NewsX was recently joined by Dr Harpreet Pasricha, Nutritionist for an exclusive conversation in a special show, NewsX India A-List.  Dr Pasricha shared her views on immunity, common mistakes people make while trying to get rid of excessive weight and how India fought the Covid-19 pandemic better than the rest of the world.

Reflecting upon the significance and ways to attain immunity, Dr Harpreet said, “Immunity is something which is like our first line of defense and that’s something which we always should have taken care but most of the times people do ignore immunity when it comes to their weight or when it comes to other things. And now they’re doing all the possible things what they have to do for the immunity, so when it comes to healthy meals or when it comes to having all the decoctions, people are all doing it right but my question here is that you’re doing something to strengthen your immunity, right? But what about things that are weakening your immunity.”

“Whether it’s processed food, whether it is alcohol, or whether it’s sitting and smoking, not being active, not exercising, not sleeping in time and following a sleep cycling because people are awake for long hours of the night and bing on all the possible Netflix and digital media. So all these are actually first of all weakening, so what’s the point of just strengthening when there’s a hole in the bucket, if your immunity is also falling and somewhere it is getting affected,” said Dr Harpreet.

Dr Harpreet further stressed on avoiding things which weaken one’s immunity. According to her, “whether it’s alcohol, excessive use of alcohol, or smoking, or not being active or eating processed food, even crash diets, because they cause lots and lots of nutritional deficiencies. So don’t do all these things. That will first of all, not weaken your immunity. Now let’s come to how things can be done to strengthen your immunity just by eating right, balanced food, exercising, breathing exercises are very, very important because you’re doing extra oxygen, your lungs are expanding. So these things help in further building your immunity.”

Addressing the Coronavirys pandemic, Dr Harpreet said, “Being in India, I think we are very lucky because we have all these herbs and spices and being an Indian, the mode of cooking that we use, whether it’s chia, curry leaves, tulsi, or haldi, all the possible spices and herbs we’re using in our diet and that’s probably one of the reasons I think we Indians have fought this pandemic much better than the entire globe.”

Highlighting the risks and side effects of too much consumption of these, Dr Harpreet said, “So here, I would say yes, Indian spices and herbs are very good, decoctions are good. But how much, is my question? Because people are overdoing it, I have every second patient of mine who was having either gastritis or having inflammation, sometimes even internal bleeding because they were also on blood thinners. So all this has actually caused them to have side effects too, so it has to be coming from your nutritionist, your medical practitioner, your Ayurvedic doctor, knowing whether you are a diabetic, hypertensive, or you have liver issues or your acidity or inflammation of the gut, they can recommend right kind of spices and herbs to be used as a decoction.”

Dr Harpreet then spoke about ‘Superfoods’, “People think if it’s gonna leave a big hole in the pocket and it’s expensive then the food is a superfood. But I would say something which is locally available, seasonally available, and something which is a powerhouse of nutrients is something called a superfood. So let’s say for example, in Delhi, there’s a season of black carrots and people make a kanji out of it, which is probiotic and excellent.

Towards the end of the conversation, Dr Harpreet shared what one should do to loose weight, she said, “People have started eliminating food groups, not eating protein or not having carbohydrate foods or not having nuts, please do not do that as you need to have a balanced diet and you have to make sure that you are increasing your metabolic rate. Don’t reduce your food, because that’s not going to be a solution. So if you’re going to have just a salad or sprouts or soup and just vegetable juice and depriving yourself of all the local seasonal foods and what is required at the stage of life you’re in, say you’re perimenopause and you need certain nutrients, so do not do any kind of crash diets. You need to have a nutritionally well-balanced diet.  The right combination is very important which our nutritionists can figure out what are the kinds of combinations that work best for your body. Avoid fasting for longer hours for no reason and punishing yourself or depriving and just working with your willpower because this weight is gonna come back the time you eat normally come back.”