Avocados are an alkali-forming food that contain omega-3 fatty acids, so they can help restore pH balance as well as boost immune systems. Jeff Topping / The National
Avocados are an alkali-forming food that contain omega-3 fatty acids, so they can help restore pH balance as well as boost immune systems. Jeff Topping / The National

Eat your way to wellness

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" - wise words from the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates. The truth is, we would all benefit if we started eating for our health rather than just eating what's around us at the time.

By being conscious of what we eat and making decisions about food based on health and well-being, we tap into the ultimate purpose of food: our survival. What's more, if we choose wisely, we thrive, individually and collectively.

Numerous studies demonstrate food's power to protect us from - and in some cases, even to cure - disease, and there is a strong correlation between eating naturally healthy foods and living a long, healthy life. The Blue Zone research, which found that eating a diet rich in locally grown (rather than processed) foods is the secret to longevity, is an excellent example of this.

Recognising the power we have to protect ourselves from disease is encouraging, but the information about what we should and should not be eating can be confusing.

Luckily, two issues get to the core of our well-being: pH balance and immune system. By paying attention to these powerful protectors of health, we can be thriving in no time.

Restore your pH balance

Our pH balance is a delicate matter that can mean the difference between life and death, wellness and disease. In fact, pH balance is at the root of cellular health.

"Every single person who has cancer has a pH that is too acidic," said the Nobel Prize-winner Dr Otto Warburg. His work proved that cancer can't survive in an alkaline, oxygen-rich environment but that it thrives in an acidic, low-oxygen environment.

Bacteria, disease, fungi and parasites all flourish in acidic environments but cannot do so in alkali. This knowledge revolutionises the way we can safeguard our health and suggests that keeping our pH balance in place is the most powerful thing we can do to protect against disease. Dr Robert O Young says to aim to be slightly alkali, between pH7.1 and pH7.5.

Unfortunately, many of us are stressed and fill our diets with acid-forming foods and drinks instead of the alkali-forming ones. Ideally, we should be eating only 20 per cent of the acid-forming foods and 80 per cent of those that create alkali. Actively reducing these acid-forming foods while increasing the amount of alkali food and drink in our diets is the first step in protecting our health.

Boost your immune system

Our immune systems are our defence against disease and infection. Protecting them is the second vital step to good health. They need to be fed with ingredients that encourage optimal function. Luckily, all of these ingredients are found in food, so we can eat our way to a strong immune system.

Dr William Sears and Harvard Health Publications have detailed the top nutrients that we need in our diets to allow our immune system to fight and protect. Here are the top foods to begin eating now.

Vitamin C: camu camu, chilli peppers, guavas, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, broccoli, kiwi, papaya and strawberries.

Vitamin E: sunflower seeds, almonds, pine nuts, peanuts, dried apricots, green olives, cooked spinach, wheatgerm and flaxseeds.

Beta-carotene: sweet potato, kale, carrots, turnip greens, mustard greens, spinach, butternut squash, lettuce and collards.

Zinc: wheatgerm, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, cacao powder, peanuts, almonds, seafood and chickpeas.

Selenium: Brazil nuts, shellfish, fish, sunflower seeds, bran, asparagus, mushrooms, pinto beans and spinach.

Omega-3 fatty acids: flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, avocado and oily fish.

Other notable foods and plants that have been proven to boost the immune system: garlic, acai and maqui berry, aloe vera, ginseng, astragalus, echinacea, liquorice root.

Acid-forming foods (reduce intake)






Refined carbohydrates


Processed foods

Fast foods

Fatty foods


Carbonated drinks

Alkali-forming foods (increase intake)


Coconut water



Leafy greens




Wheatgrass and spirulina

Sea greens

Vegetable juices, soups and broths







Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September


Power train: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and synchronous electric motor
Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 3.4sec
0-200km/h: 11.4sec
Top speed: 312km/h
Max electric-only range: 60km (claimed)
On sale: Q3
Price: From Dh1.2m (estimate)

Sour Grapes

Author: Zakaria Tamer
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Pages: 176

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5


Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Bridgerton season three - part one

Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5

Martin Sabbagh profile

Job: CEO JCDecaux Middle East

In the role: Since January 2015

Lives: In the UAE

Background: M&A, investment banking

Studied: Corporate finance

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 374hp at 5,500-6,500rpm

Torque: 500Nm from 1,900-5,000rpm

Transmission: 8-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 8.5L/100km

Price: from Dh285,000

On sale: from January 2022


Android Alpha

Android Beta

Android Cupcake

Android Donut

Android Eclair

Android Froyo

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Android Ice Cream Sandwich

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Android Pie

Android 10 (Quince Tart*)

Android 11 (Red Velvet Cake*)

Android 12 (Snow Cone*)

Android 13 (Tiramisu*)

Android 14 (Upside Down Cake*)

Android 15 (Vanilla Ice Cream*)

* internal codenames

Drivers’ championship standings after Singapore:

1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes - 263
2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari - 235
3. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes - 212
4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull - 162
5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari - 138
6. Sergio Perez, Force India - 68

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE


The Africa Institute 101

Housed on the same site as the original Africa Hall, which first hosted an Arab-African Symposium in 1976, the newly renovated building will be home to a think tank and postgraduate studies hub (it will offer master’s and PhD programmes). The centre will focus on both the historical and contemporary links between Africa and the Gulf, and will serve as a meeting place for conferences, symposia, lectures, film screenings, plays, musical performances and more. In fact, today it is hosting a symposium – 5-plus-1: Rethinking Abstraction that will look at the six decades of Frank Bowling’s career, as well as those of his contemporaries that invested social, cultural and personal meaning into abstraction. 

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★


Director: Rolan Emmerich

Stars: Patrick Wilson, Halle Berry

Rating: 3/5

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

The years Ramadan fell in May





Five films to watch

Castle in the Sky (1986)

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The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)


Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Why it pays to compare

A comparison of sending Dh20,000 from the UAE using two different routes at the same time - the first direct from a UAE bank to a bank in Germany, and the second from the same UAE bank via an online platform to Germany - found key differences in cost and speed. The transfers were both initiated on January 30.

Route 1: bank transfer

The UAE bank charged Dh152.25 for the Dh20,000 transfer. On top of that, their exchange rate margin added a difference of around Dh415, compared with the mid-market rate.

Total cost: Dh567.25 - around 2.9 per cent of the total amount

Total received: €4,670.30 

Route 2: online platform

The UAE bank’s charge for sending Dh20,000 to a UK dirham-denominated account was Dh2.10. The exchange rate margin cost was Dh60, plus a Dh12 fee.

Total cost: Dh74.10, around 0.4 per cent of the transaction

Total received: €4,756

The UAE bank transfer was far quicker – around two to three working days, while the online platform took around four to five days, but was considerably cheaper. In the online platform transfer, the funds were also exposed to currency risk during the period it took for them to arrive.


Name: Kinetic 7
Started: 2018
Founder: Rick Parish
Based: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Industry: Clean cooking
Funding: $10 million
Investors: Self-funded


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