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Rachna Chhachhi

Rachna Chhachhi is a certified holistic cancer nutrition and yoga expert, and author of four bestselling health books. She treats across 27 countries.

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BW Businessworld

Being Healthy: The Winter Blues

Always exercise indoors: A lot of us get tempted to feel the cool breeze on our face and go out for walks during winters, which need to be avoided.

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It’s that time of the year when I’m sitting in my 25 degrees room temperature clinic, enjoying the cool sea breeze, sipping on my coffee and feeling bad for the smogged out north India. Winters and pollution spell bad health for most of us, especially for those with a heart condition, pain-related disorders, asthma and those with lowered immunity. Riding through winters then becomes not only difficult, but also makes some of us feel gloomy and depressed. So how does one stay happier and healthier through these months? Here are some tips to enjoy the cold weather without falling ill!

Always exercise indoors: A lot of us get tempted to feel the cool breeze on our face and go out for walks during winters, which need to be avoided. This is because pollutants hang low, and along with the cold breeze, these pollutants are going inside your airways and blood stream, and blocking them. For asthma patients, this can trigger an attack, for those with low immunity, they can catch a cold, and for those with a heart condition, lower oxygen levels in the blood (due to pollutants) can lead to chest pain. Just stay in, switch on the TV, or some music, and do some on-the-spot walking, or hit the gym.

Take a Probiotic: Probiotics help in two ways. During winters, we tend to eat more oily and sugary foods to keep us warm that can cause heartburn. Taking a probiotic before meals infests the stomach with good bacteria that can help with digesting and expelling the bad food faster. Secondly, for those with a compromised immunity, probiotics increase the absorption of nutrients from food, hence helping the immune system fight off seasonal cold, flu and allergies better.

Wash your hands: Yes, I know you don’t feel like. But you carry germs in your hand. You go out, touch doors, sit on a table that was used by someone… the list is endless. We then bring these germs home, hug our kids, poke our fingers in some food, and then wonder where we got the infection from. Wash your hands, and keep a sanitiser for those who visit you. Unlike the summer heat that kills germs, winter temperatures help them thrive.

Eat local: Winter vegetables are nutrient dense and fresh and if you can get organic versions of these, even better. Capsicum, cauliflower, broccoli, mustard leaves, spinach, carrots, all look better and taste better in winters because they’re fresh (not transported from other cities where nutrients are lost). And yes, eat them via stir-frying, putting them in pressure cooked soups, so that the nutrients remain intact.

Remember: Gajar ka halwa is not a healthy meal!

Stay in, keep warm, eat local and enjoy the cold!

Question Of The Fortnight

Send in your questions to

I’m 121 kilos and my weight is now getting in the way of my work. I need to travel for work, and my energy remains low and confidence levels have dipped. Should I get bariatric surgery done? I’m 5’10” in height.
— Vivek Chaudhury, 37, Noida

Dear Vivek,

You can definitely lose 35 kilos without any surgery. There are many inspiring cases in India of senior working executives, who transformed themselves in 6-9 months, and you can be one of them! Bariatric surgery compromises your health via creating a weak digestion, nutritional deficiencies leading to lowered immunity, makes your prone to infections, slow healing and excessive bleeding, all of which can interfere with your work output. With disciplined weight loss, none of these happen. In fact, you learn a new way of living a healthy and disciplined life, and can stay youthful, energetic and disease free!

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 28-12-2015)

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healthcare vegetables pollution magazine 28 december 2015