Category Archives: Food Wisdom

Amaranth Or Ramdaana -The Wonder Grain

Amaranth or Raandana is an answer to the high Fibre and low glycemic index food we have all been looking for. The solution for healthy foods should be directed inwards instead of towards foreign grains like quinoa and chia . This will ensure a fresher product and you will also help sustain local farming of these crops.

The word ‘Amaranth’ is derived from the Greek term ‘amarantos’ meaning ‘unwithering’. The term was applied to Amaranth for its hearty characteristics that for the people that used it, came to symbolize immortality.

The Hindi term for Amaranth, Ramdana, means God’s own grain. This bountiful seed is grown all throughout India from the high slopes of the Himalayas to the many coastlines of the country. Numerous different Amaranth varieties are grown throughout the country, but the Himalaya region is know as the Amaranth ‘centre for diversity’ for the number of varieties that grow in the region.

This crop has been called ‘Incan Wheat’ because it was a staple food for the Incas, but was used long before this time. Today the grain often goes by the name kiwicha.

In North America/Europe where this crop is sometimes sold, it occasionally goes by the name ‘love-lies-bleeding’ due to its bright, fluorescent colour ranges.😄

Amaranth Greens are known as Chaulai ka Saag. It is easily available in summer ,easy to cook and very beneficial. It comes in two varieties red and green. The red one is also known as Laal Saag.

Fating Tips: How to do it Well

Tips to fast Effectively and Safely

All religions observe some sort of fating as a form of discipline, penance and spiritual cleansing, But beyond faith, how does fasting affect your mind and body? Manipuri icon Irom Sharmila could fast for 16 years because it took a team of 10 to determine her nutritional requirements and fed them to her in liquid form through a nasal tube.

The brain is hugry for glucose and uses about 20% energy from the food we eat.The heart, liver and kidneys use about 60% which is why these get damaged first wen we stop getting food. The brain stores minimal energy as food and depends on circulating energy for its functions.

A normal adult can last 3-4 weeks on water alone but when you stop water its difficult to survive beyond 3-7 days depending on how hot it is. The kidneys then rapidly begin to get damaged.
Some people fast as a way to lose weight. Others fast to try to detox their bodies, or for religious reasons.

If you’re fasting to lose weight, you may want to reconsider. The weight loss may not last after you finish fasting.If your goal is to detox your body, you should know that your body naturally detoxes itself.

Fasting diets aren’t all the same. Some allow only liquids like water, juice, or tea. Others cut calories drastically, but don’t completely ban food. And on some plans, you fast every other day.
Why Fasting for Weight Loss Can Backfire
When you eat less than you need and you lose weight, your body goes into a starvation mode. To save energy, your metabolism slows down.

When you’re done fasting and you go back to your usual diet, you may regain the weight you lost, and then some.
On a fast, your body adjusts by curbing your appetite, so you will feel less hungry at first. But once you have stopped fasting, your appetite revs back up. You may feel hungrier and be more likely to overeat.

Is Fasting Safe?
Fasting for a few days probably won’t hurt most people who are healthy, provided they don’t get dehydrated. But fasting for long periods of time is bad for you.
Your body needs vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from food to stay healthy. If you don’t get enough, you can have symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, constipation, dehydration, and not being able to tolerate cold temperatures. Fasting too long can be life threatening.
Don’t fast, even for a short time, if you have diabetes, because it can lead to dangerous dips and spikes in blood sugar.
Other people who should not fast include women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, anyone with a chronic disease, the elderly, and children.
Before you go on a new diet, particularly one that involves fasting, ask your doctor if it’s a good choice for you. You can also ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian, who can show you how to design a healthy eating plan.

Many people think about fasting for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you need to renew your body and soul. Maybe you’re feeling sluggish or toxic and need to cleanse your body in short order. Or maybe you want to fast for spiritual reasons, such as a breakthrough in your personal life or for revival in this land.

Whatever your reasons for fasting, here are 10 tips to ensure you fast smart.

1) Prepare Your Mind
Before you begin, think about why you want to fast. What do you want to achieve? It’s important to have the right mindset before you start or you may lose heart early on. Pray for discipline and a strong will to complete the fast.
2) Stock Up
Shop for everything you’ll need before the day you begin. Not having everything you need on your first day is a sure way to fail. If you’re doing a juice fast, for example, look at the recipes you’ll be using, and make sure your shopping list has all the ingredients.
3) Drink Water
Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of purified water while you are fasting so you can flush away toxins and waste. This will also help you stay energized. Dehydration can cause you to feel tired and hungry.
4) Go Easy
Gentle exercise, such as walking, is good, but don’t overexert yourself. Your body is working hard to eliminate toxins, remove damaged cells and restore vitality. This important work is often not completed when we eat regular meals. That’s because the body focuses its attention on digestion throughout the day. Fasting frees your body from this daily chore so it can work on cleansing, repairing and healing. It’s like taking a week’s vacation to thoroughly clean your home.
While all this important work is going on inside, you want to give your body the rest it needs. Take more breaks. Avoid exhausting work. Go for walks. Get fresh air and sun. Go to bed early, as powerful healing hormones are released while you sleep. Relax before bed by taking a bath, reading a good book or listening to beautiful music.
5) Choose a Plan
Many people think fasting means a strict water fast. Some people even try to follow the model of some biblical heroes—no food or water, which can be dangerous. But there is more than one type of fast. Choose the one that is best for you.
Water fast. A strict water fast for more than two or three days is not recommended unless you can completely rest and are medically supervised.
Juice fast. Freshly made juice is rich in antioxidants that bind toxins so they don’t damage cells—and those antioxidants are critical, especially during a fast.
One meal a day. Everyone can fast for one meal or from certain foods. You can deny yourself coffee, sweets, soda pop, fast food, snack foods and junk food. None of these things are good for your body anyway. And if you can’t do a strict fast because of your age or health, choose instead to give up some of your favorite foods. You could also fast one meal a day and drink a veggie juice instead.
Unlike in older times, where the air, soil and water were virtually pure, we have thousands of different chemicals pouring into our atmosphere every year. Most of our food is sprayed with pesticides and packaged with preservatives, additives, dyes and fillers. (Therefore, you ought to choose organic produce.) Our water is treated with chemicals, and our air is assaulted with industrial pollution.
Toxins are stored mainly in our fat cells. When we fast, those toxins are released in greater amounts. Without antioxidants to bind up free radicals, our cells can be damaged.
On the juice fast, you can drink vegetable juices, purified water, coconut water, veggie broth and herbal teas throughout the day. I emphasize vegetable juice because fruit juice has too much sugar, which can cause spikes and dips in blood sugar, leaving you tired. However, you can use a little fruit to flavor and sweeten veggie juice recipes.
All this will keep you healthy, energized and hydrated. To keep from boredom, try new juice and green smoothie recipes.
6) Be Wise
You may have a physical condition that would make water or juice fasting unwise or dangerous. Seek medical advice first. However, be aware that many doctors have little knowledge of fasting or training in nutrition. People who should not do a strict water or juice fast include women who are pregnant or nursing, people who are anorexic or bulimic, anyone who is emaciated or underweight, and those who are on dialysis.
Be aware of medications and their effects while you fast. For example, a vegetable juice fast can lower your blood pressure quickly, so you would need to cut back on medication, for which you should seek your physician’s advice. People with diabetes or hypoglycemia can modify a vegetable juice fast and include green juice made with celery for extra protein and fat. This would also be my recommendation for anyone who is elderly or weak.
During your fast, if you become so hungry you could eat the plaster off your wall, you may have parasites or yeast overgrowth. It could be that freeloaders in your body are screaming for food. You may need to do a parasite cleanse or a yeast-control diet to get this infection under control before continuing any other kind of fast.
Please note: Children under the age of 15 should not do a strict water or juice fast.
7) Determine the Length
You can fast from one day to an extended period of time,. Most people can easily handle a three-day fast. If you work, start on Friday. Then you’ll have the weekend to complete the fast at home.
8) Know the Symptoms
As your body releases toxins, you might get some detox reactions, such as headaches, tiredness, foggy brain or bad breath. (Chew mint(pudina) for your breath.) This can be part of your body ridding itself of toxins that could cause disease, which is a good thing. Don’t quit your fast when this happens. The symptoms should pass rather quickly.
9) Pray
Fasting and prayer are linked In the Hindu religion. Whenever we fast, we are admonished to pray, which facilitates our spiritual growth and renewal.
10) Break Smart
How you break a fast is as important as the fast itself. Break your fast the first day with only vegetable juices, green smoothies, raw fruits and vegetables, veggie soups, or steamed vegetables. Never break a fast with a heavy meal like a burger and fries or steak and potatoes, as you can harm your body and end up with stomach cramps and digestive issues.

The Good and the Bad on Oats

 

Oats are one of the most misunderstood grains of all times. Most people don’t know how to utilize them well so we either love them or hate them.

Here’s the full dope on oatmeal and how to optimise their usage

Oats have been grown in India since 15th century as livestock feed – for cattle and horses.
It is the mainstay diet for temperate countries like Scotland, Iceland, Russia, Canada and NW Europe as can be grown twice an year as an annual crop.
As per FDA -USA and JHCI-UK oat Beta glucan is cardio protective as it lowers blood cholesterol and LDL, controls blood pressure, blood sugar and glycemic index
Problem: fast to cook oats marketed in India by Pepsico are over-processed and contain low fiber and high carbohydrate

Solution:

1. Quit eating instant oats
2. Oats seeds should be soaked overnight in water or milk and then prepared for breakfast
3. Oat biscuit or bread are good
In case you cannot do all this continue with multigrain parathas- wheat, ragi, bajra or idlis or daliya

Summary: oat is one of the best cereals but instant one minute oats are a sugar overdose so avoid.

How Fasting is linked to the Nobel Prize

This year’s Nobel prize for medicine has gone to a Japanese scientist Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi for his research on autophagy. Autophagy means to “self eat”. In other words, the process by which the human body eats it own damaged cells and unused proteins. Autophagy is a natural process and also one which occurs in cases of starvation. The failure of autophagy is one of the main reasons for accumulation of damaged cells which eventually leads to various diseases in the body. Autophagy is important to prevent/fight cancer and also plays a vital role in degrading and ‘consuming’ cells infected by bacteria and viruses.

I have to observe here that ancient India had recommended a practice of fasting (Ekadasi) one day in a fortnight. Many of us religiously follow this practice to this day as a penance for spiritual progress without any idea of the biological and therapeutic benefits of this practice. Through this process of fasting induced autophagy, our body repaired its damaged and degenerated cells or used up the proteins of the damaged cells for its survival.

Whenever modern science conquers a frontier in any field, it somehow relates back to a quaint spiritual practice followed in India for generations.

A day in a fortnight spent in prayer and divine contemplation was a tonic for the mind and soul while the practice of fasting ensured that the body would heal and rejuvenate itself.

Clearly, our ancients believed in a process of holistic healing of both the body and the mind. They were able to, quite remarkably, connect the yearning for spiritual progress in a human being with the biological necessity of the human body. One cannot but marvel, and bow our heads with admiration and reverence, at their wisdom and deep scientific understanding of the body and the mind.

Navratri and the Indian on a ‘vrat’

 

It’s navratri time and everyone around us seems to be on a special diet. Makes you wonder if religion makes you thin or fat

The ancient idea about vrat or diet was detoxification. Detox happens when you allow a gentle cleansing of your lymphatic and digestive systems…not when you stuff yourselves with more poori- aaloo

Here’s a healthier way to eat this time and not just during navratri. Do this anytime you feel like instead of waiting for a religious or social occasion..health is a virtue and fitness is needed to have a fuller life.
It’s time we start losing weight for ourselves than for a wedding or a prom

Here’s how to detox whenever you feel lethargic or out of energy

🎯eat small meals about the size of your palm through the day
🎯stay hydrated with water and high water content foods
🎯indulge in veggies and fruits and eat as little of cereals and pulses to give the digestion a break
🎯avoid all processed food like maida, sugar and salt. These three are main culprits in an unhealthy diet
🎯try avoiding anything out of a box or carton..you will automatically eat better

Simple meal options👇🏾
Breakfast
Milk with roasted nuts/veggie daliya/upma/poha
Lunch
Khichdi with veggies /stuffed chapattis/rice with baked veggies
Dinner
Roasted makhana khichdi/pumpkin soup/peneer tikka and salads

Do include a tbsp of desi ghee in every meal to heal the tissues and for absorption of the fat soluble micronutrients.

Stop linking food to religion!

Almonds Ahoy!

 

If your mother pleaded with you every morning to eat your daily dose of soaked almonds, then she may have been right. Choosing between soaked almonds and raw almonds isn’t just a matter of taste, it’s about picking the healthier option.

Why soaked almonds are better – Firstly, the brown peel of almonds contains tannin which inhibits nutrient absorption. Once you soak almonds the peel comes off easily and allows the nut to release all nutrients easily.

How to soak? Soak a handful of almonds in half a cup of water. Cover them and allow them to soak for 8 hours. Drain the water, peel off the skin and store them in plastic container. These soaked almonds will last you for about a week.

Benefits of soaked almonds:

1. Help with digestion – Soaking almonds helps in releasing enzymes which in turn help with digestion. Soaking almonds releases enzyme lipase which is beneficial for digestion of fats.

2. Help with weight-loss – The monounsaturated fats in almonds curb your appetite and keep you full. So feel free to snack on them because they’ll help you avoid binge-eating and trigger weight-loss.

3. Almonds keep your heart healthy and reduce bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) and increase good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein).

4. They are a good source of antioxidants: Vitamin E present in soaked almonds works as an antioxidant which inhibits free radical damage that prevents ageing and inflammation.

5. Fight Cancer: Soaked almonds contain Vitamin B17 which is vital for fighting cancer.

6. Flavonoid present in almonds suppresses tumor growth.

7. Help in lowering and maintaining glucose levels and regulating high blood pressure.

8. Soaked almonds contain folic acid which reduces birth defects.

For busy ppl on the move, if u can’t have them soaked, have them raw or roasted in ghee and salt. Excellent snack for every age

Moringa The Indian Superfood

The humble Moringa or drumstick which is common in recipes like sambar is a miracle food..did you know this?

Drumstick leaves contain

12 times more vitamin C than oranges;

– 17 times more calcium than milk;

– 10 times more vitamin A than carrots;

– 25 times more iron than spinach;

– 15 more potassium than bananas;

– 9 times more protein than yogurt

A recent study has shown that if you consume 7 gr. of moringa leaf powder for 3 months can reduce the blood sugar levels by 13.5%.

The plant possesses anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties thanks to the activities of niaziminin, a compound found in the moringa leaves.

The contents of the plant can regulate the thyroid function, even if the thyroid is hyperactive.

Glowing skin 101

The glow of your skin is based on a regular skincare routine plus the balance of your diet.

For problem skin eat zinc rich products like spinach, wheatgerm and kaddu & biotin rich foods like eggs, nuts and whole grains

For pale skin eat iron rich products like green veggies, papaya and dairy products
For common skin disorders like hairfall and bruising eat flaxseeds, almonds and pista .

Eating right is one big lifestyle change which is totally worth the time and the effort 🍳🍇🍌

Moringa The Superfood

The humble moringa or drumstick which is common in recipes like sambar is a miracle food..did you know this?

Drumstick leaves contain

12 times more vitamin C than oranges;

– 17 times more calcium than milk;

– 10 times more vitamin A than carrots;

– 25 times more iron than spinach;

– 15 more potassium than bananas;

– 9 times more protein than yogurt

A recent study has shown that if you consume 7 gr. of moringa leaf powder for 3 months can reduce the blood sugar levels by 13.5%.

The plant possesses anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties thanks to the activities of niaziminin, a compound found in the moringa leaves.

The contents of the plant can regulate the thyroid function, even if the thyroid is hyperactive.

Almonds Ahoy!

 

If your mother pleaded with you every morning to eat your daily dose of soaked almonds, then she may have been right. Choosing between soaked almonds and raw almonds isn’t just a matter of taste, it’s about picking the healthier option.

Why soaked almonds are better – Firstly, the brown peel of almonds contains tannin which inhibits nutrient absorption. Once you soak almonds the peel comes off easily and allows the nut to release all nutrients easily.

How to soak? Soak a handful of almonds in half a cup of water. Cover them and allow them to soak for 8 hours. Drain the water, peel off the skin and store them in plastic container. These soaked almonds will last you for about a week.

Benefits of soaked almonds:

1. Help with digestion – Soaking almonds helps in releasing enzymes which in turn help with digestion. Soaking almonds releases enzyme lipase which is beneficial for digestion of fats.

2. Help with weight-loss – The monounsaturated fats in almonds curb your appetite and keep you full. So feel free to snack on them because they’ll help you avoid binge-eating and trigger weight-loss.

3. Almonds keep your heart healthy and reduce bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) and increase good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein).

4. They are a good source of antioxidants: Vitamin E present in soaked almonds works as an antioxidant which inhibits free radical damage that prevents ageing and inflammation.

5. Fight Cancer: Soaked almonds contain Vitamin B17 which is vital for fighting cancer.

6. Flavonoid present in almonds suppresses tumor growth.

7. Help in lowering and maintaining glucose levels and regulating high blood pressure.

8. Soaked almonds contain folic acid which reduces birth defects.

For busy ppl on the move, if u can’t have them soaked, have them raw or roasted in ghee and salt. Excellent snack for every age