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Curd is a staple in every household in India; whether it is served with piping hot parathas or individually after a meal. This simple food item is packed with a number of nutrients and helps in improving your health.
Here are a few reasons why you should be eating curd, almost every day:
- Probiotics help in digestion: Curd, being rich in probiotics (good bacteria), improves digestion as it kills all the harmful bacteria in the digestive tract and aids the proliferation of good bacteria. Probiotics also help in the prevention of various digestive issues such as cramps, bloating and abdominal pain caused due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
- Promotes weight loss around the belly: A hormone called cortisol, also called the ‘stress hormone’ persuades the fat cells to produce more fat around your belly area. Consuming a cup of curd daily increases the amount of calcium in your body which limits the release of cortisol, thus, helping you lose weight. Curd also retains one-third of lean muscle mass which helps you maintain your physique post those dropped kilos for a longer time.
- Curd strengthens your immunity system: A cup of curd is loaded with good bacteria which is essential for fighting off germs, thereby making your immune system stronger and more persistent. Making curd a part of your daily diet is a great idea as it is effective in preventing yeast infections around the vaginal area.
- Toughens up your skeletal system: Like all dairy products, curd is rich in calcium which is necessary for strong bones and teeth. Apart from calcium, curd is rich in phosphorous and together, they quicken the bone growth process and help in preventing arthritis and osteoporosis.
- Helps in improving cardiovascular health: Eating curd helps in improving cardiovascular health as it discourages the spread of cholesterol around the arterial area, thus, reducing the risks of a coronary disease. Curd reduces hypertension which is a pre-cursor to most heart ailments.
You are feeling under the weather, and you wish you could eat something fried or processed right now to feel better. But that may not be the smartest thing to do! Read on to know more about what you should avoid eating when you are sick.
- If you are suffering from diarrhea, don’t go anywhere near sweet foods made of artificial sweeteners, since sorbitol (a kind of artificial sweetener) isn’t digestible and can instigate diarrhea. Also, avoid foods that can trigger bloating and gas, such as apples, onion, broccoli, beans and cabbages. Dairy, caffeine and alcohol can also provoke diarrhoea.
- Don’t consume dairy products, chocolate, pain medications and iron supplements if you are constipated.
- If you are nauseous, don’t eat greasy, oily or spicy foods. Avoid carbonated drinks, caffeine and alcohol as well.
- If you are having difficulties in swallowing due to a sore throat, hot fluids are by far the most beneficial. Not only do they help soothe your sore throat, but they're also known to loosen mucus, which may help relieve other symptoms such as congestion and stuffiness, often accompanying a sore throat, so consider eating soup or drinking hot water to alleviate the pain, and scratchy, hard foods such as granola, potato chips and nuts. Acidic juices made from vegetables and fruits, such as grape juice or orange juice, can also aggravate a sore throat.
- When your body aches, don’t grab that cup of espresso or that glass of whiskey, since both caffeine and alcohol can dehydrate the body, thereby worsening the pain.
- Stay away from artificial sweeteners, aged chesses, MSG (monosodium glutamate which is found in soy sauce), chocolate, red wine and processed meat, if you have a headache. MSG has been linked to blood pressure which can cause headaches.
- Dairy products, processed or packaged foods, should be avoided if you have an earache.
- If you have an allergy, don’t consume milk, wheat, soy, berries, eggs, tomatoes, fish, nuts, chocolates and nuts. These foods commonly cause itching.
- You might have cold, or your nose won’t stop running. A hot broth or hot tea will give you comfort, but you should avoid spicy foods and alcohol. Spicy foods actually aggravate a runny nose.
- Flu, sinus or cold infection can inflame and irritate nasal blood vessels, making you feel like your nose is blocked. Avoid sugar and spicy foods if you have a congested nose.
Berries are known to be extremely beneficial to health, and the strawberries, given their wide availability are more popular, especially in the Asian region. Whether as a raw fruit or in a salad, as a smoothie or an ice-cream, strawberries are liked by different people in different forms.
Read on to know some of the common benefits of these wonderful berries.
- Boost immunity: Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, strawberries boost immunity significantly. A cup of strawberries is enough to get a complete day’s requirements of vitamin C.
- Controlled inflammation: The antioxidants and phytochemicals lower the ability of blood to develop higher cholesterol levels. They help reduce levels of C-reactive protein in the body system, which also controls inflammation. The risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke is reduced significantly.
- Digestive system: Given their high fibre content, it helps eat less and with reduced calories. It also promotes bowel movement and reduces intestinal inflammation. It also contains nitrate which improves blood flow and helps cleanse the system.
- Antihypertensive: Strawberries are rich in potassium, and this is highly beneficial in controlling blood pressure. Potassium and sodium act conversely, and by increasing potassium, sodium is reduced, which helps lower blood pressure.
- Controls cholesterol: The Ellagic acid and flavonoids are known to reduce low-density lipoprotein or LDL, which is harmful to the heart and overall health. They also reduce oxidative damage, which is a result of chronic inflammation leading to heart disease.
- Anti-aging properties: The biotin in the strawberries also improve skin and hair quality and also promotes tissue regeneration. They promote collagen formation, which reduces wrinkles and improve skin tone and texture. Vitamin C and A are also responsible for its antiaging benefits.
- Stress management: The antioxidants, improved immunity, and reduced inflammation also lead to improved stress management.
- Heart health: The colour of the strawberries comes from flavonoids, which are the main reason for their heart health.
- Eye health: Strawberries have been shown to improve eye health by reducing incidents of cataracts, reduces the degree of macular degeneration, and reduces damage from sun exposure. The vitamin C also strengthens the eyes lens and retina, further contributing to eye health.
- Anti-cancer agent: Strawberries are specifically shown to reduce the incidence of esophageal cancer with their rich content of flavonoids, antioxidants, vitamin C, and most importantly ellagic acid. These suppress cancer cell growth and reduce free radicals in circulation thereby providing protection against cancer.
- Weight management: Not just for people who want to lose weight, but even on a preventive measure, strawberries are good for weight maintenance. Those who want to prevent heart disease and diabetes should help themselves to strawberries.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Obesity is a global epidemic, affecting almost all areas of human health, from heart disease to cancer, and impacting upon most of the major causes of preventable death. However, in recent years, obesity has increased dramatically in many parts of the world with India ranking third in the world’s most obese countries. Although diet and lifestyle choices play a big role, obesity might be in your genes, according to a recent study.
With over 50% of obesity being attributed to genetics, obesity can be an inherited condition. We inherit a lot more from our parents and grand-parents than our skin, hair colour and intelligence, but also predisposition to conditions such as obesity. Understanding one’s genetic profile can help individuals understand their body type and tailor their diets to foods best suited to them.
The obesity gene – FTO
The FTO gene, commonly called the obese gene is a major contributor to obesity in individuals. One version of this gene makes impulse control difficult, affecting your food choice and makes it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Several other genes such as MC4R, INSIG, TCF7L2, LEP, IRS, have also been found to contribute to obesity. While genes do play some role in causing a predisposition to obesity, they are not entirely to blame. According to a study published by Harvard School of Public Health, ‘Active adults who carried the obesity-promoting gene had a 30 percent lower risk of obesity than inactive adults who carried the gene’. In addition to genetics, there are several factors that play a role – unhealthy lifestyles, diet inadequate in nutrients but rich in calories, higher stress levels, physical inactivity, rise in conditions such as diabetes, hormonal imbalances, in fertility etc.
Genetic tests are available nowadays to tell you what type of genes that you carry and your susceptibility to obesity. Personalised weight management programs are more effective than one size fits all approach that provides generic advice.
Simple dietary modifications can help you to overcome risks of gaining weight that might be caused due to your obesity genes:
- Drink 1 glass of water before every meal that you consume. This helps you to make you feel full and eat less.
- Slow paced eating (20-25 minutes) helps you to feel full and also aids in digestion.
- Protein rich breakfast such as two egg whites or 1 cup of pulses will help you to maintain your satiety.
- High fibre diet (at least 3-4 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruits) will help you to lose weight.
- Adding a variety to your diet will also help you to lose weight.