From fertility struggles to being more practical in your day-to-day life, here are some must-reads
‘Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain At Any Age’
Dr Sanjay Gupta, Hachette India
This is a book, both for the young and the old, who want to protect their brain from decline and keep it young, healthy, and sharp. The science-driven guide by Atlanta-based neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta, also includes a 12-week plan that consists of daily practice strategies. The author provides insights from top scientists all over the world to debunk myths and help readers maintain cognitive health.
For instance, he explores and explains in detail the efficacy of so-called best diets or exercise regimes for the brain. He questions whether it is healthier to play video games that test memory and processing speed, or to engage in more social interaction. He looks at the true benefits of drugs, supplements and vitamins based on his conversations with octogenarians and nonagenarians, who show no signs of slowing down.
‘The Good Health Always Cookbook: Recipes and Nutrition Secrets For a Better You’
By Charmaine, Charlyene and Savlyene D’Souza, Penguin Random House
The book lists doable Ayurvedic recipes with the nutritional value of ingredients, teaching you to prepare healthy and delicious meals. Ayurvedic diets incorporate therapeutic herbs, spices and condiments in chutneys, gravies, pickles and other dishes to make the food medicinal and yet tasty and healthy. It helps heal the stomach and the gut and ensures good health the natural way always, says nutritionist Charmaine D’Souza.
Of the several she writes about, the ones made with barley rich in vitamins, fibre, iron and amino acids, are interesting and easy to prepare. The lemon barley, for instance, makes for a nice cool hydrating summer beverage and is an effective diuretic too.
‘This Book Could Fix Your Life’
By Helen Thomson, Hachette
We all wish to be happy, stress-free and successful and often try to get there with the help of spiritual and religious gurus and discourses.
In this book, award-winning science writer Helen Thomson cites scientifically-proven and evidence-based research as a way out of such self-help fads. She highlights several experiments that help to understand surprising truths behind meditation, resilience, addiction, willpower, love, good sleep, success, dieting, antidepressants, intelligence and more. The author motivates the readers to try the experiments and see how they work to elevate the mood, conquer fears or keep depression at bay. In short, she describes her book as a myth-buster.
‘What’s a Lemon Squeezer Doing In My Vagina?’
By Rohini S. Rajagopal, Penguin Random House
The author’s five year battle with infertility — the indignities of medical procedures, prying family and friends, the daily anxieties about the outcome of treatment with hormones, follicles and embryos — is told with alacrity and wit. Rohini’s first-person account of her bumpy road to motherhood is also an eye-opener to the fact that infertility and its fall-out does not get the attention it deserves.
Rohini’s life in Bengaluru post-marriage was stopped in its tracks when she could not break in to the exclusive pregnancy club. She says she simply dwelled on that single ‘deficiency’ and forgot to live normally. The lived experience was not only uncomfortable but put tremendous financial and emotional strain on her marriage. The gnawing shame and feeling of inadequacy of not being able to bear a child stuck with her and she quit her job to write this book. She feels it would help all those who are going through similar duress.