NewsX conducted a special series, Holistic Wellness Week 2.0- Food & Nutrition, association with US Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and Poultry Dhaba. The discussion revolved around some very important and relevant topic such as holistic health and importance of nutrition in daily life in light of the existing health crisis. A Group of special people joined the session to lend valuable insights on the topic.

The panel of speakers included chief dietician at max hospital Dr Ritika Samaddar, therapeutic nutritionist Saket Tahira Kochhar, and health and transformation coach Yash Vardhan Swami, actor Hasleen Kaur. The session tried to understand the importance of holistic health, healthy eating and role of good nutrition in health maintenance. It shed light on how much protein needs to be incorporated in diet, various protein sources like poultry, egg, fish, etc. and different approaches and ways of incorporating protein in diet.

Ritika commenced the session by explaining the importance of holistic health in current pandemic situation. She said, “When we talk about holistic health there are a lot of other things which are equally important apart from diet. Like reduce stress, active lifestyle, exercise and the type of exercise one is doing, amount of junk intake and process food one is having. All have impact on immunity. To have good immunity it is important to concentrate on holistic health.”

Talking on the role of good nutrition in maintaining one’s health, Tahira said, “It has the most important rule. Like you have heard you are what you eat. So I think tapping into every food group in right quantity. Not segregating one from the other. You could be eating right taking all your supplements and medicines. But if you are not sleeping well, sticking to the right timing, stressing, etc. So you can’t segregate one from the other now.”

On being asked if people are concentrating more on one’s health amenity and lifestyle balance due to the pandemic Hasleen responded, “Yes! This is the need of the hour. We need to consider our lifestyle choices. We need to see what we are feeding ourselves. You should have a  complete plate with micros and macros. Macros are your protein, carbs and fibres. The portion sizes in side of plate to be divided into three. You have to very conscious about what you are feeding your body because if the body is well feed it will be able to find anything and everything. We will see it by skin hair and nails. The way body is reacting to diseases. Everything goes back to food it is best medicine we have. We shouldn’t be popping pills but we should be popping more food inside us.”

Commenting on need to create more awareness about staying healthy in these situations Yash said, “Holistic is necessary for everyone but now is the time we are actually talking about this. We could not go out so we focused going inside. We are taking care of stress, sleep, nutrition and also finding out ways and being creative to workout inside trying to burn calories. Nutrition is everything and Tahira said “you are what you eat “but also you are what you digest, excrete and don’t eat.”

Yash added on the importance of protein in one’s every day is life and its ideal intake, he said, “Protein is a nutrient. There are certain amino acids which our body does not create we need them from that. It’s not for only building muscles but also for your immunity, optimal organ function but even your neurotransmitters action which dictate your brain health. So protein is very necessary and if we don’t have enough protein in our diet it may mess our immunity and protein are also full of micronutrients. Example is zinc.”

Speaking on the natural ways to get protein into our system through chicken, egg, soya instead of quick fix like shakes and supplements Hasleen said, “There is no replacement for actual food. What comes from food cannot be provided by powder and pills. You need to include chicken, fish, eggs and dairy products and if you are vegetarian you should load upon dairy products. I am vegetarian I eat egg sometimes but I load upon the dairy products. I have been brought up by taking milk, curd, cottage cheese that’s full of protein. Our body needs about 0.8 gram of protein as per everybody weight. According to my weight I need 48 g of protein every day. I have to eat egg white every morning to kick-start every cell in my body.”

Explaining why people in India tends to protein deficient Tahira said, “There is a myth if you too much of protein you will bulk up that is the myth need to burst up. Protein is essential for organ function. When anyone gets into the plan should get blood levels done. Intake of supplements and these things are so much done that if people don’t require lot of people are overdosing themselves which itself has adverse effect. Wherever you are lacking you need to take those supplements. But there is nothing like natural supplementation. It’s different for everyone like male-female kid-adult. So for a sedentary man it’s it be like 55 g but for a sedentary woman it would be like 45 g. But it differ a lot on activity level.”

Ritika told about ill effect of deficiency of protein, she said, “Each and every cell of our body has protein like nail, hair, skin. This is one of the macronutrient which is needed in good amount. 90% of the people don’t even aware of the requirement of protein. 70% to 75% do not meet their daily protein requirement. Main deficiency would be like losing a small amount of hair feeling little tired etc. But protein deficiency could actually lead to liver diseases like fatty liver. In post-pandemic recovery phase protein is most important. Even after recovery for 4 to 6 weeks your diet is very important. One of the most important nutrients there is the protein. For the general population it’s 8 to 1 g per body weight. But for the critical I’ll or people in the post recovery phase we actually go up to 1 to 1.2g which is a good amount of protein. And that is where we differentiate between A class protein and B class protein and difference between non-veg, egg, chicken and lentils come into the play.” Tahira added that protein is there in every food like doctor like lentil, those are the dense sources for sure, according to her.

Breaking the myth that going heavy on proteins one looks like bodybuilder Hasleen said, “This is one question which I ask my trainer when I started it in my life. That I don’t want to look like bodybuilder I need to look lean for my profession. He laughed and said you are completely crazy. This is what Indian mind-set is. If you load up on protein you will look like bodybuilder. But when I started taking protein my body get immune. So when you take protein you skin look better your nails look better your hairs look better. You can see it on external side of the body. So you can think what it would be doing inside the body. It appears it heals it do much more than just adding bulk.”

Additionally Yash clarified, “First thing bodybuilder have more protein is not the reason they look bodybuilder. From hormones when we talk about female physiology they don’t have enough androgen in the body so they cannot gain lot of muscle. Getting bird up is not only about protein but also about carbs fats total amount of calories in surplus. If someone is fat and want to lose weight protein will not affect it. If someone has low calories so I would like him to have more protein for recovery purpose.”

Speaking on the importance of balanced diet and ways to maintain with good nutrition Ritika said, “Dairy, chicken, egg Earth the complete protein. They have all the essential amino acids. It also depends upon quality of protein. So we talked about egg and chicken its 100% absorbed in a body. If protein comes from food so it’s a complete food. Which we don’t get from supplements. For example hold essential amino acids and its rich in tryptophan. Zinc choline b12 they are required in small quantity but are very essential for our body. A balance diet should give us all kind of nutrients which make our plate complete. Half of plate should be fruit and vegetable one fourth has to be protein limit your carbohydrates. Show the plate has micro as well as macro nutrients. This kind of food is called balanced diet.” Speaking on same lines of incorporating all the ideal nutrients Tahira said “This is important not to eliminate any food group. There is also protein sparing effect. When you are having very less or no other food group. The protein is doing the purpose of other food groups so purpose is defeated if you not put other food groups together. It’s important to have everything in right quantity for a balanced diet.”

Addressing a pertinent question of how to stay immune to avoid the virus these days Yash responded, “First open body composition too much fat can cause low grade inflammation which is not good for our body health. Exercise regularly. Take care of nutrients b vitamins zinc magnesium and selenium. Enough amount of sunlight. Last but not the least gets enough amount of sleep.” Hasleen requested not follow fad diets, “Please eat what you have always eaten what your ancestors were eating because your body is habitual to digest that kind of food. So please do not eliminate complete food group from your food. Everything matters sleep, food and fitness.” Tahira added “You can’t segregate one thing from another now. Not eliminating any food group from your food. Now I realise health is wealth.” Ritika concluded the conversation by giving five points of diet, exercise, good sleep, reduce stress and vaccination. “In our diet gut health is very important because we know 70% of our immune cells are in gut. So a healthy gut means stronger immunity.”

Watch the entire telecast here: