Friday, 18 November 2016


This fruit is a super food with many health benefits.
  • Its vitamin (A, C, E, B-complex & K) and mineral (potassium, copper, calcium, magnesium, manganese and zinc) content make the humble guava a powerhouse of nutrients.
  • The copper in guavas helps to maintain a healthy thyroid gland.
  • This fruit is loaded with vitamin C (five times more than oranges!!!) which is required to prevent scurvy and to produce collagen, a substance that keeps the skin supple, smooth and wrinkle-free!!
  • It contains high amounts of lycopene (vitamin A) which helps to protect against cancers (esp of the lung and oral cavity), macular degeneration, cardiovascular disease, different forms of bone degeneration like osteopenia and osteoporosis, and changes in skin structure. Tomatoes are known for their lycopene content…but guavas have twice the amount of this nutrient!!
  • It has antioxidants which boost the immune system and protect the body against harmful infections.
  • These antioxidants also help to prevent cancers of the skin, lung, breast, prostate gland and large intestine.
  • Since they have a high fiber and pectin content, they aid in laxative action and prevent constipation.
  • Their soluble fiber content also stabilizes blood sugars.
  • They are a good source of potassium and help normalize blood pressure. 

Guavas enhance the taste of smoothies, sorbets, fruit salads and juices but they are best eaten in their natural form…raw and crunchy or ripe, sweet and creamy. Remember that they are quick to lose their vitamin C content, so eat them as soon as they are cut. As for the vitamin C content of guava jams, jellies etc…sorry, not much left there as this vitamin is not stable in the presence of heat.

Stay blessed with good health .…always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Monday, 14 November 2016

Remembering Juvenile Diabetics On World Diabetes Day, 14th November 2016

Despite medical advancement and years of research by healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies, there has been no breakthrough in finding a cure for Diabetes. Thankfully, with knowledge about the disease increasing, better forms of treatment and hopefully a cure are on their way.

Parents are often at their wits' end while trying to meet the nutritional needs of their diabetic child- the childs diet needs a little more care and planning. The adjustment can be difficult for the child and for the rest of the family, whose unconditional love and support are crucial at all times.

A little extra effort will go a long way in helping a diabetic child live a normal life. Here is how :-

  • Sit with the childs diabetologist and understand how many calories are being prescribed.
  • Get help from a nutritionist to convert the prescribed number of calories into a daily meal plan.
  • Draw up a shopping list of a wide variety of foods from the different food groups.
  • Encourage the child to make healthy food choices.
  • Always keep plenty of healthy snack options readily available.
  • Wholesome meals should be cooked for, and eaten by, all members of the family to encourage the diabetic child in his/her blood glucose battle.
  • Choose grilled, low-fat options when eating out
  • Encourage the child to increase his duration of exercise the day he wants to indulge in a small portion of dessert.
  • When the child is invited to a birthday party, call the parent hosting the party to find out the menu and also to let her/him know that your child is diabetic and should not be forced to overeat.
  • Pack a healthy snack- the host will not mind.
  • Teach your child to recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia as well as hyperglycemia.
  • An ID card that reads DIABETIC on one side and lists what to do in an emergency ( like contact numbers, what to give the child etc) on the other side, should be with the child at all times.

For all those lil JD angels I met this week...this post is for you :-)

Stay blessed with good health .…always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Tuesday, 1 November 2016


Movember- the hairiest month for men’s health, is the world’s largest movement for men’s health. It is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of various cancers, such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer….and also of mental health issues like depression. We need to know that more men die from prostate cancer than women from breast cancer. Sadly 1 in 8 min will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives. We need to create awareness about this and also help men live longer, healthier and happier lives.

Prostate Gland Issues :-

The prostate gland is the male reproductive organ, the size of a walnut. The main function of the prostate gland is to help with the production of semen ( the fluid that transports sperm). It produces a thick, white fluid that is liquefied by a special protein known as prostate-specific-antigen (PSA). The fluid is mixed with sperm, produced by the testicles, to create semen.

Three main conditions can affect the prostate gland:

- Prostate Enlargement:
It is a very common condition associated with aging. 1/3rd of men over the age of 50 will have symptoms of prostate enlargement. If the prostate becomes enlarged it can place pressure on the urethra. This makes it harder for the bladder to empty.
An enlarged prostate can cause the following symptoms :-

a) Make it difficult for you to start urinating
b) Weaken the flow of urine or cause ' stopping and starting'
c) Cause you to strain to pass urine
d) Cause you to urinate more frequently, making you get up frequently at night

- Prostatitis ( inflammation of the prostate) :
In this often misunderstood condition, the tissues of the prostate get inflamed, i.e. red and swollen.
Symptoms of prostatitis include :-

a) Pelvic pain
b) Testicular pain
c) Pain while ejaculating
d) Pain in the perineum ( the area between the anus and the back of the scrotum), which worsens with sitting

-Prostate Cancer :
It is the most common type of cancer in men. Most cases of prostate cancer occur in men who are 70 years old or over. This type of cancer progresses very slowly. In fact, men can live many years without any symptoms or treatment; rather, they die with it, instead of from it.
Symptoms of prostate cancer ( often very identical to prostate enlargement) :-

a) An urge to urinate more often ( especially at night)
b) Need to run to the washroom
c) Straining or taking a very long time to urinate
d) Weak urinary outflow
e) Feeling that your bladder has not emptied completely

-Food and diet :
- Eat foods rich in phyto-estrogens like soy beans, tofu, chickpeas, lentils, peas, garlic and flax seeds.
- Lycopenes found in tomatoes have a protective effect against prostate cancer.
- Zinc found in fish, shellfish, seeds and eggs
- Fibre-rich foods
- Fennel (saunf)

Make a mix of 2 tbsp curry leaf powder, 1 tbsp amchur, 1 tbsp pomegranate seed powder, 6 tbsp fennel, 1 tbsp dried basil, 1 tbsp dried thyme and 1 tbsp mace. Eat 1 tsp of this mix every morning.

Stay blessed with good health .…always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Sunday, 30 October 2016

It's Halloween... a good time for some healthy pumpkin

It’s Halloween…the first day of a three-day observance of Allhallowtide; the second day being All Saints Day followed by All Souls day. So before you plan your costume parties, go trick-or-treating, or decide how to spook your friends, you have to carve jack o’lanterns from huge orange pumpkins. What better day then, to write about this nutrient-dense vegetable/fruit which is a veritable power-house of vitamins and minerals….and not just a Halloween decoration, or a pie filling for Thanksgiving.

Health benefits of Pumpkin
  • They contain good amounts of potassium which stabilizes blood pressure. In fact the daily consumption of this vegetable will bring down both systolic as well as diastolic blood pressure in just 12 weeks.
  • Increased potassium intake is also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss  of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density, and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.
  • They contain vitamin C which is good for improving immunity and also for providing an immunity boost during times of illness.
  • Their fiber content helps maintain proper digestive health and prevents constipation. It also helps you feel fuller for a longer period of time and keeps hunger pangs at bay.
  • The iron in pumpkins has been shown to boost fertility in females.
  • They are a good source of Vitamin A (beta carotene) and antioxidants which could augment eye health and help you see better in dim light, decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration and prevent other types of degenerative damage to the eye.
  • The beta carotenes in pumpkin reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer like cancer of the colon and of the prostate gland.
  • Beta carotenes also protect against asthma and help prevent heart disease. They also help form and maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones.
  • The vitamin A in pumpkin (beta-carotene ) is  essential during pregnancy and lactation for the proper synthesis of hormones.
  • Pumpkin seeds are chock-full of nutrients and make an interesting, satiating snack. They are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps the body make serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter hormone that helps you relax and sleep better.
  • The zinc in pumpkin seeds helps improve sexual health and testosterone levels in males.
  • Pumpkin seed oil protects prostate health.

Consuming just one cup of cooked pumpkin daily will provide over 100 percent of your daily requirement for vitamin A !! Apart from this you will also get 20 percent of the daily value for vitamin C, 10 percent  for vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, copper, and manganese, and at least 5 percent for thiamin, B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
So make a lip-smacking pumpkin curry or sabji, oven-roast cubes of pumpkin to make a hearty soup, add steamed and grated pumpkin to your rotis, theplas, parathas, raitas and salads, puree cooked pumpkin and combine it with herbs/ yoghurt to make an interesting dip or sandwich spread….you can even add it to a smoothie along with soymilk or coconut milk and some chia seeds. A pureed pumpkin face pack will provide an instant glow to your skin and fetch you many compliments.

Happy Halloween !!!

Stay blessed with good health .…always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Thursday, 27 October 2016

'chEATING OUT' this Diwali

Having cardiac disease, diabetes or trying to lose weight is hard enough. Trying to manage your cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels or weight during the festival season is sometimes harder. My patients often ask if they can have 'cheat days' when they can consume, albeit in moderation, one of their favourite foods. Something they can tuck into without it doing much harm to their cholesterol or blood sugar levels...or to their body fat percentage. It is indeed very hard for them when there is a special occasion and there is yummy but unhealthy food everywhere...and they can only eat the salad options. I tell them to indulge in moderation and then consume an additional amount of their spice mix. They have to remember that this does not give them 'carte blanche' to over indulge all the time. If you are not on the spice mix, have a tsp of cinnamon and fenugreek seed powder, increase your exercise activity and carefully monitor your blood parameters.

This guide should help you:

1 fried samosa- 25 min slope walking
1 serving sev puri- 30 min on the treadmill
1 serving chaat- 1 game of tennis
1 small packet of wafers- Climb up 8 floors
1 bowl popcorn- 15 min skipping
1 small bowl farsaan- 2000 steps in the balcony
1 serving fried pakora- 45 min cardio
1 batata wada- 30 min football
1 serving bhajia- 30 min zumba
2 slices veg pizza- 25 min bollywood dance
1 chocolate brownie- 1 hour treadmill
1 scoop of icecream- 40 laps in the pool
1 piece of burfi- 30 min spot jogging
1 ras malai- 2 games badminton
1 gulab jamun- 30 min jog
1 slice fruit cake- 100 jumping jacks
1 peg of whiskey- 1 hour brisk walk
1 pint beer- 80 laps in the pool
1 glass of wine- 1 game of squash
1 glass of iced tea- Climb up 10 floors

It is important to test your blood sugar levels post exercise and post indulgence.

Have a happy Diwali !!!

Stay blessed with good health….always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Thursday, 20 October 2016

20th October 2016- World Osteoporosis Day

The word "osteoporosis" means porous bones. When this occurs, the bones become so weak and brittle that even mild stresses like bending over to pick up a wallet, pushing a grocery cart in a food mall, or coughing, can cause a fracture.

Our bone strength is related to its mass or density due to minerals like calcium, phosphorus etc present in it. In osteoporosis, bone strength decreases as calcium, phosphorus and other minerals get depleted. Bone strength depends on an adequate supply of dietary calcium. Estrogen plays an important role in bone health by promoting bone growth.

Risk factors:

- Sex - fractures from osteoporosis are more common in women than in men.
- Age - the older the individual, the higher the risk for osteoporosis.
- Family history - having a close female relative with osteoporosis may increase ones risk.
- Small body frame - generally, the smaller the body frame, the thinner the bone.
- Lifestyle - smoking, consumption of too much caffeine and alcohol, a sedentary lifestyle all      contribute to bone loss.
- Early menopause
- Calcium deficiency
- Estrogen deficiency, which occurs at menopause, accelerates bone loss
- Certain medications like corticosteroids, drugs for asthma, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis; too much   thyroid hormone can cause bone loss


- Ideally, calcium supplementation should be done during adolescence...a time when it is needed for  bone development.
- Beans contain phytates which prevent calcium always soak beans for 6-8 hours in  water, wash them well and then cook them.
- Opt for weight bearing physical activity or load bearing exercises which will strengthen your bones.
- Estrogen replacement therapy if opted for, should be monitored by the physician because of the  breast cancer and uterine cancer risks involved.
- Limit your sugar intake because sugar inhibits the absorption of calcium and depletes the levels of  phosphorus ( a mineral needed to absorb calcium)
- Reduce your sodium intake because excess salt can cause excessive calcium excretion through the  kidneys.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages because they leach out calcium from the bones and sap them of their  strength.
- Eat adequate amounts of calcium and its osteoporosis- fighting partner vitamin D3, which are  important for building bone mass in younger years and for delaying bone loss in later years
- Avoid drinking colas because they contain phosphoric acid which prevents calcium absorption.
- Do bone- building exercises like walking, jogging, stair climbing etc

Sources of dietary calcium:

1 cup plain dahi - 400 mg
1 cup milk - 300 mg
30 gms Swiss cheese - 270 mg
30 gms cheddar cheese - 205 mg
30 gms Mozzarella - 185 mg
100 gms paneer - 155 mg
75 gms tofu - 130 mg
90 gms salmon - 205 mg
100 gms sardines - 185 mg
100 gms papaya - 75 mg
100 gms orange - 50 mg
30 gms almonds - 75 mg

Stay blessed with good health….always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

12th October2016- World Arthritis Day

The theme for this year’s World Arthritis Day is ‘The future is in your hands, take action’.  We must encourage arthritic patients to take action daily and to live their life to the fullest, in the healthiest way that they possibly can.

Living with rheumatoid arthritis and other musculoskeletal diseases is not easy and can be physically and mentally crippling. The symptoms of arthritis include pain and limited function of joints. Arthritic joint inflammation causes joint stiffness, swelling, tenderness, redness and warmth in the affected area.

Regular exercise with the help of a physiotherapist, a healthy diet and the strong support of a family/friend group will go a long way in helping the patient enjoy a good quality of life and have better self-worth.

Improved medications now ensure that there is no longer as much joint damage, especially to the hands…something that would previously alert everyone that a person had arthritis. However, everyday tasks like opening a dabba of ghee, or buttoning a shirt, climbing a flight of stairs or even opening a strip of medicine can be challenging.

Unfortunately, there is no dietary CURE for arthritis….but you can add certain foods to your diet to ease the pain, fight the inflammation, strengthen your bones, boost your immunity and make you feel better.

You could try adding the following to your daily diet:-

- Haldi powder….add 1 tsp to your juice shot, smoothie, dal etc

- Amba halad.…grate and add to salads, chutneys, gravies etc

- Garlic….decreases the amount of cartilage-damaging enzymes present in the cells.

- Olive oil and coconut oil….extra virgin, cold pressed….1 tbsp of each

- Precursors to vit D like dark green leafy veggies, dairy foods, eggs….to increase your bone  strength, enable the absorption of calcium and also boost immunity.

- Vit C-rich foods like oranges and lemons….prevent inflammation and maintain healthy joints and  cartilage.

- Soy protein….will prevent inflammation, Avoid if you have a hypothyroid condition.

- Fish….another anti-inflammatory food.

- Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower….apart from vit K and vit C, they also have a  compound called sulforaphane which prevents the progression of osteoarthritis. Avoid if you have a  hypothyroid condition.

- Cherries and cranberries….for their anti-inflammatory effect, especially for those with gout and  high uric acid levels.

- Nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, sunflowers seeds, pumpkin seeds, melon seeds,  sesame seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp etc….for their mineral content.

- Green tea….loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants, it can reduce inflammation and slow    cartilage destruction.

Stay blessed with good health….always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Monday, 10 October 2016

Pumpkin Seeds

Back in the day, the rich would use slivers of pistachio as a garnish for mithai while the poor would have to make do with pumpkin seeds.

These flat green seeds are one of nature’s most nourishing foods. Here is why :

- They contain high amounts of vitamin E, B-complex, magnesium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Pumpkin seeds promote overall prostate health and alleviate difficult urination associated with an      enlarged prostate gland.
- They are an excellent source of tryptophan, the amino acid which is needed for good quality sleep  and for keeping anxiety and depression at bay.
- The B-complex vitamins in pumpkin seeds work as co-factors in the body to help reduce cholesterol  and enhance GABA activity which is also known to reduce anxiety and neurological disorders.
- Pumpkin seeds also contain anti-inflammatory properties which provide benefit for those that suffer  with chronic inflammation such as in sinusitis, arthritis, bursitis, and other autoimmune disorders.
- Pumpkin seeds have high concentrations of phytosterols that can help to inhibit the absorption of  cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract which ultimately can help reduce the bad cholesterol in the  body. 
- Since they are high in zinc, pumpkin seeds help to prevent kidney stones and osteoporosis. 
- They are a natural cure for tapeworms and intestinal parasites.

Roasted pumpkin seeds have a nutty flavor. You can easily roast them at home

- Cut a portion of red pumpkin and immediately pull out the seeds.
- Rinse the seeds in cold water and remove the pulp and fibrous strings.
- Place the seeds in a heated pan or on a baking tray if you wish to roast them in an oven..
- Add a tsp of oil and stir well to coat the seeds.
- Roast until they are crunchy, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent them from getting burnt.
- Cool and store in an airtight container.

Sprinkle these roasted pumpkin seeds on salads, add them to your breakfast cereal or porridge or hummus or dips or trail mixes, or mix them with figs apricots and dates to make your own healthy energy bars.

Stay blessed with good health ...always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Sweet Potatoes ( Shakarkand)

Native to Central and South America, sweet potatoes are one of the oldest vegetables known to man. They were brought to India by the Portuguese in the 16th century. These tuberous roots are very nutritious. They are the unsung heroes of a balanced diet for the following reasons:

  • They are rich in antioxidants like beta carotene and vitamins A, D, E & C which are all necessary to delay aging, protect against asthma, maintain the health of our skin, bones, teeth, heart, nerves and thyroid gland.
  • They are a source of vitamin B6 which helps lower blood homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is a chemical associated with degenerative heart disease.
  • They are also a good source of minerals like manganese, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and iron which are all needed for maintaining immune function, forming red and white blood cells, metabolizing proteins etc.
  • Due to their iron and vitamin A content, sweet potatoes help increase fertility and are also essential to balance hormones during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Since they are high in potassium, they help lower blood pressure by removing excess sodium from the body. Potassium also helps to regulate the heartbeat and the fluid balance in the body, protect the kidneys, relax muscular contractions and reduce swelling. 
  • They are an excellent source of magnesium which is an anti-stress mineral that helps relax muscles, calm the nerves and relax the body. 
  • The natural sugars in sweet potatoes are slowly released into the bloodstream, ensuring a regular and balanced source of energy without any blood sugar spikes linked to fatigue and weight gain. This makes them a good snack food for diabetics.
  • They help to prevent cancers of the mouth, breast, lung, skin, and colon.
  • They have a high fiber content, are easily digestible and are an excellent food choice for people with oral ulcers, inflamed colons, digestive disorders and constipation.
  • Beta- cryptoxanthins in sweet potatoes lowers the risk of arthritis. 
  • Phytochelatins also present in sweet potatoes, bind to heavy metals such as lead, mercury, copper, & cadmium and safely remove them from the body.
  • Folate in sweet potatoes helps develop cells and tissues of a fetus in the mother’s womb. 

NOTE : If you take beta blockers for heart disease, limit your consumption of potassium-rich sweet potatoes. Beta blockers can increase blood potassium levels. People with impaired kidney function need to know that too much potassium can be harmful as the kidneys are unable to remove the excess potassium from the blood.

Roast sweet potatoes to bring out their natural flavor. Add steamed or boiled sweet potatoes to soups, salads, smoothies, vegetable cutlets etc. Baked sweet potato wedges are a healthier option to french fries. Cut sweet potatoes into half inch slices and steam them. Then add a drizzle of oil, some lemon juice, chaat masala or cinnamon / jeera / pepper / chilli powder to enhance the taste.

Stay blessed with good health ...always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Cheers? Bottoms up? A toast to good health?

What do whiskey, rum, beer, brandy, gin, vodka, wine, sake, ouzo and koumiss have in common? These beverages all contain ethanol - a form of alcohol. Even though each gram of alcohol provides 7 calories of energy, alcohol is not a food nutrient but a mind-altering drug. Each standard drink (45 ml liquor or 150 ml wine) has 13 to 14 gms of alcohol.

Alcohol consumption is now a part of celebrating life’s milestones….whether it is barhopping with friends on their birthdays or toasting the bride and groom with champagne at their wedding or downing vodka shots on a Friday night with office colleagues to celebrate a promotion.

When consumed in moderation, alcoholic beverages can make social situations more enjoyable….and can even have some health benefits like offering cardiovascular protection. Consuming small amounts of alcohol can raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels, reduce blood levels of fibrinogen (an important blood-clotting factor) and decrease platelet stickiness. Red wines and beers have beneficial antioxidants (but you can get those from purple grape juice!) However, more and more people are now experiencing serious health problems as a result of their excessive alcohol-drinking habits.

Alcohol does not require digestion and readily passes through the tissues lining the inside of the mouth, esophagus, stomach and small intestine. When alcohol is consumed with a meal or after a meal, food delays its absorption from the stomach and lowers the rate at which it enters the bloodstream. If a person consumes excessive amounts of alcohol on an empty stomach, tremendous damage is done to the liver and the kidneys. In fact alcohol poisoning is a life-threatening condition and binge drinking can be fatal.

Drinkers can be classified as:

Abstainers - consuming none or fewer than 12 drinks/year
Light drinkers - consuming 1-12 drinks/month
Moderate drinkers - consuming 4-14 drinks/week
Heavy drinkers - consuming 3 or more drinks/day
Binge drinkers – consuming 5 or more drinks/occasion (males)
consuming 4 or more drinks/occasion (females)

Not everyone who drinks alcohol regularly abuses the drug, but you might be abusing alcohol if you:

- Drink to relax, forget your worries, improve your mood
- Lose interest in food because of your drinking habits
- Find more and more “reasons” to drink
- Consume drinks in few quick gulps
- Lie about or try to hide your drinking habits
- Often drink alone
- Hurt yourself or others while drinking
- Were drunk more than 3 times in the past year
- Need to drink more than previously to get “high”
- Feel irritable and resentful when you are not drinking
- Have medical, social or financial problems caused by your drinking habits
- Have been fined by the traffic cops for drinking and driving

Harmful effects of alcohol:
- Brain: impairs brain functioning and damages the brain
- Esophagus: increases risk of esophageal cancer
- Skin: causes skin flushing and heat loss
- Heart: damages heart muscle, resulting in heart enlargement and heart failure
- Liver: causes fatty infilteration of the liver, cirrhosis and liver failure
- Pancreas: impairs pancreatic functioning, causes pancreatic inflammation and increased risk of pancreatic cancer
- Small intestine: interferes with nutrient absorption
- Abdomen: increases fatty deposits in abdominal region
- Colon and rectum: increases risk of colon and rectal cancer

When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, her fetus also “drinks” alcohol because alcohol flows freely from the mother’s bloodstream to that of the fetus. An infant born with “fetal alcohol syndrome” has certain facial and heart defects as well as extensive often irreversible damage to the nervous system causing mental retardation. The infant may also have delayed and abnormal physical development.

So if you think you are abusing alcohol or are dependent on it, seek help asap

Stay blessed with good health ...always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Friday, 9 September 2016

Chia is NOT Sabjia/Sabja/Takhmaria/Falooda seeds/Basil seeds

"Think global, eat local" is a thought which is on most peoples minds when it comes to super foods and their health benefits. Today lets talk about chia seeds and their so-called "local" counterpart, sabja seeds.

Chia seeds are tiny, mottled grey, black and white seeds of the plant Salvia hispanica. These seeds were used by Aztec warriors and runners, allowing them to sustain themselves over an entire day just on 1 tablespoon of the seeds. These seeds are pesticide- free since insects do not attack the plant. They have heart healthy benefits and have more omega-3 fatty acids than flax seeds.They are also anti-inflammatory and keep the blood vessels well dilated, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.They are easy to digest and are gluten-free.Since chia seeds have a good protein and calcium content, they help to build endurance as well as muscles and tissues. Boron, a mineral needed for the absorption and assimilation of calcium is also present in chia seeds....thus those predisposed to osteoporosis benefit from chia. Chia gel forms a barrier between carbohydrates and enzymes, thus slowing down the conversion of carbs to sugar which obviously helps diabetic patients tremendously. By causing satiety, it helps control hunger and overeating...leading to weight loss. When chia seeds are consumed at bedtime, they release the amino acid tryptophan which converts into the 'feel-good' hormone serotonin, thus encouraging a good nights sleep.

Sabja seeds on the other hand are black seeds of the plant Ocimum basilicum. They are also called basil seeds or takhmaria or falooda seeds. They are anti-bacterial, anti- inflammatory and anti-oxidant in nature. They are rich in vitamins A,C and K and minerals like calcium, manganese, magnesium and iron.They provide relief from acidity, constipation, flatulence, colds etc. They help in controlling hunger because they absorb water and swell in the gut. They 'cool' the system and are often consumed in the hot summer months with rose syrup, cold milk etc.

When chia seeds and sabja seeds are soaked in water they both absorb water and swell. If you look closely at the picture you will be able to see the difference. Chia seeds increase in size, clump together and the water in which they are soaked converts into a thick viscous gel.Hence they can be incorporated into smoothies and are also used in bakery products as egg replacements. Sabja seeds will swell to a much greater extent but the viscosity of the water will not change. This is how you will be able to identify if your vendor has sold you chia seeds ( which are very expensive) or the cheaper sabja seeds ( calling it "Indian Chia"!!!)

Sabja seeds REDUCE ESTROGEN LEVELS and delay the menstrual cycle. So if you are looking to conceive or delay the onset of menopause or if you have PCOD then it is up to you to make an informed choice between sabja and chia!

Do like and share if you benefit from this post

Stay blessed with good health ...always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

 The worries and strains of daily life can be overwhelming and even exhausting. Surprisingly, positive events like an engagement or marriage, moving into a bigger and better home or workplace, going on a trip can also tire us. Understandably, emotional shock from bad news, a failed relationship or the death of a loved one can make us feeled drained. However, if you are TATT… or ‘Tired All The Time’ then read on…
 Fatigue, meaning tiredness or the feeling of not having enough energy, is a symptom that may result from a great variety of causes, and it is probably among the most common symptoms described to physicians and other practitioners. It may range from mild loss of usual energy, to greater weariness at certain times of the day, to complete exhaustion and near inability to move.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), or chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), is much less common and a more concerning and harder-to-correct problem. Practitioners and scientists are still working to figure out the cause.

Factors contributing to fatigue:-

Chronic diarrhea and nutrient loss
Chronic pain
Depression (and persistent anxiety)
Environmental toxicity
Immune suppression
Lack of sleep (or poor sleep and sleep apnea)
Poor digestion
Progressive disease
Sluggish liver
Stress and overwork
Structural misalignment
Toxicity from the colon

More specific causes of fatigue and chronic fatigue:-

  • Yeast and mold infections and allergies- Candida albicans.
  • Viral infections (acute) - colds, flus, hepatitis and mononucleosis.
  • Viral infections (chronic)- HIV, Epstein-barr, cytomegalovirus and herpes.
  • Parasite infections- many possible such as amoebas or worms
  • Bacterial infections- staphylococcus or streptococcus.
  • Hormonal deficiencies- Hypothyroidism, low adrenal function (often due to chronic stress         and sugar abuse), pituitary dysfunction, as well as menopause.
  • Nutritional deficiencies- Magnesium, potassium, iodine, iron, copper, vitamin B12, folic           acid, other B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E.
  • Toxic mineral excesses- lead, aluminium, mercury, nickel and cadmium.
  • Metabolic disease- such as of the heart, liver or kidneys.
  • Substance abuse- coffee, alcohol, sugar, food reactions, rancid oils, marijuana and other     drugs.
  • Environmental contamination- fluorescent lights, chemical sensitivity.
  • Psychological problems- boredom and depression, overall unhappiness about life situations and progress.

Our Good Health Always ‘Antifatigue Nutrient  Program’ is aimed at incorporating specific nutrients in amounts required by the individual. It is a multifaceted approach to treating chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia. It includes the following:

-       Nutritional therapies with B complex vitamins, magnesium, iodine,selenium,zinc and specific             amino  acids.
- Natural hormone support, including thyroid, adrenal and sex hormones.
- Incorporating herbs like ginseng, ginger, haldi, ginko biloba, gotu kola, cayenne pepper etc in             case-specific amounts.
- Avoiding sugar, caffeine, alcohol and refined flour.
- Avoiding foods which are allergenic.
- Treating chronic or recurrent infections of the sinuses, bladder, vagina and prostate gland.
- Treating bacterial, yeast and parasitic infections.
- Improving digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients.
- Improving the individuals sleep pattern….an important factor in healing fibromyalgia and CFS
- Improving mental health and general well-being

If you would like to enrol for our ‘Antifatigue Nutrient Program’ do send us your details via the health questionnaire available on our website

Hoping to help you get from fatigued to fit and fantastic soon

Stay blessed with good health …always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Manganese ...from the Greek word for MAGIC

The mineral manganese is a catalyst for enzyme action and synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. It is necessary for the digestion of protein, for glucose regulation and thyroid activity. It is also needed for normal bone formation and development.
Manganese has also been found to increase the activity of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase

Possible signs of deficiency: 
Joint pains
Bursitis, tendonitis
Being prone to injuries
Weak knees
Creaking  or clicking of joints
Weak muscles

Cause of deficiency:
Dietary deficiencies or genetic inheritance is the cause of manganese deficiency.

 Effects of deficiency:
Achy joints are perhaps the most recognised effect of the lack of manganese. Low levels of manganese in the system cause weak ligaments and over the years the body compensates by adding extra calcium to the joints to firm them up and keep them together, causing stiff joints. Deficiency of manganese may also lead to osteoporosis, diabetes and epileptic seizures.

A supplement is advisable only when a manganese deficiency has progressed enough to exhibit some or all of the symptoms above. Otherwise it is readily available from dietary sources.
Supplementation range: 8 to 25 mg daily. Supplements can be used in the treatment of sprains, inflammation, epilepsy and diabetes.

Dietary sources of Manganese

  • Nuts like pistachios, walnuts, cashews, almonds
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Celery
  • Green peas
  • Beetroot
  • Egg yolk
  • Liver
  • Whole grains and bran
  • Legumes
  • Avocado
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Green tea
  • Dark chocolate

Please note : Foods high in phytic acid, such as beans, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and soy products, or foods high in oxalic acid, such as cabbage, spinach, and sweet potatoes, may slightly inhibit manganese absorption. Although teas are rich sources of manganese, the tannins present in tea may moderately reduce the absorption of manganese. Intake of other minerals, including iron, calcium, and phosphorus, have been found to limit retention of manganese.

Do like and share if you benefit from this post

Stay blessed with good health ...always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Thursday, 14 July 2016

What we have been saying all along !!!

The dangers of aluminum toxicity

Aluminum, a non essential metal which we are regularly exposed to, is particularly poisonous to the nervous system. The symptoms of aluminum poisoning include disturbed sleep, nervousness, emotional instability, memory loss, headaches, and impaired intellect.

It can stop the body's ability to digest and make use of calcium, phosphorus and fluoride. This prevents bone growth and reduces bone density. Aluminum can force calcium out of the bones, causing weakness and deformation in the bone structure.

Toxicity can also result in aching muscles, speech problems, anemia, digestive problems, lowered liver function, colic and impaired kidney function.

Sources of Aluminum:

- Over the counter medications like buffered aspirin, aluminum-containing antacids, meds for      diarrhea and hemorrhoids.
- Aluminum can be a component of antiperspirants and douches.
- Food that has been cooked or stored in aluminum pots and aluminum foil. As much as 4 milligrams  of aluminum can be transferred to each serving of an acidic food (tomatoes or citrus fruits) that has  been heated or stored with aluminum.
- Stainless steel cookware (it is made by bonding the stainless steel with layers of aluminum).
- Sodium aluminum phosphates are added to cake mixes, frozen chappati /pizza/paratha dough,  pancake mixes, self-rising flours, processed cheese and cheese foods and beer (in aluminum cans).  One slice of processed cheese can contain 50 mg of aluminum. A cheeseburger may contain one of  the highest aluminum contents of any food.
- Baked goods have approximately 5-15 mg per serving.
- An average sized pickle contains 5 to 10 mg if it has been treated in an alum solution. Alum is a  form of aluminum sulfate that is used in the pickling solution to firm up the cucumbers, gherkins etc.

Nutritional Support:

-The first step in ridding your body of this poison is to avoid aluminum intake as much as possible.
- The next is to provide your body with nutritional support to give it the strength it needs to detoxify  this metal. This support can come from juices made from mint, coriander, turmeric and ginger. Also  increase your intake of sulphur-rich foods (onions, broccoli, kale and garlic), olive and flax seed oil,    fibre-rich foods.

Detoxification Symptoms:

- When aluminum comes out of its stored locations in your body it can act as a muscle irritant. Since  the kidneys handle this detoxification, there may be pain in the back, over the kidneys.
- Since aluminum tends to concentrate itself in the brain, the detoxification process can be  accompanied by mental confusion.
- It can also cause flu-like symptoms with fever, chills and mucous discharge from the nose. Since  nasal discharge will be toxic, spit it out instead of swallowing it.

Reducing Aluminum Exposure:

- Replace aluminum or metal cookware with enamel coated steel cookware.
- Avoid non stick pans…for frying, old-fashioned cast iron works best,
- Do not cook with aluminum foil, and minimize its use for food storage. Never use it to wrap acidic  foods (oranges, lemons, tomatoes, etc.) or cooked food that is still hot.
- Use bamboo steamers instead of metal vegetable steamers.
- Check the labels of all food, medicinal and hygienic products you buy, avoiding those that have  aluminum content.
- Minimize your intake of cheese, particularly processed cheeses.
- Minimize your intake of any baked goods that are not homemade without aluminum additives.

While your body can tolerate low levels of aluminum, you must be sure that the level stays low and does not build up. This requires care and continued monitoring. There are tests such as hair/urine/blood analysis that can be done to help you monitor the aluminum levels in your system.

Stay blessed with good health…always !!!

Warm Regards,

Charmaine D'Souza

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Healthy foods for the monsoon

After the scorching summer heat, the monsoon showers are welcomed by all. They bring down the temperatures, ensure lush greenery everywhere and are a blessing for our farmers and for us :-)

The smell of the wet earth immediately after a heavy downpour conjures up images of a steaming hot cup of pudina chai and yum pakodas…baked, fried or airfried!!!

Eating the right foods this monsoon is very essential because the wrong foods can give you an upset stomach and keep you away from work or school or play.

Here is a list of foods to eat during this season to ensure you stay healthy.

Lentils: Both moong dal and masoor dal are easy to digest. They provide sufficient amounts of protein and calcium and are also a good source of dietary fiber. Pressure cook and then temper these lentils with curry leaves, ajwain, jeera, garlic and juliennes of ginger. You can even cool the cooked lentils and puree them to convert them into a yummy soup!

Soups: Be wary of eating raw salads this season. Instead pressure cook your veggies, puree them, add fresh herbs and tuck into a delicious and heartwarming bowl of soup. To add a twist, grill the veggies esp bell peppers and then make the soup.

Herbal teas and herbal infusions: Bring a litre of water to boil. Add a couple of cloves, a few strands of kesar, 2 green elaichi, 10 mint leaves and 5 tulsi leaves. Steep for 10 minutes and pour into a flask (you can strain out the herbs and spices if you want to) Add a few slices of lemon…your immunity booster is ready! Drink this through the day.

Herbs and spices: In order to boost your immunity and also to enhance digestion, incorporate garlic, ginger, peppercorns, green elaichi, haldi, jeera, tulsi and mint into your regular meals. They have anti-inflammatory properties, keep the flu, colds and coughs at bay and also help in digestion.

Gourds: Up your calcium, magnesium and manganese intake during the rainy season with gourds like bottle gourd or white pumpkin ( doodhi or lauki), red pumpkin ( bhopla), pointed gourd (parwal), snake gourd, bitter gourd (karela), ash gourd (petha), apple gourd ( tinda), ridge gourd ( turia) and zucchini.

Millets: Nachni, jowar and bajra are rich in calcium and iron so add these grains to your rotis, theplas, breads etc to strengthen your immune system and to keep infections away.

Stay blessed with good health…always !!!

Warm Regards,

Charmaine D'Souza

Sunday, 19 June 2016

19th June 2016 – Father's day

“Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue.
Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue”
- Congressman Bill Richardson

If you are a woman reading this, what does a man’s health have to do with you?

Plenty !!! Men’s health issues do not affect only men; they have a significant impact on everyone around them. Generally since women live longer than men, they see their fathers, brothers, husbands and sons suffer or die prematurely. As women, we are in a unique position to be able to help the men in our life stay healthy. We take better care of ourselves and pay better attention to our health than men. Hence it is easier for us to help the men in our lives adopt healthier habits….if they will listen to us and follow our advice ;-)

Warning signs and symptoms:

  •  Changes in bladder habits could indicate bladder and prostate problems while blood in the  urine could indicate kidney problems.
  •  Excessive urination at night could indicate an enlarged prostate gland.
  •  Persistent backaches could indicate bone issues.
  •  Chest pain and pain in the arms and back of the neck could indicate cardiac issues.
  •  A nagging cough, persistent cold, unexplained weight loss, extreme fatigue could indicate  issues of the thyroid or lung or upper respiratory tract.
  •  Unusual lumps, definite changes in the size of warts and moles, rectal bleeding that will not  stop could indicate cancer.
  •  Erectile issues could indicate an underlying health issue like high blood pressure, diabetes or  clogged arteries.
  •  Anxiety, feeling helpless, sad and empty, losing interest in hobbies and pleasurable activities,  finding it difficult to get a good night’s sleep etc could indicate depression.


Besides encouraging the men in your life to exercise regularly, eat healthy food, do monthly self exams (yes men do get breast cancer and testicular cancer), the best thing that you can do is to get them to do regular medical check ups.

For the men reading this post:

  •  Eat a varied diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
  •  Avoid saturated fats and cholesterol-rich food
  •  Exercise
  •  Maintain a healthy weight
  •  Protect yourself from the sun
  •  Drink plenty of water
  •  Limit alcohol intake
  •  Stop smoking
  •  Meet your doctor and be aware of your family health history
  •  If you are over 40 test your prostate specific antigen (PSA) level
  •  Practice safe sex
  •  Wear a seat belt if you drive a car…a helmet if you ride a bike
  •  Manage your stress levels with yoga…meditation etc
  •  Get help asap if you need it

So Happy Father's Day to all the great dads out there…. And most importantly to my husband who is a wonderful dad to my lovely girls…. Stay blessed with good health… always!!!

Warm regards

Charmaine D'Souza

Saturday, 18 June 2016

                               Confusion in the bread shelf

Wheat is the main ingredient used in bread and most of the time it is in the form of refined white flour or bleached flour or maida. White flour is what you get when you strip away the fiber-rich bran and nutrient-rich germ from wheat, leaving only the nutrient-depleted starch. The reason wheat was originally refined and processed into white flour was to extend shelf life and get soft smooth bread.

The table below shows the percentage of nutrients lost when whole wheat flour or atta is refined into white flour:

Protein: 25 percent lost
Fiber: 95 percent lost
Calcium: 56 percent lost
Copper: 62 percent lost
Iron: 84 percent lost
Manganese: 82 percent lost
Phosphorus: 69 percent lost
Potassium: 74 percent lost
Selenium: 52 percent lost
Zinc: 76 percent lost
Vitamin B1: 73 percent lost
Vitamin B2: 81 percent lost
Vitamin B3: 80 percent lost
Vitamin B5: 56 percent lost
Vitamin B6: 87 percent lost
Folate: 59 percent lost
Vitamin E: 95 percent lost

Many people think that when white flour is “enriched” with added vitamins, the nutritional value is restored. But this is far from true, of the twenty-five nutrients that are removed when whole wheat flour is milled into white flour, only five nutrients are chemically replaced when the white flour is enriched.

Whole-grain flour or atta contains the whole kernel, which has three layers — the fibre-rich bran outer layer; the endosperm middle layer; and the germ, the grain’s nutrient-dense embryo. The problem is, bread made from whole-grain flour tastes grainy, and many people don’t like them.

The intake of whole-grains provides protection from several cancers. ..Especially colorectal cancers, hormone-related cancers (breast, prostate, ovarian, and uterine cancer), pancreatic cancer, and other cancers. Apart from this, a diet rich in whole grains can help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Whole grains and refined grains are both high in carbohydrates, but they do not act the same way in the body. White flour, white rice, and other refined grain products are absorbed rapidly into the blood stream, causing rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels. The fibre found in whole grains slows these fluctuations, helps lower cholesterol levels, keeps the digestive tract healthy, and provides many other advantages. Also, whole grains provide important nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin E, and other healthy substances.

Most bread companies add a small amount of whole grains to their enriched refined flour bread and wrongly call it whole wheat/wholegrain bread….misleading consumers who do not read labels. This bread just cannot be as nutritious as real whole grain bread. Consumers need to pay attention to bread labels, which can be misleading. Often, breads with healthy-sounding words like “7 grains,” “cracked wheat” and “multi-grain” on the label are made with bleached flour and brown food coloring rather than healthful whole grains. Some bread packages use terms like “100 percent wheat,” which gives many shoppers the wrong impression they are buying 100 percent whole wheat bread.

And many multigrain varieties contain less than 2 percent of the grains they promise on the front of the package. The key is to look at the ingredient list. If a “whole” grain is not the first ingredient and if it contains any bleached, enriched flour, then it’s not a 100 percent whole-grain bread. Another clue is to look at the fiber content. Most whole-grain breads have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving, although some will have more.

So choose wisely and stay blessed with good health... always 

Warm Regards,

Charmaine D'Souza

Friday, 17 June 2016


Fruits are an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates etc. They help in improving our digestive ability, provide essential nutrients to guard against disease, improve our immunity, decrease high blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and detoxify our body. Hence fruits are an important food group and should be eaten with care or else they can cause health problems instead of health benefits.

Follow these simple rules while eating fruit

Fruits should be eaten on an empty stomach :

Contrary to what you may have heard, eating fruit on an empty stomach CANNOT cause greying of hair or baldness or manic depression or mood swings or dark circles under the eyes or frequent urination or…or…or… !!!

The reason why fruits should be eaten on an empty stomach and not immediately after meals is because fruits contain fructose, a simple sugar which has to be completely absorbed by the body. If however, you choose to eat fruit along with or immediately after a meal, it will stay in your stomach for a long time and rot and ferment in your intestine. This will lead to indigestion, hyperacidity, bloating, gas, burping and general discomfort. So if you have been complaining of burping after eating a slice of watermelon or bloating after eating jackfruit or heartburn after eating an orange, it could be because you are eating fruit too close to eating a main meal.

Eat fruits between breakfast and lunch or between lunch and dinner :

This will prevent the blood sugar spike which normally happens when fruit is eaten immediately after a meal. It will also prevent you from eating unhealthy snacks in between main meals. Aim to eat fruit at least an hour before a main meal…the digestive enzymes from the fruit will aid in the digestion of your breakfast, lunch or dinner. Else eat fruit 2-3 hours after breakfast or lunch in order to prevent fruit from mixing with partially digested food and causing intestinal gas.

Avoid eating fruits immediately after dinner or at bedtime : 

Most people say they eat fruit after dinner to curb sweet cravings and to prevent them from reaching out to that bowl of icecream or that bar of chocolate. However the sugar in fruit can cause energy levels to spike at night and prevent you from getting good sleep at night.

Limit your intake of dried fruit :

Dates, raisins, prunes, dried figs, dried apricots etc are all excellent for the body…when eaten in small amounts. They provide a concentrated form of sugar and can be very addictive. Sulphur dioxide is used to preserve dried fruit and it can be harmful to asthmatics and those people with respiratory problems. Opt for freeze-dried fruits instead or eat fresh fruit.

Fruits like oranges, strawberries and sweet limes do not cause heartburn :

In fact when we consume acidic fruits, the body produces more alkalis to neutralize the pH and these fruits become alkaline in the body.

Eating a whole fruit is much better than drinking fruit juice : 

Eat freshly cut fruit to enjoy the benefits of vitamins, minerals and the fiber that the fruit provides. It will also provide the body with lesser sugar than that provided from a glass of juice which uses a minimum of 4 fruits. If however you are craving for a glass of fruit juice the opt for one which is freshly extracted and not strained.

Avoid eating cooked fruit : 

Heating or cooking fruit destroys its vitamin content. The vitamin C in fruits is so heat-sensitive that simple cutting a guava for eg and leaving it on your table for an hour will reduce its vitamin C content.

So delve into that fruit bowl to feel energized, look radiant and to stay in shape.

Stay blessed with good health…always !!!

Warm Regards,

Charmaine D'Souza