma said,
I personally, swear by this rule before i go out for a party – I have a bowl of roasted brown nuts. One it is high in protein, second it is healthy fat, thirdly it gives you a full feeling. Why this is important – because if you go to a party on an empty stomach, you might end up eating a lot of items, you might start with having fried snacks before your meal and you will be eating too fast. All these things end up taking a toll on your health. The second and third tip which I personally follow is to have triphala with one glass of water before going to bed. It is a gut balancer and it helps removing bloating. Lastly, I try and have jasmine infused water.
Talking about if eating less food is the key to good health or not, Dr Sharma said,
Don’t eat less, switch over to having enough of good food. Fill yourself with foods that are healthy and leave space for some of your cravings. Having two bajra or mix atta roti will not make you fat instead that one slice of white bread will. When you have food which are high in glycemic index, you end having more starvation and cravings and more of glycemic index converts into fat deposits. I think awareness is the key to good health.
Dr Sharma ended the discussion by sharing tips for women who will be observing Karva Chauth and fasting on October 24, Sunday.
Make sure you break your fast with coconut water. This will take care of the bloating, gas and acidity. Make sure you are not having fried things. On an empty stomach, fried things can create a havoc.
You can listen to the full Banega Swasth India podcast discussion by hitting the play button on the Spotify player embedded above.
NDTV and Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.