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Bharat Savur on female hormones and nervously blinking eyes

Bharat Savur | Updated on: Oct 07, 2011

LF07_FITNESS_cut.jpg | Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR

Pesticides and plastics have properties that can create havoc in your body.

Is it true that certain pollutants can upset a woman's hormone balance? I suffer from premenstrual syndrome and follow my doctor's orders. But, I'm still uncomfortable. Are there pollutants that I could be absorbing unknowingly?

Shweta S.

You're on the right track, though more research needs to be done to prove conclusively that environmental/product pollutants cause hormone imbalance. The main culprit is believed to be a synthetic form of estrogen called ‘xenoestrogen' found in pesticides and plastics.

You could take some precautions: Wash vegetables and fruits, cereals, pulses 2-3 times to remove any traces of pesticides. Whenever possible, buy organic food. Store drinking water in matkas or glass bottles, not in plastic bottles. Don't heat food in plastic containers in the microwave.

On the bright side, there are phytoestrogens — naturally occurring hormones — that normalise estrogen levels found in chick peas, soya beans and soya paneer (tofu). Fibre- rich and magnesium-containing foods like vegetables, beans, whole grains, barley further ease discomfort. Fibre eliminates excess estrogen from the body, and magnesium helps regulate estrogen levels. Drink 1.5 litres water to ensure estrogen elimination. Tip: Don't have dairy products during meals. The lactose in them hinders the system from absorbing magnesium.

Walk or cycle and weight-train everyday. The physiological stimulation charges blood circulation and relieves aching muscles. It is very important to get sufficient sleep. Finally, ask yourself what are the uncomfortable issues in your life. Resolve them. Or get a new perspective by talking to a wise person.

Since I was a child, I blink frequently whenever I meet new people or am in a new environment. I'm a senior executive and because of the frequent blinking, I'm unable to hold official discussions. Yet, my eyes are normal when I read documents. Recently, I took a botox injection as advised by a leading eye hospital. It has given me partial relief for two months. I'm worried about repeated botox injections that may have side effects. There's no problem with my vision. How do I overcome this problem?

N.K.

There's shyness in your subconscious, a nervousness that manifests itself as excessive blinking in certain situations. I suggest a few simple practices daily:

Do 20 minutes of stationary cycling. The enhanced blood circulation nourishes eyes and the brain, and helps nurture a clear, assured outlook.

Select a photograph of a loved one smiling into the camera. For a few minutes, make steady eye contact with the person in the picture. Feel her unconditional love and acceptance flow out to you and strengthen you. Thank her for her continual support.

Before an official meeting, visualise the loved one's face smiling into your eyes from the photograph. Then, picture yourself meeting these people, shaking hands with them while looking steadily into their eyes. Tip: Initially, sport glasses without a number to feel protected. As you become confident, discard them.

Every morning and night, write down this affirmation, “I love and accept the way I'm seen and perceived by the world. I let go all nervousness. I let in love.” Write this for three months. Even after a month, you'll notice you're more relaxed. And your blinking will reduce a lot.

I've consulted several doctors but they don't seem to understand my hectic schedule. I'm 19, an engineering student. My college is in the outskirts of Chennai. I have to get up at 4 a.m. to catch the college bus. I'm now used to getting up. But I've gained weight and become anaemic and my hair has lost its lustre and turned brittle. Recently, I've started eating too much and developed a nasty temper. I request you to suggest a healthy vegetarian diet and a way to control my temper.

Soumya R.

Wanting to overeat and losing one's temper happen when you feel there's too much to do (like studying), yet there's still much more to do (like exercising) because you're putting on weight. It's like: “Hey! It's not fair!” Listen Soumya, play it cool. The teen-stage is the time mom nature powers by providing more fight-or-flight hormones to bless you with loads of energy and drive. Since the body is still developing, you're like a Maruti chasis with a Mercedes engine. So, sit calmly in this knowledge and plan your week:

Break into a spot-jog before your bath. Just do 200 fast steps. It barely takes 2 minutes but it boosts blood circulation and burns fat. Play badminton during your lunch break. Often, perspiration invites inspiration, believe me.

Eat one green betel leaf in the morning and another in the evening — the iron in it takes care of anaemia. On weekends, apply coconut oil on your hair. Keep it for 20 minutes. Then, wash with a hair-repairing shampoo.

Any diet sans deep-fried foods and sweets is a healthy diet. Carry home-cooked meals. Or choose idli over medu vada at the college canteen. Carry tomatoes and cucumbers to up your salad quotient at lunch; and apples and guavas to snack on.

Every night, looking at the stars, say: “Thank you, universe, for everything.” And beautiful things will happen to you.

The writer is co-author of the book ‘Fitness for Life'.

Queries may be sent to >life@thehindu.co.in

Published on October 06, 2011
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