Pass the Salt, Please

 
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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

Life itself depends on salt, and people in early civilisations went to great lengths to acquire it from salt mines and sea water. It was, and still is, used to preserve and season food, and it is important in medicine as well as religious ceremonies. Some early cultures even used it as a form of currency. The history of human civilization is closely linked to the history of salt.

Both human beings and animals need salt. Domestic animals are often sick if they do not get salt and farmers often provide salt licks. Wild animals also seek out places to get their salt needs satisfied. Because salt enhances the taste of food and makes it more addictive it is overused these days by the food industry.

Salt intake is often connected to blood pressure. Although excess salt may raise the blood pressure especially in sensitive individuals, and therefore should always be avoided, salt itself need not be avoided completely. The very best way to naturally control and reduce the blood pressure is to remove the causes of high blood pressure – i.e. excess fat, excess salt, lack of fibre, stress, lack of exercise, lack of vitamin B12, tea, coffee, colas, smoking and alcohol. Since high blood pressure can lead to heart disease and stroke, it’s important that we take charge of it systematically as soon as possible.

Lots is happening this weekend at SHARAN. Check out a new immunity booster and destroyer in our Immunity Revolution. Join us at Clubhouse this Saturday to discuss whole food plant based nutrition. And the Vegan India Conference begins this Saturday with lots of exciting talks, demos, discussions on offer!

 
 

‘I made my kitchen my pharmacy’ – Dr Seema Khandwala

https://youtu.be/m7Mgxtj1UAQ?list=PLv3ThRqVlKLP5QrAU3h_jYIOk23Xc2GiP

57 year-old Dr Seema Khandwala shares how she reversed hypertension, osteoporosis, and migraine with nutrition in Gujarati (English subtitles)

Home-made cheese
 

Cheese is one of the most densely salted products in the market. Making plant-based cheese at home will reduce the salt content and bypass the other deleterious effects of dairy.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw cashew cheese
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts, soaked for 6-8 hours
  • 3 tbsp psyllium husk (isabgol)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp unrefined salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder

Method

Take all  ingredients together in a blender and blend to a thick, smooth paste. Transfer to a glass bowl and keep refrigerated to harden. After 6-8 hours, cut/shred into long strips of cheese.

Makes 1 cup

Food For The Mind

FACEBOOK SUPPORT GROUP

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

1. SHARAN India 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 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.

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.

 

Get Salt Savvy                                                                                     

Did you know that one’s daily salt intake should be no more than 3/4 to 1 teaspoon a day! How much do you consume? Excess salt can lead to water retention, high blood pressure, kidney issues and increases the risk of heart disease and stomach cancer.

Our body does need a little bit of salt for optimum nerve and muscle function, but overdoing it can be detrimental. So read on to find out ways to reduce your daily salt intake…

1. Use organic rock salt 

This doesn’t mean you should use as much as you like, but at least you will avoid the chemicals in refined salt. Sea salt may contain contaminants too, therefore rock salt is preferred.

2. Stop buying packaged & processed foods

Since salt is addictive and a natural preservative, most packaged foods contain salt. Canned foods are laden with salt. When we start eating salty foods, we can’t stop eating them, so its best to avoid them altogether.

3. Learn to make home-made snacks & sauces

This doesn’t take time and goes a long way in reducing your salt intake. Have raw or soaked peanuts instead of the roasted and salted ones. Be aware. 

4. Reduce eating out

Most restaurants use readymade sauces and packaged foods which top up the salt meter.

5. Have more fruits & salads

They contain potassium which help counter the effects of sodium.

6. Use salt alternatives 

Freshly ground black pepper, lemon juice, herbs can add such good flavour to your meals that you may not even need the salt!

7. Skip adding salt when boiling rice, pasta or vegetables

8. Reduce the number of your meals in a day

Most dishes on your table will contain salt. Have smoothies and fruits for breakfast or snacks, and automatically you will be consuming less salt. Also reduce the number of dishes you make during lunch and dinner. 

9. Don’t keep salt on the table!

10. Hang in there!

It takes about 6 to 8 weeks to get into the habit of having food with less salt. But once you cross over, you will find the basic potato chips too salty too!

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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 Deepa Ballal, a freelance writer based in Dubai.

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