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Fibre is crucial for proper digestion and 85 % immunity of the human body is due to digestion alone. Scientists have recently concluded after years of study that the human brain and gut are indeed connected. This leads us to the question whether we are looking after our guts to stay healthy and fit for years to come?
Consider these modern diets have left millions worldwide with deficiency of fibre. And, this is really alarming because high - fibre foods help to guard against cancer, heart disease, kidney stones, PMS, obesity and diabetes.
Fibre comes in two varieties- soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre turns to gel in the stomach, slowing digestion, which helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar. Insoluble fibre remains untouched all the way to the large intestine aiding in proper evacuation of the GI tract. Since fibre is never absorbed into the body, you have to eat sufficient quantities of it every day. Experts suggest that you need 25-38 gm of fibre each day in your diet. But how do you get this amount?
Here is a list of 10 high- fibre foods for jacking-up fibre content
- Legumes like split peas or ‘dals’: Fibre content - 16.3 gm per cup. Eaten as a staple food in India, split peas are full of proteins and fibre. They can be had in soup, stew and dal form.
- Lentils like quinoa: Fibre content - 15.6 gm per cup. They are also good source of protein, iron, folate, manganese and phosphorous.
- Artichokes: Fibre - 10.3 gm per medium vegetable. Reservoir of vitamins A, C, E, B, K, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, Artichokes are one of the top most high antioxidant food.
- Peas: Fibre - 8.8 gm per cup. They are also filled with protein, Omega-3s, vitamins and folates and contain insoluble fibres
- Broccoli: Fibre - 5.1 gm per cup. A power-packed cruciferous vegetable, full of anti-oxidants.
- Brussels sprouts: Fibre - 4.1 gm per cup. Contains balance of soluble and insoluble fibre apart from nutrients like vitamins C, K, B1, B2, B6, folate and manganese.
- Oatmeal: Fibre - 4 gm per cup. Great for breakfast with milk!
- Flax seeds: Fibre - 3 gm per tablespoon: Tonnes of nutrients are packed in the humble flax seeds. They contain protein, thiamine, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, Omega-3 fatty acids and fibre. They reduce cholesterol and help ease symptoms of menopause.
- Avocados: Fibre - 6.7 gm per half fruit raw. Pack with the goodness of vitamin C, E, B6, folate, vitamin K and potassium. Contain healthy fats that help to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Pears: Fibre - 5.5 gm per medium fruit. This fruit contains Omega-6 fatty acids which help keep the cells in brain and nerves healthy.
Simple sugar is also known as monosaccharide, is the basic unit of carbohydrates. The simplest forms of sugar are usually colourless and crystalline and exist in forms of glucose, fructose and galactose. Simple sugar is deemed to be a major concern according to all health nutritionists.
Here are five reasons why you should avoid them:
- Sugar is the biggest cause of obesity: Sugar present in all kinds of junk food is considered to be the biggest cause of obesity as fructose easily converts into fat inside your body. Consuming too much sugar can put too much pressure on your liver as it is responsible for converting fructose into fat. Large amounts of sugar are directly converted into fat, thus, putting you at a very high risk of becoming obese.
- Increases risks of contracting heart diseases: Consuming too much sugar throughout the day causes a hike in your insulin levels which can further affect your nervous system. An excess of sugar in your blood stream also causes your blood pressure to rise which makes you more likely to get a heart stroke. Thus, to avoid cardiac problems at a young age, you must cut down your sugar intake.
- Weakens immune system: Sugar is a major reason for inflammation which affects the central immune system adversely. With an excess intake of sugar, the body becomes less effective in dealing with infection and common cold because phagocytes (white blood cells) cannot do their job properly of engulfing dangerous bacteria. Thus, you should aim at boosting your immune system by cutting down on sugar completely.
- Sugar can make you age faster: The sugar content in your body creates molecules known as AGEs (Advanced glycation end products) which attack the fibres in elastin and collagen (the building blocks of the cells on your skin). A study also proved that consuming too much sugar can result in acne as the collagen in your skin weakens. Thus, to maintain youthful looking skin for longer, you should remove sugar from your diet completely.
- Sugar can be addictive: Most people who consume too much sugar get addicted to it. According to a study, the addiction to sugar is very similar to addiction to tobacco and drugs. You might start craving sugar and depending on it to change your mood more often than required.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
As the New Year begins, the one fruits which also makes its appearance in abundance is the grapes. The black/purple and the green variety, seeded and seedless, are all over the place. Given the weather slowly changing from winter, they seem like the best thing to beat the summer heat. And yes, they are. Not just for overall health, they are also great for the skin and hair. Read on to know more.
Benefits of grapes for skin:
- When the sunscreen lotion does not help much and sunburn happens, the one of the best home remedies is to apply mashed grapes for about 30 minutes. The grapes are rich in antioxidants (proanthocyanidins and resveratrol). They reduce the damage caused by ultraviolet radiation and also reduces cell damage caused by excessive skin exposure.
- Rubbing the grape pulp on the face for about 20 minutes can help reverse and control antiaging better than any chemical treatment. It reduces the effect of free radicals which lead to fine wrinkles and dark spots.
- Grapes are also rich in vitamins C and E which helps in making the skin supple and improves skin tone and reduces scars.
Benefits for hair:
- If hair loss scares you, apply a paste of seeded grapes. The linoleic acid and grape seed oil can add strength and prevent hair fall.
- Grapes can also be mixed with fenugreek and chickpeas for use on hair to improve life and lustre of the hair and add volume.
- The vitamin E and antioxidants also help improve scalp blood circulation, fight dandruff, reduce itchiness, and improved hair health.
Benefits on overall health:
- Relieves headache: The various antioxidants in the grapes help in relieving the headache almost instantaneously. Eat them up or drink if you have a headache, even migraines.
- Improves digestion: They improve digestion and reduce digestive problems, thereby curing indigestion. They also are shown to help in controlling colon cancer.
- Good in diabetes: Diabetic patients need not be worried about the sweet grapes. The pterostilbene in them helps lower sugar levels, and in the long run, it can also prevent the onset of diabetes.
- Cholesterol control: The polyphenols help in controlling heart disease by reducing plaque formation.
- Eye health: The reduced oxidation process and controlled inflammatory process helps in improving eye health, especially in the retina, which is full of proteins.
- Potassium in Plenty: 100 g of grapes contains about 200 mg of potassium, which is a treasure. It improves blood pressure (by countering sodium), and also controls cholesterol and reduces salt intake.
- Brain health: The antioxidants like revasterol help in improving blood flow and helps in controlling Alzheimer’s and improving memory.
Eating out and eating healthy usually do not go hand in hand. You would be more likely to gorge on junk food instead of its healthier counterparts while eating out with your family. When it comes to eating out, you may not always know about the healthy items available at your disposal; this very fact pushes you more towards the unhealthier variants.
But hey! We’ve got ways to stop you getting swept off by that hungry tide churning in your belly. Below mentioned are just a few tips that could come in handy, if you decide to finally drop by that uber cool restaurant you were planning to go to!
- Read the menu carefully: Go through the menu carefully before ordering your food. Look for dishes that are less oily and do not contain hidden sugars. If you are not sure about the calorific content of the dish, you could ask the person in charge about it. Or, go for options that you already are aware of; both the food and its supposed calorie content.
- Eat a healthy snack before your meal: To reduce your portion size of the main course, you can eat a healthy snack to act as filler. Opt for healthy snacks such as chickpeas or a handful of almonds before eating out; it can make you eat less during the main course.
- Drink water right before the meal: Drinking a glass or two of water right before the meal serves as a technique widely used by diligent weight watchers. Water contains no calories and acts as an internal cleanser for your body.
- Skip the dessert: The dessert is one portion of the meal that is filled with empty calories. In this country, the dessert occupies a generous space in every foodie’s list and belly. However, remember that it is often the dessert that is responsible for the saggy abdominal fat you hate to look at. If you don’t want to skip the dessert, readily go for simpler alternatives like the humble plain curd topped with slices of fresh fruits or the ever gratifying Greek yogurt. Sweet indulgence at its healthiest best!
- Say vinegar: Might not sound very intelligent, but then try mixing a teaspoon of vinegar to a glass of water and then drink it. Vinegar is known to have properties that reduce your cravings. It also lowers the blood sugar levels in the body. Surprised, you will be.
- Control your portion sizes: The buffet spread could just be your undoing at the dinner table. Don’t get overboard looking at the variety and try to keep a check on the portion sizes. Keep the portions small and avoid taking any extra helping. If the hunger pangs do not subside, go for salads. Don’t get bored already. Salads can come in a delicious platter and amaze you with its health benefits. The Russian salad can never go wrong.
- Avoid carbonated drinks: Carbonated beverages should not be brewing in your head if you are a weight watcher. Cold drinks and other carbonated beverages contain empty calories that should be absolutely got over with; irrespective of how health conscious you are.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!