Winter Must-haves: Vegetables

India is one of those countries where vegetables are cheap and available fresh. There are seasonal vegetables that are great sources of nutrients. Check these out:

Chick peas: Chick peas have phytonutrients that provide us with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. You can make matar paneer masala or mater pakode – the options are endless.

Fenugreek leaves:  Methi bhaaji, methi paratha, methi pakoda – there are manyh ways you can include this rich green vegetable in your diet. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients.

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Spinach: Our Indian mothers have several ways of luring us to eat this not-so-tasty vegetable. There is spinach soup, spinach pakoda, palak paneer, and so on. But don’t ignore it since it provides vitamins, minerals, carotenoids and a host of flavonoids that offer antioxidant protection.

Radish: Apart from the rich source of diets to the rabbits, radish is great for humans too. It has potassium, folic acid and ascorbic acid. This is especially good to fight diseases in winter.

 

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Winter Must-haves: Fruits

These are the fruits readily available in India and have great nutrient value in winter. Instead of binging on convenient fast food, you may choose these:

Oranges: Orange is a storehouse of nutrients. Vitamin C, potassium, folate, minerals and fibre. You name it. This is crucial for fighting against cough, common cold and fever during winter.

Apples: Since it is available more in winter, it become affordable too. Feast on this healthiest fruit of all and keep yourself protected from diseases in winter.

Peanuts: Among the dry fruits, your best friend in winter is the peanut. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Most of all, it can be eaten in very many ways like peanut butter, roasted peanuts, peanut chaat, and so on.

Carrots: Vegetable or fruit, this red blessing of nature offers several health benefits in winter. Look at what it’s got- vitamins B, C, D, E and K, as well as calcium pectate (a pectin fibre that has cholesterol-lowering properties). There is a reason why the good old Gajar Ka Halwa is a favourite in our country. 

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Winter food myths!

Now that winter has clearly made its presence felt in India, there are all kinds of theories floating around about things to eat this season. How much advice should you take? See for yourself:

Myth: Spicy warms up the body

Reality: It just makes you sweat because spices make your tongue burn that in turn stimulate sweating.

 

Myth: Alcohol keeps the body warm

Reality: Brandy does help common cold but the same logic cannot be applied in keeping your body warm in winter. For the same reason as the spicy food, too much alcohol will only lead to sweating and not really body heat.

 

Myth: Drink only hot water

Reality: For water to work as a hydrating agent, it must be regularly consumed in room temperature.

 

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Myth: Orange and citrus food are bad in winter

Reality: They all contain vitamins and are necessary in all seasons. 

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Cook healthy this Diwali

Diwali is just a few days away and you must be getting all jittery over the pile of cooking to be done. Fret not. If you are not the type who can cook the traditional ghee mithai, go for some modern snack options that are both healthy and easy to cook.

 

Coconut Barfi: The internet is flooded with recipes. The best ones being on the Tarla Dalal website ofcourse. Coconut barfi definitely uses less sugar and is way less in calories compared to other sweets such as rasgulla or gulabjamun.

 

Ice cream pie: Surprise your guests by an icecream pie on coconut crust or simply serve apple pie with icecream. This is easier to digest, is cooling and has less calories.

 

Barbecued snacks: Instead of fried snacks like chakri, gujiya, etc, go for barbecued or grilled snacks that are cooked with less oil. Go for paneer chilly or chicken tikka and make sure you grill it with least oil possible.

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Natural juices: On Diwali, replace the colas with traditional drinks made with khas or rose water. Go for juices of orange, mango, watermelon or pomegranate. They take less time in cooking and can be easily served.

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Low-calorie/no-bake cookies: There are several kinds of cookies like oatmeal or no-bake cookies that take less time and are healthier than the regular Indian snacks. 

Choose healthy Diwali this year. 

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Top 5 Indian foods for healthy hair!

While a great facial may at least show some visible changes, it is hard to see a change in your hair after a hair spa. That is because your hair is strictly about what you eat. Here’s a list of top five foods easily found in India for your Indian black hair.

 

Eggs: Easily available in pretty much good prices, eggs must be consumed regularly, if possible daily, to keep your hair healthy. Eggs have protein which is the most important mineral to give your hair a healthy texture. Eggs are also a good source of vitamin B12; a lack of which can lead to pernicious anemia and hair loss.

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Yogurt: Being rich in calcium and protein, yogurt promotes hair growth. In Indian, housewives make a variety of dishes from yogurt like kadi, koshambeer, fruit salad. Increase yogurt in your diet.

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Nuts: All kinds of nuts including the easily available ground nuts have zinc  and protein that help in making your hair silky and strong. Walnuts have omega3 fatty acids and biotin- two more minerals that promote hair growth.

 

Seeds: It’s time to include seeds in your regular diet. Seeds like sunflower or fenugeek are just wonderful for hair. They have zinc and omega-3 oils that make your hair stronger.

 

Fish: Wonder why women from Bengal have such long, lustrous and dark black hair? That is because fish is part of their lives. Rich in protein and Omega-3, fish curry consumed regularly will do wonders to your hair.

 

Instead of making your hair go through rough artificial procedures during a hair spa, make it a habit of consuming these foods. They are more than enough to keep your hair young for many years.

 

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Not letting Diwali ruin your fitness!

‘Tis the season of tonnes of calories. You won’t be able to avoid them as the day of Diwali draws nearer. What you have invested in fitness in the last few months is directly at risk at the moment. So don’t let Diwali ruin what you have achieved thus far. Follow a few simple tips and stay away from calories and unhealthy food.

 

The right liquids: The best way to combat tons of calories is to get yourself hydrated. Fruit juices and water must be kept within easy reach. They will help you flush out the unhealthy calories and their effect apart from satiating false hunger.

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Cut down alcohol: You will probably laugh out loud on this one. How can I cut down alcohol in Diwali? Here’s how. You will probably be attending/hosting a dozen parties. Make sure you have just one peg in each party, not more because towards the end of the season, parties will have given you enough bloating for months. Just refrain from your usual dose and keep it less for each party.

Go for healthier desserts: There are Indian desserts that are quite healthy and can be chosen over the usual ghee-laden ones. Go for aam papad, shreekhand, kheer or millk sweets like milk cake instead of the usual mithai.

Snack well: While your house will be full of Diwali snacks and you wont be able to resist the urge to dig into them, make sure you also give your body a healthy snack treat once a day. Go for sprouts, fruits, dry fruits instead of the deep fried ones that are so typical of Indian festivals.

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Fire safety: Burns are serious business. Even a little scar can ruin your appearance permanently. Cross check the fire extinguishers in your home or apartment, keep water buckets handy especially near the place where you have planned to burst crackers.

Ear plugs: Of course the decibel levels are bound to go up during Diwali. Keep earplugs handy.

A lot of times it would be enough if you are aware that you are bound to consume extra calories this season. Get involved in cleaning activities to burn a little extra fat.

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Five energy foods in your kitchen!

Your kitchen is a storehouse of blessing, if only you knew. There are things that we always keep in kitchen as essential ingredients, and they turn out to have health and medicinal benefits. See our list:

 

1. Sunflower seeds: Grandmothers kept them for putting in bathwater or as a cooking essential. The seeds have Selenium and Magnesium, the compounds that are believed to produce instant feelings of well-being. Also seeds are rich in amino acids that help in serotonin production, which is good for one’s mood.

 

2. Go bananas: Quite literally, bananas can make you crazy with happiness. They are rich in potassium and magnesium. How does it help? Since banana has natural sugar, it adds to your energy levels.

 

3. Dark chocolate: This one has anadamine, which improves the blood-flow to the brain. There’s a reason why in Hollywood flicks they show how a girl recovers from break up with a chocolate ice-cream. Chocolate gives an instant boost in concentration, mood and energy.

4. Eggs: Make them part of your daily breakfast since they are rich in protein. Protein gives you an energy boost and is great for brain activity.

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5. Cereals: These are foods rich in carbohydrates that stimulate the production of the feel-good hormone, serotonin. A reason why a lot of people tend to eat when they feel low is because these foods change their moods. This means, you ought to be careful about not consuming them unprecedented.

 Eat these to keep yourself full of energy. 

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