Nutritionist Gabriela Peacock, who has helped a long list of VIP clients boost their health and wellbeing, has shared her advice on how to use nutrition to support your immune system

Gabriela Peacock reveals how your diet can help you to stay healthy

  • October 23, 2020

There’s a distinct chill in the air, Halloween is just around the corner and pumpkin spiced lattes are back in coffee shops – there’s no doubt that fall has arrived.

And while there’s plenty to love about the change of weather, one thing none of us is looking forward to is the impending arrival of cold and flu season.

However hard we try to avoid it, during the winter months it almost seems inevitable that we’ll end up feeling tired, rundown and generally just lousy all round.

Which is why Gabriela Peacock believes now is the right time to start thinking about our immune health. 

Nutritionist Gabriela Peacock, who has helped a long list of VIP clients boost their health and wellbeing, has shared her advice on how to use nutrition to support your immune system

Nutritionist Gabriela Peacock, who has helped a long list of VIP clients boost their health and wellbeing, has shared her advice on how to use nutrition to support your immune system

The A-list nutritionist, who helps her clients – including the likes of TV star Piers Morgan and British royalty Princess Beatrice – boost their health and wellness, says this is especially important at a time that many of us are feeling stressed and anxious. 

She says: ‘Anything that increases stress will have a negative effect on our immunity, and stress is something that’s very hard to control at the moment.’

Gabriela explains that the capacity of our immune systems is impacted by multiple lifestyle factors, including emotional state, stress, smoking, physical activity and exercise levels, dietary habits and nutritional status.  

‘By supporting healthy habits in these areas, you can sustain a healthy immune system,’ she adds.

So what can we do to create healthy habits? And how does nutrition and diet play into this? Below, Gabriela has answered some of our key questions about how we can help support our immune systems this fall and winter.

As we approach cold and flu season, many of us are looking for ways to stay healthy and strong

As we approach cold and flu season, many of us are looking for ways to stay healthy and strong

Why should we focus on nutrition? 

Although at the moment it can feel hard to control what’s going on around us and to manage our stress levels, one thing we can control is our diet.

Gabriela points out that although good nutrition cannot prevent the pathogens that get you sick from entering your body, it can help you stay strong and healthy so when you are exposed to them you have the best chance to fight them off.  

She says: ‘Deficiency or insufficiency of any number of important nutrients that are key components of the immune response can lead to an impaired immune response.

‘For example, Vitamin D is known to modulate the immune response and historically deficiencies in Vitamin D have been linked to seasonal illness.’

The nutritionist has built up a range of high-quality supplements, GP Nutrition. Supplements are there for when we need that bit of extra nutritional support, but Gabriela points out that sometimes the first thing we can do is simply make a few changes to what we eat.  

Nutrition is a good place to start when considering immune health, and Gabriela recommends consuming a balanced diet that's rich in vitamins and minerals

Nutrition is a good place to start when considering immune health, and Gabriela recommends consuming a balanced diet that’s rich in vitamins and minerals

What does good nutrition look like? 

Gabriela says the best way to promote good nutrition is to consume a balanced and healthy diet that supports balanced blood sugar levels.

The simplest way to do this is by creating protein-focused meals with a minimum of five vegetables per day and by trying to make your plate as colorful as possible. 

The nutritionist points out that you don’t need to radically overhaul your eating habits to better support your immune system, as even a few small tweaks can make a big difference.

She says: ‘If you push yourself too hard you increase your stress levels and it becomes a vicious cycle. You need to make realistic changes.’  

The following vitamins and nutrients are some of the most important for a healthy diet, so you can start by adding a few of the foods mentioned onto your plate each mealtime.   

One of the best ways to construct a healthy balanced diet is by trying to make your plate as colorful as possible with a range of vegetables

One of the best ways to construct a healthy balanced diet is by trying to make your plate as colorful as possible with a range of vegetables 

Vitamin D: We can often get all the Vitamin D our bodies need from sunlight, but in the colder darker months we may need some help from food sources. These include oily fish (such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel), red meat, egg yolks and fortified foods. 

Essential fatty acids: This includes omega-3s which are found in oily fish like mackerel, salmon or sardines. Or you can get them straight from their source, which means seaweed or algae. Nuts and seeds are also rich in omega-3s. 

Carotenoids: Found in red, yellow and orange plant foods, such as carrots, squash, sweet potato, turmeric, orange and tomatoes.

Flavonoids: Found in green, blue and purple plant foods, leafy greens, berries, artichoke, red onions, apples and peppermint.  

Zinc: Found in in red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, wholegrains, avocados, and berries.  

Vitamin C: Found in citrus fruits, broccoli, greens and peppers. 

Vitamin E: Found in nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables (broccoli and spinach), avocados and wild salmon. 

Vitamin A: Found in eggs, oily fish and dairy.

B-carotene: Found in bright orange/red/yellow plants like carrots, yellow peppers, yellow fruits like mango and apricot, and green leafy vegetables. 

Gabriela says that you don't need to make big changes to your diet to see an effect, as small tweaks can often make all the difference

Gabriela says that you don’t need to make big changes to your diet to see an effect, as small tweaks can often make all the difference

Although a good diet is the first step, if you’re struggling to provide your body with all the nutrients and vitamins it needs, Gabriela says it’s worth considering a supplement.

She points out that we can struggle to get enough Vitamin D through food alone, so she recommends that adults supplement their diet with at least 10 micrograms of Vitamin D during the fall and winter in temperate climes like the UK.  

During the wintry months, it might also be worth considering an all-round kit, such as the newly released GP Immunity, which contains a range of nutritional support designed to help you look after yourself from the inside out.  

Nutritional support from GP Immunity 

A day dose of GP Immunity includes:

  • 500% RDI of Vitamin D
  • 120% RDI of Zinc
  • 200% RDI of Vitamin C
  • 250% RDI of Vitamin B12
  • Daily probiotic
  • Pea protein 
  • Purple superfood

RDI = Recommended daily intake

Can supplements help?

Although Gabriela points out that there’s no need to take supplements all year round, she says they can be beneficial when we need a little help.

She says: ‘A lot of people ask me why supplements and why not just food? The reason is there are just so many stressors in our lives at the moment. 

‘If we were super happy and relaxed on the beach in the summer we wouldn’t need a supplement, but we are all so challenged at the moment.’ 

During the colder months, the nutritionist says her clients often come to her feeling tired and run down, which is when she may suggest supplements from her GP Nutrition range.

‘You don’t have to take them all the time,’ she says. ‘But over the winter when your immune system might be a little compromised, I recommend that all my patients take probiotics and a good quality multinutrient. 

‘I’m a great believer that you don’t need one supplement all year round. You need a supplement to support your lifestyle, which is why at this time of the year it’s a good idea to think about your immune system.’ 

Not only do long dark evenings leave many of us prone to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), but the holiday season can lead to stress and anxiety, which in turn can result in sleeplessness and low mood.

GP Immunity has been designed to take the fuss out of finding the right supplements

GP Immunity has been designed to take the fuss out of finding the right supplements

This is why Gabriela created GP Immunity, a handy grab-and-go kit that features essential vitamins and minerals to support you from the inside out. 

‘It has all the nutrients your body needs to re-balance,’ the nutritionist explains. ‘It will address everything from feeling a bit down to having low energy levels and sleeplessness.’

GP Immunity contains GP Nutrition’s bestselling GP Gold superfood drink, which is full of antioxidants and nutritious berries like aronia, as well as its Clean Me capsules packed with essential vitamins and minerals like Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C and Selenium.  

Gabriela adds: ‘It’s not just your classic antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It also has other ingredients that you find in superfoods that support the normal function of your immune system.’ 

There’s also a daily live cultures capsule to support a healthy gut, which Gabriela explains is great for digestion and will help you break down and absorb the nutrients in your diet. 

Can I still treat myself? 

The simple answer is YES! Gabriela’s approach is all about being realistic and not depriving yourself.

Treats can contribute to a healthy diet, as coffee, dark chocolate and red wine all contain anthocyanins, which have antioxidant effects.

The key is moderation. For example: 

  • A couple of glasses of wine is fine but drinking alcohol in excess can put a strain on our immune systems.
  • Limit cups of coffee to two or three a day, and always drink it with food. 
  • Try to stick to dark chocolate as and aim for a high percentage of cacao. 

What else can I do to support my immune system?

Aside from nutrition, Gabriela says there are several simple steps we can all take to help boost our immune health.

1. Sleep: Do your best to get seven or more hours of good quality sleep each night. 

This will benefit your emotional state and stress levels, as well as appetite and energy levels, all of which have an impact on immune health.

2. Reduce stress: Keep work in a separate room if you are working from home. Embrace hobbies that reduce stress like walking, dancing, or cooking. 

Also be kind to yourself – this is a challenging time and all you can do is your best.

3. Stop smoking: This one may sound like a no-brainer, but stopping smoking or cutting down can help promote a strong immune system.

4. Stay active: Exercise is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy. 

Aim for at least a 30-minute walk every day.

5. Support gut health: Take a daily probiotic (or live cultures capsule) to support a healthy gut microbiome.

What’s in GP Immunity?  

GP Nutrition has designed GP Immunity to make it easy for you to help your body receive the vitamins and nutrients it needs to support a healthy immune system.

You don’t need to spend hours researching or shopping for multiple different supplements as it’s all in one box!

In each box you’ll find nutritional support for either 7, 14 or 28 days. Each daily dose of GP Immunity includes:

  • GP GOLD Super smoothie sachet – packed with phytonutrient and antioxidant rich superfoods that help fight oxidative stress and protect against free radicals. 
  • Bespoke GP Multinutrient capsule – to support your body’s defences with high-levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc and Selenium. 
  • Digestive Support Capsule – to support digestion and metabolism, by maintaining stable blood sugar and cholesterol levels. 
  • Clean Blend Capsule – to support and maintain the liver’s natural detox function. 
  • Probiotic Capsule – to nourish you gut, healthy gut bacteria is important for optimum immune function.

Think GP Immunity could work for you? Visit GP Nutrition to learn more about the supplements and see how you could save 30 per cent on your kit.  

Pandemic-Era Shoppers Splurge on Vitamins, Boosting Nestlé Sales

Pandemic-Era Shoppers Splurge on Vitamins, Boosting Nestlé Sales

  • October 21, 2020

Nestlé SA

NSRGY 0.35%

said the pandemic has increased consumers’ health consciousness, boosting its small but fast-growing health-sciences unit and contributing to better-than-expected overall sales at the world’s largest packaged-food maker.

The owner of Nescafe coffee, DiGiorno frozen pizza and Purina pet food has previously benefited from a pandemic-era shift by consumers to comfort food—particularly big, trusted brands—as they stocked up and stayed home during lockdowns.

As the pandemic wears on, companies are now getting a boost as consumers gravitate toward products that boost health, particularly the immune system.

Nestlé’s health-science business has been one of its lesser-known divisions for years, but Chief Executive Mark Schneider, a former health-care executive who took the reins in 2017, has turned it into a focus area amid a wide-ranging portfolio shake-up. The unit represents only about 3% of Nestlé’s overall sales, but Mr. Schneider said Wednesday he wanted it to become “a health and nutrition powerhouse” through acquisitions and organic growth.

Nestlé said the unit delivered double-digit sales growth in the first nine months of the year, but didn’t detail its performance any further in a sales update released Wednesday.

Demand for vitamins, minerals and supplements was strong, the company said. Supplement brands Garden of Life and Pure Encapsulations sold particularly well online. So called healthy-aging products grew at a double-digit rate in the nine-month period, Nestlé said, with help from Boost, a nutritional drink brand, in North America and Nutren, a line of nutritional supplements, in Brazil.

Health-science sales lifted overall revenue, which was powered by strong pet food and coffee sales. Nestlé said organic sales, which strip out currency fluctuations, acquisitions and divestitures, grew 3.5% in the first nine months of the year, beating analysts’ estimates of 2.8%. Results were driven almost entirely by volume growth. The company upgraded its guidance for the year, saying it now expects organic sales growth of around 3%, from a prior forecast of between 2% and 3%.

Nestlé shares were largely unchanged in late morning trading in Europe.

Net sales fell 9.4%, to 61.91 billion Swiss francs, equivalent to $68.24 billion, dragged down by currency changes and divestitures. Mr. Schneider has sold a string of assets, including Nestlé’s skin-health arm and U.S. ice-cream business, as he pivots toward categories he sees as higher growth.

Other companies have reported sales boosts amid a shift in health consciousness by consumers.

Conagra Brands Inc.

says its Healthy Choice frozen meals are on the rise.

Reckitt Benckiser Group

PLC this week said its Airborne brand, a supplement advertised as boosting the immune system, more than doubled revenue in the third quarter.

Others have moved to take advantage of the increased concern about health during the pandemic.


PLC has doubled the amount of zinc that goes in its Horlicks brand, a malted milk bestseller in India, and is marketing what it says are the brand’s immunity-boosting benefits.

Nestlé has a head start, having set up the health-science business in 2011 under former CEO Paul Bulcke, now the company’s chairman. His vision was to use specialist food-based products to help prevent and treat conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and heart disease. Nestle has also been investing in treatments and medicine.

It has made a long string of acquisitions to bolster the unit, earlier this month closing a deal to buy a California-based biopharmaceutical company that has won approval for the first treatment for peanut allergies. The acquisition valued Aimmune Therapeutics Inc. at $2.6 billion, including debt, and analysts expect Nestle to keep doing big deals.

This year, Nestlé bought a gastrointestinal medication brand and took a majority stake in a company that makes collagen supplements.

Still, for all the focus on it, the health-science arm remains far smaller than older units such as coffee and petcare, which remained the main drivers of Nestlé’s strong sales for the period. Pet food, where sales rose 4.1% in the nine months, has performed well for years.

The company said its dairy and cooking-aids arms also did well. Confectionery and bottled water dragged down the results, with both categories heavily dependent on tourism and shoppers being out and about.

After lifting lockdowns, many countries—particularly in Europe—are now implementing strict bans on movement again to stem the spread of the virus. Nestle said the out-of-home sales channel overall “remained significantly negative,” but sales declines moderated in the third quarter.

Write to Saabira Chaudhuri at

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Tips for Heating During Pandemic – NBC 7 San Diego

Tips for Heating During Pandemic – NBC 7 San Diego

  • October 20, 2020

Since a vaccine is still in the works to combat COVID-19, we’re left trying just about anything to stay as healthy a possible during a pandemic. One thing that everyone can all do, however, is to boost their immune system with healthy foods.

Health professionals tell NBC 7 if someone gets COVID-19 or the flu, or even both, it’ll most likely be much easier to recover if they’ve been eating foods rich in nutrients

These are immune-boosting foods that can help prepare your body to fight off a virus, cold or flu. Those who have a nutrient-packed diet will also find they sleep better and have more energy since they’re consuming the right minerals.

Nutritionists suggest you load up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins for dietary success.

It’s also best to plan for groceries so that it could result in purchases of fewer processed, high-salt or high-sugar snacks.

“Processed foods in general, it’s basically synthetic. It’s made from a machine,” said Dr. Amy Lee, who is an expert in weight control, obesity and nutrition. “It’s nothing natural that we actually garden and plant and harvest. So our human bodies basically have to get used to and adapt to all these new synthetic ingredients that we weren’t used to before.”

Lee also suggests families create a schedule or a daily meal plan. A schedule is more predictable for everyone in a household and it can get all involved so they feel connected to the effort in some way, creating motivation.

You can also manage your environment to improve your diet.

If candy and chips aren’t in the kitchen cabinet, then you can’t eat them.

It’s also very important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Health experts recommend that you drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, but if you’re outside a lot or exercising, it should be more. Stay healthy!

Your child's immunity is best built with natural foods

Your child’s immunity is best built with natural foods

  • October 17, 2020

No amount of supplements and vitamins can replace good nutrition, with milk being a vital component of a child’s diet.

During this pandemic, it’s only natural for parents to be concerned about their child’s immunity.

A recent nationwide survey titled #ImmunityMatters, conducted by Mead Johnson Nutrition’s Enfagrow A+ Malaysia, revealed that 96% of parents have concerns about their child’s health in the light of Covid-19 and 94% believe that nutrition is vital in building immunity.

The survey, which involved more than 500 parents with children above the age of one, was carried out across Malaysia to gain a deeper insight into parental behaviour during the current pandemic.

Results showed that a high percentage of parents (82%) believe a child’s immune health can be nurtured and built over time, with 95% of parents being familiar with immunity-boosting foods.

Amongst these numbers, more than 42% made conscious decisions to change their family’s food choices, with family shopping lists shifting to show parental priority in choosing immunity-building foods and nutrients (84%) to build up the family’s natural defences.

The top five food choices parents rated to build a stronger immune system were: vegetables (88%), fruits (80%), meat (55%), milk (54%) and grains (43%).

According to the Malaysian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents 2013, children are encouraged to consume two to three servings of milk or dairy products a day.

In this study, 63% of parents gave their children milk at least three times a day.

“It is important to lay the building blocks for a good immune system in the first five years of a child’s life because this is the time of rapid physical and mental growth. You are what you eat.

“If you miss that timeframe, all is not lost as immunity can still be built over time.

“I strongly believe a child’s diet should follow the BMV (balance, moderation and variety) concept.

“Then they will have enough energy and their defences will be working optimally,” says clinical dietitian Rozanna Rosly.

During the movement control order (MCO), she found that children were not being adequately hydrated and sleeping later, which can make them more susceptible to illness.

Fewer sick days mean they can eat better, and are more vibrant and energetic.

She says: “A lot of parents send their kids to nannies and babysitters.

“They don’t know if the child is eating properly or if the meals are balanced.

“If your child doesn’t want to eat and you continue to give him junk or unhealthy foods, it doesn’t help his immune system.

“Like adults who have cheat days, junk or fast food is okay sometimes, but for the rest of the time, the meal has to be healthy.

“With this pandemic, we want the children to have good, natural defences.”

‘Milk-ing’ your immunity

Over 70% to 80% of immune cells are found in our gut.

A diet with the right nutrients can help modulate immune function, reduce the risk of infection and amplify the inflammatory response when attacked by bacteria or viruses.

Says Rozanna: “Clinical research has shown the positive effects of milk fat globule membrane (MFGM), which is a nutrient-rich component that is found in our brain.

“Consumption of milk fortified with MFGM has a protective effect against stomach infection and reduces the number of days with fever.

“Polyunsaturated fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is found in our brain and fatty fish such as salmon, also helps immunity and boosts brain development in children.

“They also need prebiotics and probiotics, which can be obtained from fruits and vegetables.

“These act as ‘fertilisers’ to balance the microorganisms that live in the digestive system.”

As for supplements and vitamins, she says children who are eating balanced meals do not need them.

“During this Covid-19 time, adults are buying vitamin C by the truckloads!

“Only children who don’t eat or don’t like drinking milk need supplements, but this has to be given according to age,” she says.

While there is no way to measure immunity, there are certain signs you can look out for.

“If your child falls sick every month, and now falls sick only every other month, then his immunity has improved.

“Usually, when a child falls ill, he won’t want to eat, and if it happens frequently, there is a disruption in growth.

“But he may ask for milk. In fact, even adults who are unwell like to drink milk.

“Milk is a nutrient-dense food, and the fortified ones are rich in calcium and have added vitamins and minerals to support linear growth and boost immunity,” she adds.

Ways to improve your immunity against Coronavirus

Ways to improve your immunity against Coronavirus

  • October 16, 2020
While the country is grappling with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been shown through research that the process of combating the ill effects of the disease goes much beyond clinical support. An individual’s immunity and ability to tackle a health hazard is directly proportional to his/her immunity and nutritional status.

Our immune system is an intricate network of cells, tissues and organs that band together to defend your body against foreign invaders – like germs, viruses and bacteria. A healthy immune system protects us by creating a barrier that stops those invaders from entering our body. Hence with the advent of COVID-19, the role of a healthy immune system plays the role of a savior. Nutrition, choice of foods and lifestyle is decisive to an excellent health at all stages of life.

There can be ways to work on improving your immunity at home by inculcating the following practices in our lifestyle.

1. Eat right from the start:

Healthy and balanced nutrition should be inculcated from childhood. Once your child is 12 months old, they’ll be eating more of the foods that adults eat. Eating a healthy diet sets a good example for your children. It’s important for children and adults alike to limit foods that are high in sodium, unhealthy fats and added sugars.

When you are planning your meal for the whole family, try to add all types of food groups in your food plate, such as carbohydrates, add whole wheat or mixed grain chapati or hand-pounded rice. For protein, calcium add milk, curd, paneer, pulses, legumes, egg, chicken, fish. For healthy fats add olive oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, almond, walnut etc. For vitamins, minerals and antioxidants add colourful fruits and vegetables and also add prebiotic foods like yogurt and probiotic milk. Hydration is also paramount in the healthy working of the body. This type of diet can fulfil all the nutritional requirements of your body without any supplementation.

2. Rainbow food palette:

Foods have phytochemicals present in them that determine their colour. These are nothing but antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that provide nutrition to your body and help build immunity. Every natural colour given by nature to fruits and vegetables possesses special phyto nutrients that are specific to that colour. Hence, including foods from various colour families to your meals will ensure no important nutrient is missed out from your diet. Following a rainbow diet is easy as you can find many food alternatives in a colour family and it does not involve following unrealistic diet trends. Not only do the colours provide special nutrients but the vibrancy of the palette is also a mood booster!

Include foods from families of red, blue, green, yellow, orange and white in your diet to increase immunity.

4. Mindful eating:

Inadequate nutrition has been linked to lower resilience for fighting diseases and being an easy target for infections and viruses. Nutrients contribute to our overall health. Their intake in sufficient and right amounts is paramount to the well-being of the mind and body. However, getting engrossed in your screens while having meals can be a disaster, despite the nutrients you are having in your meals as you are unaware of the quantity intake. This habit leads to overeating. To curb this, one needs to be vigilant and peaceful while eating and not indulge in any activity during that time. Believe and follow “Mindful Eating”- enjoy the taste of food, restrict the portions and chew well for good gut health and proper absorption of nutrients. Avoid watching digital screens or reading while eating meals. It helps is coping with physical or mental stress during tough times and is especially necessary at this crucial time.

4. Plant-based eating:

Plant based eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Rather, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources. Following this, you avoid food which is high in calorie, simple carbohydrates, unhealthy fats and high levels of sodium that can give you obesity and other health-related issues.

● Try to avoid table salt, replace it with lemon or herbs.

● Avoid packaged and processed food and snacks such as chips, namkeen, biscuits, rusk, burger, pizza. Try to take home-cooked snacks such as homemade roasted chana or roasted foxnut

● Avoid fizzy and carbonated drinks and replace them with nimbu pani, jaljeera, salted buttermilk.

We should remember that one of the most effective ways to combat viral infections, including COVID-19, lies in the optimal combination of diet and immunity. We should all contribute our bit to the ecosystem to uplift the health condition of the community as a whole.

Inputs by Vandana Luthra, Founder and Co-Chairperson, VLCC Group


Navaratri Diet Plan to detoxify and boost immune system

  • October 16, 2020

Navaratri nine day festival celebrations occur once in every four months but those in August and October (when sun places in Kadakam spring season and Thulam autumn season) are celebrated in a grand way. People who worship Devi on these nine days take fasting as a part of this festival and few people exclude certain food groups from their diet to purify their body, mind and soul.

Whether you stick on rituals or not but a Navaratri diet can be tried as it is one of the healthiest diets. The diet is based on the Ayurvedic ‘Sattva’ principle and a lot of benefits can be attained. Ayurvedic three gunas Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, sattva is maintained in the nine days. The rajasic and tamasic foods like garlic, onions, meat, fish and lentils are stopped and also strong spices like asafoetida and garam masala, stimulants and intoxicants like coffee, tea and alcohol are also avoided. This reduces the intake and presence of toxins, saturated fats and other harmful substances in the body. The diet focuses on the intake of gluten-free whole grains like buckwheat, amaranth, water chestnut and millets, rock salt, vegetables like pumpkin, raw bananas, sweet potatoes and gourds, herbs and spices like ginger, pepper, curry leaves, mint leaves, all types of fruits and dry fruits, milk and dairy products like ghee, yoghurt and paneer, and healthy sweeteners like honey and jiggery that supplies all the essential nutrients your body needs.

To be noted is autumn is the season of disease so the Navaratri diet helps in boosting immune system so that the disease can be kept away. The diet mandates simple cooking methods wrong method prohibits attaining 100% benefits like avoiding deep fried puris and potatoes. Diabetic patient, pregnant women’s or who are in medication should consult a doctor before trying the Navaratri diet.

Navaratri nine day festival celebrations occur once in every four months but those in August and October (when sun places in Kadakam spring season and Thulam autumn season) are celebrated in a grand way. People who worship Devi on these nine days take fasting as a part of this festival and few people exclude certain food groups from their diet to purify their body, mind and soul.

Whether you stick on rituals or not but a Navaratri diet can be tried as it is one of the healthiest diets. The diet is based on the Ayurvedic ‘Sattva’ principle and a lot of benefits can be attained. Ayurvedic three gunas Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, sattva is maintained in the nine days. The rajasic and tamasic foods like garlic, onions, meat, fish and lentils are stopped and also strong spices like asafoetida and garam masala, stimulants and intoxicants like coffee, tea and alcohol are also avoided. This reduces the intake and presence of toxins, saturated fats and other harmful substances in the body. The diet focuses on the intake of gluten-free whole grains like buckwheat, amaranth, water chestnut and millets, rock salt, vegetables like pumpkin, raw bananas, sweet potatoes and gourds, herbs and spices like ginger, pepper, curry leaves, mint leaves, all types of fruits and dry fruits, milk and dairy products like ghee, yoghurt and paneer, and healthy sweeteners like honey and jiggery that supplies all the essential nutrients your body needs.

To be noted is autumn is the season of disease so the Navaratri diet helps in boosting immune system so that the disease can be kept away. The diet mandates simple cooking methods wrong method prohibits attaining 100% benefits like avoiding deep fried puris and potatoes. Diabetic patient, pregnant women’s or who are in medication should consult a doctor before trying the Navaratri diet.


9 Tips on How to Start a Healthy Plant Based Diet From Experts

9 Tips on How to Start a Healthy Plant Based Diet From Experts

  • October 13, 2020

If you want to boost your immunity, lose weight, and be all-around healthier, you may be considering switching to a plant-based diet, but the question is: Where to start? Luckily, when you find reliable experts and resources it makes the transition not only easy but enjoyable. With these nine tips on how to start a healthy plant-based diet, you will ease into it, save money at the supermarket, and feel full while eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods.

Everyday Health, an online publisher with the mission to inspire and enable wellness, recently hosted a panel of experts on everything there is to know about starting a plant-based diet. The three experts included.Dr. David L. Katz, Preventive Medicine specialist, Marisa Moore, Registered Dietician Nutritionist and Lucy Danziger, Editorial Director of The Beet. Each of them offered easy, helpful advice about how to start your plant-based eating journey, including where to get your protein and the importance of fiber in your diet Here is everything you need to know about starting a plant-based diet and loving it.

1. Plant-based diets are one of the most inexpensive ways to eat.

A plant-based diet is as cheap as you make it and can even be done on a strict budget says Marisa Moore, RD. Her advice:  Take the time to plan your meals and how to maximize the groceries you are buying. “The best thing you can do is buy in bulk,” says Moore. Buying in bulk also means you can make your meals in bulk and then refrigerate what you don’t eat right away and use it throughout the week or even freeze it for the following weeks. Use the bulk items, such as peas, chickpeas, beans and turn them into soups, veggie burgers or dips.”

She also pointed out that canned beans are typically a little more expensive, so decide if you would rather spend a little more to save time you can do that too. If you’re on a strict budget, you can either save time or save money, but that’s usually the trade-off.

Moore’s advice is to shop seasonally and be flexible about the produce you eat from week to week, because not only is what’s in season cheaper but the nutrients are higher when the produce is local and in season. If you prefer out-of-season produce, head straight to the frozen section since frozen fruits and vegetables have almost the same nutrients as fresh, but the price tag of frozen foods is cheaper than buying them fresh and out of season.

2. Increase your fiber uptake over the recommended allowance of 5 servings a day.

Americans aren’t eating enough fiber, even if you are meeting the recommended daily allowance (that the USDA has advised us to eat, which is five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, or about 25 grams for women and 39 grams for men, says Dr. Katz. His recommendation is to see that as a lower limit and try to well exceed it for your healthiest results. Fiber is also filling and gives you a better chance of staying on track if weight loss is the goal, he adds. “Eating [the RDA] recommendation is actually the minimum amount of fiber you should be getting daily: Eat more fiber than the entry-level,” and shoot for 7 to 9 servings a day, says Dr. Katz. Actually, it’s not just about the fiber in these fruits and vegetables, but also the phytochemicals and antioxidants that come with the fiber. So when you get all those fruits and vegetables you are also getting the micronutrients — some of which don’t even have a name but we know are good for your body and provide the necessary nutrients to feel your best.

3. Where to get protein? Fall in love with “pulses,” such as chickpeas, beans, and peas.

Pulses, which are basically the family of legumes that we think of as beans and lentils and chickpeas and peas, are great sources of protein, fiber, and iron in a plant-based diet, says RD Moore. “Even if you aren’t a fan of all pulses, make sure to get creative with the ones you do like, such as lentils, and explore different spices and herbs,” recommends Moore. Here is a list of the top 15 legumes with the most protein per serving.

To make legumes more interesting, Moore suggests you add seasoning in the form of spices. “The spices and herbs you use add another level of nutritional benefits, such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties,” she says. “Take a minute to compile your grocery list and make sure there is a variety of plants, spices, and herbs on it.” Turmeric is one such highly beneficial spice but there are several with health benefits that help to lower inflammation. As for lentils, Moore adds that there are several types and if you want variety in your food, you can try any number of lentil varieties to make soups, stews, salads, and more, and never get bored.

4. Skip Processed and add more whole foods that are grown in nature to your plate.

The point of going plant-based is not to add dairy-free ice cream or potato chips to your diet and call yourself plant-based. Instead, fill your plate with as many fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and whole grains, says Danziger. “You want to buy as fresh as possible and choose anything that looks as close to the way it looked when it grew in the ground,” she adds. “It’s important to buy whole grains that are as unprocessed as possible, such as wild rice quinoa or barley because when it gets processed is when it loses all its nutrients.”

5. Eat more fiber-filled foods like fruits and vegetables to lower your risk of disease.

A high-fiber diet high in fruits and vegetables has been linked to lowering your risk of disease. Dozens of recent studies have shown a diet high in plant-based whole foods lowers the risk of all diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more, Danziger points out.

Fiber helps develop a healthy gut, and what happens in your gut, ultimately affects your whole body, which is why everyone is obsessed with probiotics and the microbiome. “Even if you don’t cut out all animal products, start your meals with a big green salad filled with legumes, lentils, edamame, avocado, and quinoa,” Danziger recommends.

A loaded vegetable salad will fill you up and you won’t even want what you might have eating for lunch on days before you went plant-based such as the chicken salad or the dinner you used to think of as a normal protein source like steak. The more you fill up on plant-based high-fiber foods the less you want those animal products that are full of unhealthy saturated fat. The high-fiber salad will keep you full and help kickstart digestion and a healthier gut, which actually leads to disease prevention.

6. If it comes in a bag, it’s most likely not good for you. It’s that simple.

When you go plant-based you usually are trying to be healthier. Avoid processed foods that are sealed in the bag. Potato chips are one of the most processed foods in the supermarket. Instead of heading down the junk food aisle, head over to the produce aisle and grab potatoes. Danziger suggests cutting a potato in thin slices, bake it and you have a healthier potato chip. “That will allow it to keep more of the minerals that the potato absorbed in the ground.

7. Skip counting calories and instead eat foods rich in nutrients until you are full.

Eating a balanced diet doesn’t mean counting calories or weighing your food the way some diets used to require. Rather, fill your plate with nutrient-dense whole foods such as dark leafy greens and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, and eat until you are full. Eating more foods rich in nutrients, such as broccoli and beans, allows you to feel fuller faster, therefore eating fewer calories overall, says Dr. Katz.

When assessing the quality of the food you eat, remember, that you don’t need animal products to get protein since the cow was able to get everything it needed from a plant-based diet. So we also can survive quite well on a plant-based diet. The protein in the foods we eat comes to us from plant-based foods like vegetables. “If we are what we eat, then the food that we eat is also what they eat,” explains Dr. Katz. By simply shifting to a more whole foods diet, you are eating a more optimal and balanced diet and skipping the animal fat which is what causes heart disease.

8. Be mindful of your Iron, B12 and Omega-3 levels when switching to plant-based.

Switching to a plant-based diet means being more aware of the vitamins and nutrients in your food and making sure you get enough of the essential vitamins that can be scarce on a plant-based diet. Certain vitamins like iron, B12, and Omega-3 fatty acids are more available when eating animal protein. When meat and fish are cut out of your diet, you need to either eat whole foods that are rich in these vitamins or take supplements says Moore, the RD. You can still get these nutrients on a plant-based diet, but you need to eat a greater amount of these vitamin-rich foods to ensure you are meeting your daily needs.

Great sources of B12 include fortified grains and nutritional yeast. You can reach your Omega-3 daily goals by eating hemp seed, walnuts, microalgae or flaxseeds. A nutrient-rich diet means combining your foods in a creative way, Moore suggests. “Add iron-rich foods like spinach with Vitamin C foods [like tomatoes] to boost your iron absorption.”

9. Eat more foods high in soluble fiber to optimize the immune system response.

As important as insoluble fiber is, since it’s the fiber that helps move food through your intestines, you should also prioritize soluble fiber as well since it’s the fiber your body can break down into the food. Foods high in soluble fiber include dried beans, oats, barley, apples, peas and potatoes, and more. “Soluble fiber slows the entry of fats and sugars into the body,” says Dr. Katz, “while stabilizing hormonal regulation of immune system response.”  That means if you eat pasta without soluble fiber, your insulin will spike [which you don’t want], but if you add peas to your pasta, it will blunt the spike and optimize the immune system response [which you do want]. The wider variety of fiber in your diet by adding fruits and vegetables, seeds, and nuts, the more antioxidants in your body, which also boosts immunity.

Immunity: 10 Diet Mistakes You Must Avoid During Season Change To Build Immunity

Immunity: 10 Diet Mistakes You Must Avoid During Season Change To Build Immunity

  • October 6, 2020


  • Immunity is built with time
  • There are plenty of natural foods that may help you build your immunity
  • You must be wary of some of your common errors too

As much as we love the flavour of all seasons, be it the winter chills, the summer sunshine, or the rain-soaked evenings, we do dread the transition phase in between. You know the phase where you are not quite sure what should be the temperature of the AC in your room, not sure if you should take that blanket or not. It is suddenly too cold, but not quite either. Not just that, the dip in temperatures also brings along quite a few challenges for our immunity. Our body is all the more susceptible to infections and allergies during this time and that’s one of the reasons why a lot of people suffer from cold, cough and flu during this time.
While you know all that you should eat to keep the disease at bay, did you ever think about all the things you could have been doing wrong?

Dr. Jyoti, Senior Dietician from Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, lists out common diet mistakes you should avoid) for improved immunity.

Boost Immunity: 10 Diet Mistakes You Must Avoid During Season Change:

1. Not drinking enough water

While you may not feel as thirsty as you did in peak of summers, but you’d have to ensure that you drink enough water throughout the day to avoid dehydration. Dehydration can make you weak and may take a toll on your immunity. Avoid chilled water now.

(Also Read: 


Drinking sufficient water is important for your immunity too

2. Not cleaning of veggies before using

One should clean all vegetables or meat before preparing to avoid the risk of contamination.

3. Not eating enough properly cooked food

No, you need not deep-fry everything, but cooking food properly is known to kill pathogens. You can eat raw foods, but that should not constitute the majority of your diet.

(Also Read: )


Several vegetables could do wonders for immunity

4. Not eating meals at regular intervals

Skipping meals is not a good idea during this time. It could have a severe impact on your health condition which could further weaken your immunity in the long run.

5. Not having enough proteins

Protein is often called the building block of life. Turns out, this is a very important nutrient to keep our immunity intact as well.

6. Not cutting back on junk food

Excess consumption of junk food could lead to obesity, which can cause different metabolic disorders. Try to avoid foods that are high in trans-fats, salt to keep up proper health.

(Also Read: )


Junk, fried foods could take a toll on immunity

7. Not cutting back on sugary foods

Refined sugar is said to be one of the root cause of many health troubles. Treats like pastries, cookies, doughnuts tend to fluctuate blood glucose levels and only gives satiety for a short term. They do not provide any major nutrients you need to function, but instead, slowly start affecting your perfectly balanced immune system.

8. Not adding all food groups

Eating the same food day in and day out could limit your nutrition intake. Try to include all the food groups in your meals – you can do that by simply trying delicious food combinations with seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts and fried fruits. It not only adds variety to your meals but also helps in building immunity and brings along a range of antioxidants.


Making your diet enriched with different kind of foods could help boost your nutrition intake. 

9. Consuming too much salt

Too much of salt can lead to high blood pressure, water retention that may lead to weakened immunity. Therefore, avoid foods that are high in salt (sodium).

10. Be mindful with spices

In small quantities, spices could do wonders for bolstering your immunity, but if you go overboard, you could be doing more harm than good.



Indian spices are loaded with medicinal properties, but you have to be mindful of the portion

Take note of these points and make sure you take good care of yourself in this confusing weather.

(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)

About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.

Photo of #WeekendRead: Support your fight against cancer with bone broth

#WeekendRead: Support your fight against cancer with bone broth

  • October 4, 2020

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, resulting in an estimated 9.6 million deaths per year.

Although there are various risk factors, according to the World Cancer Research Fund, at least 18 per cent of all cancers diagnosed are related to physical inactivity, alcohol consumption, and/or poor nutrition.

At just 20 years old, Catherine Clark, owner and founder of The Harvest Table, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

She embarked on a journey of healing her body by studying the importance of a good quality diet.
Through her research, she discovered the benefits of bone broth.

“At the time of my diagnosis, there was limited research about the benefits of bone broth to help fight cancer, but what I found was enough to make me want to try it.


#WeekendRead: Leverage lower interest rate to pay off debt sooner

“My only problem was that it was not readily available,” she says.

Catherine was on a pursuit of what she calls wholeness – a balance between what you eat, keeping your body fit, maintaining a sound mind and keeping your spirit on fire.

She has been using high-quality ingredients to make bone broth and says the benefits are more than what she expected.

Catherine, who is now cancer free, offers these five benefits of bone broth and how it supports the fight against cancer:

Boost immune system:
One of the most important factors for cancer patients to focus on is boosting the immune system.
Our bodies have “good cells”, designed to fight off diseases like cancer, but when the levels of these cells drop, we become more susceptible to illnesses. Cancer is a complicated disease that can trick your body into using healthy cells to attack the body. Bone broth can help improve overall health as it contains amino acid arginine and alkylglycerols, which boost the immune system, and has been proven to repair tissue and control tumour cell growth in the body.

Improve digestive health:
Bone broth supports a well-functioning digestive system as it assists in sealing up any holes in your stomach, healing the lining, and nourishing the gut with important nutrients.
Cancer patients often have a low appetite because of certain treatments, which can lead to a deficit in nutrients. Bone broth is not only high in nutrients, but it is easy to sip due to its liquid consistency and contains gelatine which is essential for restoring the gut.

Reduce inflammation:
Research shows that cancer often develops at sites of chronic inflammation, which means that inflammation is a primary risk factor for cancer. Patients with high inflammation have a higher chance of getting the disease, so decreasing inflammation in the body can help fight cancer. Bone broth naturally has anti-inflammatory properties and contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which can help support the body through cancer treatments.

Manage blood sugar levels:
Sugar has been proven to feed cancer cells, so it’s important to supply the body only with what it needs. Maintaining optimal blood sugar levels is critical for cancer patients, and the properties found in bone broth can make a difference. Bone broth is nutrient-dense, contains low carbohydrates and calories, which makes it easy on the body. It is especially vital in supporting the liver through glucose production as it helps regulate blood sugar in the body.

Improving sleep quality:
Good sleeping habits are crucial for cancer patients but can be hard to come by, especially for those going through treatments. Recent studies have shown that cancer survivors can experience sleep difficulties for up to five years after a diagnosis, which are mostly associated with the fear of cancer returning. Bone broth contains glycine, which has been proven to significantly improve your sleep quality.Bone broth can replenish the body with much-needed nutrients and is beneficial for anyone looking to improve their health.


#WeekendRead: Avocados – what’s in the name?

“My diagnosis was an eye-opener.

“I can only hope to educate others on the importance of nourishing the body to help fight cancer and other diseases,” concludes Catherine.


5 health benefits of garlic and how much to add to your diet

5 health benefits of garlic and how much to add to your diet

  • September 29, 2020
  • Garlic has a high nutritional content for its size, with significant amounts of vitamin C, selenium, manganese, and iron.
  • There is also some evidence that consuming garlic may help strengthen the immune system, reduce risk for certain cancers, improve heart health, and even boost athletic performance.
  • To achieve these health benefits, you should consume no more than 1 to 2 cloves of fresh garlic each day.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition and wellness expert with a private practice based in New York City.
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

Garlic is an easy flavour addition to many types of meals. And beyond its widespread use for taste and seasoning, garlic can actually provide notable health benefits.

Here are five benefits of garlic and how much you should add to your diet.

Garlic is nutritious for its size

One raw clove of garlic has roughly 14 calories, 0.57 grams of protein, and about three grams of carbohydrates (one slice of white bread has 34 grams of carbohydrates, for comparison.)

Though one raw clove of garlic is pretty small, there is actually a significant amount of the following vitamins and nutrients:

  • Vitamin C (2.81 mg)
  • Selenium (1.28 mcg)
  • Manganese (0.15 mg)
  • Iron (0.15 mg)

One garlic clove packs a dense nutrient profile, but garlic’s small size means we’re not getting a large amount of nutrients from a single garlic clove. “The concentration is not as robust as we would think about, say eating a full salad,” says Tom Holland, MD, a physician scientist at Rush University Medical Centre.

You shouldn’t add too much garlic to your diet, too quickly. “One to two cloves a day should be the maximum consumed by anyone,” says Tracey Brigman, a food and nutrition expert at the University of Georgia. Eating more than that may cause upset stomach, diarrhoea, bloating, or bad breath.

“If you opt for adding two cloves of garlic a day to your diet, you may also want to add fresh parsley, mint, or raw apples to your diet to help prevent the bad breath associated with garlic consumption,” Brigman says.

Garlic may help boost your immune system

The flavorful bulbs at the end of the garlic plant are also rich with nutritious compounds called allicin and alliinase. In fact, the presence of allicin helps garlic boost the immune system.

A 2015 review from the Journal of Immunology found that garlic fortifies the immune system by stimulating immune cells like macrophages, lymphocytes, and natural killer cells. Garlic may also help stave off colds and flu because of the plant’s antimicrobial and antibiotic properties, Brigman says, which would stop the growth of viruses, bacteria, and other unwanted organisms.

However, Brigman notes that although some studies show a benefit, there is a lack of strong evidence that garlic supplements help prevent or reduce severity of the common cold and flu.

You should still wash your hands, avoid touching your face, stay hydrated, and practice other methods to prevent getting sick. Garlic probably won’t prevent sickness, but it may provide a little extra boost if you want to strengthen your immune system.

Garlic may reduce the risk of certain cancers

“[Garlic is] also a good source of phytochemicals, which help to provide protection from cell damage, lowering your risk for certain cancers,” says Brigman.

Phytochemicals are compounds in vegetables and fruits associated with a reduced risk of chronic illness. There is some evidence that consuming phytochemicals through garlic can have anticarcinogenic effects and potentially lower risk for stomach and colorectal cancers.

However, research in human subjects is lacking, and it’s not proven that garlic consumption can actually prevent or treat cancer.

Garlic may improve heart health

A 2019 study published in Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine found that consuming two capsules of garlic extract a day for two months can lower blood pressure and decrease arterial stiffness for people with hypertension.

“Garlic seems to lead to overall protection for your heart,” Brigman says.

In addition, a 2013 report suggested that garlic can reduce lipids in the blood, which means lower cholesterol and thus a lower risk for plaque build up in the cardiovascular system.

The amount of garlic needed to achieve these heart healthy effects differ among individuals. However, looking at the research available on the subject, it’s best to consume about four fresh cloves of garlic per week, says Puja Agarwal, PhD, a nutrition epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Centre.

Garlic may allow you to exercise longer

Historically, Ancient Greek athletes ate garlic before an event to improve their performance. That’s because garlic releases nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. This compound is often released while running to supply more oxygen to working muscles.

Some animal studies in rats and mice have also found that garlic can improve athletic endurance, finds a 2007 from Molecular Nutrition Food Research. However, Brigman notes the inconclusive data in human subjects means we can’t draw definitive conclusions.


Brigman says to opt for whole garlic rather than the pre-minced version in jars, as you will get the most health and medicine benefits from raw garlic.

This is because the alicin in garlic, which contributes to many of its health benefits, is most potent briefly after it has been chopped, crushed, or chewed. In fact, the amount of allicin in garlic cloves peaks 10 minutes after chopping and is destroyed by temperatures over 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

“If you want to add garlic to hot meals, then add it when your food is almost finished cooking to limit the destruction of allicin,” Brigman says.

Allicin can also be consumed in supplemental forms, such as in pills, but the most benefit comes from raw garlic, Brigman says. This may be due to the fact that garlic supplements do not have regulated manufacturing standards and may actually contain little to no allicin.

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