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Mumbai may not be Delhi yet, but the rising smog and air pollution is taking a toll on the health of city folks. Here’s few simple tips you may follow to bolster up your immunity and stay safe and healthy-

FOOD

1. Jaggery and Ghee – One of the richest sources of iron, JAGGERY helps in increasing the haemoglobin of the body. More RBCs (haemoglobin) = increased oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. This in turn, will help in increasing your lung capacity and ability to fight against the harmful effects of air pollution.

GHEE works as an anti inflammatory agent and will keep you away from allergies (like burning sensation in eyes, dry throat etc.)

HOW TO HAVE– Dip a small piece of jaggery in ghee and have it post meals.

2. Turmeric– Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It supports liver detoxification and due to its anti-microbial properties, it’s use is beneficial to fight against harmful bacteria.

HOW TO HAVE– Grandmom recommended and now approved by the
West, sip on the haldi doodh before you go to bed.

 

3. Tulsi– The combo of honey, ginger and tulsi works as a decongestant. The antibiotic, anti-bacterial and detox properties of tulsi also enhances hair health and help soothe your flared up & itchy, irritated skin.

HOW TO HAVE– Make a kadha or herbal decoction from a mix of tulsi, ginger, honey, cardamom and crushed pepper in boiling hot water. Excellent for cough, cold and flu.

– Apply Tulsi paste on skin

– Mix Tulsi powder with coconut oil and apply to scalp

 

4. Amla– One of the richest sources of Vit C, it equips your body to fight infections and improves the body’s immune response. It also helps in digestion by stimulating the secretion of gastric and digestive juices. Healthier gut= Better immunity

HOW TO HAVE– You can make a chutney out of it and have it along with
your meals or have the probiotic-rich Amla murabba as any of your
mid- meals.

5. SAFFRON– The most expensive spice in the world, Kesar is rich in antioxidants like carotenoids, which in turn, helps prevent free radical damage and is beneficial in boosting resistance against infections.

HOW TO HAVE– Take 4-5 strands of kesar and soak it in water overnight or for 2-3 hours. Have it first thing in the morning along with its water in the morning.

 

EXERCISE

1. Surya namaskar (sun salutation) and poses that open the chest, throat, and sinuses help eliminate mucus and remove congestion in the respiratory organs.

2. Few simple poses or asanas that one can practise are the fish (matsyasana), boat (paripurna navasana), bow (dhanurasana), locust (salabhasana), and camel (ustrasana) poses, along with inversions like shoulderstand (sarvangasana) and the headstand (shirshasana).

These simple yoga poses will help get the blood flowing to increase immunity and build your health & vitality.

 

ADDITIONAL POINTERS

1. Steam inhalation with lemon grass– Lemongrass has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help you cope with cough, flu and cold. Loaded with Vitamin C, it also boosts the immune system of the body to fight the infection. For sinusitis, cold, and bronchitis a steam inhalation is very helpful. Boil a handful of lemon grass leaves in water & inhale.

2. Rub ghee inside your nostrils– Just before you step out of the house, apply a thin layer of ghee with your little finger to the insides of your nostrils. This helps get rid of the acute effects of pollution and prevents allergies, rhinitis etc.

Keep yourself happy by keeping yourself healthy. Let well-known Mumbai dietitian and fitness expert Munmun Ganeriwal design a nutrition, exercise and lifestyle transformation program that elevates your overall sense of well-being. Contact us now for an in-depth consultation.

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Diwali – “Yuktahaar” styleThings to do during and post-Diwali:

1. Start your day with a teaspoon of ghee, ajwain and kaala namak

2. Eat small meals frequently throughout the day
In the middle of all the preparations, cooking, shopping and socialising, make time to eat. Starving during the day and binging at dinner represents the classical fasting and feasting behaviour. Eating every 2-3 hours will make sure you don’t end up feeling bloated, acidic, dull or tired. In short, you don’t end up needing a post- Diwali detox 🙂

3. Make sure you are well hydrated
The fumes and smoke from burning of crackers, pollutants and dust leads to dehydration. Keep bottle of water within your sight and sip on it throughout the day. Water from a copper vessel is especially good not only to up your immunity but also to keep a check on constipation and other gastric issues.

P.S. – Have a glass of fresh sugarcane juice for a radiant and youthful skin tonight 🙂

4. Do have the Diwali sweets and savory goodies
It’s the time to enjoy the festivities and indulge in your favorite food. Only make sure that-

a. You have them homemade – Made at home the traditional way (with ghee/dry fruits/ nuts/ milk/ sugar), they are nutrient dense and regulate our blood sugars. Result of which is that you don’t crave and reach out for a bar of chocolate loaded with harmful preservatives and commercial sugars
b. You pick only one item at a time

5. Eat from home when going out for a late night party
A small and wholesome snack just before you step out is a great idea to prevent late night overeating. And if you are the kinds who is too pressed for time, even a quick bite into a banana will do the trick 🙂

6. If drinking till the crack of dawn makes your Diwali night come alive, ensure-
a. You sip on it slow
b. Have a glass of water for every glass of drink
c. You are not on an empty stomach. Either eat a good wholesome meal before drinking or have it along with your drinks

 

7. Practice Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with a full array of blankets and bolsters (Iyengar yoga style)
A powerful antidote to the state of stress, it turns up the parasympathetic nervous system, sometimes called the “rest and digest” response and supports digestion, relaxes muscles and promotes a good night’s sleep. No wonder, it is often called the ‘queen of restorative poses’.

Wish you and your family a very happy Diwali!!

Image Credit: Google images

Read more on diet tips for Indian festivals & special occasions-

1. Diwali survival guide: Here’s how to party hard and not gain weight

2. Modak – ‘A different perspective’

3. Home is where the detox is

4. The ‘Shakti’ is within – Strong is beautiful

5. The story of the fish on your plate: From “food” to “omega3”

6. The ‘scientific’ view on ‘Maa ke haath kaa khana’ on Mother’s day

7. Puranpolis: Tuck it in, it’s Holi after all!

8. Mahalaya Amavasya

9. EATING RIGHT DURING RAMADAN

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