Facts Behind the ‘Natural & Healthy’ Hype

For centuries, we’ve worshipped at the altar of “natural.” It conjures images of pristine fields, fruits, and the earthy aroma of a forest floor. In the age of wellness overload, it’s become a marketing buzzword, synonymous with health and purity. But before we blindly embrace everything nature throws our way, let’s take a deep breath, look at the difference between natural vs. healthy foods and debunk a pervasive myth: natural doesn’t always mean healthy.

The Psychology Behind ‘Natural Is The Best’

Evolution says “nature knows best,” a legacy forged from millennia of relying on its reward for survival. This bias spills into the modern world, painting “natural” products with an alluring picture of wholesomeness and inherent benefit. In a world overloaded with confusion and complexity, the “natural” label offers simplicity, a nostalgic return to basics where wellness didn’t require deciphering scientific language or navigating a universe of processed ingredients.

Then there’s the fear of the unknown, of synthetic chemicals and artificiality that modern science brought alongside its advancements. “Natural” products, in their perceived purity, become a comforting shield against these anxieties, promising safety and reassurance. Certain childhood folktales and inspiring documentaries, further fuel this fire.

We see nature as a haven of beauty and vitality, and this emotional association effortlessly transfers to anything labelled “natural,” imbuing it with wholesome vibe. Finally, marketing capitalises on our existing biases while promising enhanced well-being through the lens of “natural” products. This constant reinforcement keeps the association alive, weaving it into the consumer consciousness. So, while “natural” holds undeniable charm, remember, it’s not always synonymous with “healthy.” A critical eye and informed choices are our best tools in navigating the complex world of wellness, ensuring we don’t get swept away by this powerful, yet sometimes misleading, label.

Think of nature as a vibrant, often chaotic, playground. Yes, it’s the source of life-giving fruits and vegetables, but it’s also home to poisonous berries, venomous creatures, and potent allergens. To walk through this playground safely, we need to shed the rose-tinted glasses of “natural is good” and approach it with clear-eyed curiosity and informed scepticism.

To help you with that, we bust some common myths to illuminate the differences between natural vs. healthy foods.

Myth #1: Natural remedies are harmless. Just because a plant-based extract isn’t a synthetic drug doesn’t mean it’s safe. St. John’s wort, touted for its anti-depressant properties, can interact with medication and trigger photosensitivity. Echinacea, a popular immune booster, can prolong colds in some individuals. The natural world brims with potent chemicals, many with unknown or adverse effects. Treat herbal remedies with the same respect and due diligence as you would any medication.

Myth #2: Organic automatically equals healthy. While opting for organic produce reduces exposure to pesticides, it doesn’t guarantee nutritional superiority. A conventionally grown broccoli floret could have more vitamins than an organically grown one, depending on factors like soil quality and harvest time. Focus on variety, balance, and proper preparation instead of chasing the “organic” halo.

Myth #3: Avoiding processed foods guarantees health. Processing isn’t inherently evil. Canning vegetables preserve nutrients, fortified milk boosts calcium levels, and frozen berries can be just as good as fresh ones when it comes to vitamin content. The key is understanding the type of processing and choosing minimally processed whole foods over heavily processed snacks laden with sugar, unhealthy fats, and artificial additives.

Myth #4: Natural always tastes better. This one’s subjective, but let’s be honest, some natural things foods like bitter gourd, aren’t exactly palate pleasers. Don’t demonise delicious, healthy options like yoghurt mixed with berries or whole-wheat pancakes drizzled with honey. Enjoying food and nourishing your body can go hand-in-hand.

So, where does this leave us? Do we abandon the natural world for a sterile lab-created existence? No. The beauty of nature lies in its diversity, and its ability to offer both bounty and challenge. Our role is to approach it with respect, knowledge, and a healthy dose of critical thinking. Here are some tips for navigating the natural world like a savvy wellness warrior:

  • Research, research, research: Before popping any natural supplement or incorporating a new “miracle plant” into your diet, do your homework. Read articles, consult registered dieticians or herbalists, and talk to your doctor. Knowledge is power, and in the natural world, ignorance can be painful.
  • Focus on balance: Don’t get caught up in fads or demonise entire food groups. Embrace variety, incorporate a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, and prioritise whole, unprocessed foods. Your body thrives on balance, not extremes.
  • Listen to your body: Food and wellness are personal journeys. Pay attention to how you feel after trying new things. Does that “natural” ingredient cause bloating or digestive discomfort? Does that herbal remedy leave you feeling jittery? Your body speaks volumes, listen to its whispers.
  • Enjoy the journey: Food isn’t just fuel; it’s a source of pleasure and cultural connection. Experiment with flavours, embrace seasonal bounty and celebrate the diversity of nature’s offerings. Delicious and healthy can coexist on your plate!

“Natural” is not always a guarantee of health. It’s a beautiful, complex, and sometimes unpredictable force but it pays to understand the differences between natural vs. healthy foods. Approach it with respect, a little bit of scepticism, and a healthy dose of critical thinking. You may be able to truly unlock the amazing benefits nature has to offer while avoiding its hidden pitfalls.

My Journey with PCOS: Stress, Management & Integrative Solutions

I was 13 or 14 when I was diagnosed with PCOS. Almost 15 years ago today. I barely remember a life before that. As a school-going girl, dealing with PCOS was overwhelming, confusing, and downright exhausting. One day it’s painful cramps and unpredictable bleeding, the next it’s acne breakouts and this exhaustion that no amount of sleep can fix. And no cravings? Constantly! I was just never hungry. And yet because of that, I was always bloated. What I’d thought was fat at that time was my body’s way of telling me about the excessive and constant inflammation.

Traditional advice made it worse. Skip carbs. Do more HIIT. Get on a calorie deficit. Practice intermittent fasting. These recommendations are not made for cortisol balancing, the imbalance of which is the root of all my troubles.

Through all of this, as is often seen around us, I started hating having to be born in a female body. My life was SO difficult and the only solace offered to me was that most women go through this. I need to suck it and stop being a drama mama. It made me angry (and I was called being too emotional or too hormonal for it…)

Over the years, my curiosity and scepticism about the advice and reasoning I was getting led me to learn about my hormonal health. This introduced me to the idea of cortisol dysregulation. Cortisol is a steroid that’s produced by the adrenal glands in the body. It’s commonly known as the stress hormones. The reality is that it supports the body in situations of stress. It increases glucose in the bloodstream, enhances its use by the brain, and regulates the availability of substances in the body that repair tissues – all important functions when you’re in a fight-or-flight state. A spike, such as that in my case, tells the body that’s always in this state.

Think of cortisol like an internal alarm system. It’s a superb evolutionary response to danger but we don’t live in this kind of danger anymore. Imagine you’re trying to relax and enjoy a good cup of coffee, but your internal alarm is blaring danger. No matter what you do, it just won’t shut off. That’s the kind of internal chaos I dealt with for the first two phases of my life.

I’m going to share below the systems I’ve built over the years that help me calm down my cortisol. It’s taken me a long time and experimentation to get here. Most importantly, these systems have unlocked a radical and transformative mental shift in how I approach and think about life. This fundamental change has helped me the most. The systems are personal to my life requirements, preferences, and commitments, but the mental models are universal. You may find them as a useful starting point in your journey as well.

  • Intentional Yes’s, Powerful No’s: I’m far more selective with my time and energy. This means saying “yes” enthusiastically to things that light me up and saying “no” without guilt when something doesn’t feel right.
  • Prioritising Me: I’m not being selfish; I’m being strategic. Putting my physical and mental well-being first means I can show up better in all areas of my life. An empty cup cannot fill any other cup. I do not want to be a superwoman.
  • No JOMO, no FOMO: I neither feel joy nor fear in ‘missing’ things out. I simply choose what deserves my energy. This helps me balance my commitments to myself, my family, my friends, and my social circles.
  • Making rest non-negotiable: This quote is from Nicola Jane Hobbs, a psychologist I admire and respect. Her work is phenomenal and I highly recommend you check it out!


To give you context, this is what my life looks like right now:

  • I’m Head of Growth at a longevity sciences startup at Pre-Series A. This means 9-10 hours of work every day.
  • I also consult various other companies in female health specifically on user experience and research, growth, and product.
  • I live with my partner and in-laws and have an active family life here. I’m the only one in a business-class family to have a job.
  • We have an active social life and usually meet our circle 3-4x a week.
  • I also spend time in learning new skills. Right now, I’m all about cooking. I completed my Precision Nutrition Level 1 course a few weeks ago. April onwards is a health tech fellowship I’ve been selected for.
  • I am not active on social media. I don’t watch any TV. I watch movies 3-4x a month in theatres.

What are the different types of PCOS?

When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t even know PCOS has types. Maybe that’s why the recommendations would always feel so confusing.

The 4 Main Types of PCOS (Simplified):

According to science, there are 4 main types of PCOS:

  • Type A: High androgens, irregular periods or no periods, and polycystic ovaries. This is usually considered the most severe form.
  • Type B: High androgens and irregular periods or no periods.
  • Type C: High androgens and polycystic ovaries.
  • Type D: Irregular periods or no periods, and polycystic ovaries. This is often considered the mildest form.

Let’s break these down even further:

  • Insulin-Resistant PCOS: The most common type. If you struggle with cravings, weight gain, and feeling like your energy crashes midday, insulin resistance could be a major culprit.
  • Inflammatory PCOS: Acne that won’t quit, feeling exhausted and achy all the time…those are classic signs of inflammation running wild. This type can mess with you even if you’re not overweight.
  • Post-Pill PCOS: For some women, going off birth control sets off a firestorm of PCOS symptoms, even if they never had problems before. Sometimes this is temporary, but it’s a sign your body needs extra support.
  • Adrenal PCOS: Basically, this is PCOS supercharged by stress. You might have lots of that ‘wired but tired’ feeling, along with the typical PCOS stuff.

Remember, it’s normal to have a mix of things going on! Most of us don’t fit neatly into one type. The important thing is to figure out your main drivers so you can target your treatment more effectively.

My Story: Type C and Cortisol

Technically I’m under the “Type C” umbrella. This means I used to deal with some of the classic stuff like hirsutism, excessive period pain, fatigue, and lethargy. All of this is due to my body’s natural tendency towards an overstimulated cortisol system.

It wasn’t even like visible stress. It was more like feeling restless on the inside, even when I wanted to relax. My sleep was terrible, and I was dealing with low-level inflammation that made me feel off all the time, leaving me constantly fatigued with barely any energy or focus.

Cortisol’s Impact on My Body

Cortisol isn’t bad – we need it! But with PCOS, it can get seriously out of balance. Here’s what that looked like for me:

  • Energy Crashes: I could go on an entire day without feeling hungry. Losing weight? Forget about it.
  • Hormonal Imbalances: My periods were predictable but painful, but my skin was constantly breaking out.
  • Exhausted but Anxious: I could never truly relax, yet felt wiped out all the time. It was a terrible combo.

High cortisol took every PCOS symptom and made it ten times worse.

The Stress Connection

Modern life is not designed for the way our bodies work, especially for those of us with PCOS. Think about it: we’re built to handle short bursts of stress, like escaping danger. But now? Deadlines, emails, traffic, families, constant dopamine hits with social media… It’s non-stop, and it messes with our cortisol levels.

With PCOS, you might be even more sensitive to this constant low-level stress. Our bodies can get stuck in ‘fight-or-flight’ mode, which makes everything worse.

That’s why I’m so focused on calming down my system at all times. Telling it that it is safe and secure. There’s nothing to fear. It’s about breaking the vicious cycle that makes PCOS so hard to manage.

Understanding Cortisol’s Natural Balance in Our Bodies

Our bodies are amazing. Cortisol levels naturally rise and fall throughout the day according to our circadian rhythm (your internal clock). Think of it like this:

  • Morning Surge: Cortisol levels are highest in the morning, usually within an hour of waking up. This helps us feel alert and energised to start the day.
  • Gradual Decline: Levels slowly decrease throughout the day, with the lowest point happening around midnight. This is meant to signal to our bodies that it’s time for rest.

Modern life messes with this natural rhythm. Things like late nights, irregular sleep, and chronic stress can keep cortisol levels elevated even when they should be low. This throws our entire system off balance. I’m not even getting into technology, fuelling systems, and movement stressors on the body right (but I will below!)

The Menstrual Cycle Factor

Our menstrual cycle also influences cortisol levels. Here’s how it roughly plays out:

  • Follicular Phase (Start of Your Cycle): At the beginning of your period, both estrogen and progesterone are low, and cortisol tends to follow suit. This is often why many women feel a sense of renewed energy and focus in the days following their period.
  • Ovulation: As your body prepares for ovulation, estrogen rises, sometimes triggering a slight spike in cortisol. This is completely normal, but for those of us with PCOS, it may be more pronounced.
  • Luteal Phase (After Ovulation): This is where things can get tricky. Progesterone rises in the second half of your cycle to prepare your body for potential pregnancy. While progesterone has calming effects, it can also influence cortisol. For some women with PCOS, this leads to heightened cortisol sensitivity, meaning any stress is felt much more intensely.

With PCOS, our hormones are already out of balance. Many of us have higher than normal androgens (like testosterone), irregular cycles, and insulin resistance. These factors contribute to a chronically stressed-out system and dysregulated cortisol levels.

Those natural fluctuations in cortisol during the menstrual cycle can become a rollercoaster with PCOS. I noticed my worst symptoms – mood swings, sleep problems, cravings, you name it – flared up during the week before my period when cortisol naturally started to rise.

This isn’t to say those of us with PCOS are doomed to feel terrible all the time. But understanding this rhythm has been incredibly empowering. It explains why I need to be extra mindful of stress management and prioritise sleep hygiene, especially during certain phases of my cycle. It also helps me adjust my expectations – if I know I’m naturally more sensitive, I don’t beat myself up when I feel anxious or overwhelmed.

How do I manage my PCOS symptoms?

While managing PCOS is a long journey, I’ve found a few key tools incredibly helpful. But here’s the thing: I use them strategically, not obsessively.

  • Blood Reports: I get comprehensive blood work done twice a year. This tracks things like hormone levels, inflammation markers, insulin, and vitamin D that are key to my PCOS management. Seeing those numbers helps me and my doctor makes adjustments when needed.
  • Ultrasounds: Once a year, I get an ultrasound to check on my ovaries and overall status. It’s motivating to see any positive changes, but it also helps catch potential issues early.
  • Sleep Ring: This might seem unconventional for PCOS, but honestly, it’s been a game-changer. My sleep ring lets me track my resting heart rate (RHR), heart rate variability (HRV), and sleep quality. These are great indicators of how stressed or balanced my system is, especially during different parts of my cycle.
  • No Constant Progress Checks: While I track the important things, I avoid the daily trap of weighing myself, staring in the mirror, or obsessing over every little symptom change. It drove me crazy and made my stress worse. My focus is on doing things that support my body consistently, not short-term “fixes.”

Most importantly, avoiding constant symptom-checking helps me stay sane. We all know PCOS symptoms can fluctuate, and fixating on them can often become discouraging.

It’s far more empowering to focus on the actions I can control.

The Night “Unwind” Routine I Swear By

Honestly, how well I manage my symptoms during the day depends on what I did the night before. I’ve become very intentional about my evening routine because it directly sets the stage for good sleep and balanced cortisol the next day. Here’s what it looks like:

  • Soothing Skincare: This isn’t just about pampering myself. Taking the time for a calming skincare routine with gentle massage signals my body that it’s time to unwind. Massages in general are calming for me so I like to incorporate these before sleep.
  • Tech Blackout: No screens in bed, period. The blue light messes with my sleep, and honestly, scrolling before bed is pure stress, both physically and psychologically. I used to earlier force myself out of using my phone but now I don’t feel the need to anymore.
  • Calming Activities: Things like gentle breathing exercises, journaling, and calming music help me shift into a relaxed state. Although I love reading, I tend to avoid it at bedtime because I can get too engrossed in it and not unwind.
  • The Cotton Trick: Okay, this might sound weird, but I put a small piece of cotton in my right nostril at night. Research suggests it can help improve airflow and calm the nervous system. It’s made a surprising difference for me. I learnt about this in a meditation workshop I did. I don’t advise you to do this without expert support.
  • Early and Nourishing Dinner: Eating too close to bedtime disrupts my sleep. I aim for a dinner rich in protein and healthy carbs a few hours before I want to go to sleep. No sugary treats at night, as they can spike my blood sugar and cause restless sleep. I also like to eat a full meal instead of light dinners to keep my nighttime glucose in check.
  • Magnesium Support: I take 400-500 mg of magnesium bis-glycinate in the evening. Not only does it promote melatonin production, which is helpful for sleep hygiene, but magnesium is important for many processes in the body and is often depleted in those with PCOS. I ensure to take my bis-glycinate in a consistent window and never after I’ve had alcohol. On days that I’ll be staying up late, I skip it to not train my body to produce melatonin at an unfavourable time.

Everything in my evening routine aims to support my sleep and counter the overstimulation of modern life. It’s about calming my nervous system, so my body has a chance to catch up and regulate my hormones.

Adapting for Social Life

Let’s be real – life is great. I want to stay healthy so my personal and social life is thriving. Sometimes that means staying out later or having a few drinks. When that happens, I follow some systems that keep the negative impact as low as possible.

  • Clean Choices: If I’m going to have a drink, I stick to simple options like clear liquor with water only. No soda or sugary drinks.
  • Hydration is Key: I drink lots of water before, during, and especially the day after alcohol to counteract dehydration. I also ensure ORS or coconut water the next day to recover the lost salts and minerals.
  • Mindful Eating: At a party, I make sure to eat a filling meal beforehand and choose protein-rich snacks over sugary things.
  • Hangover Meals: No greasy carbs. A healthy, high-protein breakfast that follows the My Plate Method to ensure my body has the fuel it needs to recover from a binge (when it happens).

My Daytime Routine

Here are some key ways I stay active and mindful during the day:

  • Morning Meals: I ensure to eat something in the first 60 minutes of my awake time. This usually looks like soaked dry fruits, 1 spoon of chyawanprash, and 1 glass of hot water with turmeric (for immunity). I also don’t skip breakfast or practice intermittent fasting. While this may work for many people, for me it causes further inflammation.
  • Walking Meetings: Whenever possible, I take my calls and even smaller meetings while walking outside. The movement helps me stay focused and keeps my energy levels more stable. This also helps me ensure adequate sunlight exposure for Vitamin D balance.
  • Standing Desk: I invested in a standing desk setup that’s helped me increase my active hours in the day. My next purchase is going to be a walker to keep under it so I can increase my step count further.
  • Protecting My Focus: My sleep chronotype and multiple additional experiments have shown me that I’m most productive with deep work in the afternoon period. I can do 4-5 hours of deep work at a stretch. I keep mornings and evenings for shallow work on my to-do list. This way I’m not exerting myself unnecessarily and also getting through on my work. This also minimises distractions for me.
  • Morning Walks: Even if it’s just 30 minutes, getting outside for a walk first thing sets the tone for my day. The sunshine on my skin boosts my mood and helps regulate my sleep-wake cycle.
  • Vitamin D Boost: If I can’t get morning sun, I make sure to take vitamin D supplement drops.

These might seem like small adjustments, but they have a significant impact on my cortisol levels and overall well-being. Regular movement, prioritising my natural energy patterns, and exposure to sunlight all help keep my system balanced.

Adjusting With My Cycle

I’ve found that certain parts of my PCOS management need to shift depending on where I am in my cycle. Here’s what works for me:

Workouts That Aligns With My Cycle

  • Period Week: I focus on recovery and gentle movement. I’m usually similar in energy but I prefer not to overexert myself. On days that I do it, I’m crankier and irritable.
  • Luteal Phase: Strength training, Pilates, yoga, and steady-state cardio-like running are better choices for me. For strength training, I push my body more without increasing the weights I’m using.
  • BCAA Boost: Especially during the later luteal phase and period, I take BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) during my workouts. This helps preserve muscle and prevent fatigue.
  • Pre-Period Reset: The day before my period, I switch to restorative yoga and long walks to ease PMS symptoms.
  • No HIIT: I avoid workouts that don’t bring consistency to them through all phases of my cycle. HIIT, spin cycle exercises, Zumba, or aerobics are not my cup of tea for this reason.
  • Morning Workouts: Anything that needs my full energy needs to happen in the first half of the day. Evening workouts tend to spike my cortisol, preventing sleep hygiene for me. When this is unavoidable due to life in general, I supplement with chamomile tea or other such relaxing food items when going to sleep.

After a morning run on my 29th birthday for a marathon hosted in my city. I ran 10K on Day 19 of my cycle.

Food for Focus and Fuel

  • Freshly Cooked Food: I avoid cold foods and drinks in general, focusing on warmer meals that are easier to digest. This is especially important during my period. In general, I prefer to not food that’s more than a day old. I don’t use ice or sweeteners.
  • Follicular & Ovulation: These phases are about focus for me, so clean protein and complex carbs are crucial to prevent brain fog. Shroom coffee (with adaptogenic mushrooms) after lunch gives me non-jittery energy and focus.
  • Luteal & Menstrual: I need more energy-sustaining foods during these phases, along with lots of iron-rich options to replenish what I lose during my period.
  • Caffeine Control: I’ve never been someone who’s needed coffee for energy or focus so not having it never poses a concern or problem for me. I take coffee only for the taste of it (and I only want to have great coffee). I avoid coffee with breakfast or after late evening. I also ensure not to take coffee in the first 120 minutes of waking up to prevent cortisol spikes in the body. Instead, I use my body clock and natural systems to energy and wake up fresh.


  • L-theanine: During my late luteal and menstrual phases, I take L-theanine, a natural amino acid that promotes relaxation and better sleep. This also helps combat the headaches I sometimes get during the day in these phases.
  • Collagen: I’ve been doing a cycle of 60 days each with a 2-3 months gap between each cycle right now. I plan to up this to 90 days each with a 2-month gap between each cycle. I’ll eventually get this up to a 180-day cycle with a 3-6 month gap depending on what I require at that time.
  • Protein: I use plant protein to ensure I hit my daily macros of food. I skip this on days I’ve had meat 2x a day to prevent bloating.

I don’t like to be obsessive with cycle syncing. I think adding more work and decision-making fatigue to my day will defeat the purpose. But awareness of how my hormones impact my energy levels, mood, and even my skin has been extremely helpful. Adjusting these key areas helps me feel more in control and less at the mercy of my ever-changing body.

The Results

The biggest win with this approach is that I no longer feel lethargic which used to plague me throughout my cycle. PMS-related mood swings and bloating are pretty much a thing of the past. Honestly, it’s incredibly freeing!

  • Fertility: My fertility levels are a-okay as per my last consult.
  • Energy: I have more bandwidth to live a fuller life.
  • Hair: I’ve got laser done all over but in general and don’t actively face any challenges with hirsutism. I do have thin and less hair on my head but that’s also genetic.
  • Obesity: I’m fit, active, healthy size S in the recommended weight range for my height. My BMI has been between 18-20 for the last 10 years now.

Living with PCOS means there will always be challenges and adjustments. But I’m no longer controlled by it. The most empowering part has been finding what works for my body and building a life that supports it, not sabotages it.

Lifting Weights for Neurological Health

Strength training has been seen for decades as a way to build muscle mass and achieve physical success. However, studies have shown that strength training has benefits for the brain that are equally impressive, if not more profound, than the physical transformations it ignites. Therefore, it’s time to change our perspective on strength training. It’s not just about sculpting the body; it’s also about sculpting a sharper, more resilient mind. To understand the effect of lifting weights for neurological health,

Strength Training and Brain Health

Strength training is a form of exercise that involves lifting weights, and it is beneficial not only for the muscles but also for the brain. When you engage in strength training, you are creating a complex neurochemical symphony within your brain. This activity stimulates the growth of new brain cells, particularly in the hippocampus, which is the centre for memory and learning.

These new neurons form connections that enhance cognitive function and create a “cognitive reserve” that helps protect against age-related decline. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein that promotes neuronal growth and survival. Exercise significantly increases the levels of BDNF, enhancing learning and memory, and protecting against cognitive decline. Exercise improves blood flow throughout the body, including the brain, which helps nourish brain cells and optimise their function and efficiency.

Besides promoting the growth of new brain cells, strength training has other benefits for the brain.

Neural Perks of Strength Exercises

The cognitive gains from strength training ****are plenty. One of the most significant benefits is the growth of new brain cells and stronger neural connections, which makes learning and remembering effortless. A stronger and more efficient brain can help people learn a new language, retain intricate details, recall daily tasks, and perform better in work and personal life. This cognitive benefit is especially important in the current age of information, where people must continuously learn new skills to keep up with technological advancements and stay competitive in their fields.

Another cognitive benefit of exercise is improved focus and concentration. Exercise helps to increase the levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and improve blood flow to the brain, which leads to a sharper ability to concentrate and filter out distractions. This benefit translates to enhanced productivity, sharper problem-solving skills, and an unwavering attention span. Improved focus and concentration are essential in this age of digital distractions, where people often struggle to stay focused on a single task for an extended period.

Exercise is also an effective natural antidepressant that can help elevate mood and combat stress and anxiety. Strength training, in particular, can help increase the levels of mood-boosting neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters help promote a sense of well-being and resilience, which can help people cope with difficult situations in their personal and professional lives. This cognitive benefit is particularly important, given the current mental health crisis, where more and more people are experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression.

Overall, it is a low-cost and low-risk intervention that anyone can incorporate into their daily routine.

No Bulking, Just Brainy Bliss

Unlocking cognitive benefits through strength training is a universally accessible endeavour that transcends the need for bulging biceps or an exclusive gym membership. A personalised approach can be adopted to enhance cognitive function through strength training, emphasising inclusivity and adaptability.

For beginners, the journey begins with a focus on foundational principles. Starting smart and staying strong involves commencing with bodyweight exercises or light weights. The gradual increase in intensity and duration ensures a sustainable progression, with an emphasis on proper form rather than the pursuit of heavy weights. This approach not only fosters physical strength but also kickstarts the cognitive benefits associated with strength training.

The key to long-term commitment lies in finding fitness activities that bring joy and invigoration. Whether it’s participating in group fitness classes, engaging in bodyweight circuits at home, or embracing the challenges of yoga for improved balance and coordination, the choice of activities should be driven by personal enjoyment. Consistency becomes a natural byproduct when exercise is infused with elements of fun.

Diversification of the training routine emerges as a strategy to keep both the brain and body stimulated. Introducing variety in exercises prevents plateaus, ensuring continuous engagement and maximising the cognitive advantages of strength training. Celebrating progress goes beyond conventional metrics, with a focus on non-scale victories such as enhanced memory, improved sleep, and sharper focus. These tangible benefits serve as affirmations of the positive impact strength training imparts to cognitive well-being.

Training for a Mindful Life

The impact of strength training extends beyond cognitive benefits. It fosters discipline, resilience, and a sense of accomplishment that spills over into other aspects of life. The self-confidence gained from lifting weights translates into tackling challenges at work, managing stress, and embracing a more empowered outlook.

The pursuit of a strong mind doesn’t require expensive equipment or a specific gym routine. Start with manageable goals, explore activities you enjoy, and savour the mental clarity and emotional well-being that come with building strength, both physically and mentally. So, embrace the bodyweight squat, the yoga pose, or whatever sparks your fitness joy, and unlock the hidden potential of your brain. Who knows, you might just discover the strongest version of yourself, inside and out.

Top Pain Patches for Period Relief: Effective & Safe

Pain patches are discreet but powerful little adhesive squares that provide immense targeted relief, commonly used for period pain relief. Think of them as tiny superheroes, sticking close to the source of your pain and whispering comforting vibes directly to your nerve endings. No more pills or messy creams – these deliver relief where it’s needed most.

For effective pain relief, these patches come with a variety of soothing options. Some menstrual patches have natural ingredients like herbs and essential oils, sending waves of calming aromatherapy to your aching muscles. Others provide gentle heat, mimicking the comforting warmth of a heating pad and encouraging blood flow to loosen those crampy knots. And for those seeking a more potent punch, patches infused with over-the-counter pain relievers offer targeted delivery, minimising the annoying side effects of oral medication.

But the real beauty of pain relief patches lies in their convenience and discretion. These work silently under your clothes, letting you conquer cramps without sacrificing your day (or your outfit) and letting you ditch your bulky heat bags and pill stash. Whether you’re facing a board meeting or a weekend adventure, pain patches have your back (or, more accurately, your abdomen).

Types of Pain Patches for Period Relief

There are various types of pain relief patches available, each suited to different needs:

  • Heat Patches: Cosy like a mini heating pad, these patches boost blood flow, relaxing muscles and soothing aches. Pro: no cords or burn risks. Con: limited relief for deeper cramps.
  • Medicated Patches: Packed with over-the-counter pain relievers like lidocaine or ibuprofen, these attack pain directly. However, these aren’t available in India yet. Pro: targeted relief with fewer side effects than pills. Con: potential for skin irritation, not suitable for everyone.
  • Herbal Patches: Nature’s gentle warriors, these patches release soothing scents like lavender or chamomile, calming cramps and easing anxiety. Pro: it is safe for sensitive skin, and great for those avoiding medication. Con: may not be as powerful as other options.

Top Rated Pain Patches for Period Relief

Sirona: Sirona’s Feminine Pain Relief Patch offers a 100% herbal haven for menstrual pain relief and muscular discomfort. They use nature’s purest pain relievers: Menthol and Eucalyptus Oil which are woven into the patch and released in a controlled fashion to envelop your aches in cooling relief for up to 8-10 hours. Designed by experts, these discreet cramp relief patches whisper sweet relief onto your skin, without disrupting your metabolism or hampering your daily rhythm. They come in a pocket-sized pack, always ready to transform your social outings, meetings, and even adventurous travels into pain-free escapes.

Nua: India’s first self-heating patch, Nua, was specially designed to melt away menstrual pain. Forget carrying around hot water bottles – these innovative patches gently activate with air, seeping in warmth and relaxation straight into your aching muscles. No wires, no fuss, just soothing heat easing the flow of your period. Welcome a more comfortable, less painful experience. Just remember to keep an eye on your skin during use, and give yourself a break from the patch at bedtime.

Evereve: Evereve’s period relief patches are crafted with 100% natural ingredients like iron, vermiculite, and charcoal, unleashing long-lasting warmth (up to 8 hours!) on contact with air. Think cosy hugs that melt away your cramps and let you reclaim your day. These sleek, discreet patches hug your skin comfortably, staying completely invisible under your clothes. Ready to ditch the discomfort and embrace period power? Evereve is your heat-activated haven.

How to Choose the Right Pain Patch for You

Before patching your way to pain-free, consider what your needs are. If you have sensitive skin, herbal patches like Sirona might be better as they’re gentle on your skin. If you’re prone to deep, grabby cramps, medicated patches pack a powerful punch but unfortunately aren’t available easily in India. Looking for all-day, discreet comfort on the move? Long-lasting heat patches like Nua & Evereve provide effective pain relief. Once chosen, stick to the safe zones where there is clean, dry skin and avoid any irritated areas. Keep an eye out for redness or itching. Remember, these patches are allies, not substitutes for medical advice. If the pain is too much to bear, always talk to your doctor.

What the fuss: Gut Microbiome Testing, is it worth it?

Trust your gut, they say. And they’re not wrong.

In recent years, our curiosity about the gut microbiome has skyrocketed, captivating researchers and health enthusiasts alike. The exploration of this universe within our bodies and the consequent awareness about it’s effects has led to more people optimising for a healthy gut microbiome. This, has seen an increased interest in gut microbiome testing, with people wanting to know how healthy & varied their gut microbiome is. But is it a source of valuable data, or just another way to feed our curiosity?

Gut Microbiome Testing, is a non-invasive procedure which involves analysing stool samples at specialised labs which use cutting-edge methods like metagenomic sequencing and 16S rRNA gene sequencing to unveil the genetic makeup of the microorganisms residing in our gut, from bacteria to fungi and even viruses. One of the biggest benefits of understanding microbiome makeup & health is the promise of personalised health and nutrition solutions.

Imagine tailoring diet and lifestyle recommendations based on your unique gut composition, improving digestion, immune response, mental health, and possibly even weight management.

Additionally, certain microbial profiles have been linked to health conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. By knowing the composition & health of the microbiota, microbiome testing could aid in identifying at-risk individuals and supporting disease management.

Great as it is, as with any new field, gut microbiome testing has its limitations. While it can identify the presence of various microbes, we’re still in the early stages of comprehending their full impact on our health. While microbiome tests offer personalised reports and dietary suggestions based on stool samples, they shouldn’t be used as diagnostic tools. Home gut tests are best suited for individuals curious about exploring their bacterial composition as they can’t accurately diagnose health conditions. For those seeking deeper insights, a food sensitivity test or consulting a doctor for in-person assessment is advisable.

Despite these limitations, research into the gut microbiome is rapidly expanding, offering intriguing insights into its connection to various health conditions. This exciting frontier could pave the way for personalised medicine, unlocking novel approaches to health and disease management. From autoimmune diseases to mental health disorders, the potential links between the microbiome and our well-being are interesting, to say the least. While gut microbiome testing holds promise with the prospect of personalised health, there is still much yet to be discovered and understood & we look forward to what the next few years of scientific research uncover.

If you’re interested in getting your Gut Microbiome tested, here are a few companies that you can try out in India:

AQI Rising: Delhi

Every year, this time of the year, Delhiites gear up for a battle against a sneaky foe – air pollution. With the weather getting colder and the winds getting calmer, the air quality in the city starts to worsen, posing a major threat to our health and coping with Delhi pollution is difficult, with a lot of people finding ways to leave the city if they can. Stagnant air and temperature inversion trap pollutants closer to the ground, preventing their dispersion and limiting the vertical movement of pollutants. Moreover, the practice of burning crop residue in neighbouring states and the increase in firecracker use adds a significant load of particulate matter to Delhi’s air.

The air quality index (AQI) in Delhi has reached alarming levels, reaching 373 as reported by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Wednesday. For reference, an AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’ and anything above 500, ‘hazardous’. The severity of the situation is highlighted by the fact that certain areas of Delhi, such as Wazirpur, Rohini and Anand Vihar recorded AQI levels of 422, 405 and 424 respectively.

While the Delhi government is implementing measures to curb this as much as possible, including but not limited to temporary regulations on construction & traffic and the usage of large scale anti smog guns and & sprinklers, this is a problem which is difficult to address at a larger scale. To limit the harmful effects on you and your family and reduce your exposure to the pollutants over the next few weeks, here’s a handy guide to help you breathe better.


  • Monitor Air Quality: Stay updated on the air quality. Use any apps that offer real-time air quality information & adjust outdoor activities accordingly.
  • Use Masks: Use N95 or N99 masks to reduce your exposure to harmful particulate matter. Ensure that the mask fits properly in order to work effectively.
  • Limit Outdoor Activities: Limit outdoor activities as much as possible, especially for children and the elderly. If you usually exercise outdoors, shift to indoor exercise if possible.
  • Purification: Get a good quality air purifier in your home and office to help reduce indoor pollution. Certain indoor plants like Spider plants, aloe vera, and peace lilies can also help improve indoor air quality.
  • Steam: Regular steam inhalation via a home steamer or a steam bath can help relax your airways and eliminate hazardous particles from your body.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help your body eliminate toxins. It also prevents dryness and irritation in the throat and airways.
  • Immunity via Nutrition: Consume foods rich in antioxidants & Vitamin A, C and E to improve immunity and reduce inflammation caused by pollution or other toxins.


While Delhi’s battle against pollution is a complex and ongoing one, your commitment to taking these precautionary measures can significantly reduce the health risks associated with poor air quality.

Cannabis Science: Understanding CBD & THC

The cannabis plant, a familiar sight for those who’ve navigated college days in India or celebrated Holi, has been used recreationally and medicinally for centuries. From being served as “prasad” within certain religious circles to being harnessed for its therapeutic properties, cannabis exhibits a diverse range of applications. However, this botanical wonder offers a lot more than what it presents on the surface as a psychoactive, recreational drug. Within it, lie compounds that are a subject of increasing scientific interest. They are being meticulously extracted, isolated, and explored as potential remedies for ailments such as anxiety, chronic inflammation, and sleep disturbances. But the critical question is—what’re the difference between CBD vs THC in medical cannabis and do these compounds genuinely deliver the promised benefits, or is their use a pretext for recreational indulgence?

Intrigued by the potential medicinal attributes of the plant, we decided to explore and understand the genuine benefits that this intriguing plant might offer to the realm of health and well-being.

Compounding Cannabis: CBD vs THC in medical cannabis

The cannabis plant boasts an ancient history of therapeutic use, largely thanks to bioactive cannabinoids like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC, the psychoactive compound, has shown prowess in taming chronic pain, muscle spasticity, glaucoma, low appetite and nausea. On the other hand, CBD, the non-psychoactive component, is a potential therapeutic agent helpful in treating epilepsy, inflammation, skin conditions, anxiety, and insomnia. Both these compounds work with the body’s endocannabinoid system, albeit in different ways.

CBD (Cannabidiol):

CBD, the non-psychoactive sibling of THC, interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to help manage & provide relief for:

  • Epilepsy: CBD takes the spotlight in treating complex forms of epilepsy, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. In fact, the U.S. FDA has given its approval to Epidiolex, a CBD-based drug specifically designed for these conditions.
  • Anxiety: Early trials & anecdotal evidence suggest CBD’s potential anti-anxiety effects but further research is still needed to solidify its efficacy in managing this common mental health condition.
  • Pain and Inflammation: Animal studies have shown encouraging results regarding CBD’s ability to manage pain and inflammation. However, the translation of these findings to human clinical trials is an ongoing process.

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol):

THC, with its psychoactive properties, offers a unique set of therapeutic possibilities:

  • Chronic Pain: THC’s role in addressing chronic pain should not be underestimated. Nabiximols, a drug containing equal parts THC and CBD, have been approved in several countries as a treatment for pain associated with multiple sclerosis.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Dronabinol, an FDA-approved drug containing THC, has emerged as a valuable tool in combating nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy, particularly for cancer patients who have not responded well to other treatments.
  • Low Appetite: Dronabinol has also been authorised to treat anorexia related to weight loss in individuals with AIDS, potentially serving as an appetite stimulant in medically fragile situations.

These findings, while exciting, need more research to fully grasp CBD and THC’s therapeutic potential. Most of the evidence comes from smaller-scale trials, so larger, randomised, controlled trials are the next step.

Proceed with Caution

While CBD and THC come with therapeutic possibilities, they can also have side effects and carry risks. THC can cause temporary effects like a faster heartbeat, dry mouth, red eyes, slower reaction times, and memory hiccups. High doses might even trigger a bout of paranoia or anxiety. As for CBD, you might experience some nausea, fatigue, or irritability.

The Perfect Dose

The ideal dose can vary widely, depending on the individual, the condition being treated, the specific product, and whether the two compounds are being used in combination or on their own. As with all new protocols, start with a low dose, and gradually increase it until you hit the sweet spot. A sit-down with a healthcare provider experienced in cannabis medicine is highly recommended for personalised advice.

Take Your Pick

CBD and THC are available in a variety of forms, catering to different preferences and intended uses. These include oils, tinctures, edibles, vapes, and topical creams. The selection of the best method largely depends on your individual preferences and the specific condition you are seeking to address.

For localised pain relief, topical creams are a viable option. Their targeted application directly to the affected area makes them an effective ally in managing discomfort. On the other hand, when aiming for more systemic effects, options like oils, tinctures, or edibles might be better suited. These forms allow for a broader reach within the body, making them suitable for addressing issues that extend beyond a specific region.

The realm of cannabis-based treatments holds significant potential for healing and well-being. However, as with any therapeutic approach, it is essential to proceed thoughtfully and responsibly & understand the key differences between CBD vs THC in medical cannabis to know what’s right for you. Consult medical professionals well-versed in this field who provide guidance tailored to your individual needs. Ultimately, attuning to your body’s responses and heeding its signals is key in navigating this promising avenue of health and wellness.

Hustle Culture & Heart Health

“Hustle culture” has become a common trope, often celebrated on LinkedIn & Instagram for its emphasis on the relentless pursuit of success, extreme hard work and large ambitions. Posts of Elon Musk sleeping on the Tesla factory floor and other such examples are commonly shared among young working adults, serving as a powerful driving force and inspiring them to work harder towards their aspirations. However, beneath the surface of this dedication, hustle culture when overdone is a major threat to not only their overall health, but also their cardiac well-being & the impact of hustle culture on heart health is something that we don’t speak about enough.

The hustle tends to glorify the idea of working tirelessly towards one’s goals, often coming at the expense of personal well-being and work-life balance. It thrives on the “hustle harder” mentality, instilling the belief that success is directly proportional to the number of hours you invest, even if it means sacrificing essential aspects of life like adequate sleep, leisure time, and physical health.

The consequences of this relentless approach to work can extend beyond the immediate realm of the workplace. Chronic stress, induced by the constant hustle and long working hours, can take a toll on overall health. Neglecting self-care practices such as regular exercise and a balanced diet due to work commitments further compounds the problem. While we’re not ones to shy away from hard work, it’s important to recognise the potential consequences of a relentless commitment to the hustle and strive for a more balanced approach.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Hustling hard & then collapsing due to health concerns is not very productive in the longer run, as you tend to lose as much if not more time than you would have otherwise.

Hustling hard is usually accompanied by prolonged periods of high stress, where Cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone, stays elevated in an effort to manage the stressful environment. However, chronic stress and heightened cortisol secretion are known to be associated with increased blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and LDL cholesterol, contributing to the development of atherosclerosis and an elevated risk of heart disease. It’s important to note that while cholesterol is essential for various bodily functions, the balance between “good” HDL and “bad” LDL cholesterol is critical for heart health. Apart from this, hustle culture also leads to;

  • Sleep Deprivation: Long working days (and nights) lead to inadequate sleep, which is crucial for heart health as it allows the body to repair and rejuvenate. Chronic sleep deprivation is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular issues.
  • Poor Diet and Lifestyle Choices: Grabbing fast food on the go and skipping workouts become common habits, which can contribute to weight gain and high cholesterol levels, both risk factors for heart disease.
  • Sedentary Work: Most knowledge work require long hours of sitting in front of a computer & the lack of physical activity can also contribute to obesity and hypertension, increasing the risk of heart disease.
  • Lack of Work-Life Balance: The constant drive to hustle can leave little time for relaxation, hobbies, and spending time with loved ones. Neglecting one’s personal life and social connections can lead to emotional stress, which is linked to heart problems.

Balancing Ambition and Cardiac Health

While ambition and hard work are admirable qualities, it’s essential to strike a balance between professional aspirations and taking care of your health. Counter intuitive as it sounds, spending time taking care of your health will actually be beneficial to your work, as you’ll have more energy, fall sick less often and reduce the risk of cardiac disease. To take care of your health, try to keep the following things in mind;

  • Self-Care Before All: Prioritise self-care as an indispensable component of your daily routine. Dedicate time to unwind, engage in physical activity, and ensure you get adequate rest. Cultivating a well-rested and active body is key to managing the pressures of hustle culture and safeguarding your cardiac health.
  • Set Boundaries: Avoid checking emails or working during your designated downtime. Disconnecting is vital for mental and emotional health as it helps in managing stress better.
  • Healthy Eating: Make conscious choices about your diet. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains in your meals. Avoid excessive consumption of processed foods and sugary drinks.
  • Regular Check-Ups: Schedule regular medical check-ups to monitor your heart health. Early detection of risk factors like high blood pressure or cholesterol can be crucial in preventing heart disease.
  • Mindfulness and Stress Management: Practice mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, to manage stress. Consider seeking support from a therapist if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

The prevailing “hustle culture” promotes the idea that working relentlessly in the short term, with the promise of resting or taking care of one’s well-being later, is a path to success, but this approach often disregards the importance of a balanced and sustainable lifestyle & ignores the impact of hustle culture on heart health.

What the fuss: Psychedelic Medicine

The world of psychedelic medicine is experiencing a fascinating renaissance, and leading the charge is none other than Dr Matthew Johnson, a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at the renowned Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. What has captured the scientific community’s attention are the astounding possibilities of psychedelic substances in treating a wide range of ailments such as treatment of tobacco addiction, cancer-related depression, and anxiety, among other illnesses. Keeping in line with the current trend around this space, here’s an introduction to psychedelic medicine & why you should care.

From psilocybin in “magic mushrooms” to Ecstasy, MDMA, and the ancient Ayahuasca brew, these substances interact with our brain chemistry & propel the brain & body into heightened states of consciousness to transform perception, mood, and cognition. When harnessed in clinical settings, research shows these experiences may have long-lasting positive effects.

The latest research has been centred around the following compounds:

  • Psilocybin has shown promise in treating depression, addiction, and existential distress in terminally ill patients.
  • MDMA has been explored for its potential in addressing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety in autistic adults.
  • Ayahuasca and DMT are under investigation for their potential benefits in battling addiction and depression.
  • LSD, despite its controversial past, is being reconsidered for its therapeutic potential in addressing mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.

The difference between Recreational & Therapeutic use

It’s crucial to understand the difference between using psychedelics for recreational versus therapeutic purposes. While both can lead to profound experiences, recreational use lacks the control and guidance found in therapeutic settings, which can lead to adverse reactions, particularly for those with certain mental health conditions. Therapeutic use, however, is conducted under the watchful eye of trained professionals, where dosages are carefully controlled and tailored to each individual’s needs and goals. A safe and supportive environment, coupled with professional guidance, plays a pivotal role in determining the outcome of the psychedelic experience.

Potential Risks & Misconceptions

As promising as psychedelic medicine may be, it carries its own set of risks. Some individuals may encounter challenging emotional reactions, commonly called “bad trips.” Those with a history of psychotic disorders or cardiovascular issues may also face potential health risks. Careful screening and preparation of participants and post-experience integration sessions are critical in ensuring a positive therapeutic outcome.

Where are we headed?

With growing recognition of the potential benefits, psychedelics are making waves in modern medicine. Some European countries have already legalised psilocybin, while certain states in the U.S. have decriminalised it. The FDA has granted “breakthrough therapy” designation to psilocybin and MDMA for depression and PTSD, signalling a changing landscape as you can see in this introduction to psychedelic medicine. The pharmaceutical industry is also investing heavily in psychedelic research, marking a promising shift in the field.

The field of psychedelic medicine has the potential for healing and other transformative experiences. As this nascent field continues to evolve, it may unlock new dimensions of human well-being and mental health.

The Foundational Pillars of Wellbeing

Life has a habit of throwing unexpected curveballs at us, and having a body & mind which is optimised to make better decisions & support us, especially when the going gets tough is a valuable asset. When we dedicate time and effort to strengthen the foundations of our wellbeing, we establish a bedrock of resilience, which plays an instrumental role in helping us overcome more of whatever life throws at us. The way we look at it, there are five pillars of wellbeing, each doing its part to add to our overall wellbeing, improving mental & physical health outcomes & preventing disease. Often, when thinking about your health, you might tend to focus on your physical wellbeing, ignoring factors such as emotional, mental, social & spiritual wellness, that can have as much of an impact on your health. By improving all of these fundamental areas, you drastically enhance your health & prevent disease, ultimately leading to a healthier, happier and longer life.

The five pillars of wellbeing

Physical Wellness

Sleep, exercise & nutrition form the foundation of your health and wellness. Apart from keeping your body in shape & helping your organs function smoothly, they also have a profound impact on your mental, emotional & spiritual state by triggering chemical shifts in our brains.

Establishing a proper sleep routine is essential. Reducing screen time, especially in the evening, abstaining from alcoholic beverages and coffee before bedtime & improving sleep hygiene can ensure you get enough high-quality sleep which is necessary for your body to recover, both cognitively & physically.

Allocating just 30 minutes of the day to physical activity not only revitalises the body but also reduces stress, bolsters the immune system, enhances productivity, and promotes better sleep at night. If you can build a routine with a mix of aerobic & anaerobic exercise, great. If not, even a simple walk is better than nothing.

With nutrition, keep it simple. Food has an influence on our cognitive function & how we feel throughout the day, so sticking to a variety of unprocessed, whole foods can help.

Emotional Wellness

Understanding your emotional health goes beyond recognising your feelings. It involves understanding and processing them in a constructive manner, enabling you to interact with the world better and influencing how you perceive and respond to information.

A strong emotional foundation can encompass self-awareness, effective communication, healthy coping mechanisms, sound decision-making abilities and nurturing relationships. When your emotional well-being is nurtured, it positively impacts other facets of your health.

Mental Wellness

A healthy state of mind empowers you to navigate life’s ups and downs with grace. This helps establish healthy boundaries, communicate effectively, and nurture your relationships with others.

An important aspect of mental well-being is mindfulness or staying present in the moment. Time, as we perceive it, is a human construct that often leads us to dwell on the past or worry about an uncertain future. However, living in the present is your natural state, and it offers a tranquil mind and balanced emotions. By cultivating mindfulness, you can find greater fulfilment and contentment in the present moment, free from unnecessary thoughts that occupy your mind about what has passed or what lies ahead.

Social Wellness

Social wellness is an important aspect of our lives, focusing on fostering meaningful connections with our friends and loved ones. Over the past few years, a new kind of loneliness has emerged, one that we may not have experienced before. With most social interaction moving online, loneliness is one of the most widespread epidemics today. According to the National Institutes of Health, social isolation and loneliness can lead to a variety of physical and mental conditions ranging from high blood pressure, heart disease & a weakened immune system to anxiety, depression & cognitive decline.

To address this, spend time with people you care about regularly, preferably in person. Call that old friend & even when you really feel like cancelling those plans, try not to. That being said, different people stand on different levels of the introvert & extrovert spectrum & while some thrive in constant company, some might require periods of solitude to recharge their social batteries. Find what works for you as an individual and optimise for it.

Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual wellness focuses on finding meaning and purpose in life. It involves nurturing your beliefs, values, and inner peace. Cultivating spiritual wellness allows you to connect with something greater than ourselves, whether through meaningful work, religious practices, or nature. It provides a sense of harmony, promotes self-reflection, and supports personal growth.

All good things take time & it’s important to remember to approach yourself with patience and compassion when you start thinking about optimising these five pillars of wellbeing. Building new practices takes time, and it’s essential to be gentle and kind to yourself throughout the process. Progress will be gradual, but every step you take towards nurturing your well-being is a step towards a healthier, more fulfilling and balanced life.

Best Of: Gut Health Tests

A gut test, also known as a gut microbiome analysis, is a diagnostic tool that analyses the composition of microorganisms in your gut. By assessing the diversity and balance of bacteria in your gut, a gut test provides valuable insights into various aspects of your health, including digestion, immune function, metabolism, and mental health. This test can help identify imbalances or dysbiosis in the gut, which have been linked to a range of health issues such as gastrointestinal disorders, autoimmune conditions, and even mood disorders. Armed with this information, you can make informed decisions about your diet, lifestyle, and potential interventions to promote a healthier gut.

As the understanding of the gut microbiome continues to grow, the relevance of gut tests in personalised healthcare is becoming increasingly evident. If you’re curious & are looking for a deeper understanding of your gut health, we researched all the gut tests available in India, so you don’t have to.


Microbiome Research Pvt. Ltd stands as Mumbai’s exclusive microbiome company, housing an internal laboratory that drives innovative research in the realm of microbiome studies. With an advanced in-house research facility, the company has been operational since 2016, with a team consisting of accomplished research scientists, entrepreneurs, and industry specialists. What sets Microbiome Research apart is its distinction as Mumbai’s solitary private lab equipped with an in-house Illumina and Nanopore Sequencer. These cutting-edge tools harness Next-Generation Sequencing, renowned for their remarkable accuracy and speed, marking a significant stride in microbiome research capabilities.


  • Essential – Rs. 11,999 (report in 6 weeks)
  • Premium Express – Rs. 14,999 (report in 3 weeks)
  • Rapid – Rs. 18,999 (report in 7 days)


Bione is a leading DNA and gut Microbiome Testing Company that helps people work on their overall holistic health with personalised solutions that range from energy boosters to personalised diets. They use DNA and gut analysis to detect the risk for chronic diseases like diabetes. Bione experts can provide you with customised diet and fitness plans that can help in preventing, treating or even reversing such diseases. They also provide supplements such as Growth Protein Powder, Deep Sleep Gummies, Bone Growth Gummies, Probiotics & Prebiotics Plus, and more.

Price: Rs. 20,000

Decode Age

Decode Age leverages Big Data Health Tests to craft tailor-made nutrition and medical recommendations. Positioned at the forefront of Longevity research in India, Decode Age endeavours to extend not just lifespan but also health span. They introduce a transformative approach by introducing a novel lifestyle paradigm encompassing longevity, wholesome ageing, and enhanced health span. The Decode Biome test provides a comprehensive analysis of the gut microbiome. This intricate assessment unveils the multiple aspects of gut-dwelling bacteria, fungi, viruses, and their role in diverse aspects such as ageing, metabolism, inflammation, and disease formation. The test extends beyond diagnosis, offering AI-powered nutritional and probiotic recommendations, elevating the spectrum of health insight.

Price: Rs. 15,000

Bug Speaks

Bug Speaks endeavours to identify disruptions within the gut microbiome and comprehend the intricate microbial ecosystem which is achieved through the analysis of metabolic activity, gene expression, and the interplay between symbiotic and parasitic interactions. The non-invasive nature of this test holds significant promise for clinical utilisation, particularly in enhancing the well-being of individuals affected by gastrointestinal ailments, colorectal cancer, depression, diabetes, obesity, and pregnancy-related concerns.

Price: Rs. 9,999