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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Switch to healthy drinks

Hindustan Times  Mumbai, June 18, 2013
First Published: 12:36 IST(18/6/2013) | Last Updated: 17:43 IST(18/6/2013)
Does milk help improve a sore throat?
No. You need to avoid milk (even hot milk) during a flu attack as milk is known to be mucous-forming and only worsens the symptoms of congestion. Studies have proved that most people with sinus and recurrent cold problems improve dramatically after about two to three months of avoiding milk and milk products.

Are fruit juices healthy when I have a cold? Which ones can I have and which should I avoid? 
For cold it is advisable to have warm foods, honey, ginger tea and hot soups. However, if you regularly eat fresh fruits, the vitamin C in these fruits increases the body’s resistance to virus and also helps in decreasing the duration of the illness. You may also try a mixture of a teaspoon of juice of tulsi combined with one teaspoon of ginger juice and ¼ teaspoon of honey to ease cough and cold symptoms.

I don’t smoke but I drink a lot of tea? Is this why my teeth are turning brown? What can I do about it? 
The yellow-brown to dark brown stains on your teeth are probably caused by an accumulation of dental plaque, food stain and poor oral hygiene. Yes excessive intake of tea and coffee, and also smoking may stain your teeth. So it’s best to reduce such intake to avoid yellow stain teeth. Also, thorough cleanings by a dentist or hygienist will remove most external staining caused by food and tobacco. Using a whitening toothpaste can help remove these surface stains between dental visits. Your dentist will recommend an
appropriate treatment for you depending on the state of your teeth and the results you wish to achieve.

Is eating raw food healthier? 
Raw fruit and vegetable juices provide enzymes, which play an active role in all metabolic activities in the body. Without enzymes, the body cannot utilise the protein, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins (present in food) into bone, hair, skin muscles, glands and hormones. Also, the body absorbs vitamins and minerals present in fresh and raw foods better than it absorbs from synthetic vitamins found in refined and processed foods. Since these enzymes and nutrients are extremely sensitive to heat and get destroyed during the process of cooking, we should try to incorporate raw foods in our diet. Foods especially rich in enzymes like papaya, pineapple, cabbage, reddish, beetroot and raw sprouts should be consumed regularly.

Pregnant women with thyroid are advised to stay away from certain vegetables and fruits, what are the ones that one must be avoided. How do you compensate for them? 
Pregnancy is an amazing experience and your hypothyroidism — an under active thyroid — doesn’t change that, although it may make your pregnancy slightly more complicated than someone without a thyroid disorder. There are certain foods that may impact thyroid function. The foods that may suppress the thyroid hormone production are turnip, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, soy bean and tofu. Also, it has been observed that fruits like raw papaya could alter the hormonal balance and may cause abortions, so exercise caution.

Dr Anjali Mukerjee is
a nutritionist and the founder
of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre.

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