Tag Archives: Nutrition

5 Simple Health Hacks for the Festive Season

It’s the season to be jolly. Yes, another year is coming to an end and we are well into the month of super-
sized celebrations. For most people, this is followed by a month of the blues and we wonder why our year got of to such a bad start.

Well, we at Beaming Health believe in enjoying ourselves when the opportunity arises, however, we do have a few tricks up our sleeves that we want to share with you. So clear your schedule for five minutes and reap the benefits over the years to come.

STAY CALORIE CONSCIOUS:

Before you skip ahead, let me tell you how I came to add this to our holiday commandment list. I am pretty conscious of picking the healthier option on a daily basis and our monthly fast food trip is no exception. I always picked the spicy paneer wrap with no mayo at a popular fast food joint and though I factored in the deep fried element (the panner pieces) I was pretty confident of making a fairly smart choice. That’s till I started tracking my calories on a whim. My smart choice was apparently costing me close to 800 calories!

No, I’m not going to tell you that you should skip the holiday treats, no way. What I did was I counted that wrap as my treat and adjusted my other small indulgences for the day/week, ensuring that I got to keep my cake and eat it too.

Basically, being calorie consciousness is not the same as calorie counting. You don’t have to count every bite that goes into your mouth, but just like you budget your finances for the festive season, budget your consumption and you’ll be good to go. A simple app on your phone like My Fitness Pal should suffice. After all no one wants to start the New year broke and bloated.

INCREASE YOUR FIBRE INTAKE:

Since you know that you’re going to be indulging a lot more this season, try and make the few non-party meals a little more healthy. Let these meals work for you, so that you can relax during the celebrations. Increasing your fibre intake is a simple way to start. Fibre makes you feel fuller for longer, tricks your body into thinking that you have eaten more than you actually have, slows the absorption of sugar into your blood stream and even reduces cholesterol levels. It also helps cleanse your gut and colon. The simplest way to make this change is to add fibre into two, or at least one meal, during the day. Have a bran or oatmeal option for breakfast or add a green leafy salad to your lunch.

Remember, all fibre is not equal and you have to be aware of the individual benefits of soluble and insoluble fibre to get the most out of this magic ingredient. Read this simple and quick guide for more information.

SIP ON FLAVOURED WATER OR HERBAL TEAS:

This one is pretty obvious. More water means milder or no handovers, a fuller stomach and fresh dewy skin. Since it’s not very tempting to keep downing glasses of water throughout the day, try having a jug of fresh fruit flavoured water on your table or a bottle in your bag. Check out a few recipes here or make your own. These look so good, they may even tempt you to keep refilling.

Stock up on nicely flavoured herbal and fruit infusions that you can dunk in a mug of hot water every few hours. Specific flavours even have special benefits. Best of all add a mug of green tea as your after meal drink of choice. As far as possible avoid strong caffeinated and aerated drinks as these act as mild diuretics and can lead to a feeling of being dehydrated. Most importantly, don’t go for the pre-packed flavoured waters or iced teas. These are full of preservatives, artificial flavours and sugar. You’ll be better off drinking just plain water.

PICK  A SMART PARTY SNACK:

Most party snacks are heavy on the calories, but we all tend to reach for the munchies when we mingle. A simple way to feel fuller a little faster is to choose a protein based snack over a carbohydrate heavy snack. For example, a handful of nuts is preferable to a handful of chips. A piece of cheese is a smarter choice than some deep fried pakodas. Stay smart and don’t deny yourself too much, you’ll be sure to enjoy the party and the next day.

TAKE 2 GLASSES:

If you choose to drink alcohol, alternate it with a glass of water. This way you’ll avoid a killer hangover and cut back on mindless drinking. Enough said.

So that’s it, our simple but sneaky tips to enjoying the holidays and the days and months to follow. Wishing all our readers a very happy festive season. Don’t forget to share your party season health hacks in the comments below, like they say sharing is caring.


About the Author:

Niranjani is an entrepreneur and blogger who believes that good quality, affordable healthcare should be available to all. She occasionally puffs and pants her way through a 10k race to feel fit, despite her chaotic life.

Photo Credit: Image 1Image 2

Copyright 2014 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety or partly without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

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(Un)Healthy Obsession

At Beaming Health we are all about creating a healthy lifestyle. We have talked to you about eating right, working out and managing stress. We also try to walk the talk or practice what we preach and that’s how we come up with most of the stuff here. So where am I going with this, you ask? Well, I was working on another article and really getting into reading some interesting research on stress and weight-loss (which I’ll, share with you in my next article) and that’s when it hit me…

Almost every conversation I have these days (apart from work meetings, where we try and stay on the concerned topic) comes around to health. It could be a successful weight-loss plan, rediscovering ways to cook with mustard or coconut oil, avoiding moisturizers with parabens, trying out Taekwon-do instead aerobics or another person tuning into a 5k runner. It  doesn’t matter where we start and end the conversation, somewhere in between we get round to discussing some aspect of a healthy lifestyle.

In a way this sounds great. Isn’t it good news that so many people are getting conscious about being fit, strong and happy? Obviously it is, considering that we are a race (the human race) that’s currently dealing with crazy levels of sickness and disease. Awareness never hurt anyone right and maybe we can reverse the negative trend. So what’s my problem here?

Well, as with any topic, when we tend top discuss one subject all the time (say music, movies, relationships) we are generally considered obsessed with it. Any form of obsession has a tendency to take over a large part of our lives, in a slow but significant manner. Most obsessions are harmless as they tend to just define our personality more markedly, rather than have any sinister effect. However, this obsession with health, that I see all around, seems to be part of a cycle, dare I say a potentially vicious cycle.

People start with it to get their physical, mental and emotional selves back on track and to improve their quality of life. However, is our quality of life really better if our obsession with getting healthy contributes towards one more aspect of our ever growing stress.

Counting every calorie, worrying about pollution every time we have to walk down the street,  fearing an injury every minute of a run because everyone else has got fit by running, or sleep waking through the day because six hours of sleep was cut down to five to accommodate another workout.

News flash, there’s apparently a new eating disorder on the block called orthorexia. Orthorexia occurs when a person’s healthy eating habit becomes so extreme that it becomes unhealthy. It basically means a person who’s obsessed with food, and it usually starts with an intention to eat only organic, healthy, natural foods but then spirals out of control.

While we need to be aware of our internal health and the environmental factors that affect us, are we really doing ourselves a favour by obsessing over this all the time. Where do we draw a line and create a balance between leading a healthy life and simplifying our lives to reduce stress? What’s the point of an hour of meditation in the morning, if we’ve spent the whole night mentally planning every perfectly balanced meal for the next day instead of resting our minds?

I think, we humans as a race need to rediscover moderation. Moderation in eating, working out and life in general. Moderation does not mean doing less, it means doing things regularly and steadily for a sustained period of time. Let’s make leading a safe and healthy lifestyle a lifetime goal, for ourselves, our families and the world around us. Working out and eating well should improve the quality of of your life, not lead to mental and physical deterioration.

So how do you draw the line between being aware of your health and being obsessed?

About the Author:

Niranjani is an entrepreneur and blogger who believes that good quality, affordable healthcare should be available to all. She occasionally puffs and pants her way through a 10k race to feel fit, despite her chaotic life.

Photo Credit: Image 1Image 2

Copyright 2014 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

Introducing Your Child To Vegetables


“After 24 months children become reluctant to try new things and start to reject foods.” – Prof Marion Hetherington, University of Leeds

As a mother*, I’m not sure if the above statement is completely true, however, I do believe that good eating habits are set early in life. A habit is after all formed by repetition and young children as supposed to be like sponges, right? When we give so much importance, to how our children should deal with what comes out of the body (potty training) so early, shouldn’t we start with what goes in, even earlier?

Eager to get your child on the right path but don’t know how**? No worries, here’s a quick guide to get you started:

  • Build on a baby’s love for colour and texture. Try a boiled and pureed carrot one day, and a steamed and mashed sweet potato the next.
  • Make small quantities initially and don’t try to substitute a tasting for a meal. This will prevent both the child and the parent from finding the experience stressful. Experiment during playtime, rather than mealtimes.
  • Note the child’s initial preferences and repeat rejected foods in a different form/combination after a gap.
  • Talk to your pediatrician and always be prepared for possible allergic reactions.
  • Make the experience comfortable by preparing, in advance, to deal with the potential food mess. Cloth the child in soft old clothes, cover the floor/table with disposable paper towels and stay away from walls/curtains that cannot be cleaned.
  • Avoid trying new foods in the evenings as resources (energy, medical help, etc.) maybe low, making it a lot more difficult to deal with emergencies.
  • Let the baby feel the food with his/her hands. it’s after all a first time experience for him/her.
  • Don’t add salt or sugar to the vegetable. Let the child discover the original taste before we alter it.
  • Don’t try anything new if the child is not feeling well.
  • Most importantly, enjoy the time with your baby.

Have we missed anything here? Is there an experience you would like to share with us?

*Always check with your pediatrician  before you try a new food or routine for your child. The author is not a childcare or medical expert and has only shared her opinion based on her personal experiences.

** There are a lot of books out there that will give you practical tips, as well as, detailed steps on this topic. Alternatively, you can speak to a doctor or nutritionist who specializes in children’s nutrition.

About the Author:

Niranjani is an entrepreneur and blogger who believes that good quality, affordable healthcare should be available to all. She occasionally puffs and pants her way through a 10k race to feel fit, despite her chaotic life.

Photo Credit: Image 1Image 2

Copyright 2014 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

5 Healthy Ideas to Try This Week

Every January all of us make resolutions, many of which center around health and fitness. The problem with these resolutions is, we have the big picture but not the steps to achieve them and so they ultimately fall by the wayside. This year, we at Beaming Health Magazine decided to share a few tips to help you stay on the road to good health and fitness. So, plunge right in and do let us know which ones worked for you. 

  • Let the Winter Olympics inspire you to reconnect with a childhood game. Be it hockey, tennis, basketball, swimming or even just running free.
  • Discuss an issue that has been creating undue stress for you with someone you can rely on. Then work on eliminating or at least minimizing the source of that stress 
  • Eat one green meal every week. Be it an exotic one or a simple and delicious homemade one, the focus is on including as much raw plant-based food as possible in that meal
  • Switch off all electronic devices an hour before you go to sleep and read a book instead. This includes all computers, phones and the television
  • Spend five minutes in the morning doing a few, simple stretching or deep breathing exercises before you start your day. The quality of transition time, from sleep to alertness will make a difference to the quality of your day

Make these small changes in your weekly routine and soon you’ll be thanking us.

About the Author:

Niranjani is an entrepreneur and blogger who believes that good quality, affordable healthcare should be available to all. She occasionally puffs and pants her way through a 10k race to feel fit, despite her chaotic life.

Photo Credit: Image 1

Copyright 2014 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

Cycling Nirvana – The Workout Series

Cycling (any ride that lasts over an hour) is on the up globally, as well as in India, and for good reason. More people are aspiring to get into shape for different reasons and cycling is often preferred over other activities, such as running as there is less impact on the body, particularly the back and legs. That being said, cycling can cause it’s share of problems, if the rider has an incorrect posture or if the saddle (seat) is not at the optimum height and angle.

One of the first things to figure out before starting cycling is the kind of equipment you want and this is where a lot of aspiring cyclists doubt their interest levels. Unlike swimming, where one basically needs a good suit, goggles and cap; cycling can drive you to despair with the choices you have to make. In recent years, the availability of cycles has increased dramatically and a good one can set you back quite a bit, so it’s important to make a good choice.

Most cycles are either made of aluminium, alloy metals and at the higher end, carbon fiber. The weight goes down dramatically with a carbon fiber cycle, which potentially increases riding speed. Here are the broad categories of cycles available today, which are mostly terrain dependent:

  • Road – A road bike or ‘roadie’ can be identified by its handlebars and the thickness of the tyre. Roadies have dropped handlebars which give riders a more aggressive posture. The other identifier is that, road bikes have thin tires usually ranging from 20-25 mm. A thing to note is that the thinner the tire, the faster it is because of reduced rolling resistance, though there are some tests which show that 25 mm tires are faster than 23 mm tires (but that’s a discussion for another day).
  • Hybrid – Hybrids can be identified again by the handlebars and tires. The handlebars of a hybrid are straight, while the tires are fatter than those of roadies and are usually between 28-34 mm. If you are a newbie, it is probably best to pick up a hybrid first before graduating on to a road bike, if ever.
  • MTB ­– Multi-terrain Bikes are the ones with straight handlebars and the rugged looking tires. If you are a newbie to cycling beware of getting this cycle unless you specifically want to do off-roading. Legions of new cyclists have bought MTBs because of the rough-and-tough look but since they are relatively more difficult to ride on roads (fatter tires have higher rolling resistance), they are quickly put in the closet only to make a brief reappearance to fulfil a New Year’s resolution.

It is critical that a prospective cyclist buy the correct cycle size (depends on the rider’s height) because it could have an adverse impact on the body, as well as ride quality. Most cycles in the market are geared though there are a few ungeared bikes for the brave ones. Gear changing is usually specific to cycle brands but the rule of thumb is that the lower gears are for inclines and the higher gears are for straights and descents. The front and rear gears can be used together, but beware of getting your gears crossed (high front gear to low rear gear and vice-versa).  

The Musts

Buying a cycle is only the start and there is a laundry list of critical items to have. The helmet, water bottles, saddle bag, puncture kit, tool kit, spare tire tube, air pump, sunglasses, front and rear lights and, of course, proper cycling apparel are crucial. There are also specialized cycling shoes (used with special pedals) but for a newbie, regular running shoes with regular pedals will do just fine. One should also have degreasers, greasers and other cleaning products to ensure that the cycle, as well as, the drive-train is kept clean. There are other accessories like cycling computers, however, one must watch out since the want list can get very long and very expensive.

Do’s and Dont’s

As you start cycling you will obviously get a better feel what to watch out for, however here are some pointers to start you off:

  • Avoid urban areas – Motorists in India unfortunately rank low on civic sense and do not care for cyclists. You and the cycle are fragile and there is no point to risking your life. Go out of the city and discover how nice it is to cycle in low traffic roads, not to mention less polluted areas.
  • Ride in groups – Riding in a group is just common sense, as it is just safer for you. On a personal note, beyond safety, I have made a number of good friends among the cyclists I ride with.
  • Hydration – Given that India is a hot country, you are more often likely to sweat a lot during your ride. Sweating means your body is losing critical fluids and we need to keep replenishing them. Drink water even if you are not feeling thirsty. The rule of thumb is to drink anywhere from 500 -750 ml of water an hour but that depends on climatic conditions and body weight. Also make sure you drink water (300 – 400 ml) before the start of your ride. One should mix electrolytes with water to replenish minerals being lost; low electrolyte count can lead to cramping. The best electrolytes products are the ones you can get at medical shops; avoid sports drinks because they are essentially sugar water.
  • Carbohydrates – Carbs have become such a dirty word and if you plan to exercise while having a low-carb diet you are done for. Carbs are the primary energy source during exercise and it is critical to ensure that the body has an adequate supply of it. If you are planning to do a ride that is over 3 hours, ensure that you have an elevated carb diet on the previous day. Be sure to carry energy bars during your rides – cycling burns calories real fast and not having an energy source can be debilitating.
  • Start slow – Know your limits. If you are newbie you should be comfortable doing short rides before graduating to longer ones. The effort needed as one rides longer is non-linear.
  • Stretch before riding – Like any exercise, it is paramount to stretch before cycling. A list of useful stretching exercises can be found here.
  • Stay safe – Always wear your helmet while riding – your life depends on it. Be extra defensive while riding your cycle. After all you don’t want to go head-on with a larger vehicle. Watch out for Curious George’s who pull their vehicles close to the cycle to have a look at the cycle.
  • Enjoy yourself – Make this enjoyable, something you’ll want to do for the rest of your life, not another chore to tick off on the weekends.

Our workout series aims to help you figure out the right fitness regime for your body and mind. Now we want you to get your whole family in on it. As part of this series, we previously covered: swimmingrowingrunning, a guide to picking the right shoe, a three-week campaign to get you out on the road and how to mentally condition yourself to get going.

About the Author:

Sunil Rongala is based in Hyderabad and can often be seen tackling the hilly terrain outside the city on the weekends. He loves his life even more since he discovered cycling and plans to continue enjoying this sport for as long as possible.

Photo Credit: Image 1

Copyright 2013 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

Find out more at:

http://www.bikeszone.com/forum/

The ‘No’ Deprivation ‘Diet’

Last week, a friend of mine started telling me about this juice diet. Halfway through her sentence, my first I thought was ‘I love juice, so I can do it’. My second thought was ‘ but I love food too, so I can’t do it’. Her next sentence put my mind at rest. Apparently, you are encouraged to have this drink as a replacement for a meal or with a healthy meal, your option. I obviously will go for the healthy meal with the juice option.

This incident put me in a mind of a fact that we have all been long aware of. Unfortunately not many of us want to admit it, since it doesn’t sound magical or drastic enough. The simple fact here is that most diets get us to deprive ourselves of all treats (good for you but oh! so tough) or cut out certain food groups altogether (extreme and not so good for you). This is a tad difficult to maintain in the long run, unless you have the willpower of a dictator.

The easier way to go, would be to add in certain foods along with your healthy diet. In a manner of speaking, we are playing a mind game with our bodies. You can eat everything as before, just make sure you eat more of this. Adding in fiber and healthy nutritious liquids, will ensure that you have a healthy system, while having less space to stuff in your regular indulgences.

I’m starting with a pre-lunch soup and a vegetable juice before dinner. This has got to be the easiest way to get fit and balance those holiday indulgences. I’m sure you’re tempted to join me, so here are a few pointers to keep you on track:

  • Make sure that the food you are adding in is really good for you. For example, a glass of carrot juice loaded with sugar will not help
  • Finish your targeted ‘good food’ before you move on to the other stuff  
  • Since there’s no deprivation here, it’s best not to have ‘off’ days for the first month or three (till it’s natural for you to eat this way)
  • Don’t replace your whole day’s usual intake with salads, soups and fruit juices. I’m asking you to add some lettuce to every meal of the day, not turn into a temporary rabbit and live only on lettuce

Let me know how you plan to eat more and get fit. I’m rooting for you (and me).

About the Author:

Niranjani is an entrepreneur and blogger who believes that good quality, affordable healthcare should be available to all. She occasionally puffs and pants her way through a 10k race to feel fit, despite her chaotic life.

Photo Credit: Image 1

Copyright 2013 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

An Ode to the Tender Coconut

Did you know that the liquid from a sealed tender coconut is pure enough to be injected into the human blood stream? In fact tender coconut water has the same electrolyte balance as blood and therefore it can be used as an emergency substitute for Plasma. Many a soldier’s life has been saved thanks to the humble tender coconut.

However, what we are talking about here is a lot more mundane. It’s more about quenching thirst in the summer heat. Those dog days are upon us, and in the scorching heat of summer the tendency is always to reach out for an ice cold soft drink or an ice cream. You gulp it down, enjoying the cool feel of the bottle, and the liquid pouring down your throat, only to find yourself doubly hot and thirsty just moments after you have had your drink.

Your average “cool” drink is extremely high in calories. Most of them are close to 100 calories per large glass. It is in fact, pure sugar water, which is why it leaves you feeling thirsty. It has the added disadvantages of harming your teeth and creating gastric disturbances.

If you are thirsty after sport, or due to the heat, your best possible drink is plain water. Even if you are not thirsty, make sure you drink at least 8-10 glasses a day. When you are working out in the heat, I’m sure that you have been told that you need to replace the water, salt and sugar that your body loses. You have probably been told that you need to have one of the several sports drinks available in the market. They are a great idea if you are running a marathon in the heat and have been doing prolonged high impact exercise for more than 2 hours at a stretch.  Alternatively, if you are lucky to lay your hands on a tender coconut instead, go for it. Tender coconuts are rich in sugar, salt and potassium in the perfect balance that the body requires. Moreover, they are much lower in calories than any manufactured drink.

Before a work out, there is a widespread belief that you need a protein or carbohydrate drink that comes out of an expensive tin. How about trying a simple banana instead? Yet another food that will supply you with all the calories you need for your work out, as well as sugar, salt, potassium and some fibre. There has to be a reason why monkeys are so athletic right?

Canned fruit juices are a great idea if you are looking to them as a substitute for alcohol or a dessert, However they are not a great source of nutrition, since they are way too high in sugar and preservatives. In fact, they are largely empty calories. You would be doing your body a huge favour if you drank fresh homemade juice, without sugar, or even better ate the whole fruit, as that way you’ll get the fibre too.

In India we are lucky. Every street corner has a vendor selling fresh tender coconut water. It’s cheap, healthy and tastes delightful. Go for it. Treat yourself to one every day, and watch the improvement in your hair, skin and in fact your entire system.

About the author:

Sunitha Srinivasan has qualified with the National Association of Fitness Certification in the USA as a Lifestyle Consultant and Resistance Trainer. She focuses on helping people with their struggle to create a balanced and healthy lifestyle,  given the time constraints and stress present in today’s world.
She also conducts workshops on Wellness, Stress Management and Work-Life balance.
She can be reached at Sunitha@sans-souci.in

Photo Credit: Image 1

Copyright 2013 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

 

Summer Smoothies – Cool, Simple and Nutritious

The heat is getting to all of us here and we supposedly haven’t even hit peak temperatures! Eating anything other than ice-cream or curd rice is an effort and cooking a meal is even more tiring, so how do we keep ourselves hydrated while ensuring that we get our daily nutrition?

The simple answer is a tall, cool and refreshing smoothie, that appeals to both the old and the young. Have it cool, chilled or frozen; sweet, sour or with a hint of spice. Either way these delicious recipes will keep you coming back for more.

Nutty Summer Harvest Smoothie (Serving: 2 glasses)

A summer addition, that will have you raiding the fruit shops.

Ingredients:

Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice – 1 cup

Musk melon or any other yellowish sweet melon – 1 small melon or 1/2 a medium sized melon

Almonds – 12 – 15 nuts

Freshly squeezed lime juice – 1 or 2 lemons (depending on personal taste)

Fresh ginger – 1 inch piece 

Honey or Palm Sugar – 1 large tbsp

Mint leaves to garnish

Ice cubes – 1/2 cup (optional)

Method:

Combine all the ingredients and blend till smooth.

Pour into a tall glass, top with a sprig of mint and enjoy.

Energy in A Glass (Serving: 2 glasses)

For those days when you have a lot on your plate and no time to stop for a meal.

Ingredients:

Plain cocoa powder – 2 tbsp + a dash to garnish

Flaxseed powder – 2 tbsp

De-seeded dates – 5 large

Banana – 2 medium or one large (frozen tastes the best)

Coconut milk – 1 cup

Method:

Peel the bananas.

Combine all the ingredients and blend, adding cold water if necessary, till the liquid is smooth and at a drinkable consistency.

Add ice to a glass, if required. Pour the smoothie into the glass, sprinkle cocoa powder on top and enjoy.

About the Author:

Niranjani is an entrepreneur and blogger who believes that good quality, affordable healthcare should be available to all. She occasionally puffs and pants her way through a 10k race to feel fit, despite her chaotic life.

Photo Credit: Image 1Image 2

Copyright 2013 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

Treasures in the Kitchen

From the beginning of time, Indian cuisine has always been associated with the word “spicy”. The word itself rolls of the tongue in a variety of ways – spicy, as in mouth watering and delicious, or else spicy with a tinge of guilt, rather like a forbidden delight, or best of all just as a matter of fact – spicy is how Indian food is. We have eaten it this way for centuries, and it certainly has not harmed any of us, so maybe it’s not so bad? Perhaps it’s even quite good for us! Now this is where the conversation gets interesting.

In actual fact, most of the common spices found in the kitchen are among the best sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants being, of course, our greatest allies in the war against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease. They can even slow the aging process (let’s see anyone say ‘no’ to that).

Unfortunately, as pizzas and burgers become easier and hipper to eat, the average Indian is consuming large amounts of refined carbohydrates and fat, cooked with very little spice; rather than the traditional Indian fare that includes a lot of vegetables, having large doses of fiber, cooked with hand ground spices. Preventive medicine has clearly established that almost all spices contain chemical compositions that have profound health benefits, which help to protect the body from numerous illnesses and, in many cases, act as effective treatments for established diseases. In addition, some spices also have chemicals that induce a “feel good” factor, with pepper being a great example.

In terms of their preventive health benefits, there are a few spices you don’t want to miss. Cinnamon, clove, ginger and garlic are great antioxidants, while mustard, turmeric and black pepper ward off the big ‘C’, cancer. Fenugreek and coriander are a great help if your cholesterol or triglyceride levels are high, while cloves and cinnamon are a boon to diabetics.

The only time when spices begin to harm you are when they are cooked with too much oil to make a rich curry or biryani. Obviously, the culprit here is the excessive use of oil, not the spices.

The best part about using spices as preventive medicine is that there are absolutely no side effects, and they are not really “medicines”. So when someone invites you over for a spicy meal, please accept. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favour.

About the author:

Sunitha Srinivasan has qualified with the National Association of Fitness Certification in the USA as a Lifestyle Consultant and Resistance Trainer. She focuses on helping people with their struggle to create a balanced and healthy lifestyle,  given the time constraints and stress present in today’s world.
She also conducts workshops on Wellness, Stress Management and Work-Life balance.
She can be reached at Sunitha@sans-souci.in

Photo Credit: Image 1Image 2

Copyright 2013 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

A Ray of Golden Sunshine

Eggs, are you’re kidding me? I don’t touch them. That old fashioned notion of an egg a day for breakfast is just begging for heart disease and an abnormal cholesterol profile. It was eating too many eggs that killed my dear grandfather at the age of ninety eight.

Like many trends, research in food has come full circle on this one. Studies made by several groups worldwide, have now come to the same conclusion that your grandmother did fifty years ago. Eggs always were, and continue to be one of the healthiest foods in the world.

They are packed with vitamins A, D, E, B2, B6, B9, iron, calcium, phosphorous, potassium and choline (an integral component in brain and nerve health). The sunny yellow yolk contains lutein and zeaxanthin (These carotenoids probably kept your grandfather’s eyes healthy until a ripe old age, and will do the same for you, if you let them.)

Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be complete proteins. A complete protein contains the nine essential amino acids your body cannot produce naturally. Regarded as the “building blocks” of the body, amino acids help form protein and are vital to your body’s health. Two of the amino acids found in eggs -Tryptophan and Tyrosine are anti-depressants. They also contain Melatonin that will help you get a peaceful night’s sleep.

A large egg contains six grams of the highest quality protein found in any food. Protein is found in both the egg white and the yolk, with just over half in the white and the remainder in the yolk. Eat the whole egg to really benefit from it. Those twelve egg white omelets are both unnatural and a complete waste of the valuable yolk. Limit your consumption of eggs, to a maximum of three to four per week, but, eat the whole egg.

I can almost see your eyebrows touching your hair line at this point. What about all that stuff we’ve been hearing about the egg yolk being high in fat and creating high LDL cholesterol and ultimately leading to heart disease? In fact, a boiled egg contains only seventy calories. That’s about the same as a chappati or large slice of bread. Moreover, recent research shows that eating eggs every day does not significantly raise LDL cholesterol levels or contribute to the risk of heart disease, for most healthy men and women. I know we keep repeating this but it’s important to remember, the real villains are the saturated and trans-fats found in foods. These fats increase blood cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. It is not the egg that’s the bad guy here, but your method of cooking it. A large egg contains only 1.5 grams saturated fat and zero trans-fats. It’s the deep frying of the egg or the rich gravy that constitutes the egg curry that create all the problems.

A boiled or poached egg for breakfast is an ideal way to start your day. It will keep you feeling full and satisfied until lunch, so you will not be tempted to give into mid-morning junk food cravings, and you will have all the nutrients you need to keep you bright and sunny all day. So go for that ray of golden sunshine.

About the author:

Sunitha Srinivasan has qualified with the National Association of Fitness Certification in the USA as a Lifestyle Consultant and Resistance Trainer. She focuses on helping people with their struggle to create a balanced and healthy lifestyle,  given the time constraints and stress present in today’s world.
She also conducts workshops on Wellness, Stress Management and Work-Life balance.
She can be reached at Sunitha@sans-souci.in

Photo Credit: Image 1

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Demystifying health, healthcare and the secrets of a healthy lifestyle

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Demystifying health, healthcare and the secrets of a healthy lifestyle