A healthy diet, exercise, yoga, meditation, listening to music, or engaging in a hobby are all known stress-reduction strategies. Vitamins are an essential component in your quest for perfect glowing skin, as well as numerous other health benefits. It boosts the immune system and increases the body's ability to withstand stressful situations. Dietician Vidhi Chawla lists down a few vitamin-rich food items to include in our diet:
Oranges, which are high in vitamin C, can help to lower stress hormones and strengthen the immune system. According to research on high blood pressure patients, increasing your Vitamin C intake can lower your blood pressure and levels of cortisol, or stress hormone.
Spinach is a nutritious leafy green vegetable high in calcium, B-vitamins, iron, and antioxidants. One of the foods that can help with anxiety is spinach. Magnesium is found in 157 mg per cup of spinach, which is 40 per cent of your daily requirement. In fact, a lack of magnesium can cause headaches, fatigue, and stress-related symptoms. They are low in carbs, can be used as part of a weight-loss diet, and are beneficial to people with high blood pressure.
Because of their high nutrient content, eggs are often referred to as nature's multivitamin. One of the few naturally occurring sources of vitamin D is whole eggs. Whole eggs are high in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants, all of which are required for a healthy stress response. Whole eggs are especially high in choline, a nutrient found in high concentrations in only a few foods. Choline has been shown to be beneficial to brain health and may protect against stress.
Nuts are high in nutrients, including B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. B vitamins are an essential part of a healthy diet and can help with stress reduction. Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts may even aid in the reduction of blood pressure. Nuts and seeds are also high in magnesium, which is beneficial because magnesium has been linked to improved anxiety management.
B vitamins are necessary for the health of our nerves and brain cells, and a B vitamin deficiency may cause anxiety. Avocados are high in B vitamins, which are known to help with stress relief. They're also high in monounsaturated fat and potassium, both of which help to keep blood pressure down.
Blueberries may appear small, but they are high in antioxidants and vitamin C, making them effective stress relievers. Our bodies require vitamin C and antioxidants to repair and protect cells when we are stressed. While blueberries are delicious on their own (try freezing them for a cold berry snack), there's no better way to boost the nutrition in a serving of yoghurt or high-fibre cereal than to add them to it.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that can help you cope with physical and mental stress. Here's a unique way to incorporate ashwagandha into your diet. Take a 1 teaspoon of ashwagandha powder in ghee and mix in some date sugar, honey, jaggery, or coconut sugar (any one of these sweetening ingredients). Consume the mixture approximately 20 minutes before breakfast or later in the day with a cup of milk. If stress is making it difficult to sleep, it is best to take ashwagandha at night as it can help induce sleep. Ashwagandha has also been linked to lower cortisol levels in the morning.
Read More► Monsoon Superfoods to Include in Your Diet
Along with strong winds and incessant rain, the monsoons in India also usher in a time for savoury delicacies. It is important to remember that extreme change in weather conditions has an impact on our digestive system and makes it vulnerable to infections. Consuming certain foods items that are rich in nutrients and help strengthen the body's immune system can help protect ourselves. Rohit Shelatkar, VP at Vitabiotics, Fitness & Nutrition Expert shares a list of these super foods:
A roasted corn cob coated with spices and butter is the classic Indian monsoon snack. Corn is the ultimate power-packed and healthy monsoon food because it is low in calories and high in fiber. It is also very rich in lutein and two phytochemicals that promote better vision. Besides helping with weight loss, the insoluble fibre in corn feeds the good bacteria in our gut which in turn aids better digestion. Corn can be boiled, steamed or roasted and it is an extremely versatile food that can be incorporated in salads and mains.
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Gastrointestinal infections are more likely to occur during the monsoon season and the humble banana is the best defence against this. They are packed with vitamins and minerals that help with proper digestion. They also have ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and retinol that can help keep up our body's immune high. Additionally, bananas have a low caloric value and help the stomach to feel fuller for longer periods.
Eggs are an all-weather super food that is rich in protein and help to build muscle mass. Eggs also boost the body's immune system and help to fight off infections.
Monsoon fruit such as lychee, papaya, pomegranates, and pears not only help the body to digest food better but also aid in fighting infections that are caused due to this rise in humidity levels. Monsoon fruits are also rich in antioxidants that help to reduce blood pressure and prevent various infections. Jamun is another seasonal fruit that should be consumed as it is high in iron, folate, potassium, and vitamins.
Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to be healthy and prevent bacterial infections. Coconut water is a great source of electrolytes that can help the body to flush out toxins. It is also high in immunity boosting properties and can work wonders for one's skin and heart health. It is also the best choice for those who are trying to lose weight. Coconut water should be had at room temperature with either a little bit of lemon juice or pineapple to boost Vitamin C levels in the body.
Read More► Understanding The Importance of Salt, Oil, Spices And Sugar
Ayurveda teaches that salt is essential for growth, maintaining water electrolyte balance, and proper digestion, absorption and elimination of wastes. It creates flexibility in the joints, stimulates the appetite and helps digest natural toxins, clearing the subtle channels of the body. It has a calming effect on the nerves and emotions, replenishing and energizing the entire body. Salt balances Vata and can imbalance Pitta and Kapha when used excessively, causing premature wrinkles, thirst, skin problems and weakness.
Throughout time, salt (sodium chloride) has played a vital role in human societies. However, excessive salt consumption could result in serious health problems as it directly impacts the energy levels in one body. Salt is typically made up of the fire and water elements and a small amount regulates moisture level in the body which promotes better absorption of nutrients from food, regulates blood pressure and are vital to the functioning of the brain and nervous system.
Eating too much salt can have a range of effects. In the short term, it may cause bloating, severe thirst, and a temporary rise in blood pressure. In severe cases, it may also lead to hypernatremia, which, if left untreated, can be fatal. In ayurveda,it is established that over indulgence or ati of any ingredient can cause various imbalances in the human body. From a holistic perspective anything overused, misused or used in a high amount leads to an imbalance and causes destruction.
Also, Read► From Weight Loss to Strong Bones, Health Benefits of Millets
Similarly, ayurveda teaches that the Sweet taste nourishes and invigorates the mind, relieves hunger and thirst, increases tissues and improves the immune system. Importantly, it is associated with the positive emotions of happiness, contentment, calmness, cheerfulness, love and satisfaction when eaten in appropriate amounts. But again, in moderation. From an Ayurvedic perspective, we need to consider long-term moderation combined with well-timed and precise restraint. Brown sugar, jaggery and natural fruits are used as an alternative to refined sugar. Natural sources of sugar are digested slower and help you feel full for longer. It also helps keep your metabolism stable.
'Ati sevanam' as per Ayurveda might lead to high blood pressure or hypertension involves a disruption of balance in the blood (doshas) one of which is due to excessive salt intake. Whereas high amount of fat intake can cause cholesterol to build up in your arteries (blood vessels), on the other hand too many spices may give acute gastritis, while if consumed in moderation it helps us in combating heart diseases, fight inflammation and keeping the body warm especially in winters. Hence the key is to keep consuming everything in moderation and to avoid 'Atikriya' (overdoing) of everything. Whether it's a food or any activity.
Hence the key is to keep consuming everything in moderation and avoid Atikriya (overdoing) of everything, be it food, lifestyle, indulgence or any activity. As recommended by professionals at Vana, an individual should also practice some of the disciplined lifestyle for a content and mindful living. Some of them are :
Daily Exercising for at least half an hour
Avoid excessive exercises
Avoid suppression of natural urges like that of urine
Avoid daytime sleeping
Avoid excessive stress and anger
Avoid staying awake during night and others
Read More► The Seven-Day Summer Food Calendar
When you ask people about the most common food in India, they usually respond with wheat, rice and pulses. Food grains are ingrained in our culture, but there are better alternatives. Did you know, humans require more than 20 mineral elements for the body to function properly?
Calcium (Ca), one of the essential macro minerals, is needed in relatively large quantities in the diet to maintain good overall health. There is one ingredient which is not only simple to prepare, but also entails many health benefits Millets.
Prabhu Gandhikumar Co-Founder TABP Snacks and Beverages shares simple ways prepare and use millets :
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Boosts Immunity Level
Millets are high source of antioxidants and therefore are considered as an immunity booster to flush out harmful radicals from the body. It aids your body's detoxification by supplying antioxidants such as quercetin, curcumin, ellagic acid, and other useful catechins, which aid in the elimination of toxins and the neutralization of enzymes in your organs. Thus, preventing variety of health issues.
Aids and Manages Weight Loss in Humans
Millets help you lose weight since they are low in calories and gluten-free. They're high in complex carbohydrates and can help health-conscious people reach their fitness goals easily. Millets also help to lower your cholesterol levels and keep your weight in check.
Helps in Digestion
Millets have a high fiber content, which helps with digestion and prevents constipation, bloating, and acidity. Good digestion avoids digestive complaints which humans generally makes, like gastrointestinal cancer and kidney/liver complaints.
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Reduces Cardiovascular Risks
Millets are high in essential fats, which provide our bodies with their own natural fats. It prevents us from storing excess fat in our bodies, lowering our risk of high cholesterol, paralysis, and other heart problems. Millets contain potassium, which helps to control blood pressure and increase circulation.
Millets Fight Back Type-2 Diabetes
Millets, as you might have noticed, are high in magnesium, a mineral that is critical for starch digestion. Magnesium is needed for the production of many carbohydrate-digesting enzymes, including those that regulate insulin action. Researchers discovered that eating magnesium-rich whole grains can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. In addition, it can help to prevent osteoporosis and bone damage.
When embarking on a journey of healthy living or attempting to lose weight, you do not deprive yourself by refusing to eat; rather, you substitute those foods that do not help in weight loss with healthier foods that promote good health. Millets will keep you fit and strong for the rest of your life. It provides a significant amount of nutrients for our human diet. Millets should be a part of your diet for solid, healthy bones!
Read More► Eat according to your Doshas
Despite three months of scorching heat, summer is full of reasons to invest in well-being, from seasonal fruits and vegetables, long days and international and national food days to keep reminding you of your promise of good health to your mind and body.
let's remember the goodness of these crunchy ol' nuts:
Packs A Nutritional Punch
Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and offer other heart-healthy fats, protein, fibre, and vitamins (including vitamin B6), among others. Munching on these on a daily basis may reduce the risk of heart disease, improve brain health, ensure a healthy gut, and help in weight management. Infact, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)'s Eat Right During Covid-19 guidelines mention foods with omega-3, zinc, selenium, protein and vitamin B to help maintain a healthy immune system and play a role in our body's healing and recovery. And each of these nutrients is present in walnuts. Now, while no single food can prevent or treat illness, it is important to eat a balanced diet.
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Easy To Incorporate In Meals
Munching on a handful of walnuts isn't the only way to reap the health benefits of this nutritious food. They are incredibly delicious and crunchy, and boast great potential on the cooking front because of their ability to absorb flavours and work equally well in both sweet and savoury dishes. To add some much-needed excitement to your daily meals, you can pair these with a variety of food groups, including fruits and veggies, dairy, and breads and cereals, to name a few. Toss it into your salad, cake, or ice cream, blend it with fruits and veggies for your morning smoothie or grind it into a paste to use in dips or gravy, or simply make a trail mix -- there are so many creative ways to work them into your diet.
Easy To Store
Contrary to popular belief, walnuts can easily remain fresh at home provided you store them away from moisture, light, and warmth. Shelled or unshelled, put the walnuts into a resealable bag or an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator or freezer based on the period of use. If you're going to use them within a month, keep them in the refrigerator or move them to the freezer.
Making everyday healthy is not an easy task, but with walnuts in your daily meals, you may get a few steps closer.
Read More► Why opt for walnuts
The year 2020 has been an eye opener in many ways. Not only did it lead to introspection in general, it also changed quite eating habits, fitness and cooking styles.
Cooking food is no longer a scheduled task just about cooking and eating, there is awareness, conscience awakening and science attached to it today. Right from raw vegetables, meat and even the oils that are used, consumers today have questions about what they are consuming, the source of raw materials, the formulation and production.
Oil is an essential ingredient used in Indian cooking be it for frying, stir frying, shallow frying, pan frying, grilling, barbequing, baking, kneadinge there isn't a component of cooking where oil doesn't feature, even if it means a slight drizzle. It's where it all starts and ends.
For generations, the traditional mindset in using a particular kind and brand of oil has had a very ehand me down' approach, something has been followed ritualistically until recently. Sunflower and Groundnut oil have constituted as majority in the cooking oil segment followed closely by Mustard oil.
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Today, there are a variety of cooking oils available in the Indian market and thanks to exposure to international standards and a whole new category of olive oils. Indian consumers are spoilt for choice but are they making the right one? How does one know the oil they've been using isn't doing more harm than benefitting? While there have been a few constants that have proven to be ideal choices for the palate and health, there are others whose properties are second to none but haven't gained wide spread popularity. One such variant is Olive Pomace oil.
Olive oil actually comes in a number of forms, colour, taste, and acidity level along with three variants: Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Refined Olive Oil and Olive Pomace Oil.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is a cold pressed olive oil with acidity below 0.3 percent. Owing to its aroma and flavour, it is suitable for making salads, dressings, flavourings or condiments for salads, pastas, rice, vegetables, meat and fish. It is also rich in anti-oxidants when eaten in raw / cold form. However, it may not the right choice for typical Indian e high temperature - cooking.
Olive Pomace oil is, however, the right olive oil for Indian cooking. Because of its extraction process, Olive Pomace oil is stable at high temperatures and contains higher Tocopherol and Squalene than even extra virgin olive oil. Tocopherol and Squalene are forms of Vitamin E which have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties for the body and is great for skin. Other properties such as its fatty acid profile (eg. mono-unsaturated fatty acid) are the same as that jar of extra virgin olive oil that graces the aisle at the supermarket. In fact, it has the same composition as extra virgin olive oil. What's more, it is completely neutral in taste, therefore, making Olive Pomace oil liquid gold for healthy Indian Cooking.
Olive Pomace Oil is the perfect companion for desi food. It is a light oil with a neutral taste and flavour. Indian food encompasses a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines and they all vary significantly from each other. Olive Pomace Oil can be used for all Indian cooking and the taste is quite incredible.
Also, Read► The Seven-Day Summer Food Calendar
While we face the second wave of the pandemic, it's prudent to stay fit, eat right and follow a healthy lifestyle. The choice of cooking oil plays a major part in this. Choosing an oil that has necessary fats and zero cholesterol that are helpful for weight loss and maintaining a low-calorie diet is what one needs today. Olive Pomace oil is 80 percent monosaturated that can lower the cholesterol level. Monosaturated fats are healthy fats with fatty acid profile (high MUFA) like other Olive Oils found in olive oil, avocados and certain nuts. Olive Pomace oil also brings the additional benefit of Vitamin E for better immunity and tissue repair with Vitamin K for better bone density and health.
It is a light, neutral in taste and healthier option than other edible oils, and is stable at high temperatures. This helps beat the myth that Olive oil is not good for Indian cooking. What's more, the great thing about Olive Pomace oil is that since it is absorbed less by food, it is great for healthy cooking and affordable at the same time, as it will be consumed less.
Apart from uses in kitchen, Olive Pomace oil can be used to treat skin problems and hair problems by using a little bit of it on the damaged scalp to treat dryness. Similarly, one can also use it in the bath to rejuvenate dry skin.
Olive Pomace oil is cost effective in comparison to the other grades of olive oil but when compared to the cost of regular soya bean, sunflower or the peanut oil, it is priced at premium.
So, the next time you go for grocery shopping, take a leap of faith and grab that can of Olive Pomace oileit's a health decision that's much overdue!
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