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Sunlight diet: Is it healthy?

While therapists harp on the importance of getting enough vitamin D in your body, a diet plan that promotes living only on sunshine is getting popular among health buffs

Also known as Breatharian-ism or Pranic Nourishment, the Sunlight Diet has been around for quite some time. Since the young (in their early 20s and 30s) today lack vitamin D because of their lifestyles, nutritionists believe there is a need to come up with a plan that combines the sunlight diet with a healthy food chart.

Nutritionist Karishma Chawla says, “The reason why people are suffering from various illnesses is due to a lack of sunshine and vitamin D in their body. So, normally when we suggest a diet plan for an individual, we combine it with the sunlight diet.”


Surviving through prana
The concept of this spiritual diet is that a person does not require food and in some cases, water for their necessary survival. This also helps in losing weight. According to Hinduism, humans can only live through prana or vital force and sunlight, which is one of the main sources of survival.

Imbibing sunlight diet in Your daily life
The constant need for sunshine and vitamin D as part of our daily vitamin supplement has led to nutritionists and therapists making space for this diet plan. By incorporating it along with a chart ensures that a person lose weight and get their regular dose of vitamin D through sunshine.

Sheela Tanna, nutritionist and health professional says, “In a city like Mumbai, where people are constantly working long hours indoors, and confined to their desks, they don’t get exposed to suns ray. This leads to vitamin D deficiency, which causes back pain, mood swings, viral fever, asthma, and in some cases, cancer and cardiovascular diseases too.”

Vitamins alone will not take the place of a good diet. You need to include essential foods that will help you burn fat and provide energy to help you with your daily activities (check out the diet plan on the right).

Warning
This diet plan, however, has come under flak due to its health-related concerns. If you don’t combine the diet with a proper food plan, it can be dangerous. A while ago, a Swiss woman was believed to have died after embarking on this diet because she stopped eating and drinking, and only lived on sunshine. If not followed properly, the sunlight diet can cause the following problems. Here are a few cons:
– Bloating
– Dehydration
– Headache
– Slurry vision
– Loss of appetite
– Blood pressure issues

Tip: Combine this diet plan with regular exercise in the evening (when the sun is about to set). You can go for a walk around because the air is mostly clean around this time.

Dietary chart combined with sunlight diet
– Early morning (on waking up): A glass of warm water with 3-4 almonds.
– After you’ve had warm water, head out into an open garden and practise sun salutations (surya namaskar) for approximately half an hour. Make sure that you do this before 8 am.
Or
– You can also sit out in the morning sun (before 8 am) in an open space and practise deep breathing.
– Keep all the doors and windows of your house open till about 9 am in the morning and let the morning breeze and sunlight seep into your room. You can also sit outside in your balcony or near an open window where there is a lot of sunlight.

What to eat
Breakfast: Oats with soy milk or toned milk or two brown bread toasts and three egg whites.
Mid morning: A glass of coriander and mint juice.
Lunch: Whole wheat pasta with vegetables/chicken or two rotis, one portion of subzi, one portion of dal, salad and a glass of buttermilk.
Afternoon: A cup of green tea/tea/coffee (without sugar) + two oats biscuits.
Evening (dinner by 7 pm): One bowl of dal or one bowl of vegetable or chicken clear broth soup + two brown bread toast.

(Inputs by nutritionist Dr Riddhesh Jani and Dr Amrapali Patil, weight management professional and nutritionist)

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