I know the food habit of many Malayalis working in UAE. Rice, chapathi and chicken are good foods, but they do not give you all the nutrients necessary for our metabolism. Too much of carbohydrates and protein can increase the blood sugar and thus the blood fat, triglycerides. This is a risk factor for heart diseases. They are also the reason for weight gain and type-2 diabetes. Too much of chicken has other saturated fats and this increases the risk. Moreover, the body becomes acidic and loses the valuable calcium from your bones. That is why we need vegetables and fruits every day.

I will try to help you and many others who also eat like you to do the best in your / their situation. They include:

• Reduce the amount of rice, chapathi and chicken so that the weight and blood sugar are under control. Eat daily a handful of nuts.

• Poly saturated fats like omega-3 fats are very important for our health. Try to eat twice in a week fatty fish. If not possible, buy fish oil capsules and take one in the morning, midday and in the evening after your meals.

• Surely you will get frozen vegetables there. These are as good as or better than fresh vegetables. No cleaning or cutting is necessary and you can make your vegetable curry in 10 minutes. If it is not possible there are natural food supplements that you can take.

• If fruits are costly or not available try to get dry fruits and you can take this, 20 to 30 g twice in a day.

• Take one vitamin B complex tablet everyday if you are a pure vegetarian to get the vitamin B12.

• Take one 500 mg vitamin C tablet in a day as magnesium and vitamin C keep the blood vessels clean. Moreover, vitamin C is an important antioxidant.

• Use milk and dairy products, but not in excess. The minimum amount needed is enough.

• Women in child bearing age must take one vitamin B complex tablet every day. If they plan for a baby this must be taken before pregnancy so that the folic acid in the vitamin B complex helps to produce normal cell division in the embryo. It is of no use and late if you take after you know that you are pregnant.

• If you have iron deficiency and low hemoglobin level take one vitamin C tablet after every meal. During this period black or green tea must be avoided after the meals. Cucumber must also be avoided. If you are very particular to drink tea or eat cucumber take them in between meals. Eggs and red meat are very good sources of iron. Do not eat too much cheese or drink too much of milk during your meal. Excess calcium disturbs the absorption of iron from our small intestine. Avoid iron tablets. This will bring more problems only.

• Premenopausal and menopausal women can take calcium and vitamin D tablets in between two meals. Two hours after the intake of the tablets only you can take your meals.

• Do not smoke.

• Avoid alcohol; social drinking is two drinks for a man and one drink for a woman, that also only 3 to 4 times in a week. It is better to avoid if you cannot control the amount. Dry alcoholics should not touch alcohol. Never believe your husband when he says that his doctor told him that brandy is good for his health. No doctor will give this recommendation.

• Have enough physical activities. Walking quickly, jogging, riding bicycle and swimming are good. Select according to your convenience and do it for 30 minutes 5 to 6 days in a week.

Have you more questions? Feel free to ask me and you get always an answer from me. It is in your hands to be healthy. Be healthy and be happy….