Navratri is the festival where nine days of fasting can be observed by a devotee. Many pregnant ladies wish to fast for their religious or personal beliefs. Though it is said that women during pregnancy should be very careful when it comes to fasting because it is not only the mother who needs all the essential nutrients but also the need of the fetus for healthy growth and development.
However, fasting during pregnancy is not as hard as it allows the consumption of various healthy foods at appropriate intervals. But one thing should be remembered by all pregnant ladies that they should not go hungry for long intervals as a baby's nutrition depends on the mother. It is very important to take carbs during pregnancy while fasting. Carbohydrates play a vital role in our growth system. It is an important nutrient source that not only provides energy to muscles and the brain but using the right kind of carbs in the diet can effectively help to provide essential nutrients, build the desired body or accelerate fitness goals.
There are two types of carbs slow and fast carbs which depends on the Glycemic Index ( the rate at which carbs get digested as compared to glucose secretion).
Fast carbs have a high GI and release energy at a much higher pace and get used quickly which makes you feel hungry often and add to weight gain issues. Fast carbs include processed foods such as bread, sugars, starchy vegetables, fruit juices etc.
As compared to this, slow carbs have a low GI and release energy slowly into the body and help to maintain a "satisfied" feeling as your blood sugar levels are maintained.
There are many non-pregnant women who want to shed extra calories. Fasting will be the perfect time to start their fitness journey. To lose weight and stay healthy, the purpose should be to source the right kind of carbs, which release energy slowly and helps you in the long run. Hence, for that, focus on including slow carbs in your diet such as whole grains, seeds and nuts, beans and legumes, vegetables etc. It also tends to be high in fibre.
Should Carbs Be Taken During Fasting?
Although fasting is a very traditional and customary ritual and most people fast for spiritual purification, there is no denying that if you keep yourself nutritionally in check, it can be therapeutic for the body as it can act as a form of detox and keep you healthy as well. So, it is significant to choose the right food while you are on a fast diet to prevent yourself from being deficient in important nutrients as it can make you likely to develop health ailments like weakness, heart problems, skin issues, defective bone growth, etc.
Pregnant women with illnesses such as diabetes, anaemia, high blood pressure should avoid fasting as it could lead to various other complications.
Avoiding carbohydrates will be the last thing you need to do during fasting as it provides energy to the brain and muscles and make you energetic and more productive throughout the day. So, Make sure you are getting enough right kind of carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and vitamins from different sources and be vigilant about selecting healthy foods rather than munch on processed foods.
There are various food options that include slow carbs and few tips to make your fasting healthier:
Because you are fasting, you tend to eat lesser food than usual, and are hungry at odd times, eating slow carbs foods can help you keep fuller for longer as they take longer to digest and break down. Combine high carbohydrates like potatoes and sabudana (widely used in fasting) with other fibrous vegetables like spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, capsicum, bottle guard, etc. Also, try to bake, roast or grill vegetables instead of deep-frying them. Kuttu is a brilliant combination of carbohydrates (70-75 per cent) and protein (20-25 per cent). It is also rich in proteins, B-complex vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese. Use it to make chapatti instead of gorging on puris.
Samak rice is extremely easy to digest and provides energy, contains a high amount of fibre, B-complex vitamins and important minerals like iron and magnesium.
Try and adopt healthy snacking and don't binge on puris, sabudana vada, potato chips, and other delicacies as they are loaded with sugar, salt and fat content, Instead, opt for roasted makhana as they loaded with antioxidants or a mixture of nuts (almonds/raisins/walnut)/ baked chips, roasted peanuts, etc.)
Eat plenty of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Eat small meals and do not starve yourself. This will help maintain blood glucose levels and prevent you from feeling low.
Keep yourself hydrated. Drink lots of water and fluids like coconut water, lemon water, and buttermilk without adding sugar. These beverages will keep you satisfied for a long time.
While you can gorge on the above-mentioned food items, also try out these healthy recipes this Navratri season:
Sweet potato chaat
1 bowl (250 gms)
Calories-304.5 Cal Carbs-62.09 gms
2-3 Sweet Potatoes (Boiled)
A handful of almonds, peanuts and walnuts
1 tsp Cumin powder and Black pepper
1 tsp chia seeds and roasted flax seeds
Rock salt for taste
1 lemon (for juice)
Boil sweet potatoes and peel them and cut them into small pieces
Now mix the nuts with sweet potatoes
Now add salt, cumin powder and black pepper to it and mix it properly, add lemon juice also
Sprinkle chia seeds and flax seeds
The chaat is now ready to eat
2 pieces (45 gms)
1 cup Kuttu ka Atta / Buckwheat Flour
1/2 cup Sour Curd
1 /4 tsp Ginger paste
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Fresh Coriander (Grated)
1 tsp Green Chilli (Chopped)
Clean and wash the buckwheat in enough water only once. Then drain the excess water using a strainer
Mix the buckwheat, sour curd and half a cup of water in a bowl. Cover it and soak it for at least 4 to 5 hours.
Now add green chilli, ginger paste and salt to the batter and mix very well
Pour the batter into a greased thali and spread evenly by rotating the thali clockwise. Also, Sprinkle freshly chopped coriander
Steam in a steamer for 10-12 min. Or till the Dhoklas are cooked
Cool slightly, cut into pieces and serve immediately with green chutney.
Read More► All You Need to Know About Gluten Free Grains
Mental illnesses in various forms have been a major health burden globally in recent years. Unhealthy lifestyles, poor eating habits and rise in work-related stress are factors that are contributing to the rising incidence of anxiety and depression. Psychotic drugs in treating anxiety and depression are effective but offer only symptomatic relief. Long-term intake of drugs often leads to dependence without preventing further illness or providing a comprehensive solution to improving mental health.
People suffering from poor mental health can reap rich and long-term benefits by adopting the ancient Indian practice of Yoga in their daily lives. Yoga helps in maintaining good mental and physical health. It harmonises our body and mind and restores our emotional balance. There is growing evidence that Yoga can have a positive impact on depression, anxiety and those who have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). When adopted as a daily practice, yoga can help calm down the mind and prevent the development of mental illnesses.
Stress is the root cause of several lifestyle diseases. Yoga adopts a scientific approach of exercising and relaxing to ease the stress of modern day living. Yoga also contributes to improving memory, sleep and even quality of life in elderly persons with mild memory impairment.
Here are some poses that help improve mental health besides providing other health benefits:
Shashankasana or Child's Pose
This asana stimulates your nervous system thereby re-energizing your whole body. This asana is basically a resting pose somehow resembling a child in fetal position. It is performed by sitting down on the knees and then bending forward so that the chest touches the thighs, and the forehead touches the ground. Stretch the arms forward. If performed with precision regularly, the performer will notice a sense of mental, physical, and emotional comfort descending upon him/her. Like most yoga asanas, this one, too, should be performed on an empty stomach or at least six hours after a meal. However, people suffering from high blood pressure and back pain should avoid this asana.
This inverted pose is one of the best yoga asanas for improving blood circulation towards the head. It helps to calm anxiety, treat depression and insomnia besides regulating blood flow. This pose can be performed by lying down flat on your back. Keep the legs together. While inhaling raise the legs, buttocks and the trunk and support the hips on the palm. The trunk is held at 45 degrees angle to the ground. Breathe normally in this position. To return, lower the legs over the head and keep the hands down while exhaling. Bring the spine and the legs down.
This yoga pose is thought to be therapeutic for people suffering from high blood pressure, asthma, sinusitis, infertility and osteoporosis. It also helps to relieve mild depression and beat insomnia as it is highly beneficial as a relaxation tool. To perform this pose, stand straight. Raise your hands from the front to above your head as you inhale slowly. Bend backwards from the upper back and maintain the position with normal breathing.
This pose is typically performed at the end of yoga routines and helps boost mental health and relaxes the body. Lie flat on your back, keeping the body straight and hands at the sides with palms facing upwards. Close your eyes and hold the position for at least five minutes. Even pregnant women can practice this asana as it will help them prevent prenatal depression, a prevalent mental disorder in women during pregnancy.
It should be noted that the above-mentioned yogic practices are to be learned in a gradual manner under the supervision of a yoga expert. Yoga enables a practitioner to expand their mental faculties and achieve a greater acceptance of self and others, which ultimately leads to calmer approach to the life.
Yoga encourages practitioners to experience an open heart. Many yogic philosophers consider the entire practice to be about metaphorically connecting to our hearts. Within the chakra system, the heart lies in the middle of the seven chakras. Asanas such as arda chakrasana (back bend), kapotasana (pigeon pose), and ustrasana (camel pose) encourage the expansion of the centre of the chest which is the location of the anahata chakra, the yogic heart centre. Visualizations and pranyams in yoga also encourage open heartedness.
Read More► Escape Wedding Blues With These Yoga Postures & Breathing Techniques
Eating fruits is one of the most satisfying ways to tackle sweet-tooth cravings while meeting your nutritional needs. Despite many studies and research on fruit consumption in diabetes, there are a lot of speculations on the right kind of fruit consumption and its relation to blood sugar levels.
Eating seasonal and locally available fruit has many health benefits ranging from reducing sugar and inflammation levels to fighting high blood pressure thanks to their abundant vitamins and mineral presence! They are a powerhouse of antioxidants like vitamins A, B, C, E, and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and fiber.
The fruits listed below are not just diabetic-friendly but are loaded with fiber and water content which can slow down the sugar spikes and sugar absorption rate.
Apples are not just nutritious and filling; According to a study, they are significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes if consumed in moderation. Turns out there is a truth in the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away", after all!
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats and more than 20 vitamins and minerals. They are high in fibers as well, and have been linked with lowering the risk of diabetes.
Adding berries is one of the best ways to add a variety to your diabetes-friendly diet. You can choose from blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries because all of them are power-packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fibers.
Papaya is rich in natural oxidants, which makes it a perfect pick for people with diabetes. It reduces the chances of future cell damage.
This sweet and sour fruit is rich in dietary fiber and vitamin C. It also positively impacts anti-inflammatory processes and can help repair cell damage, and it has minimal fruit sugars as well.
Kiwi fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin E, K, and potassium, and they are low in fruit sugars as well, which makes it a perfect diabetic-friendly fruit.
Melons (Musk melon and watermelon): Powerful hydrating fruits like cantaloupe and melons are recommended for people with diabetes, and people with the risk of developing diabetes. Eat-in moderation for multiple nutritional benefits like fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B, and C.
Dragon fruit is full of dietary fibers, vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Pear are nutrient-rich, and they are known to fight inflammation and improve digestion.? Studies also suggest that consuming pears along with a healthy diet reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Orange This citrus fruit is full of fiber that helps slow down sugar absorption into the bloodstream, and its vitamin C component helps improve immunity levels.
Add fruit to your salads to enjoy their goodness with a sprinkle of cinnamon, it tastes better and reduces sugar spikes . Add nuts like walnuts and almonds to complement your fruit snack. you can also add flaxseeds to balance the glycemic load in the body.
Read More► Herbs, Nuts and Fruits to Enhance Your Daily Diet
Nutrition is the cornerstone of good health and development. From September 1-7, National Nutrition Week is being observed to spread awareness about good nutrition diet and healthy lifestyle. The nutrition week is observed to make people understand the importance of a nutrition filled diet so they can maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Apricots are a great supply of vitamins and minerals that are required for a healthy body. Eating apricots as a part of a diet rich in fruits is a great way to prevent cancer, low cholesterol, and heart disease risk. Apricots also enhance vision and improve digestion. Besides, it also aids in weight loss and improves skin health. The dietary fibre in Apricot increases the metabolism which improves the human body's digestion and prevents constipation. Apricot is also a good source of iron making it one of the curing food for anaemia.
It is a shrub from China and areas of Europe. It contains many medicinal compounds and nutrients like vitamins, amino acids and fatty acids which are good for a healthy immune system. The leaves and the berries of sea buckthorn are all used for their medicinal and nutritional qualities. Sea buckthorn is also used as a cosmetic treatment like sunscreen or any other remedy for skin problems. In herbal medicine, sea buckthorn is used to stimulate the digestive system and enhance heart and liver health as well. It is helpful for other health issues like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, inflammation, and arthritis. According to Aseem Sood, Managing Director, Proveda India, their new nutritional powerhouse 'Sante Sea buckthorn Juice' is useful for all parts of human health.
Giloy has been used in Indian medicine for a very long due to its medicinal properties. Giloy is a powerhouse of antioxidants that attacks free-radical and prevents diseases. It helps in cleansing the blood and ward off liver diseases and urinary tract infections. Consuming Giloy is very beneficial as it improves digestion and treats bowel-related issues like constipation. Giloy is for excellent health and regular consumption of Giloy juice helps to reduce the high level of blood sugar and respiratory problems. It is also beneficial in treating arthritis.
Amla also known as gooseberry is powerful than any other fruit and is considered as one of the superfoods. Vitamin C, one of the nutrients in Amla, is easily absorbed by the body to combat the common cold. Studies have proven that carotene in Amla improves vision and regular consumption leads to improved eye health. One of the most exciting advantages of Amla is that it burns fat. Consuming Amla before a meal makes one feel full and help them eat less. Amla also boosts metabolism that will help in faster weight loss. This superfood also prevents dandruff and strengthen the hair follicles making hair look beautiful.
Ginseng is a light coloured, fork-shaped root herb that boosts energy and controls blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It helps to promote physical and mental activity for those who feel weak and tired most of the time. Some initial studies on cancer patients receiving treatment have shown that ginseng help reduces cancer-related weakness. Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Ginseng reduces inflammation. Ginseng also benefits brain functions like memory or mood swings.
Blueberries are incredibly healthy, nutritious and widely popular and often known as a superfood. Blueberries are low in calories. These berries are among the most nutrient-packed berries containing fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese along with a small number of other nutrients. The king of antioxidant foods, blueberries protect your body from free radicals preventing early ageing and other diseases like cancer. People with high blood pressure issues can consume blueberries as a part of their daily diet. Alongside, it also prevents heart diseases and helps in maintaining brain functions and also improving memory.
Read More►Millets can reduce risk of developing cardiovascular disease
We live in a world where we take care of our skin more than we spend time healing our hearts, but who said we can't look good while doing both. Tanning is one of the most common beauty problems. With India's climate and scorching heat, we tend to get a suntan, no matter how hard we try.
Try the best sunscreen, or even wear full-sleeved clothes chances are that you may still get a tan. Besides, if you love to groom, getting rid of a suntan would be on top of your list.
So, let's dive deep into all you can do to treat a tan with these quick home remedies and/or products that would work best for your skin:
Coconut Oil: This is the first and most common choice. Coconut oil is packed with skin healing properties, from inflammation to soothing the skin, its the go-to for improving skin health. However, one should note that it is recommended that you use coconut oil during the night and not during the day -- especially in the sun; as coconut oil is made of 90 per cent saturated fats and is thick in nature, allowing it to capture unwanted heat which might damage the skin further, instead of making it better.
Scrub Grit: A fine scrub-like mixture of products like coffee, walnut, rock salt, and coconut oil have proven to be a great way to exfoliate and remove a suntan, especially from your arms, elbows, neck, and face. Several products are available in the market which offer amazing results when used 2-3 times a week.
Gram flour + Curd + Honey Homemade mask: When used together in a mask, these 3 ingredients consist of antioxidants, natural acids, and enzymes that help lower inflammation in the skin caused due to sun exposure, fight bacteria, heal skin and reduce pigmentation.
How can you make this mask?
Take 2 spoons of fine gram powder
Add 2 spoons of honey and add 2 spoons of fresh curd
Mix thoroughly and keep aside
Wash your face with a mild face wash
Dab your face with a towel
Now, gently apply the mask to your face and neck. (You can apply the same mask on your arms or legs.) After applying the mask, let it sit and dry for over 10-15 mins
Once it is about to dry, use cold water and scrub your face with the mixture on your face. After massaging your face, wash it with cold water, and pat dry with a soft towel. For best results, use this mask at least 2 times a week
Moringa Oil: Rich in Vitamin E, antioxidants, and behenic acid, moringa oil is age-old healing and beautifying oil that helps in reducing stubborn blemishes, scar marks, and suntan. You can apply moringa oil before you go to bed to allow your skin to absorb the oil as much as possible and do its magic. Take a couple of oil droplets and massage them on your face, arms, neck, and wherever you feel you have got tan. You'll see the result in a couple of days.
In the end, we want you to know why it is essential for you to take care of your skin from the sun in the first place. Why is protecting skin important from sunlight?
Sun is the most excellent source of Vitamin D however, even mild exposure to UV rays can affect our skin in more ways than we even know. If we spend excessive time under the sun, it can lead to temporary or permanent skin issues like sunburn or even skin cancer.
So, it's best you apply sunscreen before you step out, and also indulge in some skin healing therapies in case you spend too much time outdoors.
Read More► All You Need to Know About a Cellular Detox And Cleansing
Snoring can be frustrating and annoying, especially for those who sleep with a snorer. The National Sleep Foundation reports that one in three men and four women snore every night.
Though snoring is often overlooked as a minor issue, it can occur due to various reasons requiring immediate attention. Obesity or being overweight is one of the leading causes of snoring. Snoring accompanied by irregular breathing is a sign of cardiovascular disease risk. Sleep apnoea can be another condition that increases the chances of snoring. Sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder in which the breathing repeatedly stops and resumes again. Fortunately, plenty of remedies are available to treat snoring naturally without using over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
Obesity or Excess Weight
For those who have started snoring after gaining weight, shedding some extra pounds can be quite helpful. Obese people tend to have excess tissue and fat in the neck region, which can reduce the airway size and elevate the risk of airway collapse. Studies have proved that weight reduction can eliminate the frequency of snoring with increased weight losses causing near to complete elimination of snoring.
Snoring accelerates when people lie in the supine position or on their backs. When someone lies down on the back, the tissues surrounding the airway are pulled down by gravity, making it narrow. Research and studies on snorers have revealed that the intensity and frequency of snoring reduce considerably when they lie on their sides.
Blocked Nasal Passages
Snoring can also be prevented by keeping the nasal passages open. When the nose is clogged or blocked, air moves in much faster, leading to snoring. Hot oil massages or nasal oil drops can open the blockages in the nose. Also, a hot shower before bed can be quite beneficial as the moisture opens the nasal passages and reduces the chances of snoring.
Staying hydrated is crucial not only to avoid snoring but also to maintain overall health and well-being. When the body is dehydrated, secretions in the nose and soft palate becomes stickier. This can obstruct the proper flow of air and cause snoring. For men, it is recommended to consume at least 3-4 litres of fluid every day, while women must consume 2-3 litres of fluids daily.
Smoking and Alcohol
Researchers believe that snoring in smokers can occur because of oedema and upper airway inflammation. While it takes time to show the effects but quitting smoking can significantly lessen the chances of snoring. Alcohol is another substance that relaxes the muscles around the airway, increasing the likelihood to snore among drinkers. Therefore, it is often recommended not to indulge in drinking in the hours leading to bedtime.
The tips mentioned above can bring positive results if tried daily. It is important to try them all to find the ideal remedy that helps.
Read More► Here's How to Optimise Stress, Sleep and Immunity