THE DIVINE SUGARCANE
While most sugars keep terrible company, there are some that keep the company of the divine really. Sugarcane is one such source, long celebrated for its ability to increase fertility and sexual virility in India, it is now badnaam thanks to some random associations and name-calling. Sugar is the ghee of the 1970s. You all know the story, right? We were asked to avoid ghee because it was full of cholesterol and then, in 2015, cholesterol was hailed as a nutrient that is no longer of concern for overconsumption by the USDA. India, its doctors and dieticians should have known better, but when it comes to food, everyone is a fool. So ghee was out and markets opened for refined vegetable oil, rice bran oil and virgin olive oil.
Pregnancy Yoga Diet – Healthy Yoga Diet For Pregnancy Photo Gallery
Now history is repeating itself, sugar is out and sugar substitutes are coming in, so is stevia. Then finally by the time our daughters are pregnant, USA or the then superpower will make an announcement that sugar is actually therapeutic, the food of the yogis, the taste-enhancer, the fine-balancer, and then our daughters can denounce us more than ever. So to cut a long story short, sugar or no sugar, if you have packaged and processed stuff, then you are overloading the digestive system and more importantly, the kidneys. The dark chocolate, red velvet cake, biscotti, etc., are best left on the counter and sugar is best celebrated and used intelligently.
Sugarcane also has a cleansing and detoxifying effect on the entire body. It’s especially useful when you are feeling super gassy or farting embarrassingly during conference calls or choosing to sit on cushioned chairs in restaurants to muffle the fart sound. The juice is good, so is jaggery, and even crystalline sugar, and depending on your trimester we are going to add these to your meals.
The other stuff that is really good and has natural sugars but different from sugarcane is neera, coconut water, milk. So are the sherbets that use therapeutic ingredients that keep the satsang of sugar—nimbu, kokum, khus khus. It’s through these natural and fresh produce that the body feels better supported to keep acidity levels low and hydration levels high.
Salt: Again, the namak in your nimbu pani will hydrate but most stuff that comes out of packets is a bad idea. So are options like popcorn while watching a movie or those chips that you are eating since you are ‘allowed to gain weight now’. Like sugar, it is not salt itself but the company it is keeping which is going to make it a good or a bad boy. So anything over the counter is a big no, but a homemade bhaji or mathri or chivda will do the trick.
During pregnancy, the serum sodium levels actually fall as the blood volume goes up, and this could well be one of the reasons why women crave salty stuff. Earlier, they would mostly end up eating imli with some salt or pickle, both healthy and rich in nutrients and friendly bacteria enhancers. But now, as the palate has been trained to eat on the go and consume processed stuff, they mostly crave chips and chicken wings. If you have been eating junk, expect an exaggerated effect during pregnancy.
The unrefined or Himalayan or natural or coloured salt is especially good because it is not just sodium chloride but carries within itself multiple minerals and phytonutrients (which give it a particular taste, smell, colour and consistency) and other electrolytes too, like potassium and magnesium. These salts, often used in fasts, are great to keep the pH level of the body in place, beat bloating and prevent fluctuations in BP.
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