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An acid test for health

Are you eating healthy alkaline foods and dealing with stress in a positive way?

health-and-fitness Updated: Apr 08, 2010, 20:17 IST
Hindustan Times

Q Like any average person I enjoy an occasional drink, prefer having delicious food and feel “healthy food” is only meant for people who are either fat or diseased and just like to lead the good life. My blood reports show that I’m healthy, yet, I always feel depleted of energy, look tired and exhausted. Can you suggest something to perk me up?

A Your fatigue and exhaustion are just expressions of the way you eat and live, which upsets your biochemistry. Most of us are aware that something is wrong with the body but cannot seem to take action to correct it. Some of us actually need a disease to shock ourselves into action. There are a few who do make a conscious effort to eat right, however their efforts lose steam, as they do not see instant results. In order to experience good health here are a few dietary changes that your palate must get accustomed to:

Eat your veggies: Most vegetables are alkaline and help reduce acidic conditions. They are rich in chlorophyll that helps in better oxygenation of, and energy generation from, the tissues. Vegetables are particularly rich in minerals and fibre and help to detoxify the body effectively. Raw vegetable juices are denser in nutrients and enzymes than cooked vegetables.

Keep lemons handy: Squeeze them into drinking water. Use them generously as a salad dressing or on your dals. They have an alkalizing effect on the body and help eliminate toxins.

Modify your salad: Snack on almonds or use them in salads instead of croutons (bread pieces). Apart from being alkalizing, they are also rich in protein, essential oils, calcium and magnesium.

Gorge on sprouts: Include various sprouts in your daily meals such as wheat, jowar, soyabeans, mung, beans, chana, black beans etc. They are energising, alkalizing and packed with enzymes. When grains are sprouted, the protein in them gets predigested into easily assimilated amino acids and their nutrient density also shoots up.

Conscious effort is all that is necessary to re-educate the palate. As you begin eating foods that are closest to their natural forms, your taste buds will awaken to the glorious sensation you are treating them to.

Q What are some of the ways by which one can manage stress and reduce the impact of negative thinking?

Every individual’s response to a stressful situation is unique. For some of us, stress causes extreme physiological and emotional response which renders us incapable of thinking of an appropriate solution. Some others may simply breeze through the various problems they encounter in life. We need to equip ourselves with some of these life-skills to lead a better life.

It is more important to bring about a change in ourselves than a change in the circumstances. For instance, if we know that for every stressful situation, we react with anger, just controlling that anger will help us see the situation in a different light and deal with it better.
Controlling the mind through meditation and pranayam is known to correct a range of problems from heart disease to depression.
Most fruits and raw vegetables are potent cleansers and also they nourish the body with essential nutrients.

Eating a fibre-rich diet containing whole grains, nuts and seeds helps improve digestion.

Green juices like wheat grass juice, mint and coriander juice are excellent liver and colon cleansers. Supplements of vitamin A, C, E and selenium help the body to offset the negative effect of stress.

Herbal teas like chamomile tea, peppermint tea, tulsi tea help to calm agitated nerves and have a soothing effect on the body.
Regular exercise helps the body to be more resilient to the exhausting effect of stress.

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

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