Let's pause to understand what healthy eating looks like for a woman. Literally. What should we be feeding our bodies so that we can enjoy good health throughout the changing stages of our lives?
Whether you're a student attending online classes or a corporate honcho working from home these days a homemaker who never gets a moment's rest or maybe you're none of the above but as a woman, you need to know what nutrition is right for you and more importantly, when.
Starting from the stage of a teenager, what you eat will define who you are in the years to come as nutrient needs are higher now than at any other time in your lifecycle. "As teenage years are a time of rapid growth and development, eating a well-balanced diet is key, as healthy food is essential for proper hormonal balance.
One must stay fit by consuming good fat from fish, avocado, nuts, olive oil etc. The onset of menstruation at this stage often causes low haemoglobin so load up on food rich in iron, protein and avoid junk food containing refined sugar, saturated and trans-fat." said Dr Ganesh Kadhe, Associate Director, Nutrition Medical and Scientific Affairs, Abbott
She added, "If you're under 30, it's a good time to start increasing your calcium intake. In case the pandemic continues to play a spoilsport of how much sunshine vitamin you can absorb, add vitamin D into your diet to enable the absorption of calcium.
If you're pregnant or breastfeeding then lean proteins, iron, and vitamin C (to absorb the iron) are all must-haves for you. In case you are planning a pregnancy, intake of supplements comprising of vitamin D, B12, iron, calcium and folic acid are essential.
A well-balanced diet for all women this age should include some meat and dairy, seafood, green leafy veggies, pulses and grains, dry fruits, and citrus-rich fruit."
Make the transition into menopause a smooth one by limiting foods high in salt, preservatives, and saturated fats. "Women in their 40s and 50s must say hello to more calcium and iron, food rich in antioxidants like berries, cocoa, green tea and more fibrous food like whole grains, veggies, and fruit.
In addition to vitamins D and C, another one that cannot be ignored as we age is B12 which is responsible for neurological function and is usually deficient in vegetarians so consciously supplement your diet with vitamin b12 fortified food if you don't get it naturally.
As the onset of metabolic disorders and vitamin deficiencies are seen often in this age group, following a low glycaemic, low-fat high protein diet topped with regular exercise is essential." says Dr Ganesh.
"Age may only be a number but if you want to stay fit and active even over 60 then the number of nutrients in your food needs to increase in proportion. As a woman in her senior years, your diet should already include all that is recommended above.
So that means foods rich in calcium, iron, protein get a big yes and processed foods, saturated fats and excess salt get a big no. The other red flags at this age are spicy foods that can trigger acidity issues, too many sweets that can lead to sugar imbalance and eventually diabetes.
One should be conscious that avoidance of dairy due to lactose intolerance is not a solution and they should rather consume dairy products rich in calcium and proteins."
No matter what age you are, drink plenty of water to keep your body well hydrated, add a nutritional drink to your diet for a healthy balance of nutrients, get enough sleep so that you feel fresh and rejuvenated stay active with age-appropriate exercise and pay equal importance to your mental wellbeing.
A lifestyle that combines all of this with a healthy, well-balanced diet will ensure that you relish womanhood at any stage in your life. (N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
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Ghee has been an intrinsic part of the Indian diet for ages, but now the importance of Ghee as a part of our daily nutrition is on a decline. Ghee or Ghrita, a form of clarified butter, is often considered to be harmful for health. It somehow has become unpopular and unpreferred for people following a ‘modern’ lifestyle.
But, before one adds or removes something from their diet, especially something that has been used for centuries by our ancestors, it is important to ask if it is really that bad for you? Is Ghee (Gharita) is really that bad for your health and the concerns about its effects on the body true?
This is how Ayurveda answers these questions:
Ghee is Not Bad for Health
While the mainstream health industry argues against the use of Ghee (Ghrita) and touts it as unnecessary fat. Ayurveda healthcare advocates that it is a very good source of nutrition for the body.
Yes, it is a form of fat but if you trust the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda, one can rest assured that having Ghee will not result in gain of inches around your waist. This is not a claim without validation, the underlying science is that Ghee (Gharita) has short-chain fatty acids and a very high boiling point.
Thus these fatty acids do not break down into free radicals even if you use them for deep frying food. Plus, when it enters your system it nourishes your body as well as contributes to the wellness of your mind. The fact is that many Ayurvedic medicines are prepared with Ghee as the primary ingredient.
It All Starts in The Gut
If you face problems with your digestive system like constipation, pain, acidity, etc., Ghee could be your best ally. When one consumes Ghee, it acts as suitable lubrication to help the movement of stools. Having Ghee leads to more butyric acid in your system, which not only keeps your digestion strong but also helps in building immunity.
Ghee (Ghrita) is considered a Satvic food as per Ayurveda and Cow’s Ghee has been given special importance in traditional Ayurveda medicine.
Can Lactose Intolerant have Ghee?
A growing number of people around the world are being found to be lactose intolerant. However, this condition has nothing to do with Ghee. During the process of making ghee, the milk solids or Lactose parts of the milk are removed. This makes the final product fit for consumption for those whose guts do not react well to dairy products.
Weight Loss and Ghee
Ghee is undoubtedly good fat. It not only provides nourishment to your body but, also helps you burn the stored fat in the body. Ghrita enema is a common practice amongst Ayurveda practitioners, as this process leads to detoxification in the body. So get rid of the misconception that having Ghee would derail weight loss.
It is suggested that one can safely consume about 3 teaspoons or 1 tablespoon of Ghee in a day. Trust Ayurveda science of healthcare and start including at least 1 teaspoon of Ghee in your diet from today and see the change in your health.
Ayurveda brings thousands of years of knowledge and wisdom its ancient yet effective methods are very relevant even in the changing lifestyle. Used right, it could be very helpful in healing as well as preventing diseases. So, trust the ancient science of Ayurveda for a healthier and happier life.
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Women across the country are aware of how nutrition is closely associated with skin health. The food we eat is as important as the products for our skin, as healthy glowing skin is hard to achieve on a poor diet even with the strictest skincare regime.
It is evident in the survey that highlights a shift in consumers' preferences towards a healthy lifestyle and natural alternatives for daily diet.
According to a recent survey conducted between 7th to 22nd December by YouGov, a research consulting firm, 72 per cent of women in India find healthy dietary changes as an important step for beautiful looking skin.
Overall, the results indicate that majority of the females prefer to snack on healthy and nutritious food items such as almonds and fruits as they recognize the beauty benefits of fruits and almonds in particular.
Talking specifically in terms of maintaining a healthy diet, most women see a consequent benefit of achieving beautiful looking skin with home meals, a fibre-rich diet and snacking on nuts like almonds.
Almonds have emerged as a top choice amongst Indian women as they associate Vitamin E with better skin health. Besides, the survey highlights the fact that 59 percent of women consume almonds on a daily basis, mostly soaked or raw. This makes almonds the most regularly consumed nut.
Females of the age group 30-39 and Millennials rate almonds highly on aspects such as wrinkle reduction, skin glow and skin protection. Whereas Gen X highly associates the consumption of almonds with the reduction of wrinkles.
This assessment is reinforced by their personal experience as they report having observed positive effects on skin after eating almonds.
In fact, those who have been consuming almonds for over 6 months report positive impacts such as skin glow and younger-looking skin more than those who started consuming almonds lately.
Commenting on the results of the survey, Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, said, "It is great to see survey results indicating stronger adoption of the idea that a healthy lifestyle, including healthy snacking, can elevate one's skin health.
For years now, I have been recommending almonds as a natural healthy snack for better skin health. Almonds are known to be a rich source of antioxidant vitamin E and deliver essential fatty acids and polyphenols, which make them a great choice.
A recent study suggests that almonds can help improve facial wrinkles and skin tone, a finding that supports the belief that almonds promote skin health among survey participants. I urge women to include them into their daily diet, to support healthier skin."
The quantitative survey by YouGov aimed to assess the correlation between beauty and snacking, and understand women's snacking patterns for beauty benefits.
The survey was conducted amongst a sample size of 3,959 women in cities like Delhi, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Indore, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Hyderabad and Chennai. (N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
Read More► A Healthy Summer Diet
Unlike other times of the year, during the summer we naturally lose our appetite and need extra fluid to hydrate the body. It is a common to resort to cooling drinks such as lime juice, Chaas, Nira water or something that we feel cooler.
It is extremely important for us to know this body language and get into a proper dietary habit so that we don't tax our body even more and at the same time support our body's tissues and cells with a nourishing diet to escape from the scorching heat. With a planned diet consisting of a range of refreshing drinks and fruit, we can cool down and face summer heat.
Consuming summer fruits and drinks is one of the easiest ways to lower the body heat and protect our body. The summer diet must also provide energy and help reduce tiredness and fatigue, something many of us experience during the summer season. Let the sun's hotness be dealt with easily with a few of the following dietary tips.
Wake Up Routine
During summer, we tend to sleep under a fan or in an air-conditioned room. This can further dry up the skin and throat and when you wake up it is quite natural to feel the dryness of the throat, eye irritations or skin dryness.
Start your morning with 2-3 glasses of water even. If required one can also use lime juice or cinnamon soaked in the water. Following this, a cooling drink is highly recommended like Ashguard juice with a few drops of lime and Amla juice.
This is highly beneficial to health in keeping the blood glucose in check and also to regularize your weight. Ash gourd juice can be replaced by wheatgrass juice, moringa juice, celery and cucumber juice or even coconut water.
Breakfast During Summer
It is important to consume at least 4-5 handfuls of fruits and vegetables during the day in summer. Breakfast should always start with a bowl of healthy seasonal fruits such as melons, papaya, mangoes, lychees, plums etc.
Following this one can have either a miller porridge or smoothie bowl consisting of coconut milk along with sabja, seeds, chia seeds, buts and a few dry fruits. Dry breakfast such as bread or other fermented grain items can cause indigestion if eaten on a fresh stomach. Also, reduce the number of grains and other preparations for breakfast.
Depending on your hunger levels, one can either go for buttermilk with a pinch of cumin powder and ginger or hing around midmorning time. You can also opt to have a bowl of salad at your convenience or even coconut water.
The meal that you have at lunch also should have abundant vegetables. If you prefer to consume carbs this is the meal you can try adding carbs along with plenty of vegetables. Make it mandatory to include a soup for lunch. Reduce the macronutrients such as carbs, proteins and fats to only half of the lunch portion.
Towards the evening, you may consider taking a bowl of summer fruits and can also include a few soaked nuts along with this. This can give you good energy towards the latter part of the day and prevent any form of fatigue or tiredness after a full day's work.
Night meals are better to be kept as light as possible. It is preferred to have a "Budha bowl" with lots of cooked vegetables ï¿½ sauteed, braised, grilled or boiled along with a protein option. Include a soup before the meals and a herbal tea post-dinner. Some of the great cooling teas are chamomile tea, hibiscus tea or even mint tea.
Hydration During The Day
One has to consume at least 3-litres of water during the day to keep the body cool. Besides drinking water, herbal teas, soups, infused water etc are great ways to combat body heat. Water infused with vegetables like celery, parsley, lemon, orange, cucumber, kale etc is great during this time. (Dr. Manoj Kutteri, Wellness Director, Atmantan Wellness Centre)
Read More► Boost Your Physical And Mental Health
Mukhadushikais (Pimples) is one of the most commonest problems noticed now a day, characterized by Shalmali kantaka vata (thorn like) eruptions on the face. It is seen more from a cosmetic point of view than a medical one.
In Ayurvedic texts it finds its place under the heading of Kshudra rogas which are considered minor diseases. But in exceptional cases like Mukhadushika(Pimples), these can produce a marked cosmetic disability and give rise to much mental distress.
According to Ayurveda Diet & lifestyle has an important role in managing any disease, so the following modification are recommended if you are suffering from pimples: -
Spicy, sour, oily and packaged food must be avoided. Fresh fruits & vegetables are recommended.
Herbal soaps are recommended to wash face frequently
Irritant cosmetics should not be used
Pimples must be left untouched
Sound sleep is recommended with proper time schedule as sleeping late at night & getting up after sunrise increases pitta in the body which can lead to problems in the skin.
Intake of herbs is recommended which has a cooling effect on the body like Amla, Mint etc
Every night before sleeping Avipatikar churan 5to 10gms should be taken to pacify pitta in the body.
Apply the paste of sandalwood, turmeric & rose water on the affected area and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes. Then wash it with cold water.
Apply honey on the skin & wash off after 10 to 15 minutes.
Apply Neem paste on the affected area to get good results, in fact, neem can be taken internally too to get more results in pimples.
Few treatments like Virechana & Jaluka-avcharan (Leech therapy) has very good results in pimples, these two treatment should be taken under the guidance of Ayurveda consultants.
Aleo Vera is one of the plants having a cooling effect and taking its pulp every day in the morning is very helpful in maintaining pitta dosh.
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Cracked heels can be a hazard and cause of social embarrassment, especially while wearing open footwear. What makes people prone to cracked heels? People who have dry skin, in general, are more likely to have dry heels. Along with those suffering from psoriasis and eczema.
Prolonged standing, especially on hard floors
Wearing shoes or sandals with open back
Obesity, which increases pressure on heels
Skin conditions, such as athlete's foot, psoriasis, or eczema
As the winter season starts, the skin and hair start to get damaged due to dry and cold air. Cracked heels may be caused by any reason and it leads to some pain but this will easily be cured using home remedies.
Drink Plenty of Water: Water keeps your body hydrated. Drinking 3-4 litres of water per day is a must. This will keep the body hydrated and help to treat cracked heels since cracked heels occur due to dryness so water intake is a must.
Soak Your Feet: By adding a few lemon drops in lukewarm water and soaking the feet in it for around 15 minutes. Then scrub the feet using a loofah or soft brush, peeling away the dead skin and leading to the regrowth of new cells.
Use A Pumice Stone: Try using a pumice stone while taking shower thrice a week, don't overuse it. This will help to remove dead skin cells and maintain your feet soft.
Use Petroleum Jelly: Petroleum jelly helps to deeply moisturize your heels and also keeps your skin soft. Apply before going to bed and wear socks to lock its moisture.
Moisturize Your Feet Daily: Apply moisturizer daily, three times a day. This will keep your skin hydrated without getting dry or cracked.
Use Coconut Oil/Shea Butter: Apply coconut oil or Shea butter after soaking your feet. Coconut oil contains Vitamin E which will really help to get rid of cracked heels. Shea butter is rich in Vitamin A, E, and F that soothes and heals rough dry skin.
Mask With Banana and Avocado
Avocados are rich in vitamin A and E that helps to prevent skin damage and dry skin. The abundance of nutrients in bananas helps to keep up the skin elasticity and prevent dryness of the skin. A banana and avocado-based mask help to hydrate the skin of chapped heels, improving their appearance and overall health.
To start, prepare a mixture of ripe bananas and avocados. Apply the paste on the chapped skin of the heels. Leave on for half an hour and then rinse.
Cracked heels can be treated easily with these remedies. Along with them, wear the correct size of footwear and keep the feet covered and moisturized.
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