Better usage of spices is necessary to ensure nutritional benefits

Under the aegis of Spices Board of India, Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
organized a webinar on ‘Food for Healthy Life’. The webinar was moderated by
Dr. Kunal Sarkar – one of the most well-known Cardiac Surgeons of Kolkata,
Senior Vice Chairman, Director and Head of Cardiac Surgery at Medica
Superspecialty Hospital. The key note speaker for the session was Mr. D
Sathiyan, IFS, Secretary, Spices Board of India. Other panelists included
Dr. A.B. Rema Shree, Director, Spices Board of India; Dr. Sudipta Narayan
Roy, MD, Powell Group of Companies & Wellness Consultant; Dr. Sonali
Mukherjee, Sr. Ayurvedic Medical Officer, Department of Health & Family
welfare, Government of West Bengal and Ms. Meenu Agarwal, Clinical Dietitian
& Nutritionist, Singapore.
A good nutrient food is essential to lead a healthy lifestyle. What one eats
and drinks affects the body’s ability to prevent, fight and recover from
infections. A good diet is important to boost immune systems and reduce the
likelihood of developing other health issues. The webinar, therefore, aimed
to throw light on the importance of overall nutrition.
Elucidating the uses of spices in the health sector, Mr. D Sathiyan,
Secretary, Spices Board of India, said that Indian spices are closely
connected to every kind of food. He said that spices like ginger, pepper,
cumin, saffron, turmeric, etc have huge demand in the global market owing to
its health and medicinal benefits. Spices make important components that
help fight various illnesses like cough, cold, inflammation, cancer,
depression, breathing problems and many more. On being asked about the
impact of COVID- 19 on Spices sector, he said that the pandemic has
generated renewed awareness on health benefits of spices among the people.
This in turn has increased the demand of spices globally showing good
prospect of growth.
In line with the nutritional benefits of spices, Dr. Rema Shree said that
spices maintain balance of body. The medicinal properties of spices make it
a potential tool of food industry. She said that spices is a part of diet
and has a holistic value. It works as an immunity booster and is also useful
for metabolism. She also said that spices are anti-microbial, anti-oxidant,
anti-inflammatory which is necessary to ensure nutritional benefits in food.
Throwing light on the importance of food and nutrition in peoples’ daily
lives, Ms. Agarwal said that proper food, regular exercise, managing stress
and sound sleep are the four pillars of life. She said that instead of only
focusing on ‘what one eats’, one should also focus on ‘how one eats’. In
other words, regular meal timings and healthy cooking methods are most
essential to maximise the nutrient benefit of food.
Explaining the importance of Ayurvedic medicine, Dr. Mukherjee said that
food intake depends on body constitution. Dr. Roy further added that
reverence of food is very crucial and its intake should be considered as a
holistic act. With regard to different systems of medicine, Dr. Sarkar said
that there should be an integrated medical system that are user-friendly and
provide desired results to people.
The event saw very good delegate participation from people representing the
health sector.

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