Delhi

Five health reads in July for fulfilment

Heart from a book page against a beautiful sunset.

Heart from a book page against a beautiful sunset. | Photo Credit: kieferpix

Sugar: The Silent Killer By Damayanti Datta; Rupa Publication

Sugar The Silent Killer by Damayanti Datta cover pic

Sugar The Silent Killer by Damayanti Datta cover pic | Photo Credit: SOMA BASU

Indians are known for their sweet tooth. We also have enough reasons, occasions and festivals to celebrate. That sugar gives energy and sweets are the emblem of our hospitality makes our cravings for sweet a peculiar habit over a period of time. Then there is the excessive amounts of poor-quality carbohydrates, especially, the refined cereals, sugar-sweetened fruit juices and other beverages, many other sweets and savouries we keep consuming. These ultimately turn into glucose, the simple sugar body needs to keep ticking.

Author Damayanti Datta says Indians today manifest an increased predilection for diseases linked to sugar (and the fat with which sugar is inextricably linked). Despite a long association with sugar, there have been few attempts to understand sugar’s hold across our populations in varied landscape; from obesity to diabetes, heart disease to hypertension, cancers to dementia, and now COVID-19 to black fungus. Her book attempts to demystify the way we eat now, the pre-eminence of refined sugar in our diet, what it does to us and what we can do to mitigate its malign influence.

Datta weaves together the history of sugar extraction, the socio-cultural significance of the sweets we consume and the science behind its impact on us to analyse our intimate relation with sugar. Why we cannot do without it, even when we know those little white crystals wreak havoc on our health?  As a country obsessed with sugar, how can we reclaim healthy living?

Live Your Best Life: Understanding Menopause For a Wiser, Healthier Happier You By Dr.Amrinder Bajaj; Penguin Random House

Live your Best Life by Dr.Amrinder Bajaj cover pic

Live your Best Life by Dr.Amrinder Bajaj cover pic | Photo Credit: SOMA BASU

This is a friendly guide to negotiate menopause as the author explains the natural biological process through stories and experiences that women have undergone. Largely anecdotal, gynaecologist  Dr. Amrinder Bajaj takes the reader through the physical and mental process of dealing with menopause. She drives home the point that a woman needs to understand her body and stop fearing the culmination of a biological phenomenon. ‘Menopause is the end of Menstruation, not the end of the World – is her bottom-line as she advises women against holding themselves back from the things they love doing. She encourages them to live a life of fulfilment.

The book collates symptoms and stages of menopause that are voiced through her patients’ and Dr. Amrinder’s real-time experiences. From talking about cold sweats and hot flashes at the workplace to incessant mood swings or wetting of the underwear when at a party, the author urges women never to hesitate to ask for medical or professional help. When one understands and embraces aging in a direct approachable manner, it becomes easy to handle the menopausal phase in life rather than dealing with it alone, she says.

Switchcraft: Harnessing the Power of Mental Agility to Transform Your life By Elaine Fox; Hodder and Stoughton

Switchcraft by Elaine Fox cover pic

Switchcraft by Elaine Fox cover pic | Photo Credit: SOMA BASU

If we train our minds, we can possibly become less rigid in our thinking and explore better options to change our actions. Psychologist Elaine Fox provides tips on the key ingredients to happy and successful life. According to her, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to dealing with life. Having coached top athletes, military leaders and business professionals during her career, she says, she has seen that it is always the people who know exactly when and how to switch between different approaches to life in the face of uncertainty who succeed.

Drawing on 25 years of scientific research, Fox shares with readers her step-by-step guide to what she calls ‘switchcraft’: the set of skills we need to navigate a complex and unpredictable world. Whether it is coping with a difficult boss, overcoming a challenge, fear of the unknown, dealing with hyperactive children, resolving a dispute with a friend or making a difficult choice about where to live or what to do, ‘switchcraft’ helps us thrive in any situation. In her book, Switchcraft, she argues that people with an agile mind generally tend to achieve the best performance. She shows how to break out of a rigid mind set and adopt flexibility and patience, shun negative thoughts and be caring in order to lead a life of fulfilment.

Homeopathy: Simple Remedies for All Ages By Dr. Mukesh Batra; Popular Prakashan

Homeopathy: Simple Remedies for all Ages by Dr.Mukesh Batra cover pic

Homeopathy: Simple Remedies for all Ages by Dr.Mukesh Batra cover pic | Photo Credit: SOMA BASU

For those who believe in alternate medicine, this book is a handy guide that helps to deal with day-to-day problems. The strength of homeopathy, as is commonly said, is in its detailed attention to both symptoms and the individual. It treats each patient by taking into account the individual personality, which no other therapeutic system offers. Dr. Batra has formatted his book in a way that it highlights the various phases of life and the diseases that could possibly come with it.   He has chosen to mention gentler and safer homeopathic remedies to treat ailments such as common cold, asthma, eye diseases, hypertension, allergies, digestive issues, hair loss, skincare, obesity, anxiety, depression, arthritis, diabetes, chronic aches and pains. 

The book works like a mini-instruction manual that tells you what to do till you reach a doctor in case of any illness or emergency. For easy reference, the diseases are arranged alphabetically to enable home practitioners of homeopathy to quickly look for a solution. The remedies are suggested based on Dr. Batra’s years of clinical experience and every minor to big ailment is described by their main symptoms. Under the list of remedies, the author has followed detailed consideration of the disease, with its causes and symptoms and the auxiliary methods of treatment, like diet and exercise, in addition to names of homeopathic medicines.

Ananda: Happiness Without Reason By Acharya Prashant; Harper Collins

Ananda by Acharya Prashant cover pic

Ananda by Acharya Prashant cover pic | Photo Credit: SOMA BASU

Happiness, they say, is a state of mind. Yet, we view it as a fundamental essential in life and keep toiling for it by either sacrificing, negotiating, scheming or praying. How many of us really understand what true happiness is? Literature describes happiness in beautiful words that, however, lack in practicality. There is a fuzzy picture of happiness imprinted in our minds which Acharya Prashant seeks to remove by shattering the misconceptions about happiness jargon such as “loving unconditionally” and “living in the present”.

He explains how what we commonly understand as happiness exists only in the backdrop of sadness, and what man is really looking for is not just happiness, but  Ananda - an unconditional joy that is free from both happiness and sadness. Discarding multiple myths that burden our consciousness, the book is drawn from scriptures such as the Gita and the Upanishads, revealing the true meaning of  Ananda. The author writes one needs courage to question deep-rooted beliefs and enter an unfathomable territory beyond the duality of happiness and sadness. His book guides the reader to explore the concept of happiness in life in various ways.


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2022 4:42:22 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/five-health-books-to-read-in-july/article65687398.ece