Here is a transcript of the entire conversation around immunity with our guest expert. Do read or click to listen, to get some invaluable advice and tips on how to build your immunity, naturally.
This week, Conversation with OZiva is excited to welcome Manasa Rajan. She is a nutritionist and a health coach, who has paved a healthy way for many people across the globe.
Our host for this episode is Nishi Joshi. She is a licenced Queer affirmative Psychotherapist with her expertise in Body-based/Movement Psychotherapy.
To watch the video
Questions asked during the conversation:
1. Top three home made immunity builders?
2. biggest myth about nutrition that you have had to address?
3. what should one never give up on as a food item?
Know more about Manasa Rajan:
Manasa Rajan on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/manasarajan/
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Host: Hello my Health Hustlers, the OZiva Be Bettr Video Podcast welcomes you all to yet another health-charged episode. Here we encourage you to take the first step towards a healthier, better tomorrow.
Well, the importance of health has come under the limelight once again, especially during the ongoing pandemic. So here I am, Nishi, your host and dost and today we will talk about nutrition and immunity during the pandemic.
Let’s promise to Be Bettr shall we?
Coronavirus ne humme hamari immunity ki importance ki yaad dila hi di hai. Our mothers have been reminding us to have (haldi wala doodh) turmeric milk since we were toddlers. Now according to them these boosters give us the power to fight the germs and the illnesses.
Aur ye ladne ki shakti hi toh hamari Immunity hai! Dadi nani ke nuske, haldi wala garam paani, ya ghar ka kadha have come quite handy these days, haven’t they?
Doctors too, across the world, have repeatedly emphasised on the need to boost our immunity during this pandemic.
Now to talk about the hows and the whys of immunity, we have with us, none other than Manasa Rajan. She is a nutritionist and a health coach, who has paved a healthy way for many people across the globe.
Host : So Manasa, shuru se shuru karte hain. Have you always been health-conscious or was that a particular incident that changed your perspective on health for you?
Manasa – Thank you, that’s an interesting question. So I think I have always thought about health because I grew up in a family where my father is a doctor and my mother is very aware about food and nutrition and as a family we have been very disciplined in the sense that it was always about playing sports and eating your food and vegetables, but it’s only later when I became a mother and I have this renewed sense of awareness about my own health and also how I could impact my daughter’s health through food choices, through, how to improve her immunity and especially as a younger child. I think that was the real shift in my journey, and to discover health in this new way, was, it happened when I became a mother.
Host : Wow how lovely, thank you for sharing that, you know and again talking about immunity building, another question that comes to us is what role does nutrition play for you at this time when we are becoming more and more conscious about our food choices, health choices, the kind of intake we are offering to our body? Especially plant based nutrition?
Manasa – So, it’s extremely extremely important to me, you know, food is a decision we make at least 3 times in a day, unlike anything else say if we workout, it’s once a day – few times in a week, but food is a necessity, it’s nourishment and it’s an opportunity with each bite. If with each bite we can eat something that nourishes us impacts our health in a positive way, at cellular level it adds to value then it’s such a huge tool for us to really change our health, so, you know, I believe that and not to say that you know, food is also not you know, its everything it’s a cultural way it’s a social point to meet people to share bread as they say, all of those things aside, food first contributes to your health to your life and to that nourishment so if 80%-90% of our food decisions are healthy Clean plant based whole foods then they can really impact the quality of our life and when its our immunity, maybe we can prevent chronic disease.
Host: Thank you for wording it so well and really talking about you know, the role of nutrition and like you said to make that choice at least 3 times a day when we eat something, and you know in this time especially during the pandemic we all come across lots of these health sermons or recipes, that we find on facebook or WhatsApp and especially during covid right … So I wanted to really ask you, what is your take on how to build immunity? And What are the do’s and don’ts of immunity building?
Manasa – Yeah, and, you know, I really want to just, kind of nod to that in the way that it’s a unfortunate reason that has created this awareness but at the same time it has created the awareness for a lot of people on what they eat and how it impacts their health which is a positive thing that has come out of all of this, the way people move their bodies or they think about spices for immunity so ya, so I think immunity is a very complex process, every decision that we take impacts our immunity, how well we have slept whether the quality, and the number of hours we have slept is enough, how stressed we are, you know, in our personal lives with work or with personal things, that stress and anxiety can also impact our immunity negatively and food is really the largest tool that we have because we may or maybe not be able to control the other things but we can control our food, specially when we are at home and a lot of the food decisions now can be planned and you know, redefined for us, even if we were typically eating outside now it’s a good way to reset that, so in terms of food itself there are so many things specially plant-based food, dark green leafy vegetables which calorie for calorie are the most nutrition dense foods on earth, so which means that with all of that mineral content antioxidants, vitamins it can really flush ourselves with all of this life giving micro nutrients which helps the body fight the infection more efficiently, all of the fibre that comes from fruit and vegetables and whole grains, also impacts our gut health and that is really, like that is really the second brain and there is so much of the awareness about gut health but when we eat more fibre rich natural foods, you know just whole foods, natural plant food it can really impact our gut microbiome which helps immunity further because you know, that’s also the start point of how we detoxify, how our body is able to have this second layer of protection against any kind of microbial attack and of course then there is this range of superfoods which can give, you know, extra boost of immunity as they say so all of the spices that, you know, that’s our heritage really, from our cultural cooking – all of the cloves, garlic , ginger, turmeric, they’re really phenomenal because they have microbial fighting ability, they have anti- fungal, anti-viral, anti-microbial properties, so just boiling it in water and drinking that like your kadha, which all of us do in many different ways with different recipes that have been passed on through our grandmothers all of those are great too and of-course there is spices in our food and these spices also help with digestion. When the digestion is efficient and there is no bloating there is no, kind of, you know, uncomfortable feeling after we eat and our gut health is at its peak it also helps immunity because gut health is you know like I mentioned, a great part of immune response of the body, so yeah, food is really something we can control and you know super power with all of these spices and that can really impact our immunity, specially at these times when we are more worried about it, so it causes that extra anxiety and, you know, doing something actively on a daily basis helps us deal with that also.
Host: Yeah, absolutely, Thank you for making it sound so simple and also, you know, for explaining it so well because, I think you know, so wonderfully brought in all the threads right, that make up immunity for us, whether that’s, sleeping right, whether that’s looking after our mental health and of, course all the food and our nutrition aspect of it as well.
Well now, we plan to do something more fun and something more quick with you, so we have a rapid fire round with you and I’d love for you to be quick and witty for this one, so not too much thinking and lets see how this goes? So, are you ready Manasa?
Manasa – Sure, sure sure Nisha, tell me.
Host– Okay, great so, your top three home made immunity builders?
Manasa – So, Number one like I said is spices. I usually throw in pepper, cloves and ginger in water and boil it and just drink that through the day. It can also be fennel, cumin…any of these things work really.
Second is citrus fruits. So just a squeeze of lemon juice in foods, dal, poha things like that and also in water…that’s also a really great way to add vitamin C, which is a great immune booster.
Third is of course dark green leafy vegetables. It can be moringa, spinach, methi, cilantro or anything. Just add some portion of it daily. And these three are my top three tips.
Host: Amazing! Alright, biggest myth about nutrition that you have had to address?
Manasa: Oh all the time, I think, this whole association of calories and food being equal to just your weight and just managing calories. Calories are a very small unidirectional view to looking at food which is the source of our nourishment. So, I kind of, rebel against that myth quite a bit, that calorie is the only way to judge your food.
Host – Okay, what should one never give up on as a food item?
Manasa – Good fat. So, I think people are so scared of fat in general and fat doesn’t make you fat. So, lots of seeds and nuts in your diet is really really important for your skin health, hair, for your hormones, for your joint health. So. Yeah, good fat.
Host – Okay, 3 most important nutritional requirements for women?
Manasa : So, I think something to balance your hormones. Of course, eating a variety of whole plant foods will automatically do that, but quality fat that has good Omega 3 like seeds and nuts and also a lot of dal and beans. So, good fat, a lot of minerals that are bone rich which is in dals and beans so that is calcium, magnesium, which will continue to protect bone health as we age and third thing is just a variety of colour. Usually women tend to, I mean and I don’t want to generalise, but women tend to put everybody else’s needs ahead of theirs and just making that shift of looking after your own nutrition as a priority will ensure that the diet is good and they make choices that are going to be supportive of their health.
Host – Yes, wow I love that answer, I’m gonna really take that back with me, alright so the last one, I think we have for rapid fire, one dietary fad that you will never recommend to anybody?
Manasa: Just eating less and counting calories and weighing your food. I think, just the idea of creating that much stress around something that should be a very pleasant and beautiful and nourishing activity is kind of away from how you want to think about food in an intuitive, calming way rather than stress and anxiety causing behaviour.
Host: Absolutely, thank you so much, that has brought us to the end of rapid fire , we still do have a few questions for you. Lastly, Manasa, talking about nutrition and women in particular, what should be our go-to nutrition and fitness mantra, considering the hectic lives we’re living also and with this ongoing, pandemic?
Manasa : Yeah, so I think for women and for people in general, but for women like us who are in their 30s and late 20s to 40s 50s, in terms of movement and exercise, it’s important to have some kind of strength building, routine built into our regular routine, even if it’s an activity that you enjoy like dancing or running or walking. It’s important to have a small routine that is purely strength building because it ensures that our posture is better as we age. Also, our joints are protected because our muscles are much stronger and can support joint health. So, all of these parts of nutrition also help that there is no deterioration in joint health, there is no knee pain, back pain; all of those can be avoided. From a food point of view, it’s really great if people can eat, women especially can eat at least 50% of their diet should be fruits and vegetables, which we don’t think about it in that way. We think about a small portion of fruit as our, you know, one apple for a whole day seems to be enough for a lot of people. A small bowl of vegetables is enough for their quota of veggies for the day. But if we can just shift that thought process and eat more fruits and vegetables over anything else, I think that can significantly change the way we age. It can change the way our hormones behave because hormonal imbalances are the number one trouble that as women we go through because hormones are so sensitive to every kind of impact in our life, stress, chemicals in our makeup or hygiene products, even our food, all the dairy, all the sugar in packaged food. If you can just eat 50% fruits and vegetables, that will really take care of hormonal health, how we age, our energy and just overall well-being, preventing disease and immunity of course.
Host: As you rightly said, there is so much in terms of you know, making that shift not just with what we intake but also for the body in term of you know, fitness and doing strength building exercises and as we are speaking about Oziva I have been having their lovely Oziva plant based, nutrition supplements and I am having the immunity booster which is absolutely amazing. Oziva actually has an extensive range of plant based products, so that is one thing I would love to recommend to you and you know, if you ever feel like trying any of the products out, definitely try out the immunity boosters by Oziva.
Manasa: Absolutely, absolutely.
Host: Right, thank you for, you know, so much insight and you know, just on a last healthy note Manasa, what health goal or personal nutritional goal would you recommend to all our viewers?
Manasa: So, I think, you know, as an expectation of health we sometimes don’t as we get beyond the age of 25-30, our expectations of health goes down. We expect to have some kind of chronic disease, some kind of mingling pain as a part of ageing which is not the right expectation. I think we should expect ourselves to be energetic, healthy, disease free, not have any chronic disease in spite of what our parents or grandparents suffered with because all of this is possible and our choices will get us there. The moment we change our expectations, our actions will change and it is very much in the realm of our possibility to live a life free of disease, to have great immunity naturally with the change in our food choices and exercise. So, I think we should want that for ourselves and automatically what we expect changes. Otherwise it’s all enjoy while you can and then you will have nothing. Just that whole mindset shift can mean significantly different things in how our health is, how our personal health becomes.
Host: Yes, well, Thank you so much Manasa, I really wish I could go on and on with this conversation because there is so much I am sure of all our viewers have also learnt today from you. Thank you once again for being here and for talking about immunity and nutrition today.
Manasa: Thank you Nishi, it was lovely talking to you.
*Manasa exits* Conclusion:
Thank you so much Manasa, for this wonderful conversation so insightful I wish ke hum baat karte hi rehte I wish you the best of health Manasa thank you so much for being here for committing to health first and inspiring all of us to do the same. Toh mere doston, I do hope you are inspired to Be Bettr after our delightful conversation with Manasa Rajan. And don’t you worry about how and where to start your health journey. OZiva has got you covered.
Visit Oziva.in to view all our clean, plant-based products that are made to make your health journey better. I will see you next week, with another special guest and another chapter in our health story. Take care be safe and Be Bettr. This is Nishi Joshi, signing off.
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