Health and Well-being: Disha’s Functional Foods

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Interview by Mibu Minami

I am a firm believer that a person can be beautiful “inside and out”. I don’t just mean about individual virtues like kindness and warmth, which are imperative, but also in a physical sense, where what we may eat, or drink can reflect on our outer self. Since being in India, I start my mornings with either a glass of Moringa juice or a glass fresh squeezed Nimbu (Indian lemon) and hot water with a dash of turmeric powder. For me, a great boost to start the day and feel energized. I’m always looking for natural foods that helps me stay healthy and strong and happy to see there are more shops in Delhi serving the fermented Kombucha drinks and teas which I love to pick up while I’m on the go.

Meet Disha Jolly, founder of Disha’s Functional Foods. A nutrition, wellness and lifestyle coach with a passion for understanding and promoting health and well-being.

I caught up with her to talk about her home-made menus, gut-health and what inspires her probiotic food flavors and combinations.

Mangoli Mag: What are functional foods?

Disha Jolly: Basically, functional foods aid in serving different functions in the body and may protect against diseases, nutrient deficiencies and promote growth and development.

When you talk about functional medicine, that is basically a philosophy of treating your body as a whole. In layman’s terms, functional medicine gets down to everything that is holistic treatment. A lot of things stem from the gut, whether it is hormonal, diseases related to the brain like Alzheimer disease, migraines, fibromyalgia, which can come from stress. I recommended Kombucha for a relative and it completely cured her pain from fibromyalgia.  Functional medicine is not just treating your body in whole but also your lifestyle and their background such as where they were born, where they grew up, have a history with mental stability and so forth.

MM: I can understand that everything is connected.

DJ: Everything IS connected. That’s why gut health is important. Gut health is connected to how it effects the skin, the liver, the kidney.

MM: India is known for Ayurveda and Yoga, the holistic approach to health.
DJ: I have not studied Ayurveda, but I have heard it works wonders. There are so many philosophies and one must acknowledge that some methods work on one person and it may not work on others. I believe at the at core there are similarities, to eat clean food, to eat local and eat to your individual type. I also do yoga and enjoy it, but once again, yoga has different methods and one may like the breathing part, another may like the stretching. The effects differ on each individual.

MM: So, searching and discovering what works best for you is key.

DJ: Yes.

MM: I am from Japan where fermented foods are common, and I love to see that Kombucha has taken off in Delhi

DJ: I am surprised that Kombucha has made it, but Kefir hasn’t. I remember going to the U.S. a few years ago and saw that Kombucha had more popularity in than Kefir. It doesn’t mean one if better than the other. Kombucha is more for digestion and Kefir is more for immunity but again, it has different effects on each person, and it depends on which microbes are in one person’s body.

MM: How did you start with your Functional Food business?

DJ: Back around 2015, I began to hear about cold pressed juices and juice shops popping up in Delhi. I did research about cold press juices and in the process of I ended up learning about probiotics (live microorganisms that have health benefits.)  I began to make Kimchi (without fish sauce) and Sauerkraut and other fermented food products. I put my menu on Instagram and it just grew!

MM: What are your most popular items?

DJ: Bone broths (Chicken, Fish or Lamb) does very well as well as my homemade almond milk. Kefir gets orders too.

MM: There are so many interesting flavors on the menu, like Lavender Almond Milk, Kombucha Sangria, which I tried and is very refreshing and delicious, and there’s Coffee Kombucha and so much more. What are your inspirations for developing unique flavors?

DJ: I just read and studied so much about it and save all the ideas. Then I make like a “kitchari” (Indian porridge) out of the ideas and come up with these flavors. I have studied a lot on herbs and teas as well but I just have to say I’m blessed.

MM: You have a vast menu.

DJ: We can deliver the drinks by 200ml, 500ml or 1 liter. Most take a liter, unless they are new to this type of food. We have items in stock, but as we list 20 to 22 flavors, depending on the flavor, it may take up to 2 days for delivery.

You can always call me for advice, we can discuss the best foods/probiotics for you.

MM: What is next for Disha’s Functional Foods?

DJ: I am always thinking of flavors and menus that can’t be found anywhere else. I have a list of new menus for example vegan cheese, fermented dips, fermented berry sauce, salad dressing and more.


Follow Disha’s Functional Foods Instagram and Facebook: dishasfunctionalfoods

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Contact: +91 98100 46966


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