`Food is Your Best Medicine’ – This is the slogan that I’m reminded of while I’m having a lovely conversation with Dr. Suguna Sapre, a licensed Dietitian and Nutritionist in Bangalore. Dr Suguna has a knowledgeable background on various nutritional, therapeutic nutrition and other dietary aspects and is trained in lifestyle modifications and prevention of chronic disorders. She has over a decade experience in nutrition counseling and quality life assessments especially in Diabetes mellitus, Chronic heart diseases and Renal diseases.
What is Therapeutic Wellness?
Dr Suguna has always been clear that food has the kind of therapeutic properties where the nutritive properties are quite strong. This kind of therapeutic knowledge of the indications and contraindications of various foods that she has is derived from the clinical experiences.
An example that she gives is of the benefits of Coconut – Coconut water is a very refreshing drink to beat tropical summer thirst. The juice is packed with simple sugar, electrolytes, minerals and bioactive compounds such as cytokines and enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, peroxidase, polymerases and so on. Together, these enzymes aid in digestion and metabolism. Coconut oil extracted from dry kernel (Copra) is an excellent emollient agent. It is used in cooking, applied over scalp to nourish good hair growth, employed in pharmacy and in medicine.
Ask her about her take on Wellness and she has a befitting answer to this. Wellness is a state beyond absence of illness and aims at optimizing the wellbeing of a person. “While most dieticians dwell on calories, carbs, fats, proteins, restrictions and list of good and bad foods, I work with my clients to create a happy, healthy life in a way that is flexible, fun and free of denial and discipline. This involves a series of hands on cooking demos, recipes customized to their needs and techniques to assess your quality of life and help you accept the changes gradually’’, says Dr Suguna.
Dr Suguna’s take on Diabetes…
With 40 per cent of Indians prone to Diabetes, Dr Suguna’s take on this is that typically in India, diabetics are asked to stop eating rice, banana and ghee. However, we need to understand that eating rice/idly/dosa does not cause diabetes. Eating loads of rice with very little of dal and curry spikes the blood sugar levels. Rice is a simple carbohydrate but has the richest source of biological protein in comparison to any non-vegetarian food, only followed by fish protein. Rice as an energy packed carbohydrate might cause sudden spike in the blood sugar, but when mixed with curries – fiber and vitamin and minerals, dal – protein and ghee – together this wholesome food reduces the glycemic index of the rice. This is where our traditional Indian food wisdom comes in use.
Dr Suguna’s take on prevention of renal and cardiac problems in diabetes…
Bananas are rich in potassium and very low in sodium thus help in prevention of renal and cardiac problems in diabetics. It is a great fruit as an after work out food because it instantly replenishes the low levels of glucose in the blood. The probiotic effect of fructooligosaccharides (FOS) present in bananas, helps stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria in the intestine and protects against gastric disturbances.
Dr Suguna’s Dietary Advice on Diabetic care…
Healthy balance diet consisting of foods from all groups – timely meals, medication and exercise will make your life merrier despite of `diabetes’. Go ahead and eat your rice, bananas and ghee wisely without the guilt or fear!
Dr Suguna here shares with Foodindianews.com, a recipe that is healthy and nutritious.
Chana dal- khatti Kairi upma (Chick Pea RawMango Upma)
One lip smacking traditional recipe of summers in Maharashtra and arts of Karnataka, Gujarat made especially during Chaitra Navratri and Ram Navami.
- Chick Pea (Bengal Gram) -200 gms (Soaked in water for 6-7 hrs)
- Raw Mango (grated) – 1 medium size /100gms
- Oil -1 tbsp (15gms)
- Cumin – 1 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Curry leaves – 10
- Finely chopped coriander
- Asafoetida -1/2 tsp
- Turmeric – 1 tsp
- Green chilies – finely chopped 1tsp
- Red chilies – 3-4
- Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
- Sugar – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Grind soaked chickpea coarsely with very little water.
- Steam the ground chickpeas for 5-6 whistles in pressure cooker.
- Heat oil in a shallow pan and add Cumin – 1 tsp, Mustard seeds – 1 tsp, Curry leaves – 10, Asafoetida -1/2 tsp, Turmeric – 1 tsp Green chilies – finely chopped 1tsp,Red chilies – 3-4 as these seasonings crackle, add half of grated raw mango and mix well.
- Mix rest of the raw mango with the steamed chickpeas mixture and add this to the seasonings.
- Now add red chili powder, turmeric, sugar and salt mix well and allow to cook closed lid for 10-15 minutes on simmer.
- Keep tossing the mixture from time to time to prevent charring.
- Ideal food for diabetics especially for those who like chickpea but miss out on traditional recipes without sugar
- This is an easy to make dish, filling food with Low glycemic index, hence does not spike your blood sugar levels
- At the same time, it is filling and rich in proteins and fiber.
- It makes and ideal morning breakfast as well as evening snack.
- It has all the needed nutrients for Diabetics and woman with gestational diabetes
Serving size- two persons
- Hi There ! This is my chance to talk to you as a founder and Editor of Food India News.The Soul purpose of our blog is to promote healthy ways of eating and living.when you try out one of our recipes or get benefited from our expert talk , we are awaiting to hear from you . Do take your time to come back and share your comments, as your feedback means lot to us.