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There is a palpable buzz around superfoods all over the world. One day quinoa is being hailed as the star among foods and the next day everyone is falling head over heels over the benefits of kuttu (buckwheat).
One wonders what makes certain foods qualify for the ‘superfood’ label. One, they need to be loaded with vital nutrients and vitamins. Second, they need to help in treating or lowering the risk of certain diseases? Let us explore a bit more.
What most of us do not realize is that a lot of superfoods have been around for centuries and our grandparents and ancestors have long been consuming them for their health benefits. It is only now that they have been re-discovered and are hitting the headlines. At the same time, a lot of exotic superfoods are being introduced, which are difficult to source and generally rather expensive.
The food industry wants to persuade us that eating some foods can slow down the ageing process, lift depression, boost our physical ability, and even our intelligence. Had that been the case, mother nature would have created only those foods and not so many kinds of foods, with different nutritive values.
The problem with some of the superfoods being aggressively marketed is that they are exotic in nature. So, unless you have the local or native super foods, not only would they be difficult to source but would also make a huge dent into the pocket. So, one would have something like kale only occasionally. Healthy, yes, but would one consume it every day? Probably not!
We over here prefer to talk about ‘Super Diets’ and like to avoid the use of the term ‘superfoods’. The emphasis is on a healthy, balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables and wholegrain foods, which are all easy to source.
So, what should be our strategy to a super diet?
- Eating foods and vegetables that are in season. Seasonal fruits and vegetables provide maximum health benefits and nutritional requirement for that time of the year. For example, bottle gourd (ghiya or doodhi) is a summer vegetable and is widely recommended for weight loss, managing high cholesterol and hypertension. But one must remember that since it is rich in water content (96 gm per 100 gm), it’s consumption during winters will not be as beneficial for our body. This is because it helps to reduce our body heat whereas in winters we want to trap the body heat to maintain our body temperature.
- Going local and consuming foods that are native to our region. Let’s make the best of what is available locally. Our humble jamun available during summers, is very high in Vitamin C content and works as an immunity booster. But, the trend is growing towards consumption of imported, dried cranberries which also give the same nutrition, but at a much higher cost. What we forget is that since jamun is a native fruit, our body is inherently adapted to digesting it better and getting the maximum benefit from it.
- Adopting unprocessed foods from all major food categories. As far as possible, we should banish processed and packaged foods from our shopping basket. For example, readymade breakfast cereals like wheat flakes have added preservatives, hidden sugars and are processed (extrusion method) such that when compared to the old, whole grain wheat dalia, they have far lower nutritional value.
- Focusing on getting our five portions of fruits and vegetables in a day. Eating a variety of foods ensures we get a wide variety of the nutrients our body needs. Fruits and vegetables have differed colours to indicate a different set of vitamins and minerals. So, include as many colours as you can in a day for a super-diet.
- Adjusting our diet based on our needs, ability to digest and medical conditions. For example, soya and its products are a blessing for adding proteins to a vegetarian diet, but if consumed by people with thyroid problem, it can interfere with proper absorption of medicine by the body.
Remember, there are no miracle foods and consuming a certain food is not going to undo the damage caused by unmindful eating. Any food when eaten at the right time and in the right combination shall keep us in good health. A balanced super diet far outweighs any super food in terms of the wholesome nutrition it provides our body. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
Hello Dr. I am pure veg. Not even egg I am eating. So I want to know veg sources for weight and muscle gainer. And which whey protein I have to take. Suggest me name. And preworkout and post workout routine in details tell me. I am very thin so I want to increase my chest and arms. Suggest me all if this above query.
Meri sister ki Age 27 he agar USA wajan sirf 29 kg uska wajan bhadana he air wah bachpan se He bhut patli hai.
I got married 2 years ago. My husband is very lazy and feels tired soon if we roam outside. He drinks soft drinks a lot. And also he drinks alcohol little daily and heavy on weekends. He eats junk food like chips, mixture and oily food a lot too. Whenever he's at home daytime he always sleeps. He do not like going out somewhere far as he gets tired soon and is very lazy. He will not agree to go for any health checkups too. Does my husband suffering from any health problem. Please advise.
Dear doctors, I am 29 years old, I am getting heavy urine smell, when I pass the same. In the mean time am getting white discharge past 1 year, went doctor place took the scan also but they says normal only, kindly advised what foods & medicine will take care. I am only 46 kg only, I want increase my weight. Please help me.
I have tried every single suggestions from my family members and I moved to gym but now it seems to be impossible for me to gain my weight.
I am 21 year old women height 5'3. Weight is 41 kg. I am unable to increase my weight and I am skinny. What diet or habit should I take to gain weight as I feel really low energy.
Hello Doctor. I am 31 years old female. My height is 5'4" but weight is only 41 kg. How can I gain my weight?
I am 32 years old. My height 5.5 feet. But my weight is 50 kg. Mujh ko bhuk bhi nahi lagti. Please help.
I get very easily tired and especially in summers I feel extremely tired and rapid heartbeats and also drowsiness give me somethings to overcome wid this.
Homeopathy has a number of uses. It is a popular form of medication since it has negligible side effects. Homeopathy can even be used to help reduce weight and maintain a healthy BMI or body mass index. However, do not expect a miracle. Homeopathic medicines act slowly and it can be quite a while before you notice physical changes.
As with any homeopathic medicine, no one cure fits all. When prescribing homeopathic medication for weight loss, a doctor will need to understand your detailed medical history, lifestyle and overall constitution. Homeopathic medication to lose weight works by stimulating metabolism. Thus, in order for the medication to be effective, it needs to be accompanied by regular exercise and a controlled diet.
- Calcarea carbonica: This is prescribed in cases where weight gain is due to thyroid problems and when fatty tissue is accumulated in the abdomen. They also have a slow metabolism and often suffer from constipation. It can also be prescribed to women suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Disease to trigger weight loss.
- Natrum mur: Patients who have been prescribed natrum mur for weight loss have usually put on weight due to chronic stress and depression. Their weight is often concentrated on the thighs and buttocks. They also often suffer from anemia.Natrum Mur can also be prescribed in combination with Ignatia when weight gain is triggered by depression.
- Lycopodium; This is used mainly in cases where excess fat deposits are concentrated on the thighs and buttocks. These people often suffer from indigestion with common complaints of flatulence and constipation. They are also very irritable and prone to overeating.Lycopodium and calcarea carb are often prescribed together to trigger weight loss in patients suffering from hypothyroidism.
- Nux vomica; A sedentary lifestyle is one of the most common causes for obesity and excessive weight. In such cases, nux vomica is an effective form of treatment. People who can be benefitted by nux vomica often also suffer from constipation and intolerance to cold drafts.Nux Vomica can also be prescribed in combination with Alumina.
- Antimonium crudum: This is usually prescribed to obese children who have a tendency to overeat. These children also often suffer from indigestion alternating between diarrhea and constipation.
- Graphites and Sepia: This is usually prescribed to women who may have put on excess weight due to menopause. They can be used on their own or in combination depending on the personality of the woman and the symptoms showcased. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a homeopath.