As the times of festivities approach, especially in Indian subcontinent and also the world over, various delicacies are planned. Especially the various desserts and prominent among them besides the conventional and regional-specific is various fruit laced preparations like fruit salad!

And speaking about fruits, I am routinely asked one question, “when is the best time to eat a fruit?”

Some also tell me that when they eat fruits, they suffer heaviness or even acidity.

On the other hand, the social media is always abuzz with some ‘free advice’ on matters of health.

But then today I am going to highlight how fruits should NOT be eaten and what Ayurveda  maintains…

Fruits are recommended for eating separately. Ideally there should be at least 45 minutes gap between eating a fruit and eating some other food. This applies to people of robust health. Older people, people suffering from ailments, even minor, should enhance this gap to avoid further complications. While some fruits can be eaten as a snack all day long, some  shouldn’t be eaten in the evening onwards at all.

We all know however, the most suitable time to have a fruit is morning: it should be the first food of the day and eaten on an empty stomach. This way it’s processed easily and empties the stomach for the next food. It’s not recommended to eat fruits for dessert as they start fermenting in the stomach while waiting for their turn to be assimilated. While many experts insist that there is no such thing as assimilation,  I personally would not recommend it. While the young and healthy ones may not feel much of the difference, the ailing and the elderly or the weak ones would definitely complain of acidity or gases.

secondly, contrary to belief and practice fruits DO NOT mix with a variety of foods…

  • Fruits other mangoes NEVER mix with milk or milk products
  • Never mix fruits with meats & fish ( I am aware that fruits like mangoes, pomegranates are routinely used with poultry or even fish in many parts of India and overseas)
  • When it is eaten with (or after) heavier foods, it generally stays in the stomach for too long, & is “overcooked” by our digestive juices and begins to ferment (think a bucket of ripe fruit sitting in the sun)
  • From an Ayurvedic perspective, it is taught that fruit also combines poorly with certain vegetables

The inappropriate consumption of fruit is a pretty significant contributor in our diets. We get it wrong all the time, several meals a day, seven days a week! How wrong?

We have strawberries on cereal with milk; bananas on oats porridge; raspberries and ice cream on pancakes; cheese and apple snacks; fruit-filled yoghurts; banana smoothies; fruit juices with meals; fruit salads with cream after meals; and fruit platters with cheese at parties. If you think about it, when we eat fruit or fruit juice, we nearly always combine it with other foods, particularly heavier foods like dairy products and grains. From an Ayurvedic perspective, these smoothies, along with fruit/veggie juice combinations, are also confusing to the digestive fire and will result in indigestion and the production of ‘Ama’.

Conclusively, t he secret to healthy fruit eating is to keep it simple. Favour fruits that are local and in-season. Eat fruits whole, one at a time instead of complex, extravagant salads, juices or smoothies. This will ensure you don’t eat too much. It will also help you to get to know your fruit better. When you eat fruit on its own you can genuinely distinguish how each fruit tastes and feels in your belly, unadulterated. And, as you gently feel into the tastes and their effect on you, you can prepare fruits in different ways to make them more appropriate for your constitution – sprinkling desiccated coconut and cardamom over a banana, stewing apples and pears with cloves and cinnamon, squeezing a little lime over papaya etc.


But really, the most important thing is to enjoy your fruit eating – treat fruit as a treat! Savour each delicious morsel with mindfulness and gratitude, enjoying the sheer beauty of the experience. No fructose-guilt allowed!

Stay healthy, stay blessed!

Dr. Manjiri Joshi






milk III


In my second blog I discussed different types of milk and its advantages and their respective properties. I also touched upon varying views about its consumption. This time I bring to you a few views that explain why milk becomes intolerable to a few…

Like in every field even here also we have two schools of thought. One that propagates consuming milk in the morning if you are the body building type or are involved in extreme physical work. To get even more benefits, one can have it with energy boosting tonics like Ashwagandha. While the other thought maintains that milk consumed in the morning, becomes quite heavy to digest. It also makes you lethargic. People who drink milk right in the morning often complain of having acidity. We generally do not recommend milk in the morning to patients above 5 years.

It is also an absolute ‘NO-NO’ to have salty foods along with milk. In many parts of India it is quite customary to have a milk-mixed-tea post breakfast. And the breakfast which usually contains salt. My patients also tell me that they have been having their milk teas immediately after such salty breakfasts for ages and nothing is wrong. WRONG! such practice always begins with a bit of heaviness and ends up with acidity induced ailments.


Milk should be organic, whole and non-homogenized. Homogenized milk is very difficult to digest. It is also possible that the milk that is not certified as organic may contain rBGH. This is a hormone that artificially increases milk production in the cow. The only way we know to avoid rBGH is to purchase organic milk, avoiding milk & milk products that may have come from cows injected with this hormone.

Many patients tell me that they are allergic to milk which broadly means that they are lactose intolerant. While it is true that most people show their intolerance to lactose early in life, people can also get it in their teenage years or even in adulthood. Lactose intolerance is caused by a deficiency in the enzyme lactase in the inner lining of the GI wall. Since the GI track cannot absorb lactose whole (it must be broken down), it stays in the gut. This causes water to move into the gut which results in diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Most people with lactose intolerance have their symptoms when they consume lactose containing foods too.

Ayurveda recommends against the following combinations with milk:

  • Milk + Sour Buttermilk: This will result in curdling in the digestive tract and will be more difficult to digest
  • Milk + Meat
  • Milk + Fish
  • Milk + Sprouted Grains
  • Milk + Yeast: increases Pitta
  • Milk + Radish: Radish is pungent (ushna virya) and milk is sweet (sheet virya)& that is why the two do not mix well
  • Garlic + Milk: The exception is Garlic Milk (follow Ayurved recommended recipe given at the end of this blog)
  • Milk + Holy Basil
  • Milk + Sour Fruits
  • Milk + Citrus Fruits: The acidity of the citrus will cause curdling of the milk in the stomach and make it harder to digest
  • Milk + Fruit Juice: Most juices will cause milk to separate and agglutinate, making it hard to absorb and digest.

To make Garlic Milk:

  • Crush 4-8 cloves of garlic and place in a clean muslin cloth pouch
  • Mix ½ cup of milk and ½ cup of water in a clean vessel or saucepan
  • Place the pouch into the milk-and-water mixture
  • Boil & reduce the mixture until only ½ cup remains while stirring occasionally
  • Squeeze the milk out of the pouch and allow it to cool to lukewarm before drinking

I am sure that by now you have a fairly good idea as to how to select the right kind of milk and reap the benefits! In case you still have any doubts, you can always visit my clinic.



milk part II

In my last blog I gave you an overview of milk and milk types as well as general indications for
making milk consumption conducive for us. Let us now take it a little forward…
Ayurveda strongly recommends having milk in the evening or night time for its incredible digestive
properties. In addition to its many health and beauty benefits, drinking milk, promotes Ojas. Apart
from this, milk is packed with calcium and due to the low activity levels in the night, calcium is easily
absorbed by the body. The high protein content may also prove beneficial for those who are trying
to gain body mass, as during night the wear and tear is the least.
Milk also has sedative properties, so drinking milk before bedtime may also help you calm down and
the serotonin content in the milk will help in inducing a good and sound sleep.
Several nutritionists have raised their concern on drinking or eating anything too close to bed time
as it prevents the brain to power down by providing energy when the body is preparing to relax. But
Ayurveda for the longest time has espoused the idea of having milk during the night for its digestive
and sedative properties. You may want to have your glass of milk late in the evening to be on a safer
side. Either way, you must never miss out on having this most amazing beverage.
If you have trouble digesting milk and have not consumed it for a while, then it is recommended that
you start again gradually to help your body get used to it. You may begin with just ⅛ of a cup of the
boiled milk with dry ginger. Then gradually increase the amount to about a cup over a ten-day
Cow milk has ten inherent properties namely, Shita (Cool), Mridu (Soft), Snigdha (Unctuous), Bahala
(thick), Picchila (Viscous), Guru (Heavy), Manda (Mild), Prasanna (Pleasant) and Madhura (Sweet),
which are also attributed to Ojas (Essence of all the tissues). Since ojas is responsible for the vitality
and immunity, cow milk is thus said to improve general health status.
Ayurveda suggests that :
 All types of milk except human breast milk should be boiled before use as raw milk is heavy
to digest
 Excessively boiled milk is too heavy, so should be occasionally used with due consideration
of the Agni
 Milk boiled with half volume of water, when taken lukewarm is like nectar
 The milk obtained in the morning is heavier because the animal has had minimal physical
activity in night, whereas the milk obtained in the evening is comparatively lighter due to the
physical activity of the animal during the day
 Discard milk having sour taste, foul smell and abnormal colour
 Milk should never be used with salt.
Cow’s Milk Among Indian breeds of cows, there are about 50 varieties. The milk of those cows is considered to be the best who graze in the forest on several types of vegetation and medicinal herbs. The milk of such cows is the best and considered as heavenly nectar. Properties of Cow’s milk 

Cow’s milk is sweet, oily, heavy, cool and nourishing

 It calms Vata and Pitta dosha

 The milk from a young cow is sweet, rejuvenating, nourishing and pacifies all three doshas

 Similarly, milk from a black cow calms Vata dosha and is better in quality than milk from a yellow or white cow. Advantages of Cow’s milk

 Cow’s milk boosts the strength and intellect.

 It improves lactation in nursing mothers and strengthen the life-force.

 It is beneficial in cough, chest injuries, chronic fever, internal bleeding and other ailments.

Buffalo Milk Buffalo milk is very white and pleasantly smooth. It has higher total solid fat content than cow’s milk. It has more creamy texture and is very thick.

Properties of Buffalo milk

Buffalo milk is much cooler, heavier and more oily than cow’s milk.

Advantages of Buffalo’s milk

 It is very good for people with sharp or ‘burning’ digestive fire

 Buffalo milk is considered as one of the best sedative for people suffering from insomnia

 Buffalo milk contains a large quantity of fat compared to cow’s milk


 It increases Vata, accumulates in the strotas and causes blockages.

Goat Milk Goat milk is not widely used as cow and buffalo milk but it is also used medicinally. It is easy to digest and very beneficial for infants and patients. Although in many parts of rural India as well as the middle eastern Asian countries goat milk is quite the norm.

Properties of Goat milk

 It is sweet with an astringent flavour, cool and light in attributes.

 It is anti-diarrheal and absorbs water from the intestines. Due to this property, it is called ‘grahi‘ in Ayurveda.
Advantages of Goat milk
 It boosts digestion by increasing digestive fire and strengthens the appetite
 Goat milk is very beneficial in tuberculosis, fever, bronchial asthma, internal bleeding, cough

Caution: It is always advisable to consult your physician before starting a milk relevant dietary
plan since the type of milk and the timing of taking milk may create health problems




milk part I



Milk has been a part of our nutrition since time immemorial. Rich in nutrients, milk in its various forms has a long, long history…

Thousands of years ago when nomadic societies began settling down humans’ ingenuity led to domesticating certain animals and among these animals were the milking animals! Naturally then, these animals were considered something as a privilege of a very chosen few. In ancient Egypt milk and other dairy products were reserved for royalty, priests and the very wealthy. In ancient Egypt, By the 5th century AD, cows and sheep in Europe were prized for their milk. By the 14th century, cow’s milk became more popular than sheep’s milk.


Louis Pasteur, a French microbiologist, conducted the first pasteurization tests in 1862. Pasteur is credited with revolutionizing the safety of milk and in turn, the ability to store and distribute milk well beyond the farm. Commercial pasteurization machines were introduced in 1895.


The Ayurvedic View on Drinking Milk

According to ayurveda, milk provides special and unique nutrition that cannot be derived from any other type of food. Milk, when digested properly, nourishes all the tissues, promotes balanced emotions, and helps to balance all the doshas. It is one of the most important foods to promote ojas.

According to ayurveda, ojas is a refined substance the body produces from the most subtle level of proper digestion. Ojas brings strength, strong immunity, happiness, and contentment, according to ayurveda. Therefore, milk is a very important food to include regularly in one’s diet, especially if you follow a vegetarian lifestyle.

What Ayurved says about milk:

  • The milk is best when it is fresh
  • Ayurved says that the ‘Dharoshna’ milk that is the milk which is freshly collected from the animal, is the best but it is very heavy for digestion and can be consumed by the people who have strong digestive fire
  • It is healthy and provides energy to the body

Dr. Manjiri Joshi








Ayurved mentions about 8 types of milk which are considered ideal for human consumption

  • Cow
  • Buffalo
  • Goat
  • Donkey
  • Sheep
  • Elephant
  • One horned animals
  • breast fed


Ayurved further highlights that…

  • Out of these 8 types the cow’s milk is best to drink in the morning
  • Buffalo milk is good at night
  • The fresh milk is more heavy for digestion than the boiled milk


In order to digest milk properly, avoid drinking cold milk straight out of the refrigerator. Milk should be boiled. Heating the milk changes its molecular structure so it is much easier for human consumption, and it reduces Kapha, making it lighter to digest. While cooking it, you may add a pinch of ground turmeric, a pinch of ground black pepper, a cinnamon stick, or a few pinches of ginger to reduce the heaviness of the milk and reduce any mucus-causing side effect.

I am sure now that you have got the basics about Milk right. In my next blog in the milk series I shall elaborate more.

rice II

In my last blog I explained everything about the architecture of rice and the difference between white rice and brown rice.
Today I am presenting to you the advantages of brown rice and the glaring disadvantages of eating white rice…
Brown rice is high in magnesium and fiber, both of which help control blood sugar levels.Research suggests that regularly eating whole grains, like brown rice, helps lower blood sugar levels and decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes In one study, women who frequently ate whole grains, had a 31% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who ate the fewest whole grains.
Simply replacing white rice with brown has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
On the other hand, high consumption of white rice has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes. This may be due to its high glycemic index (GI), which measures how quickly a food increases blood sugar.
Brown rice has a GI of 50 and white rice has a GI of 89, meaning that white increases blood sugar levels much faster than brown. Eating high-GI foods has been associated with several health conditions, including type 2 diabetes.
Heart disease:
Brown rice contains lignans, plant compounds that can help protect against heart disease. Lignans have been shown to reduce the amount of fat in the blood, lower blood pressure and decrease inflammation in the arteries.
Studies suggest that eating brown rice helps reduce several risk factors for heart disease.
An analysis of 45 studies found that people who ate the most whole grains, including brown rice,
had a 16–21% lower risk of heart disease compared to people who ate the fewest whole grains.
An analysis of 285,000 men and women found that eating an average of 2.5 servings of whole-grain
foods each day may lower heart disease risk by almost 25%. Whole grains like brown rice may also
lower total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Brown rice has even been linked to an increase in HDL
(“good”) cholesterol.
The bran of brown rice contains many powerful antioxidants. Studies show that due to their
antioxidant levels, whole grains like brown rice can help prevent chronic diseases like heart disease,
cancer and type 2 diabetes. Studies also show that brown rice can help increase blood antioxidant
levels in obese women.
In addition, a recent animal study suggests that eating white rice may decrease blood antioxidant
levels in type 2 diabetics.
Weight Control
Eating brown rice instead of white may also significantly reduce weight, body mass index (BMI) and
circumference of the waist and hips.
One study collected data on 29,683 adults and 15,280 children. The researchers found that the more
whole grains people ate, the lower their body weight was.
In another study, researchers followed more than 74,000 women for 12 years and found that
women who consumed more whole grains consistently weighed less than women who consumed
fewer whole grains.Additionally, a randomized controlled trial in 40 overweight and obese women
found that brown rice reduced body weight and waist size compared to white rice.
However, please don’t get this wrong…But either type of rice can be a part of a healthy diet and there is nothing wrong
with a few morsels of white rice now & then!

Dr. Manjiri Joshi


white rice


In this series  of five ‘W’s here is the next culprit. But before I elaborate the why of it, let us first take a hard look at Rice.

Rice is one of the most consumed grains in the world, second only to wheat. It serves as a staple food for many people, especially those living in Asia. Rice comes in several colors, shapes and sizes, but the most popular are white and brown rice. White rice is the most commonly consumed type, but brown rice is widely recognized as a healthier option. quite a few people prefer brown rice for this reason.

Did you know that each grain of rice is comprised of many components, from the hull to the germ?

Hull: When rice is first harvested, it has a tough protective husk known as the hull. This outer shell has two components: the outer part of the hull, “lemma,” and the inner segment of the shell, “palea.” The hull is indigestible, due to the opaline silica, which is a hydrated form of silica, The bottom part of the rice brain is called the rudimentary glume, and it attaches the grain to the hull. Both the hull and the glume are the first to be discarded during the shucking process.

Bran: Once the hull is removed, the rice grain becomes brown rice, which is the seed plus the bran layer. The bran layer is edible and is very nutritious, containing high levels of antioxidants. Other nutrients include high levels of protein, iron and the vitamin Bs. Rice bran is also noted for its fiber, as it can be used to enrich breakfast cereals and breads. Once this layer is discarded, the final milled white rice grain is less nutritious.

Seed: The rice’s seed is comprised of the embryo and endosperm. The embryo, also known as the germ, is the reproductive part of the rice. The endosperm is the actual part labeled white rice.

The difference between Brown and White Rice

All rice consists almost entirely of carbs, with small amounts of protein and practically no fat. Brown rice is a whole grain. That means it contains all parts of the grain — including the fibrous bran, the nutritious germ and the carb-rich endosperm. These provide fiber and several vitamins and minerals. White rice is a refined grain that has had the bran and germs –  the nutritious parts removed making it less nutritious. This  is why brown rice is usually considered much healthier than white.




Brown Rice is Higher in Fiber, Vitamins and Minerals:

  • Brown rice has a big advantage over white rice when it comes to nutrient content.
  • Brown rice has more fiber and antioxidants, as well as a lot more important vitamins and minerals.
  • White rice is mostly a source of “empty” calories and carbs with very few essential nutrients.
  • 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of cooked brown rice provide 1.8 grams of fiber, whereas 100 grams of white provide only 0.4 grams of fiber .

The list below shows a comparison of other vitamins and minerals:

Brown (RDI) White (RDI)
Thiamine 6% 1%
Niacin 8% 2%
Vitamin B6 7% 5%
Manganese 45% 24%
Magnesium 11% 3%
Phosphorus 8% 4%
Iron 2% 1%
Zinc 4% 3%


Brown rice is much higher in nutrients than white rice. This includes fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

In my next blog to come, I shall explain how white rice affects human health…




salt II

In my last blog I began a discussion on SALT as the nemesis of health and I explained the properties of refined salt that make it dangerous for human health.
Now first let’s know more about unrefined salt…..
Unrefined natural salt, naturally harvested and dried in the sun, contains a wealth of trace minerals and electrolytes. Our body needs only small amounts of these nutrients, but they are still absolutely vital for a variety of functions in the body. In fact, they are key players in enzyme production as well as immune system, adrenal and thyroid function.
Unrefined salt allows the body to achieve a balance of water both inside and outside cells. With adequate natural sodium and pure water, conditions like gout, muscle cramps, water retention and oedema often disappear.
Unrefined salt is a whole food product which is easily utilized by the body.
It is important that we eliminate sources of refined salt (table salt and processed foods) and start consuming unrefined natural salt, which contains 80+ trace minerals. True unrefined salt should contain different speckles of colour; the different speckles are the trace minerals in the salt.
Although an active stance can be taken to control refined salt, you’d be surprised to know that the majority of irresistible treats contains salt. If you don’t believe me, next time you’re at the groceries look at the first few ingredients and I can guarantee salt/sodium – the refined kind is one of the top 3 ingredients. Restaurants, bakeries and manufactured food alike all contain refined salt which makes it increasingly hard to escape this phenomenon.
Here are some more interesting facts about unrefined salt
 The magnesium and sodium stabilize/regulate heart beat
 Acts as a calmative for the nervous system
 Contain iodine – good for reducing mental retardation and iodine is absorbed in the thyroid/regulates endocrine system
 Supports muscular function
 Boost the immune system
 strengthen bone eliminating brittle bones and osteoporosis
 superb at holding the bodies water/regulating water retention
Now let me tell you, what Ayurved comments on salt….
Saindhava lavana or rock salt is considered the best among all salts. It is the advised for daily use. Its
qualities, usage and health benefits are quite different from regular salt which are…
It is of two varieties –
1. Shweta Saindhava – (white in colour)
2. Rakta Saindhava – (Red in colour)
Anyone of these can be regularly used in the name of Rock salt.
Chemical composition:
Sodium chloride is the major ingredient making up to 98 %. It contains many useful minerals and
elements. It also contains Iodine, Lithium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Chromium, Manganese,
Iron, Zinc, Strontium, etc.
Qualities of Saindhava lavana:
Taste: Salty, slightly sweet
Potency: Cold
Qualities: Light, Unctuous,
Effect on Tridosha: We have learnt that salt taste usually increases Pitta, but Saindhava Lavana, being
cold in potency helps to balance Pitta. Because of its Salt taste, it balances Vata and
It helps to relieve chest congestion due to sputum accumulation, because it also relieves Kapha.
Hence it is one of the rare Ayurvedic substance that balances all the three Doshas.
Rock salt uses:
As per Charaka, it is one of those ingredients, that can be taken on daily basis. (Pathya). (Reference: Charaka
Samhita Sutrasthana 5/12)
Rochana : improves taste
Dipana : improves digestion strength
Vrushya: acts as aphrodisiac
Chakshushya: good for eyes, helps to relieve infection
Aviidahi: (unlike regular salts), Saindhava Lavana does not cause burning sensation.
Hrudya: good for heart
Hikkanashana: useful in hiccups
Rock salt is very commonly and necessarily used in many of the panchkarma treatments, because of its
properties. It is used in many oil preparations to reduce the joint stiffness.
It is used in basti treatments, in many type of fomentation and even useful in vaman procedure.
It has numerous benefits on many systems in the body.
For example it’s very beneficial to improve digestion, it is good for obesity patients. It is good to relieve
the constipation and bloating. It helps reduce the chest congestion.
Rock salt side effects:
 It is not indicated in people with high blood pressure, oedema and water retention.
In very high doses, it may increase blood pressure.
 Rock salt contains Iodine. Hence no need of other Iodine sources.
Curd, Banana, milk, pineapple, Strawberry, cheese, potato, egg, fish, are other sources of Iodine.
Now I am sure that most of you will definitely switch to the rock salt and enjoy your food and health as

Dr. Manjiri Joshi9403360452

refined salt

REFINED SALT…Yet another nemesis of good health
Whenever it comes to drawing room discussions about health yet another food becomes the victim of misunderstanding…SALT!
As much as we may vilify salt, our bodies are actually designed to fortified sodium. Salt is necessary for human growth and development. The minerals are essential for the nerves and muscles throughout our body to function properly and also assist with regulating the body’s fluid and metabolism. Ultimately, without sodium in our diets, the body would become seriously imbalanced, creating a cycle of internal toxicity.
Every cell in the body requires salt, and countless functions depend on salt including everything from blood sugar regulation to bone density to circulatory health. And because we lose salt constantly during the day through urine and perspiration, it’s important that we replenish it. It’s merely a case of understanding the difference between refined salt verses unrefined salt.
Of course, it’s counterproductive to try and replace lost sodium with commercial table salt because it’s a refined and incomplete product.
Instead, choose a high-quality unrefined salt that can naturally replenish the sodium, trace minerals and electrolytes your body needs.
Here, first of all let me clear one thing to all my readers, “REFINED SALT is completely unhealthy and UNREFINED SALT in recommended dosage is absolutely vital for the body”.
Now the question is what is the difference between refined and unrefined salt?
Refined salt is nothing but sodium chloride, which has harmful side effects on the human body.
This salt is typically full of additives, fluoride, anti-caking agents, excessive amounts of potassium iodide and other poisons. Many versions of commercial salt also contain Aluminium derivatives, which are known to be highly toxic. These additives can cause discoloration in salt, so bleaching agents are then used to restore the desirable white colour.
Refined salt causes imbalances of fluid throughout the body and puts a great deal of strain on the elimination systems. It ends up being much more than just sodium and chloride.
Many processed or junk foods that contain salt also do not have the added iodine.
In short, refined salt is our greatest nemesis, due to the fact that it is processed and bleached, destroying all the natural occurring minerals. With this kind of processing, it’s no wonder then that refined commercial salt is causing so many health problems! Unfortunately, the key differences between
refined salt and unrefined salt are not yet widely recognized, so the general assumption is that all salts
are bad and that is definitely not the case!
Salt makes your body hold on to water. If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body
increases your blood pressure. The more you eat salt, the higher your blood pressure will be. In India 1
in 3 adult are affected by high BP and majority of them are not aware of it. Therefore, it is
recommended to follow low-salt diet. Refined salt increases a greater risk of high blood pressure
(caused by water retention), type 2 diabetes, stroke and other associated cardiovascular diseases.
According to the World Health Organization, an average adult should consume a maximum of just 2gms
of sodium a day (the amount present in less than 1 teaspoon of salt!). Although salt has been doled a
bad reputation in recent years, you might be surprised to hear that traditional cultures greatly valued
natural salt and would go to great lengths to procure it.
It’s very interesting to know, what Ayurved has mentioned on consumption and qualities of salt. But
then, let’s take a look at that in the next blog!

Dr. Manjiri Joshi


refined sugar

In my last blog I wrote about the ill effects of white floor. I was really happy to have received the kind of response that I did. Many of my readers have asked me to elaborate on the 5 whites, while many others wrote to me asking for dietary guidelines and some even requested me to advice on diets for specific medical conditions.
Today I am sharing the ill effects about another culprit ….the refined white sugar!!!
At the outset, it is very important to make the distinction between added sugars and sugars that occur naturally in foods like fruits and vegetables. Here I am talking about the added sugar or refined sugar.
The white sugar is nothing but a chemical substance, which undergoes several chemical processes which is derived from extracts of plants such as sugar cane, beet or corn. The whole chemical process, almost completely removes all fiber forming protein and 90 % of the healthy nutrients. The process further kills all vitamins and finally it undergoes a chemical treatment with calcium sulphate and sulphuric acid bleaching, to give a sugar white shining look.
Naturally then the refined sugar has no proteins, vitamins, minerals, it has no enzymes, no micro elements, it has no fibre, no fat. Before sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it is broken down into two simple sugars: glucose and fructose. For people who are inactive, large amounts of fructose from added sugars get turned into fat in the liver. Because of the harmful effects of sugar on the function of insulin, it leads to type II diabetes. Needless to say, It can have harmful effects on metabolism and contribute to all sorts of diseases like Cancer, type 2 diabetes, Overweight/Obesity, Liver diseases. Ayurved has described in detail a wide spectrum of sugars and their individual properties. Vagbhata has summarized the properties common to all varieties of sugar and further elaborated that all types of sugars treat burning sensation, thirst, vomiting, fainting spells and bleeding disorders. So according to Ayurved, a certain amount of sugar intake on daily basis is essential for the human body. Ayurved also at the same time, warns against excess use for it leads to diseases like diabetes, obesity, increase in kapha. But it’s important to note that there is no need for added sugars in the diet.
Ayurved also mentions about the other sweetener than sugar. They have recommended the use of jiggery, honey and roots of some herbs as substitute to the sugar. What is important here is to understand that while sugar is absolutely vital for the human body however the required amounts of sugar can be obtained through fruits and certain roots or vegetables if you are consciously following a balanced diet. While for many people cutting sugar so drastically may not be easy, I suggest that you do that gradually or at least avoid the following foods totally:
 Soft drinks: Sugar-sweetened beverages known culprits
 Fruit juices: This may surprise you, but fruit juices actually contain the same amount of sugar as soft drinks!
 Candies and sweets
 Baked goods: Cookies, cakes, etc. These tend to be very high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.
 Fruits canned in syrup: loaded with added sugars so best to choose fresh fruits instead.
 Low-fat or diet foods: Foods with fat removed from them are high in sugar

 Dried fruits

So conclusively, what I would recommend is that you all begin consciously controlling your extra sugar intake to possibly bring it to zero. But if that sounds like climbing mount Everest without help, then at least bring it to moderation and of course based on the advice of your physician who will recommend the optimum amount of sugar intake and the kind of foods to have to obtain that required sugar you need, based on your physical condition and other parameters.

Dr. Manjiri joshi


white flour the culprit

The other day one of my overseas patients called to tell me that she is putting on weight and wanted me to advice her how she could effectively lose weight and stay fit.

I routinely come across a number of such patients, especially females who are trying to lose a few kilos or in some cases, struggling to control their blood sugar levels.

Every time, I inquire about their diets, they all tell me that they are very careful about oily food, calorie intake, fibre intake and yet their bodies are not responding to achieve the targets of weight loss or reduction in sugar levels…

While taking a detailed diet history of this particular overseas patient, I realised that like any other westerner, her diet also consisted mainly of bread and other bakery products. And I found the culprit… white flour!

So instead of suggesting any medication to begin with, I asked her to completely ban food made of white flour from her diet and also suggested a wholesome diet.

And guess what… She started showing a decline in weight in just one week! This inspired her to follow through on the diet that I had subsequently recommended. By the end of the 6th week, with just simple dietary fine tuning, along with a complete ban on white flour including white bread and bakery items like cake, pastries, pizza, burger, etc. she lost 4 kilos!

White flour is said to have a higher glycemic index compared to wheat flour and tends to mess with the sugar and insulin levels and ultimately becomes a nasty barrier in controlling obesity and diabetes. But on the other hand banning it completely or at least minimising the consumption also has shown fantastic results in controlling obesity and diabetes.

Did you know that the whole wheat flour is rich in dietary fibre content when compared to Maida? The Dietary fibres in whole wheat flour increase the weight of faeces and soften it. Due to which it helps in the easy movement of the faeces in the intestinal tract with fewer strains, preventing the problem of constipation. In addition to this, the fibre also acts as food for the intestinal flora and promotes pro-biotic growth leading to a healthy bowel system. Above all, it helps in controlling the sugar levels as the fibre slows down the release of sugar from the food. Further, the fibre not only acts on sugar but also lowers LDL-Cholesterol levels.

Very few people know how ‘Maida’, the white floor is made. Maidaa is basically a finely milled, refined and bleached wheat flour . It is either naturally bleached due to atmospheric oxygen or using chemical bleaches.

Maida is made from the endosperm (the starchy white part) of the grain. The bran is separated from the germ and endosperm which is then refined. Originally yellowish due to pigments present in wheat, Maida is bleached with any of a number of flour bleaching agents.

Flour bleaching agents are food additives added to flour in order to make it appear whiter and to oxidize the surfaces of the flour grains and help with developing of gluten.
Usual agents are:
 Organic peroxides namely
 Calcium peroxide
 Chlorine
 NO2
 Chlorine dioxide
 Azodicarbanamide or,
 Atmospheric oxygen used during natural aging of flour

Maida has a multifarious range of side effects on the human body. Some of the problems caused by this slow poison are:  Increase in Blood Glucose Level  Inflammatory disease like Arthritis  Increased cravings leading to weight gain  Intestinal Bloating  Intolerances and food allergies  Imbalance in the acidity and alkalinity within the body.
So to conclude, I must say this… In the current life style we can’t completely avoid all these foods which according to numerous health surveys are the root causes of most of the ailments. Maida is one of the major villains that cause most of the diseases. So try to avoid bakery products and also make sure that you go for routine checkups and exercise regularly.

Dr. Manjiri Joshi

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