Dairy & Covid

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

No matter who you are or where you are in the world, the current pandemic has had an impact on you. If nothing else, you may have at least thought about your health more than before.

Since one of the most dangerous effects of Covid-19 is on the respiratory system and the tendency to contracting pneumonia, it’s important more than ever to take care of our lungs. In fact, even a normal cough or sneeze may arouse suspicion. Did you know that one of the biggest hazards to the lungs in our daily diets is dairy? This includes milk, curds, cheese, paneer, ice-cream, butter and ghee or anything that has dairy in it such as tea, biscuits or desserts. Dairy is mucous forming and quitting dairy can help get rid of all kinds of upper respiratory problems like colds, coughs, sinusitis, allergies and asthma or even sleep apnoea.

For those of you who cannot think of letting go dairy, it might help to know that there is a whole range of delicious plant based alternatives to every dairy product. What’s more, all of these alternatives are easy to make with ingredients that you are likely to have at home or are easily available even in the time of lockdown. So you won’t be deprived and you can still take care of your health.

So why wait? Why not learn more when you have the time right now? Make the shift and breathe easy!

We have launched our Basic Online cooking class in Hindi which is at a special offer! Also we have two brand new personalized packages – 3 months for Health Gain and 2 months for Weight loss.


It’s been 9 years and I haven’t had an attack

Mumbai based Dr Jaghruti K Jani was suffering from asthmatic bronchitis for 28 years until she changed her diet…

I was suffering from asthmatic bronchitis since the age of 12. I used to have attacks of sneezing that I thought were due to some allergies. I was 18 years old when I had my first episode of asthmatic bronchitis that then started to recur every two or three months. I am a homoeopath and a BHMS gold medallist, but I still couldn’t figure out the reason for my condition. I simply put it down it to Mumbai’s pollution. I could never get wet in the rain, have cold beverages or travel easily due to my fear of getting an episode.

At the age of 40, I came across information about Dr Nandita Shah and I attended the Peas vs Pills seminar. There was an eye-opening testimony of a gentleman who was on daily inhalers for asthma as well high cholesterol. He had attended a previous workshop by Dr Nandita after which he immediately went on a whole-plant based diet. Within the next two months, his cholesterol dropped and he didn’t need the inhalers anymore!

My husband urged that we follow the SHARAN diet. Since then I’ve been on whole plant-based food. It’s been nine years now and I haven’t had a single attack. Sometimes I forget that I was a patient of asthmatic bronchitis! However, there have been instances when I have consumed dairy by mistake, and the very next day I would start sneezing. This is an instant reiteration of how harmful dairy can be.

Today, I am a happy person. I love playing and getting wet in the rain. I even have cold water during the hot summers and travel easily with no fear of getting any asthmatic bronchitis episodes! Most importantly, I have not bought any asthmatic medicine over the past nine years! I am truly in gratitude to Dr Nandita Shah and to SHARAN.

Recipe: Almond Milk  

Almond milk is nutritious and delicious. Take a look at this simple recipe.

A tip: soak almonds overnight and remove from water. Refrigerate for use within a week, so you don’t need to soak them every day.


  • ½ cup whole almonds, soaked in water
  • overnight
  • 2 cups fresh water
  • 2-3 seedless dates


Drain and discard the water from the soaked almonds. In a high speed blender or grinder, churn the soft almonds to form a smooth paste adding a little water if needed. Mix in the dates and blend again with some more water, until you get the desired consistency.

Once prepared, use within a day.

Serves 2

Food for the mind


If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. we are offering three possibilities

1. SHARAN India This is SHARAN’s main Facebook page which you can like and follow for getting useful daily updates and news from the plant based health world. You will also get news about the latest SHARAN events, see testimonials, and more.

2. SHARAN’s Vegan Support Group This is an open support group to know more about vegan/plant-based lifestyle. Here you can ask questions and share inspiring stories, tips, recipes, etc.

3. SHARAN’s Plant Powered Health This is the new group only for the past attendees of SHARAN’s events: seminars, cooking classes, retreats or longer programs.

All our doctors and presenters will be here to answer your questions and give you tips. If you have attended our events join this group to be a part of our family.

Please like the main SHARAN page and join the group(s) applicable to you.

Multiple reasons to ditch dairy

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, we recommended ditching dairy for a number of reasons. Here’s a refresher:

1. Dairy is for babies

Every mother produces milk only for her baby. And no animal in nature drinks another animal’s milk. Pigs don’t drink goats milk and monkeys don’t drink elephant milk. We are the only species that drinks milk of another species. When you drink milk you are not only depriving a baby of its birth-right, you also get yourself sick.

2. Milk contains growth hormones

Milk is the food for babies to grow rapidly at the time when they most need to grow. Milk contains powerful growth hormones. Therefore, dairy is one of the biggest contributors to the obesity epidemic that in turn is responsible for many other diseases. Growth hormones also promote cancers.

3. Milk is high in fat and cholesterol

Like all animal products, milk contains high fat and no fibre. This lethal combination is the major cause of lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and even alzheimers and dementia.

4. Dairy causes disease

Since cows are confined close to each other, disease spreads easily. Many bacilli are destroyed by pasteurisation. Tubercle bacilli is an exception though and can survive despite pasteurisation. This is the cause of the new wave of tuberculosis. Dairy is also responsible for mucous formation leading to respiratory diseases.

5. Dairy contains pus and blood

A cow’s udders are indurated and inflammed as a result of milking continuously and this results in pus and blood in the milk (and a lot of pain to the cow). It’s rare to find milk that does not contain pus.

6. Dairy contains antibiotics and chemicals

Thanks to the diseases that arise due to close confinement, the unhygienic conditions and living in their own excreta and the induration of the udders, cows are fed antibiotics daily. These too are excreted in the milk. Also since their feed is usually not organic, this results in the milk containing unwanted chemicals (pesticides and herbicides) and making it a dangerous cocktail. When cows feed on garbage, manmade chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and other unwanted ingredients may find their way into the milk too.

7. Dairy is often laced with lethal ingredients

In order to keep milk from coagulating during transport in hot conditions in countries like India, urea is added to dairy. This is a fertiliser and can result in kidney disease.

8. Dairy is often consumed in its concentrated form

Paneer, cheese and even sweets often contain concentrated amounts of dairy. For example one gram of cheese is made from 16 grams of milk, or one gram of paneer from 12 grams of milk. This concentration exponentially increases all diary related problems.

9. Dairy causes stress

Stress hormones like adrenaline are abundant in dairy due to the abhorrent conditions in which the cows are kept. The fact that they are artificially inseminated year after year and have their babies taken away from them so their milk can be sold in the market adds to their stress. Cows face a perpetual lockdown. Stress hormones in dairy naturally cause stress in the consumer.

10. Milk contains hormones

All our hormones are orchestrated by the pitutary gland. Milk, as the secretion of a female mammal, naturally contains estrogen, progrestrone, prolactin, adrenaline, growth homones, oxytocin as well as all those hormones injected into the cow to force her to produce more milk. These hormones cause hormonal havoc in us resulting in a variety of hormonal diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroid, prostate enlargement, menstrual disturbances, menopausal disturbances, infertility, prostate enlargement, breast, ovarian and prostate cancers.

11. Milk is a foreign protein

This along with other animal proteins can be a cause of auto-immune diseases like lupus, multiple sclerosis, ankylosing spondylitis, type-1 diabetes, psoriasis, vitiligo, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, Guillian Barre Syndrome, Graves disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, vasculitis, myesthenia gravis, Raynauds disease, rhuematoid arthritis and more.

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This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Head of Mumbai, Reyna K Rupani, She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health Gain & Weight Loss program and also conducts health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more.

Edited by Vasanti Sundaram, Bangalore who has also benefitted from the SHARAN programmes, and now spreads awareness of plant based lifestyle through her talks.

Sanctuary for Health and Re-connection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN) is a social enterprise with the goal of spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle.

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