At the very onset, let me tell you that exercise is one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle. I’m a great believer in the benefits of a ‘sensible’ exercise routine. But a person may look physically fit and muscular and at the same time suffering from frequent headaches, allergies, sugar cravings, hair loss, acne and many other such conditions. One may look physically fit, but harbours strong negative emotions like anger, violence towards his family, and may even suffer from jealousy, lack of self-worth and deep grief. Such strong emotions bring about bio-chemical changes in the body, invite stressful situations and eventually lead to disease conditions.
Therefore, we need to strike a balance that reflects in our physical, mental and spiritual well being. Here are some frequently asked questions by my readers.
Q I’m a vegetarian and I enjoy working out. But I’m not sure if I’m getting all the proteins that my body needs.
A. An averagely healthy adult body needs approximately 40 to 50 gms of protein everyday to keep hair, skin and muscles in good form. Those who weight train, need an additional 15 gms daily. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) however is slightly higher, that is, 0.8 gms per kilogram body weight.That means if your weight is 70 kgs, your RDA for protein is 56gms daily. The RDA is higher as it takes into account extra protein needs for injury, illness low immunity etc.
An average healthy individual should be well looked after by consuming between 40 to 50 gms protein daily. Vegetarians have to try a little harder to get enough protein. For example, a glass of milk along with a paneer sandwich should give you 30 gms of protein just at breakfast. Munching soya nuts through the day (50 gms) give another 20 gms protein. This is not taking into account your meals like a bowl of dal (5 gm protein), curd (6 gm protein), chapattis (10 gm protein), sprouts (6 gm protein). Eating a wide variety of high-protein vegetarian food makes it unnecessary to consume animal protein at all.
Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre