Blog | Category | Superfoods
  • Top 10 weight loss foods

    In Expert Diet Tips On 31 July 2013

    When it comes to weight loss, everyone wants it quick and easy. People don’t realize that just like weight gain did not happen overnight; weight loss also cannot be expected with a blink of an eye. In the name of weight loss people follow all sorts of fad diets and funny methods which hardly show them any results. Weight loss basically is eating the right food at the right time. There is no one magic food which leads to weight loss. It is a combination of different foods. Let us discuss 10 foods which effectively help in weight loss. Oats: is extremely high in fiber, hence one portion of oats in the morning for breakfast can keep you full and energetic throughout the day, reducing your caloric intake. Greens: like spinach, methi, broccoli etc are very low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins and minerals thereby reducing water retention and bloating from your body. Beans: like kidney beans, soya beans etc are filled with resistant fiber and proteins which help release energy slowly and keeping you full for a longer time. they also feed your muscles and help them tone up. Lean chicken and fish: are good sources of protein which increase muscle and thereby metabolic rate which helps fat burning and also adds bulk to the meals. Cucumber: is very high in water content and acts as a natural diuretic which helps to reduce water retention and bloating leading to weight loss. Brown rice: are not only high in fiber but also in energy giving B complex vitamins which leads to faster burning of calories. Almonds and walnuts: are excellent sources of vitamin and fiber. A handful of nuts as mid meal snacks can really do wonders. Papaya: an extremely low calorie fruit which contains papain- aiding in faster digestion of proteins and helping in weight loss. Oranges and lemons: are low in calories, high in fiber and Vitamin C which is important in fat burning. Berries: like strawberries, raspberries etc are low calorie, high antioxidants foods. A few of them as mid meals can keep you satiated. You can also add them in breakfast cereals or yoghurt.  

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  • Healthy weight loss recipe: Dalia salad

    In Expert Diet Tips On 12 December 2014

    Dalia or bulgur is quite popular in India and is usually given to kids in the form of porridge. But adults shouldn’t miss out on this healthy ingredient as it is high in fibre, low in fat, diabetic-friendly and also suitable for people who want to lose weight. But instead of eating plain porridge, here, we make it into a salad which adds more nutrition to it and makes it healthier. Here’s the recipe.  Ingredients 30g dalia or bulgur 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped 1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped ½ onion, chopped 1 small tomato chopped 2 tsp lemon juice 1 tsp olive oil Salt Pepper powder Pinch of cinnamon powder Method 1. Pressure cook the dalia in 2 cups water. 2. In a bowl, add chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped coriander, chopped mint, olive oil, lemon juice, pepper powder and cinnamon powder and mix. 3. Add dalia and mix. Serve immediately. Calories: 135 kcal Image for representation purpose only.

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  • Expert diet and exercise tips to manage diabetes (World Diabetes Day 2014)

    In Expert Diet Tips On 12 December 2014

    Diabetes does not mean the end of a good life. It just means that it is time to change your lifestyle for the better. Though diabetes is a rising health concern for most Indians today, but if taken good care of, one can live a normal life as before. Here are some lifestyle, diet and exercise related dos and don’ts by noted Nutritionist Neha Chandna that diabetics should follow to live well with diabetes. General guidelines It is essential that diabetics keep a constant tab on their blood sugar levels for better health and to avoid complications. Follow these tips: Get your blood sugar levels and HBA1C checked in a laboratory every 3 months if you are above 30 years of age. Check your blood sugar with a blood glucose monitor in the morning, after lunch and after dinner, every 2 days if you are a diabetic. Keep a check on blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels as a diabetic generally tends to have high BP and cholesterol. If you are on insulin, check your blood sugar before all the major meals to modulate the food intake. Check your toes and legs for any hurt or wound and don’t delay the treatment. If obese, try to lose weight and maintain it. Diet guidelines Monitoring your diet is highly vital as the food you eat directly affects your blood sugar levels and weight. In order to make sure you are eating healthy, follow these tips: Eat every 2-3 hours in small quantities rather than eating 3 large meals. Include complex carbs in every meal – whole wheat, ragi, jowar, brown rice, oats, etc. Avoid refined cereal products like bread, noodles, polished rice, etc. as they can raise blood sugar levels. Choose fibre-rich foods like vegetables, whole grains, etc. You should aim for 25-25g of fibre/day through diet to maintain blood glucose levels. Low-fat milk products like curd, paneer and egg whites, lean chicken and fish are great protein sources which can prove helpful in diabetes management. If you are a vegetarian, whole pulses and dals can provide little protein and good amounts of fibre. You can enjoy all vegetables especially green, leafy ones. Limit your intake of potatoes. Depending on your blood sugar, don’t have more than 2 fruits/day and if you are fond of mango/banana, opt for these early in the morning. Reduce butter, ghee or oil intake. Also, avoid processed foods like cakes, biscuits, ready-to-eat foods as they are loaded with fats. Salt and sugar and can aggravate complications like blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Sugary foods are a complete no-no. You can use artificial sweeteners occasionally, but avoid overdependence on them. Always carry a snack with you when travelling to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and dizziness. Exercise guidelines Only monitoring your diet won’t work, you also need to get a fair share of physical exercise to maintain normal levels but there are certain guidelines diabetics need to follow: Make sure you exercise at least 4-5 times/week to help you get your blood sugar in control. You can choose moderate exercises like aerobics, brisk walking, weight training, swimming, dancing, etc. Check your blood sugar at home before and after exercise. Avoid exercise if your blood sugar levels are too high or too low. If you are on insulin, modify your carb intake before and after exercise depending on your sugar levels. Eat a complex carb snack like sandwich, wrap, oats an hour before you do any activity. Eat immediately after exercise to avoid fall in blood sugar. Carry sugar tablets or glucose water with you in case of an emergency hypoglycemia situation. Avoid exercise in case of severe complications like kidney problems, nerve problems or wounds. These guidelines will help you lead a normal life even with your existing diabetes condition and also make your lifestyle a healthier one preventing other heath complications.

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  • The omega-3 controversy – can it cause cancer?

    In Expert Diet Tips On 12 December 2014

    Recently, a study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute linking omega-3 fatty acids to a high risk of prostate cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids are usually found in fish, flaxseeds, etc and are considered good for health especially the heart as they lower cholesterol levels. They are generally recommended by doctors and dieticians as part of a healthy and well-balanced meal. But according to the trial conducted by these researchers, those who had higher concentrations of omega-3 in their blood were 46% more likely to get prostate cancer than the others. We asked Nutritionist Neha Chandna about the possibilities of such a health risk and how much omega-3 do we really need in our diet.  Do you think omega-3 fatty acids can lead to serious ailments like cancer? I wouldn’t completely agree with the study as it has many shortcomings. It does not consider the source of omega-3 whether it is coming from pills or diet, does not take into account the subject’s health status before the study. Cancer is a result of various factors like smoking, nutrition, exercise, environmental toxicity, stress and none of these things were taken into account. So, it is very irrational to conclude that omega-3 increases the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, populations with the largest intake of omega-3 (from fish) such as the Japanese, Eskimo and the Inuit of Greenland have some of the lowest rates of prostate cancer. There are also a couple of studies which have proven that eating fish regularly reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Why do we need omega-3? Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid which is not manufactured by the body. But it is needed by one and all as it has great health benefits like: Reducing triglyceride Decreasing blood pressure Improving brain communication and memory Controlling hormone production Reducing inflammation Improving skin appearance Supporting proper vision Protecting against cancer What are the best sources of omega-3? The best source of omega-3 is fish and vegetarian sources are flaxseeds and walnuts. How much of omega-3 do we really need? A healthy individual without any heart or health issues can eat fish 2-3 times/week or take 500 mg of EPA + DHA through fish oil supplements/day i.e. 2 capsules of 1000 mg/day. Someone with a heart problem can have 2-4 capsules daily after consulting their doctor.  Can too much of omega-3 be harmful? Avoid taking excessive omega-3 through supplements (more than 4 capsules/day) as it can increase the risk of bleeding, can cause gas, bloating, diarrhoea. Diabetics should take fish oil capsules under a doctor’s supervision as they may experience a rise in blood sugar levels after taking them. Is it best to get one’s intake from natural sources instead of capsules? Natural sources are always the best. Get it from your diet such as eating fish 3 times/week or having 2-4 tablespoons of flaxseeds daily.  But if you cannot then opt for fish oil supplements. There are various genuine brands available these days in the market that sell fish oil capsules.

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  • Weight gain due to long working hours. What should I do? (Diet query of the day)

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

    Q: Dear dietician, I am a 46-year-old working, unmarried lady. I have a sitting job and long working hours from 10 am to 8 pm. Lately, I have been having irregular periods. I have put on weight especially on my waistline and the hip area. Please suggest a suitable diet plan so that I can reduce my waistline. Answered by Nutritionist Neha Chandna As you age, your metabolism decreases leading to weight gain. Since you have a sitting job and being a woman, you are prone to put on weight near the stomach and hip areas as a woman is genetically designed to have a pear-shaped body. Also, you might be close to menopause due to which you have irregular periods. I advise you to join a gym and alternate between weight training and cardio to help build muscle mass and burn fat. Along with this, you need to eat a balanced diet with lots of fibre, greens, veggies, nuts, salads, curd, etc. Here is a diet plan for you: Have a healthy breakfast to keep you going for the morning. Include items like oats porridge/ oats upma/ idli/ dosa. Between breakfast and lunch, have a fruit and a handful of nuts. In lunch, eat a portion of salad, a jowar/ragi chapatti with veggies, dal and a glass of buttermilk (chhaas). Keep your dinner light. You can have soup, salad, veggies/grilled chicken or fish. Avoid eating rotis or rice at night. Along with this, drink two-three cups of green tea every day and sleep well. 

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  • Cashew nuts or kaju – Healthy or not?

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

    Kidney-shaped cashew nuts have been used largely in Indian cuisine in dessert preparations like yummy kaju katli, as a garnish and even in gravies adding a rich, slightly sweetish tinge to the dish. Whole cashew nuts are also added to food items in some regions like Goa and consumed as an evening snack too. Since it has such a huge presence in Indian kitchens, we asked our expert and well-known Nutritionist Neha Chandna, based in Mumbai to tell us more about its health benefits. Read on… Health Benefits of cashew nuts : Keep your heart healthy: Cashew nuts are rich in good fats and have zero cholesterol which helps lower LDL, the bad cholesterol, and triglyceride making one’s heart healthy. Many think that cutting out fat intake is good for our body which is untrue. Our body needs nutrients from all food groups including fats; all you need to do is get it from good sources like kaju instead of unhealthy ones. Make your body stronger: They are rich in magnesium which is required for strong bones, proper muscle and nerve functioning. Our bodies need a daily intake of about 300-750 mg of magnesium as it helps regulate the amount of calcium absorbed by our bones. Keep BP under control: These nuts are low in sodium and high in potassium and thus keep blood pressure under check. When there is excess sodium, the body retains more water which causes the volume of blood to increase in turn increasing the blood pressure. Reduced risk of cancer: Cashew nuts also contain antioxidants like selenium and vitamin E which prevent free radical oxidation, reduce the risk of cancer and boost immunity. Since they are rich in zinc, they help fight infections. Important for body functions: Their high copper content plays an important role in enzyme activity, hormone production, brain function, etc. Copper is also needed for the production of red blood cells to prevent anaemia. How often should one eat them? Though these are absolutely delicious and difficult to stop eating after just a few, remember control is the key to good health. Eating between 5-10 pieces is enough for a day. You can eat them in two batches as a healthy snack to replace your junk food cravings. But keep in mind, excess consumption can lead to weight gain so eat within limits. Should they be avoided in any particular season? Earlier, there was a belief that nuts generate body heat and should be avoided in summer months. While anything is excess is bad for the body, a few nuts have more health benefits than health issues. Stick to a handful and you can enjoy them in every season. Should people will certain conditions avoid them all together? Everyone can eat cashew nuts except people who are allergic to nuts or get a migraine headache due to them. There are different varieties of cashew nuts like salted or roasted ones. Are they any good or should one stick to the plain ones? You get a wide variety of cashew nuts coated with different masalas, salted, herbed, honeyed, etc. It all depends on your taste buds, choices and health goals. If you suffer from hypertension, avoid salted ones. If you are on a weight loss goal, avoid honey-coated ones. Take your pick wisely or simply stick to the plain variety. Do they have any ill-effects? There are no ill-effects of cashew nuts as such but one must not forget that they are rich in calories and so not too many should be eaten at a time. In some cases, they can cause an allergic reaction which may show different symptoms for different people including vomiting and diarrhoea, swelling, skin rashes, difficulty in breathing, etc. If you experience any of these after eating them, it is best to discontinue and see a doctor.

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  • Fad is bad: Say no to diets which promise speedy weight loss!

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

    ‘I have to lose weight in 10 days for a wedding’ or ‘I need to shape-up quickly to fit into my dress’ – how often do we think about these things and look for quick solutions? In an attempt to lose weight quickly, many people knock the doors of fad diets. They may come to your rescue at times like these but beware – they do more harm than good to your health. Renowned Nutritionist Neha Chandna explains why fad diets are bad for you including seven popular ones like cookie and liquid diet. First and foremost, there are no shortcuts to weight loss. You haven’t put on all the weight overnight, so how can you expect to lose it at a lightning speed? These days, everyone wants to lose weight in the blink of an eye and to achieve their dream body, they resort to fad diets which definitely work but for a short period of time. They help you lose weight from your muscles and bones leaving you feeling weak and ill. And once you go back to your normal routine, you gain all the weight or even more in no time. You do the math and see what’s the whole point of following some diet regime which is short-lived, deprives you of nutrients and has many hazardous effects on your body? The best way to lose weight is to eat the right food, at the right time, in the right quantity, and exercise daily for 45 minutes to one hour. The point is to lose weight gradually rather than rapidly. A lifestyle change is the answer to losing weight than falling into the trap of fad diets. So how do you know if it is a fad diet? Here are some tips. How to spot a fad diet It promises exaggerated results in few days which is too good to be true Will mostly have rigid eating rules It restricts you from eating a lot of food groups like carbohydrates, fats, etc It promotes ‘magic foods’ The diet is sold based on a few testimonials without any research or studies done on its effect It doesn’t involve much exercise along with the meal plans ill-effects of fad diets on the body Causes constipation Leads to weakness Loss of concentration Nausea Headache Depression Muscle loss Health risks like osteoporosis and many more While there are a number of fad diets that keep cropping up every now and then, especially when they are endorsed by celebrities, here a few popular ones to stay away from. Cookie Diet: Invented by Dr Siegal, this a diet in which one has to eat nine cookies a day that makes up to 500 kcal and then have a 500 kcal dinner, totalling up to 1000 kcal every day. Why is it bad: This diet gets monotonous and can cause nutrient deficiencies. Baby Food Diet: This diet is about eating 14 jars of baby foods throughout the day and a sensible dinner. The baby foods include mashed fruits and veggies. Why is it bad: It does not meet your nutrient needs and is low in protein. Eating like an adult is recommended. Cabbage Soup Diet: This is 7-day diet which focuses on having as many bowls of cabbage soup every day with some fruits and vegetables. Why is it bad: This diet is bland, boring and makes you feel weak and resulting in poor concentration. The biggest drawback is that it makes you gassy and bloated. Liquid Diet: The idea is to cleanse the body and rejuvenate it with juices, water, clear soups. Why is it bad: It is again very low on protein and can make you really weak. Not recommended to do it more than a day. Atkins Diet: Written by Dr Robert Atkins, this is the most popular fad diet which aims at reducing the main source of energy – carbohydrates to up to 20g/day and focuses more on vegetables, fats and proteins. Why is it bad: The side-effect of this diet is, it recommends more than 30% fat intake which is above the recommended allowance and can lead to extreme ketosis which can cause damage to the organs in the long run. Blood Type Diet: Created by Dr Peter D’Adamo, it focuses on eating some and avoiding some foods as per your blood type. It follows a ‘one size fits all’ concept. Why is it bad: It bans a lot of health promoting foods making eating out difficult and some people may be healthy despite eating foods forbidden for them. General Motor’s Diet: This is a 7-day diet plan which is based on the intake of specified food items which include raw vegetables, fruits, juice, and lean meat. It restricts the intake of any dairy products and promises weight loss of 10 pounds in week. Each day is restricted to 1-2 raw foods in unlimited amounts. Why is it bad: This diet can make you weak and hungry, leads to the inability to exercise, depression and body pain. To avoid any damages to your body, do not opt for any fad diets. Just eat balanced meals and engage in physical activity to see the difference both physically and mentally. The process may be longer and less dramatic unlike fad diets, but the results will be long-term and benefit your body’s health than spoiling it with extreme restrictions. So, the next time you think about opting for any such diet, remember, it’s a fad… err bad idea!

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  • Cannot consume milk and wheat. What should I eat? (Diet query of the day)

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

    I have been diagnosed with mild chronic gastritis with H pylori 2+. I am under medical treatment. Apart from milk, the doctor has advised me to avoid consuming wheat products also. Please suggest an appropriate diet keeping my condition in mind. Answered by Nutritionist Neha Chandna. You need to eat small meals every 2-3 hours so that there is not too much load on the digestive system. Opt more for simple foods like fruits, boiled veggies, green leafy vegetables, and lean meats like fish, egg whites. Haveantioxidant-rich foods like carrots, cranberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, beet, etc to fight against the H pylori infection. Drink plenty of water, coconut water, green tea. You can also have a concoction of saunf, jeera andajwain to help relieve symptoms. Curd is also good as it has probiotics which help in digestion. Avoid refined foods made of maida, bakery foods, sweets, fried and processed foods. Also, avoid coffee, tea, carbonated beverages and alcohol as they can worsen the symptoms. Exercise daily for 30 minutes, even yoga is a great option.

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  • Top 5 foods to prevent hair loss

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

    Who does not wish for long, strong, healthy, shiny and gorgeous hair? It is every woman’s dream to have thick and bouncy hair whereas men dream of luscious and healthy hair without the half moon on their head. Thick lush hair symbolizes your body’s well being. But in the whole rigmarole of having good hair and using all sorts of treatments, shampoos, fancy oils, exotic serums etc we forget the simplest ingredient for great hair, that is good food and ultimately end up losing the remaining hair we have. Just as every cell of your body needs nutrients to perform well, every cell of your tresses also needs the same. What you actually decided the health of your hair. Let us see top 5 foods to prevent hair loss and help hair growth. 1. Fish:  Apart from being rich in protein and vitamin D, fish contains the much needed omega 3 fatty acids by every cell of your hair which your body cannot produce and you need to get it from the diet. It is important for scalp health and a part of the natural oils preventing your hair from getting dull, lifeless and drying out. If you are a vegetarian or cannot get your hands on fish, try having some flaxseeds everyday to get your dose of omega 3.   2. Eggs:  We often hear people telling us to consume enough protein, mainly for cells wear and tear. Just like your muscles, your hair is also made up of protein. So it makes sense to eat enough protein through sources like chicken, fish, beans etc for improving hair growth and quality. But eggs top the list as they contain zinc, selenium which helps strengthening hair follicle and iron which helps to provide oxygen to the hair cells. Most importantly it contains biotin which is extremely important for hair growth.   3. Nuts and seeds:  like almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds etc are great sources of vitamin E and much needed omega 3 fatty acids. Vitamin E Is a great antioxidant and protects hair from harmful sun rays acting as a natural sunscreen for your hair. Being rich in zinc they also act as hair loss preventer. Walnuts also contain copper, a mineral that helps keep your natural hair color rich and lustrous.   4. Pulses and lentils: These are rich in folic acid apart from being rich in protein which helps in RBC formation and supplying oxygen and nutrients to your scalp and tresses. It also iron and biotin which add to your hair health. If you wish for great hair, do not miss out on your pulses and lentils.   5. Green leafy vegetables:  These are a great source of iron, vitamin C-helps to absorb iron and vitamin A-helps to produce sebum by your hair follicles, natural hair conditioner. They help to prevent breakage and brittleness of hair helping you towards your goal of health hair.   Tips: Drink plenty of water to retain hair moisture and keep them shiny. Water is the main ingredient to good hair. Avoid drastic weight loss measures which only make your hair weak and cause more hair fall. Exercise everyday for 45 minutes to improve blood circulation and release happy hormones which show the happiness in your hair. Avoid artificial chemicals and heat treatments on your hair to save them from trauma.

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  • 10 super foods to fight ‘Acne’!

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

      Is acne killing your self esteem? Don’t worry as you are not the only one. Research has shown that during adolescence close to 90-100% of the population has at least an occasional whitehead, blackhead or pimple—regardless of race or ethnicity. In most cases, acne begins between the ages of 10 and 13 and usually lasts for 5 to 10 years. Acne is mostly due to the way skin reacts to hormonal changes. The skin contains sebaceous glands that naturally release sebum, an oily substance that helps protect it. During puberty, raised levels of the hormone testosterone can cause too much sebum to be produced. This happens in both boys and girls. The sebum can block hair follicles. When dead skin cells mix with the blockage, it can lead to the formation of spots. Bacteria in the skin multiply, which can cause pain and swelling beneath the blockages. We often blame chocolates, oily foods and sweets to aggravate acne. But this is just a myth. Food itself has no effect on acne. It is the hormonal changes, genetics, stress levels and skin type that depend on the frequency of your flare-ups. Foods like sodas, burgers, pizzas, chocolates, cakes, biscuits, samosas, vada pav etc which are high in sugar and white flour cause a spike in your insulin levels, leading to excess cortisol production which is responsible for acne development. Any kind of psychological or physical stress also raises the blood cortisol levels. So keeping the cortisol levels under control is a crucial factor. You can keep your cortisol levels low by following a good healthy diet, yoga, exercise, listening to your favorite music, getting enough sleep and having a positive attitude in life. Let’s focus on top 10 foods which can actually help you prevent acne or fight the existing ones: Fatty fish or flaxseeds: These contain good amount of omega 3 fatty acids which have the ability to reduce inflammation in our body that can trigger cells to clog pores and potentially cause acne. They are wonder foods for the skin and body. Have 2-3 servings of salmon, sardine, mackerel per week or 1-2 tablespoon of flaxseeds in your soup, smoothies, shakes/day to up your omega 3 intake. Avocado: is an excellent source of Vitamin E which that protects the skin from free radical damage caused by poor diet and environmental toxins. It a boosts your immunity to fight back those nasty bacteria causing red bumps on your beautiful face. It keeps your skin supple and free of blemishes. Other rich sources of vitamin E are almonds, walnuts, peanuts, olive oil etc. Alfalfa sprouts: though may look like grass, they are power packed with vitamins like A, C, K etc and minerals like zinc, selenium, copper etc which help to detoxify the liver, flush out toxins from the body and give you a clear glowing skin. The super nutrition content, combined with the high amounts of chlorophyll, make this herb an extraordinary healer. You can steam then and add it into your soup, salads, sandwiches or juices. Kiwi: has 3 times more Vitamin C than an orange. Vitamin C may not directly cure acne, but contributes to a strong and healthy immune system which helps you to eradicate any sort of infection. It also is necessary for formation of healthy cell walls, collagen and elastin keeping the cell skin cell structure intact and promoting healing of the affected cells and scars. You can also opt for other vitamin c rich foods like oranges, lemons, bell peppers, amla, guava etc. since your body does not store this water soluble vitamin, you need to get enough of it from your daily diet. Carrots: are filled with betacarotene which gets converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is the best antioixidant for the skin. It improves skin texture and maintains healthy skin cells. You can also get your Vitamin A from tomatoes, sweet potato, red and yellow bell peppers, cantaloupes etc. Sunflower seeds: are rich in selenium which in combination with Vitamin E works wonders to protect the skin from bacterial damage. It reduces inflammatory damage to the skin, preserves skin elasticity and controls acne development. Other foods rich in selenium are brazil nuts, fish, shellfish, mushrooms etc. Pumpkin seeds: are good sources of zinc. Studies have shown that zinc deficiency can weaken the immune system making one prone to any kind of infection. Hence zinc in your diet can help you prevent flare ups and protect skin from any bacterial invasion. Other foods rich in zinc are sesame seeds, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, chickpeas, wheat germ etc. Yogurt: they contain live bacteria which prevent the growth of bad bacteria in the gut and allow the good fellows to grow. These good bacteria do not allow the bad ones to enter your system thereby improving your immunity and defense against skin infections. Especially if you are on antibiotic treatment, 1 cup yogurt/day can be of great help. Green tea: contains flavonols and polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants help to control skin infections, soothe inflammation and boost the immune system detoxifying the body. Water: the benefits of water are umpteen hence makes sense to repeat it again and again to drink plenty of water. Water is a universal solvent. It dissolves the toxins and throws them out of the body and carries the nutrients and antioxidants to the skin cells, promotes faster healing reducing acne flare ups. Drink more on days your activity level is high or the outside temperature is much higher than usual. We all understand the pain and stress you go through when we see new zits and pimples popping up. Integrate these 10 foods in your diet to stay vibrant and skin healthy- heal yourself with the right food.

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  • Party this Christmas, the healthy way!!

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

      The festive season is just around the corner and it is party time everywhere. Good food, liquor and dance are the key ingredients of a happening party. But with all the fun and frolic, most people take their health for granted and go out and out to enjoy every bit of it including binging and boozing. Festivals are surely a great way to enjoy but they can be even more memorable if you are in your best of shape and health. So here are some easy tips: • Follow a regular meal pattern on the day of the party. People who deliberately skip meals to save the calories tend to overeat all the food they see at once and add plenty to their waistline. • Munch on a big bowl of raw salad in the evening prior to the party as it keeps you full and helps to reduce the urge to binge. Fill up on a green salad with a good source of protein and fat (think avocado, raw nuts or fish) so that you don’t arrive to the party feeling ravenous. • When at the party, take your time to get comfortable with the surrounding and scrutinize the food choices available. Just because it’s there or free, doesn’t mean you have to eat it. When choosing what to put on your plate, stick to healthy foods youtypically enjoy. Opt for non fried, steamed or roasted starters • Buffet is an invitation to eat all that is available, but resist temptations and stick to a few favorite food options rather than taking little servings of all 20 different dishes. Start with a liberal helping of low fat salads with curd, lemon or vinegar dressings. The higher the varieties you are confronted with, the more you tend to eat without realizing. So stick to a few healthy ones. • Choose foods high in protein such as chicken/ fish (steamed, roasted or grilled) or dal and rice combo for vegetarians. Avoid biryanis and creamy and rich gravies and sauces. Go easy on full fat paneer. Opt for stewed rice rather than fried rice, pasta in red sauce rather than the white cheesy sauce and tandoori roti over roomali roti • Do not overdo on alcohol as it is the easiest way to increase your fat stores. 1-2 drinks of red wine are a great source of antioxidant. Your liver is your main fat-burning organ. If you are trying to lose weight or even maintain your ideal weight, drinking alcohol is one of your worst enemies, so slow down and keep your alcohol intake on the low-end, especially if you have multiple gatherings per week. Just remember, a sparkling water with lime looks like a vodka tonic. There’s no need to bring a lot of attention to yourself if you choose not to drink alcohol. • To help digestion, have a glass of fresh lime water(less sugar) or jaljeera after a heavy dinner. • Party hard, but exercise harder. Make sure to spare one hour of the day to burn all the additional calories and keep your BMR high to avoid piling on that unwanted fat. Let 1 hour of brisk walk or resistance activity do all the magic. • Aim at leaving the party satisfied and not stuffed. So don’t only party hard, but party smart and keep health as your top priority.

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  • Sin and win with Chocolates!

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

    The word chocolate itself is so tempting that the thought of it can take you to a heavenly world. Most of the people who go on diets ask their dieticians, ‘hope you will allow me to eat a piece of chocolate sometime?’ Yes that’s because it is a mood elevating food. Till now we have just heard the negative things about chocolates like high calorie food, causes cavities etc. But not many people know how actually can chocolate be beneficial for you. Chocolates are made from cocoa beans and there are various types of chocolates like milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, unsweetened chocolate etc. Benefits of Chocolate  Chocolate though high in fat does not increase cholesterol as it has good amount of MUFA and PUFA (good fats). • Dark chocolate has high level of cell protecting antioxidant compounds like epicatechin and catechin which enhances blood flow, healthy cholesterol levels and reduces blood pressure. The antioxidants in dark chocolate and cocoa called flavanols which are present in concentrated form. Flavanols have also been shown to stimulate the production of nitric oxide, a key gas inside artery walls that relaxes and widens arteries, allowing for the easy flow of blood and reduced blood pressure.  • Chocolate may prevent build up of plaque in the arteries and have anti clotting effects thereby protecting the heart. • Despite of being sweet, chocolate has a low glycemic index. Flavanols in chocolate trigger the production of nitric oxide which widens the cells and allows them to accept sugar. It may possibly increase insulin and glucose sensitivity. • Dark chocolate has high amount of magnesium which is important for people with hypertension, diabetes and heart problems. • Chocolate is rich in copper which is necessary for a healthy heart. • It is rich in potassium which reduces blood pressure. • Milk chocolate is rich in calcium which is good for bones and teeth. • They are also rich in iron which prevents anemia, weakness, irritability, headache etc. • Chocolate is a concentrated source of theobromine which is a mild nervous system stimulant making you slightly alert. • Chocolate is also rich in phenylethylamine which is responsible for some pleasurable feeling one gets after eating it as it releases endorphins in your brain. So even if chocolate is high in fat and calories, if eaten in moderation, it can easily fit in your daily balanced diet.

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  • Top 5 foods for a flat belly!

    In Expert Diet Tips On 19 December 2014

    Every one dreams to be rich!! But everyone also dreams about something else, that is having a flat tummy without too much effort. The biggest misconception people are smitten by is that doing a lot of ab exercises helps you lose the tummy flab and achieve a table top flat belly. But that’s not the truth. The fact is that you can never lose you tummy fat only with exercise. Diet plays a major role in shaping up your abs. What you eat decides whether you a get a flat tummy or you develop tyres. The food you eat helps to crash or increase your metabolism to burn the fat around your waist. It truly depends on the choices you make. Here are top 5 foods for losing your belly fat. Almonds Most people think of nuts to be fattening and foods to be avoided when on a weight loss diet. But the fact is that almonds are high in fiber which makes a great mid meal snack and best part is that a few of them are enough to make you feel full. They also contain good fats which help to reduce bad fats in the blood and improve overall health. Avoid salted almonds and nibble on few raw ones along with their skin. Oats It’s only been a few years since this grain has gained a great deal of popularity but it surely has a long way to go. Oats has high amount of fiber, 40gm uncooked oats has 4 gm fiber which is good enough for one meal. It contains both soluble fiber known as beta-glucan and insoluble fiber which acts as a savior for people suffering from constipation by absorbing water, making the stools softer and speeding its elimination. It slows down digestion, making you feel fuller for a longer time so that you tend to eat less, promoting weight loss. Most importantly, they are gluten-free which can be readily replaced by wheat in a celiac or gluten sensitive patient’s diet as they are more prone to bloating due to wheat. Nothing better than waking up to a hot bowl of oats made in porridge or savory form to kick start your metabolism and reduces hunger pangs in the latter half of the day. You can also add oats to your soup, dals, dips, shakes, cutlets, etc. So go and grab a pack of this super healthy food today! Mushroom Not only loved for its characteristic UMAMI (meaty or savory), but also has a host of nutrients important for good health. They are neither a fruit nor a vegetable, but a fungi which the non-vegetarians turning into vegans are more than happily substituting their meat with. They are a great source of B vitamins which provides energy by breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They are a powerhouse of antioxidants like selenium and ergothioneine which protect body cells from damage, preventing heart attacks, boost immunity and helping you age gracefully. They are quite filling and very low in calories which are a lucrative food for obese people, making complete sense to replace red meat with them helping you shed excess weight. They contain good amount of vitamin D which work wonders to burn your belly fat. Add to your soup/ stir fry or some brown rice. Broccoli Luscious green vegetable which is extremely low on calories and an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants. This means small portion of it can help you to feel fuller for a longer time reducing your cravings for the wrong foods and helping you burn your stubborn belly fat. A broccoli stir fry or pasta is a treat for your palette. Low fat yoghurt White sacred food used from time immemorial. It is rich in protein which increases metabolism and helps you burn your fat easily. It also contains good bacteria that fight against the bad ones in your stomach that leave you feeling bloated and uneasy. This helps to reduce your belly size and make you feel light and active. Have it in the form of raita, buttermilk, smoothie or fruit yogurt.

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  • A bony affair

    In Expert Diet Tips On 19 December 2014

    Bones, that part of the body because of which you can stand, sit, run, jog, dance, bend, twist, stretch and so on. Ever since childhood we do a host of activities, thanks to our bones. Every living being needs food to fuel the body to grow and regenerate, so do the bones. Calcium is the most important nutrient for bone development and maintenance. If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, your body pulls out calcium from your bones increasing the chances of osteoporosis and risk of fractures. So from where do you get calcium in the food: Cereals like ragi, and jowar are great sources of calcium. You can easily replace wheat with them. You can start your day with oats in any form.  Pulses and beans like soya, moong, chana, rajmah and their sprouted variants are good sources of calcium. You can have them as veggies or add them in salads as well.  Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, cashews etc are rich in calcium. A few of them as snacks can help in a great way. Seeds like sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc can also be added in salads. Dairy products like milk, curd, cheese, paneer have the highest amount of calcium which is easily absorbed by the body. You can have 2-3 serving of any of these products daily but make sure to choose the low fat options to avoid cholesterol development. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, methi, lettuce, celery, broccoli, cabbage etc are fair sources of calcium. Fish like salmon, tuna etc are excellent sources of calcium and also have other health benefits. Steamed fish 3 times/week can contribute to bone health. How can you avoid drainage of calcium from your bones? Caffeine: drinking excess of tea/ coffee can lead to calcium loss. Avoid more than 2 cups.  Animal protein: excess of chicken, meat, pork etc can increase calcium loss by increasing acid in the body which is neutralized by calcium from the bones.  Alcohol: it hinders calcium absorption and can affect body’s calcium balance. Limit the intake not more than 7 drinks/week and not more than 2 drinks at a time.  Soft drinks: to balance the phosphates in the drink, the body releases calcium from the bones which get excreted. Drink lime juice, jaljeera, fresh juices instead.  Iron: avoid iron supplements along with calcium supplements or calcium rich foods as they compete for absorption and the body doesn’t get enough calcium. You can also take calcium supplement of 500mg-1000mg day depending on your diet. But do not take more than 500mg at one time as it may not get absorbed in excess. When it comes to your bones, calcium alone is not enough. There are other vital nutrients that help your body absorb and make use of the calcium you consume. The most important of these are magnesium and vitamin D. Magnesium helps to absorb and retain calcium and prevent osteoporosis and build strong bones. Magnesium is found in nuts, seeds, whole grains, seafood, legumes, tofu, and many vegetables. Vitamin D is another important nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium and regulates calcium in the blood. Your body synthesizes vitamin D when exposed to the sun. However, a large percentage of people are vitamin D deficient—even those living in sunny climates. If you don’t spend at least 15 minutes outside in the sun each day you may need an extra vitamin D boost. Good food sources of vitamin D include: Eggs Cheese Fish Butter Cream Oysters Fortified milk and cereals You can also take a vitamin D supplement of 1000 IU- 2000 IU/day. Exercise: for lifelong bong health, exercise is a key component. Especially weight bearing exercises help in better calcium absorption i thereby strengthening your bones. Studies have shown that the risk of fractures and osteoporosis was lower in people who did weight bearing exercises atleast 3 times in a week. Exercise also improves muscle strength and co-ordination which prevents injuries. Different forms of weight bearing exercises are: Walking Jogging Stair climbing Skipping Squats Lunges Weight lifting Dancing Choose a form of exercise that you like and enjoy so that it is fun and do it regularly.

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  • How to stay healthy on a vegetarian diet

    In Expert Diet Tips On 20 December 2014

    We live in a country that largely consists of vegetarians. Eating a balanced diet when you are a vegetarian requires a little extra attention just to make up for the important nutrients that come from non-vegetarian foods like fish, egg and meat. However, with good planning and an understanding of what makes up a balanced vegetarian diet, we can get all the nutrition that our body needs minus the meat. Nutritionist Neha Chandna shares a few diet tips for vegetarians.  How to get your protein intake If you are a vegetarian and eat your share of meatless meals, here is how can make up for the necessary proteins. You can combine cereals and pulses with each other. For example, you can complement rice with dal (lentil) or idli with sambhar. This will complete the amino acid profile and get your body the required nutrition. Also include sprouts, whole pulses, yoghurt, milk, paneer and quinoa to meet your protein needs. How to increase iron intake Vegetarian foods are good sources of iron but their absorption rate in the body differs. What one can do is add lemon to iron-rich foods to increase their uptake in the body. Consuming poha (flattened rice) with a dash of lemon or beet juice with a spoon of lemon juice is a good way of incorporating iron in the body. Garden cress seeds or halim seeds are also a great source of iron which can be eaten with milk, salads or juices. How to get calcium Dairy products like butter, milk, yoghurt and cheese are the best sources of calcium in diet. Vegetarians can also get calcium from plant-based sources like broccoli and beans. Plant-based calcium sources contain vitamins C and K and the minerals potassium and magnesium which are important for bone health. Diet Dos and Don’ts for vegetarians Drink plenty of liquids like water, green tea, buttermilk, coconut water and vegetable juice to meet the mineral and vitamin requirements. Include all food groups like fruits, salads, pulses, milk, nuts, vegetables and cereals to reduce the chances of nutritional deficiencies. Have 2 servings of milk or yoghurt daily. Consume a portion of lentils (dal) and pulses every day. Make sure to have 1 serving of nuts daily. Also make it a goal to eat at least one piece of raw fruit or a handful of raw vegetables every day. Avoid fried and junk foods like kachoris and samosas. Do not drink tea or coffee in excess. Limit your intake to 2 cups a day. Healthy vegetarian diet chart by Nutritionist Neha Chandna Breakfast: Poha with Moong/Vegetable idli + Sambhar/Oats upma Mid morning: Fruit + Nuts Lunch: Salad + Roti + Veggies + Dal + Yogurt/Chaas Evening: Sprouts/Chana kurmura Dinner: Soups + Veggies + Roti  Studies confirm that a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables and grains is your best bet for living a longer, healthier and more enjoyable life. These findings are backed up by the China Health Project.

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  • Seeds for health

    In Expert Diet Tips On 20 December 2014

    Neha Chandna tells us about healthy seeds. Seeds are tiny but power packed foods stuff. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Each seed has its own benefit. You can add them in food, salads, trail mixes, or just garnish desserts with it. You must have noticed, these days lot of processed foods have seeds added to them for example multigrain bread, chikki, chivdas etc to add on the nutritional and fiber value of these foods. Let’s talk about the health benefits of some seeds 1.      Sunflower seeds: It is rich in vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant. It prevents the heart and skin from damage by free radicals thereby preventing heart attacks and strokes It is a great source of magnesium which reduces asthma and blood pressure and also acts as a muscle relaxant. Due to its high fiber and physterol(cholesterol identical compound in plants) it reduces bad cholesterol. Filled with folate which is responsible for synthesis of DNA and RNA. If taken by pregnant women, it can prevent neural tube defects in the baby. They have anti inflammatory properties and reduce the pain in arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Excellent source of selenium- a powerful antioxidant which prevents the risk ofcancers like breast, stomach, prostrate etc in humans.   2.      Flaxseeds: Very high in fiber which helps prevent constipation and acts as a natural laxative. Rich in omega 3 fatty acids hence a valuable source for vegetarians. It helps to reduce blood pressure and many other inflammatory problems in the body. Rich in lignans and omega 3 fatty acids which reduce cholesterol and prevent heart problems by unclogging arteries. Due to its high fiber, it helps to control blood sugar levels and keep diabetes under check. 2 tbsp of flaxseeds/ day in powdered form is great and can be added to soups, salads, veggies, buttermilk, curd etc. It had an ability to regulate estrogen in the body and hence prevents breast cancers in women and pre menstrual syndrome (PMS). It may also prevent prostate cancer and prostate enlargement in men. Additionally it helps in improving the quality of nails, skin and hair.   3.      Pumpkin seeds: It is rich in tryptophan which can reduce depression. Rich in iron hence prevents anemia and improves energy Due to its high content of magnesium, it improves concentration and brain function in children. It improves prostate health in men. Manganese in pumpkin seeds help antioxidants work better hence reduce chances of infectious diseases. They are rich in MUFA hence reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. It is rich in zinc which helps to prevent osteoporosis especially in men. &nbs

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  • Pre and Post workout meals

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 March 2015

    It’s a usual myth that you achieve your dream body in the gym. But the fact is that you spend only 1 hour during your exercise but 23 hours outside which actually determines your progress towards your goals. Exercise is just 30% whereas diet is 70% of your effort. It’s rightly said that muscles are torn in the gym, are repaired on your dining table. What you eat throughout the day will have a major impact on the way your body starts shaping up, especially what you eat before and after your workout. In the most basic sense: What you eat pre workout is crucial for fueling the workout itself and maximizing your performance throughout. What you eat post workout is crucial for optimizing the recovery process and ensuring that your body has all of the supplies it needs in order to recover, adapt and improve the way you want it to. Hence these 2 meals are the most important ones for women who follow a regular exercise routine. The type and quantity of meals differ according to the type and intensity of exercise you follow.  Pre workout meal: This is known as the ‘Energy Phase’ of your workout. The main aim of this meal is to give you energy to work out at your optimal level. As a thumb rule you need to eat something 1-2 hours before your workout to help you sustain through your workout sessions without feeling famished. The meals would differ depending on the type of workout you are doing. Cardio/ yoga/ pilates/ zumba: If You are doing any of these activities early morning, its best to do it on empty stomach to help you speed up your fat burning process as the blood glycogen levels would be low on waking up, preferring fat as the source of fuel for energy. Yoga especially on empty stomach is very effective. If you feel weak working out on empty stomach, you can opt for a fruit like banana, dates or a juice to avoid weakness. If you are working out in the noon or evening, you can eat a high fiber carb meal 1 hour before workout like brown bread sandwich/ oats upma/ idli/ fruit salad/ brown rice/ smoothies/ Frankie etc. These fiber rich foods release energy slowly which helps you carry on with your 1 hour of workout comfortably.  Weight training: Since the aim of this workout is to strengthen, build and tone muscles, it is important to eat high carb-moderate protein meal 1 hour prior workout to feed your muscles with energy, reduce protein breakdown and stress hormone levels. You can opt for foods like egg or chicken sandwich/Frankie, milkshakes, sprouts and curds, low fat paneer with brown rice/ jowar roti, soya poha etc. Try not to do weight training on empty stomach as you may feel weak and not strong enough to pick up weights as per your capacity.  Post workout meal:  This is known as the ‘anabolic Phase’ of your workout because the meal you eat post workout helps you to recover, repair and restore the energy in your body. As a thumb rule, you need to eat something within 30 minutes which is the window period post workout to prevent muscle breakdown and begin the recovery process as soon as possible. But before anything else, you must drink ample of water to help you rehydrate and prevent muscle cramps and sluggishness.  Cardio/ yoga/ pilates/ zumba: Post cardio, it is important to replenish the carbs and electrolytes used up during the workout. Coconut water is excellent to replace electrolytes. Banana sliced lengthwise and spread with peanut or almond butter. Mango smoothie with mango chunks, vanilla yogurt, ice, and honey. Sliced apple with a handful of walnuts. Whole grains, fruits, and veggies are the best sources of carbs post workout. Again, whole foods are best, but smoothies and shakes are a good quick fix. One of the best protein-carb combos is milkshake. It provides an optimal balance of carbs and protein. Weight training: Generally women do not indulge in excessively heavy weight training, but moderate training also causes muscle breakdown which needs to be repaired.  here protein and carbohydrates are needed after a workout to help repair muscles, replenish the body’s glycogen stores, and prevent muscle soreness. You need to opt for simple carbs along with easy to digest and absorb protein within 30 minutes of your workout. Simple carbs are required to help pull in protein into your muscles which is the main component for muscle recovery. Simple carbs like bananas, juices, honey, dates, potato, sweet potato, rice etc are some options. You can get your Proteins from whey protein shake which is the absorbed fastest or else eggs, chicken, fish, low fat paneer, milk, curds etc but these take time to digest and absorb. A combination of carb and protein is the best way to recover your broken muscles. Example: Chocolate protein shake with protein powder, skim or soy milk, and a banana. Half an avocado stuffed with cottage cheese and tomato. Spinach salad with a sliced chicken breast. Whole foods are the best option because they offer complete nutrition. They provide many micronutrients and essential fiber and help keep you feeling satiated. The best whole food choices contain complete, high-quality protein and provide nearly every essential vitamin and mineral. Planning your meals is the best way to ensure you get the best out of your diet. As you can see, there are quite a few delicious ways to fuel and get the most out of your workouts and trainings. We have to treat our bodies nicely and give them what they need. Now, eat up!  Happy training!

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  • 5 reasons why snacking on kajus or cashew nuts is a healthy option!

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    What is your favourite past-time snack? Although most of you might like to eat cashew nuts, your might restrict yourself from doing so due to its high calories count. While cashew nuts often make their way to desserts such as the yummykaju katlis,kheer and brownies, here are more reasons you should gorge on this nut. Packed with many nutrients that boost your metabolism and tastes good, our expert Neha Chandna, a nutritionist, tells you why cashew nuts should rank as a healthy snack. # 1 Keeps your heart healthy Cashew nuts are rich in good fats and have zero cholesterol which helps lower LDL, the bad cholesterol and triglyceride making one’s heart healthy. Many think that cutting out fat intake is good for our body which is untrue. Our body needs nutrients from all food groups including fats; all you need to do is get it from good sources like kajuinstead of unhealthy ones.  #2 Makes your body stronger They are rich in magnesium which is required for strong bones, proper muscle and nerve functioning. Our bodies need a daily intake of about 300 – 750 mg of magnesium as it helps regulate the amount of calcium absorbed by our bones.  #3 Controls your blood pressure levels These nuts are low in sodium and high in potassium and thus keep blood pressure under check. When there is excess sodium, the body retains more water which causes the volume of blood to increase in turn increasing the blood pressure.  #4 Reduces your risk of cancer Cashew nuts also contain antioxidants like selenium and vitamin E which prevent free radical oxidation, reduce the risk of cancer and boost immunity. Since they are rich in zinc, they help fight infections.  #5 Plays a key role in numerous body functions As cashew nuts are packed with high copper content, they play an important role in enzyme activity, hormone production and brain function. Apart from this, they also help in the production of red blood cells and thus, prevent anaemia. Given the fact that cashew nuts are high in calories, numerous questions might be going in your head at this point of time. Our expert sheds light on some common questions you might have regarding consumption of tasty cashew nuts or kajus. How often should one eat them? Though these are absolutely delicious and difficult to stop eating after just a few, remember control is the key to good health. Eating between 5-10 pieces is enough for a day. You can eat them in two batches as a healthy snack to replace your junk food cravings. But keep in mind, excess consumption can lead to weight gain so eat within limits.  Should they be avoided in any particular season? Earlier, there was a belief that nuts generate body heat and should be avoided in summer months. While anything is excess is bad for the body, a few nuts have more health benefits than health issues. Stick to a handful and you can enjoy them in every season. Should people will certain conditions avoid them all together? Everyone can eat cashew nuts except people who are allergic to nuts or get a migraine headache due to them. There are different varieties of cashew nuts like salted or roasted ones. Are they good or should one stick to the plain ones? You get a wide variety of cashew nuts coated with different masalas, salted, herbed, honeyed, etc. It all depends on your taste buds, choices and health goals. If you suffer from hypertension, avoid salted ones. If you are on a weight loss goal, avoid honey-coated ones. Take your pick wisely or simply stick to the plain variety.  Do they have any ill-effects on health? There are no ill-effects of cashew nuts as such but one must not forget that they are rich in calories and so not too many should be eaten at a time. In some cases, they can cause an allergic reaction which may show different symptoms for different people including vomiting and diarrhoea, swelling, skin rashes, difficulty in breathing, etc. If you experience any of these after eating them, it is best to discontinue and see a doctor.

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  • Healthy recipe: Palak saag

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    A staple of Punjab, this palak saag is extremely healthy. It is rich in calcium, vitamin A, iron that help up your hemoglobin levels naturally. It is also low in fat. Team it with makki di roti to get a real taste of its flavour. Ingredients: 1 bunch of spinach, chopped 1 radish with tender leaves, chopped ½ large onion, chopped 1 medium size tomatoes, chopped 1/2 green chilli, chopped ¼ inch ginger, chopped 2-3 garlic, chopped ½ tsp red chili powder 2 tsp butter ½  tbsp maize flour Salt For tempering ¼ onions, sliced ½ ghee Method: Add all the greens, onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chillies with salt and water in a pressure cooker. Add around ½ cup water to the veggies. Cook the whole lot in the pressure cooker for 3-4 minutes. Once cooled, blend into a smooth paste. Add the saag in another pan and simmer for 7-10 minutes till it thickens a little bit. Saute the onion in ghee till they are brown and then add the saag to it. Serve it with makki di roti.

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  • Healthy recipe: Kashmiri fish

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    If you love seafood, you will definitely enjoy this scrumptious dish. Made with pomfret, it is aromatic, delicious and high on the nutrition meter too. This dish is rich in protein and also has omega 3 which will keep you in good health. Team it up with soft rotis or brown rice. Ingredients: 250g pomfret 1 cup curd, whisked 1 tsp ginger, grated ½ tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp coriander powder 2 green chillies, deseeded and slit 1 clove 1 tsp garam masala 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped 2 tsp oil ½ cup water Salt Pinch of hing and haldi Method: Apply salt and turmeric to washed fish and keep aside for 5 minutes. In a bowl, whisk curd with little salt. Heat 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan, and stir-fry the fish slices till they are light brown in colour. Place on absorbent paper. Heat the remaining oil in pan, add cumin seeds, as they crackle, put in the hing, cloves, and grated ginger, fry briefly. Reduce the heat and stir in the yoghurt. Cook while stirring on low heat till the yoghurt gets a nice reddish-brown color. Add the coriander powder and mix well. Add the fish slices, salt and water. Stir gently and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes or till the fish is almost cooked and the gravy has thickened.  Add the garam masala (hot spice mix), green chillies and fresh coriander. Mix very gently and cook tightly covered on very low heat for about 10 minutes or till the fish is cooked but firm.

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  • Get some balance on your plate

    In Expert Diet Tips On 03 June 2015

    Eating is a simple and natural activity meant to nourish our body. But as the saying goes, \'Too many cooks spoil the broth\'. We have too many people trying to give gyaan about food and diet. And with time, we have become victim to so many fad diets that we\'ve forgotten our inborn art to eat healthy. Just to have an attractive appearance, people opt for cruel means to lose weight, which is actually harming their body. Starving, liquid diets, cabbage diet, banana diet and many such unreasonable diets crop up everyday because propagators of the diets know that people want shortcuts to reach to their goals. And shortcuts can be quite dangerous. With diets that are not balanced or adequate in nutrients, what we get is unhealthy weight loss, muscle weakness and bone problems among many other issues. If you really want to be healthy, and not just looking for weight loss, you should give your body what it needs:   Opt for natural foods like fruits, nuts, salads, veggies, sprouts, pulses, etc as these foods have enzymes, which help in digestion and absorption of nutrients that keep your metabolism going.   Eat with all your mind and soul. Eating is like meditating. When we eat food calmly, our cells feel loved and wanted and this helps them uptake nutrients better to heal themselves, which also prevents weight gain. So eat food with undivided attention. Switch off your phone, TV and any other distractions that may come between you and your food.   Chew while you have teeth. God has blessed us with a set of whites not to just show off our sweet smile but to extract the most minute goodness from our food. By chewing well, you help the enzymes work better on digesting the food, which prevents constipation, bloating, acidity and storage of excess fat.   Eat mindfully, don\'t be miserly. It\'s not a layman\'s fault that they believe all the extremely convincing information that goes around regarding food. But using a little common sense would do more good than harm. Always reconsider the food you put in your mouth. Junk and fast food once in a while is not bad, but in daily routine you need to keep these foods at a minimum.   Eat less to weigh less is biggest lie you would ever come across in your life. It\'s not about eating less food; it\'s about eating the right food in the right quantity. As we mentioned, every cell of your body depends on an array of nutrients to function well. By eating less you deprive your body of these nutrients and make yourself weak and more prone to diseases. Include a balanced diet like grains, fruits, nuts, dals, vegetables with minimum or no oil and sugar to see a great change in your energy, thoughts and body. It is extremely important to understand that carbs, fat, calories, etc. are not \'unhealthy\'. They\'re essential for our body to function. Carbs are the petrol for your cells without which your brain and heart cannot operate. Similarly, fat is a protector for your organs and insulator for your body. One single food or nutrient cannot do magic, there needs to be a combination of all the nutrients. A balanced diet gives you a balanced mind and body.

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  • Aam Panna

    In Expert Diet Tips On 08 June 2015

    Calories - 20kcal Ingredients 1 raw mango 1 tsp Black salt to taste 2 tbsp mint leaves 1/2 tsp black pepper powder 1 tsp roasted jeera powder Salt to taste Sugar substitute as per sweetness Method Peel the mango, slice it and boil it in 2 cups water for 15 minutes till they are cooked After this cools, add all the other ingredients and mix well Blend this mixture into a puree and then strain the puree Then add 5 glasses of water and fresh mint leaves Serve chilled

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  • Healthy recipe: Pepper prawns

    In Expert Diet Tips On 09 June 2015

    If you are a prawn lover, here is a delight for you. In this recipe, prawns are sauteed with onions and black pepper that give them a very distinct flavour. It is a low calorie, yet filling and delicious recipe that contains only 150 calories. Do try it out. Ingredients 100 g prawns 1/2  onion (chopped) 1 green chili (sliced) 1 tbsp black pepper (coarsely grounded) ½ tsp red chili powder 2 tsp oil Salt to taste Method Heat oil in a non-stick pan and sauté onions till light brown. Add the prawns and fry for 3 minutes on low flame. Add all other ingredients and cook on a low flame for 5-7 minutes. Serve hot.

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  • Healthy recipe: Mushroom omelette

    In Expert Diet Tips On 09 June 2015

    This is an extremely simple, healthy and delicious omelette prepared with button mushrooms. Mushroom is low in fat and carbohydrates and can be beneficial if you trying to lose weight. This omelette has only 130 calories. Try it out now. Ingredients 2 egg whites 1 egg yolk ¼ onion (chopped) 2-3 button mushrooms (chopped) 1 tsp oil Salt, white pepper powder and mustard powder to taste Method: In a pan add ½ tsp oil and sauté the mushrooms for 2 minutes. Keep it aside. Beat the egg whites and one yolk in a vessel and add salt, white pepper powder, mustard powder and onions. In a non-stick pan add ½ tsp oil and spread this egg mixture and top it with mushrooms. Cook on both the sides and serve hot.

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  • Summer special: Cucumber salad

    In Expert Diet Tips On 09 June 2015

    This is very a cooling salad with the goodness of protein rich curd. Cucumber contains 95% water which help eliminate the accumulated toxins and wastes from your body. Having cucumbers is also a great way to boost your vitamin intake. Ingredients 1 cucumber (peeled and chopped) 1 green chili (finely chopped) 1 tomato (chopped) 1 tbsp coriander/mint leaves (chopped) 1/2 cup low-fat hung curd ½ tsp cumin powder Salt to taste Method Mix the cucumber, chopped tomatoes and green chili in a salad bowl. Beat the yogurt and stir salt and cumin powder. Add this mixture the to the salad bowl and mix well. Garnish with coriander/mint leaves.

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  • Quinoa Upma veg

    In Expert Diet Tips On 11 June 2015

      Calories - 130 kcal per serving   Ingredients 3 tbsp cooked quinoa 1 tbsp peas, steamed 1 tbsp diced carrots, steamed 1 green chillies sliced 0.25 sliced onions A pinch of turmeric powder A pinch garam masala Salt to taste Coriander for garnishing 2 tsp oil 0.25 tsp mustard 0.25 tsp cumin seeds A pinch of hing Method Heat oil in a pan, add oil, cumin, hing, mustard seeds. Then add onions and saute till translucent. Then add the chillies, carrots and peas and saute for few minutes. Then add haldi, garam masala and cooked quinoa. Cover and cook on simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.

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  • Tava Idlis veg

    In Expert Diet Tips On 12 June 2015

      Calories - 130 kcal Ingredients 2 leftover idlis 1/2 onion, chopped 1/2 tomato, chopped 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste Pinch of turmeric Salt to taste 1/4 tsp pav bhaji masala 1/2 tsp lemon juice 1 tsp oil Method Heat oil in a pan, saute onions for few minutes till translucent, add tomato, giner-garlic paste, turmeric powder and cook for few minutes. Add salt, pav bhaji masala, idlis and mix well. Add lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.

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  • Ramzan diet: For all my muslim friends

    In Expert Diet Tips On 15 June 2015

    The holy time for muslims is just around the corner. With over 12 hours of strict fasting, it only becomes imperative for people to eat what can provide them the best nutrients and hence perform well in their daily chores. So here a few simple guidelines for you to follow during the month of ramzan: Suhoor: This is the time your body is depleted and energy stores are used up during the night. So you need to focus on foods which give your energy and nutrients like vitamins like A, C, B- complex vitamins, minerals like sodium, potassium etc to help you sustain throughout the day. Opt for foods like fruits( every fruits is allowed especially bananas, mangoes, melons etc (due to their high water, potassium and antioxidant content), dried fruits( anjeer, dates, raisins, prunes) which give energy , oats/ ragi/ dalia in form of porridge, upma, chila etc, eggs to give you your protein content preventing muscle breakdown during the day and some Good fat rich nuts(almonds , walnuts, cashews, pistas). Iftar: This is the time your hunger pangs at their peak and eating too much food, too fast can create a problem in digestion. The best way is to go slow. Again start with dried fruits and fruits to give your energy. Then have a balanced meal like salads + 1 grain be it wheat, jowar, rice or ragi + veggies/ sprouts + chicken or fish( grilled, steamed or roasted). Avoid fried and extra sweet foods as they can turn into fat easily after a long fast.  Important tip: Keep a ice cold napkin on your stomach 3-4 during the day. This will keep your body cool and prevent you from excess thirst. Share with all your friends and feel free to ask me your queries below: Register at http://nehachandna.zest.md/.

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  • Colour Your Heart Rainbow

    In Expert Diet Tips On 16 June 2015

      Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! Just like the colours around you to make you feel happy and active, a variety of colours in your food would also keep your heart happy and at its best. Nature has given us numerous foods with lovely natural colours that are meant to be included in our diet to help increase our overall nutritional quality. Eating a rainbow of colours provides you with health benefits that cannot be replicated by supplements. Make sure your plate has a variety of at least 3 colours at a time. Let\'s look at the benefits of different colours to add to your colour quotient: 1. Red: Red foods get their colour from pigments like lycopene and anthocyanins, which are great antioxidants that protect the cells of the heart from oxidative damage, reducing cholesterol and improving overall circulation to the heart. Foods with the colour red are tomatoes, cherries, cranberries, red bell peppers, beets, strawberries, watermelon, pomegranate, red grapes etc. 2. Orange and Yellow: These foods get their colour from pigment called carotenoids. They have high a amount of antioxidants like Vitamin C and bioflavonoids which protect the heart against damage, reduce cholesterol, and improve heart function. These foods are mostly a good source of potassium, which helps to reduce blood pressure. These include papayas, oranges, carrots, pumpkin, mangoes, peaches, pineapple, yellow peppers, lemon, sweet lime, etc. 3. Green: These foods get their colour from a pigment called chlorophyll. They contain a good amount of phytochemicals like lutein and indoles along with high levels of folate, which help to reduce the risk of heart diseases and attacks. Foods with this colour include spinach, methi, coriander, celery, parsley, mint, broccoli, capsicum, peas, cabbage, kiwi, avocados, etc. 4. Blue and Purple: These get their pigment from anthocyanins, which have great anti-aging properties. They increase circulation and reduce the risk of cancers, stroke, and heart disease. They also keep cholesterol under check. The common blue/purple foods are blueberries, plums, eggplant, purple cabbage, prunes, black currants, black jamun etc. 5. White: These foods are colored by pigments called anthoxanthins. They may contain chemicals such as allicin, which helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure and also reduce the risk of stomach cancer and heart disease. White foods include garlic, onions, cauliflower, potato, corn, turnips, mushrooms, etc. As a thumb rule, you must include 2-3 servings of fruits and 3-4 servings of vegetables in your daily diet. Apart from these foods, include high fibre foods like oats, brown rice, ragi, jowar, and high-vitamin-E foods like almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, pistachios, etc. in your diet to help your heart function better.

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  • Cook healthy for your partner!

    In Expert Diet Tips On 07 July 2015

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! You have always wished to eat healthy and tried to stick to our diet regime. But most of the time you land up eating junk food when you\'re with your spouse/partner, and they force you to take a bite of that mouth-watering fat-loaded food. How about getting your partner addicted to healthy food? For most people, the idea of healthy food is boring and monotonous. That is the notion you have to change. There are a number of ways you can do it:   Everyone is now internet savvy. There are a number of healthy recipes available online, which you can find and prepare for your loved one. Prepare the dish your partner likes with a healthier twist, so that they do not reject it at the first look and at least give it a shot. Make some yummy salads / veggies / grilled chicken / steamed fish / low-fat paneer paratha, etc., which are healthy yet irresistible. Take your partner grocery shopping with you and ensure that he/she picks up only healthy items under your check. Pack a low-fat and low-cal meal in their tiffin with a note saying \"I love you, that\'s why I care\". It will bring a smile to their face and they will eat the meal without a thought. Tell your partner to make a healthy meal for you on the weekend. It will get them involved in the entire process of eating healthy. There are a couple of healthy food joints coming up in India. They can be the new date/hangout location for you to surprise your better half with. The best way is to involve your partner in the entire healthy cooking process and explain the importance of adding fibre-rich, vitamin-rich, and healthy oil options to your meals. A healthy couple can ensure a healthy family. Showing your partner you care and preparing healthy meals is one of the ways of expressing it.

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  • Muesli Nuts chikki veg

    In Expert Diet Tips On 07 July 2015

    Calories - 300 kcal Ingredients 10gms almonds 10gms peanuts 20gms muesli 25gms jaggery 1 tsp ghee Method In a pan, roast almonds, peanuts and chop unevenly, keep aside. In another pan, add ghee and jaggery, let it melt and add the almonds, peanuts and muesli and stir continuously. In a greased flat plate, pour the mixture and roll it evenly with a rolling pin, cut it when hot and serve when cool.

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  • Flaunt Healthy Hair This Summer

    In Expert Diet Tips On 31 July 2015

    We superficially take care of our hair but tend to forget that there is a more deeper and internal nutritional approach to nurture it and give a healthy sheen, feel and look our hair. A balanced diet rich in proteins and iron can work just fine to give you shiny, bouncy and thick hair.  Here are a list of certain foods which can work wonders to improve your hair quality: Chicken: they have high quality protein and iron making your brittle hair strong and long. Fish: especially salmon and tuna besides having high amount of protein also contain high amount of omega-3 fatty acids required for good scalp health which makes every cell of your hair luscious. Vegetarians can substitute fish with 1-2 tbsp flaxseeds for plant based omega-3. Eggs: are excellent source of protein and biotin which prevents hair breakage and improves hair strength. Green leafy vegetables: are a great source of iron, vitamin C-helps to absorb iron and vitamin A-helps to produce sebum by your hair follicles, natural hair conditioner.18 Beans: provide little protein alone but have good amount of iron, folic acid, zinc and biotin making hair stronger. Nuts: like walnuts, almonds, cashews etc are a fair source of zinc which prevents hair loss. Whole grains: low carb diet can lead to a receding hairline as whole grains like wheat, jowar, nachni, brown rice etc contain b- complex vitamins and zinc which help to improve hair quality. In a nut shell, a balanced diet including all the above mentioned foods can give you your dream hair quality and look.

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  • Dahi - A Wonder Food

    In Expert Diet Tips On 04 August 2015

    Something chilled to cool you off this summer! According to Hindu traditions, eating a spoonful of curd was always considered a good omen before beginning your first activity of the day or a bright new venture.There are many other ways it helps us, for example it helps in keeping your head cool in summer. Dahi is easily available, nutritious and easy to prepare snack available all round the year. It forms an integral part of a normal Indian diet. As a child, we were told that dahi is a great food for health and were made to eat it daily with our meals. Yes, indeed, our elders were right. Just as milk is an important source of proteins and calcium, so is dahi. But it has an added benefit of having hundreds of thousands of probiotics (live bacteria) which are excellent for overall health. Dahi has a host of benefits:   Immune system: The live bacteria in dahi helps prevent the growth of illness-causing bacteria in the intestine and protect us from infections like vaginal infections, stomach infections etc. thereby adding more years to your life. It also prevents ulcers and protects from stomach cancers. Digestion: These bacteria also promote the growth of good bacteria which improve digestion and metabolism. They also help in the absorption of other nutrients from food. Lactose intolerance: Milk cannot be consumed by lactose intolerant people, but dahi is easily digested due to the live bacteria. Proteins: Just like milk, dahi is a great source of protein, especially for vegetarians. Osteoporosis: Dahi has very high levels of calcium which helps to prevent bone degeneration, thereby, preventing osteoporosis. Bone and teeth health: The calcium in dahi also helps to strengthen the bones and teeth. The lactobacillus bacteria reduce the risk of cavities and improve gum health.  Weight loss: Calcium helps in fat breakdown. Dahi also gives a fuller filling for a longer time, thereby, helping reduce weight. Vitamin B12: Dahi has Vitamin B12, which is generally found in non-veg foods, and hence it\'s a great food for vegetarians to improve blood formation and nerve functioning. Cholesterol: Dahi helps lower bad cholesterol as well prevent heart problems. Making dahi at home is an easy procedure. Heat the milk slightly and add 2 teaspoonfuls of dahi into it. Mix it well and keep it overnight to ferment. During this process, milk sugar lactose is converted to lactic acid by the bacteria in the starter which gives it a refreshing tart flavour and a pudding like texture.

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  • Minerals For Health

    In Expert Diet Tips On 06 August 2015

    Just like vitamins, minerals are also needed in small amounts by the body for normal processes. There are 16 essential minerals required for good health. Mineral sources are best found in natural foods rather than supplements. They are categorized as macro minerals which are needed in fairly larger quantities and micro minerals which are needed in small amounts.  Macro minerals Calcium: is needed for strong teeth and bones, normal blood clotting, and nerve function. Sources: Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese, broccoli, almonds, fish, green leafy vegetables, ragi, sprouts and sesame seeds. Magnesium: is required for healthy bones, converting blood sugar to energy, insulin secretion and function and for normal heart rhythms. Sources: whole grains, green leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes, banana etc Phosphorus: is necessary along with calcium for bones and teeth development and to supply energy to the body. Sources: whole grains, milk, cheese, nuts, fish, eggs, meat, chicken etc Sodium: helps to maintain blood pressure and fluid balance in the body. Sources: salt, fish, butter, processed foods etc Potassium: along with sodium, works to regulate fluid in the body. Potassium also helps to maintain a regular heartbeat and low blood pressure and enables glucose in the body to be converted to glycogen, a form of energy that can be stored. Sources: fresh fruits and vegetables, coconut water, bananas, soups, tomatoes, dals and pulses etc Chloride: helps in regulating fluid balance in the cells long with sodium and potassium. Sources: table salt Sulphur: is essential to form proteins in the body and helps in eliminating toxins from the body. Sources: meat, fish, chicken, beans and pulses. Micro minerals Iron: is required for the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin, the component of blood cells that transports oxygen around the body. Iron can prevent fatigue, protect against illness and disease and helps in absorption of vitamin C. Sources: meat, liver, kidney, chicken, beans, peas, green leafy vegetables, garden cress seeds etc. Manganese: is required for a healthy immune system. Also helps in normal metabolism and digestion. Sources: whole grains, pulses, nuts etc. Copper: Copper helps to form collagen, which is essential for healthy bones and connective tissue, production of red blood cells and is needed to absorb iron more easily, to prevent heart disease and high blood pressure and that it protects against damage from free radicals and the development of cancer. Sources: fish, shellfish, whole grains, nuts, potatoes, garlic, bananas, mushrooms, tomatoes, prunes and soya products. Iodine: is essential for the manufacture of certain hormones by the thyroid gland, that are responsible for regulating metabolism, converting fats into energy and stabilizing blood cholesterol levels. Sources: table salt, salt water fish. Zinc: is needed by every cell in the body, healthy hair, nails and skin, also for maintaining healthy immune system and reproduction system and promote growth. Sources: red meat, poultry, eggs, shellfish, cheese, nuts, sunflower seeds, beans and wheat germ. Chromium: it improves insulin sensitivity and helps in controlling blood sugar levels. It also helps to breakdown fat and lower bad cholesterol. Sources: Shellfish, red meat, liver, egg yolks, cheese, mushrooms and whole wheat bread. Fluoride: is important for healthy bones and teeth and protects teeth against tooth decay. Sources: drinking water, toothpaste Molybdenum: is required for DNA production and acts as an antioxidant. Sources: Liver, whole grains, yeast, pulses, leafy green vegetables.

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Dietitian Neha Chandna (Ranglani) has 8 years of experience in the field. Food and Health is the matter of interest for most of the people today and realizing the need to create awareness and spread the right information to the society, Neha decided to extensively educate herself in the field of nutrition. As a known fact that diet and exercise go hand in hand, She went a step ahead to certify herself as a REEBOK Aerobic instructor. One of the Most Famous & Online Nutritionists Dietitians in Mumbai (Khar west).Neha Chandna is a university topper in Dietetics from S.V.T. She has worked as a nutritionist for reputed gyms and fitness trainers and as a consultant with doctors and physiotherapists. She deals with sportsmen, individuals who are obese or victims of lifestyle issues- to name a few- diabetes, thyroid, osteoporosis, PCOS etc. and active/exercising sector of society. She educates and conducts seminar/workshops for corporates like banks (HDFC & Standard Chartered Bank), BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living. She also takes workshops on Nutrition in Pregnancy and Lactation. Neha Chandna also writes articles for magazines and newspapers like New Woman, Beauty and salon, Hello Mumbai, the afternoon etc. She has also done a couple of interviews for TV9 channel. She is an online consultant for a health social networking website www.ihealthu.com. Dietician Neha Chandna is one of the Best Dietician / nutritionist in Khar west , Mumbai.<span 1.6em;"="">Neha Chandna is a Famous Nutritionist in Khar west & Top 10 Dieticians / Nutritionists in Mumbai for weight loss and many services. Popular dietcian in Mumbai. Top 5 Nutritionists / Dietitians in Mumbai. Consult her for best online Diet & Nutrition services in Mumbai.Weight Loss Expert / Diet Consultant / Obesity Consultant in Mumbai.
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