Tag Archives: blood pressure

What Are The Benefits Of Marathon Training?

The participation of middle aged people in marathons has increased over the last few decades. Researchers found that preparing for a marathon- reduced heart disease risk factor among men, aged 35 to 65.

Studies show that these middle aged marathon runners have much lower heart risks than similar aged non runners.

One of the biggest benefits of running is that it’s good for your health. Running is an excellent way to strengthen the heart and ensure efficient flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body, which helps decrease your risk of a heart attack.

Studies also show that, exercise stimulates enzymes that help move LDL from the blood (and blood-vessel walls) to the liver. From there, cholesterol is converted into bile (for digestion) or excreted. So, the more you exercise, the more LDL your body expels and your blood’s LDL gets lowered, which protects you from heart disease.

Exercise increases the size of the protein particles that carry cholesterol through the blood. (The combination of these protein particles and cholesterol are called “lipoproteins;” it’s the LDLs that have been linked to heart disease). Some of those particles are small and dense; some are big and fluffy. The small, dense particles are more dangerous than the big, fluffy ones because the smaller ones can squeeze into the linings of the heart and blood vessels and set up shop there. But now it appears that exercise increases the size of the protein particles that carry both good and bad lipoproteins.

Running also keeps your blood pressure lower by keeping your cholesterol levels normal in the body.

 Running not only prevents you from heart related problems but also improves your immune system, so your body functions more effective and efficient at fighting off germs. Also, while running, your body temperature rises which prevents the growth of bacteria ,allowing your body to fight infection more effectively.

So, participating in a marathon is really beneficial for your heart.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Jalebis – How Unhealthy are they?

Jalebi is the name of a deep fried India sweet delicacy. It is regular served at all festivals and major celebrations. It is made up of refined wheat flour and saffron, which gives it the yellow or orange colour. It has other variations such as Imarti. Yogurt, water, sugar, flour and baking powd


 Refined wheat flourer are the primary ingredients for fermentation 

of batter for Jalebis. The batter is then piped in concentric circles into hot cooking oil for frying, resulting in a crisp and chewy delicacy. Quite often this is again drizzled with some sugar syrup after frying.
Ingredients which are used to make jalebis are not healthy. They include:

1) Refined wheat flour

Refined white flour contains almost no natural minerals and vitamins. In fact, it contains simple sugars which spike blood sugar levels that lead to obesity and diabetes, heart related problems, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure levels. It even increases your food cravings and contains little to no fibre, leading to digestive problems like constipation.

2) Sugar

Jalebi is filled with sugar syrup which makes jalebi high in calories. This can again spike your blood sugar levels, leading to obesity and even high cholesterol, which is bad for your heart. So, if you ever really feel a craving for jalebis, either moderate their consumption or simply avoid them since they are packed with unhealthy ingredients and cause fat promoting disease.

3) Oil

Hydrogenated oil which is used for frying jalebis, contains trans fats (when hydrogen gas passes into the vegetable oil it gets converted into trans fat). Trans fat is primarily used to elongate the shelf life of a product.
Trans fats is the worst type of fat, since it reduce the body’s good cholesterol levels and shoots up the bad cholesterol. It can even cause heart diseases and is linked to diabetes.

Jalebi is very unhealthy by eaten just by itself. But, it is often served with an accompaniment or in a combination with another sweet, which can make it much worse. For example jalebi is often served with rabdi, which is very high in saturated fat and sugar.

After going through the ingredients of Jalebi, it is quite clear that even eating Jalebi in moderation can cause spikes in your blood sugar and other many health issues. In fact, it could be a dangerous food for those suffering from diabetes or pre-diabetes. So avoid it completely, and if you really can’t avoid craving it, then stick to eating a very small serving of Jalebi.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Why Spinach is So Good For You?

Bright, vibrant-looking spinach leaves are not only appealing to the eye but nourishing as well. Spinach is a super food loaded with tons of nutrients in a low calorie package. Spinach is a very versatile vegetable and can be eaten raw or cooked. It is available fresh, frozen or canned. Here are some tips for you to incorporate more spinach into your regular diet. Spinach is one of the best sources of dietary potassium, weighing in at 839mg per cup (cooked). It is also a great non-heme source of iron, along with lentils, tuna and eggs. Spinach also contains vitamins K, fibre, phosphorus, thiamine and magnesium. Dark leafy greens like spinach are important for skin, hair and bone health.

The possible health benefits of consuming spinach include:

Rich in Antioxidants

Spinach is an excellent source of other antioxidant nutrients — including vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, manganese, zinc and selenium. Phytonutrients, mainly Flavonoid and Carotenoid, found in spinach, provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Anti-ageing benefits are also found in spinach due to it’s antioxidant properties. Spinach is loaded with tons of antioxidants that destroy free radicals in your body. These free radicals damage your skin, thereby causing pre-mature ageing.

Improves Bone Health

Spinach is an excellent source of Vitamin-K. Vitamin K-rich foods are good for bone health, and it is difficult to find vegetables that are richer in vitamin K than spinach. Spinach is also an excellent source of other bone-supportive nutrients including calcium and magnesium.

Lowering blood pressure

Hypertension or high blood pressure is responsible for causing kidney disease, heart ailments and stroke. Because of its high potassium content, spinach is recommended to those with high blood pressure to counter the effects of sodium in the body. Other high potassium foods include potatoes, tomatoes, lima beans and oranges

Healthy skin and hair

Spinach is high in vitamin A, which is necessary for sebum production, which keeps hair moisturized. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair tissues. Spinach and other greens leafy vegetables are high in vitamin C and are imperative for the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair.

Stress Reliever

Spinach keeps the body relaxed and completely stress free. It contains tremendous amounts of zinc and magnesium which enable you to sleep better at night, thus making way for more effective healing. Magnesium helps in replenishing your lost energy within seconds. Good quality sleep rests your tired eyes and body.

Aids in Weight Loss

Spinach helps in weight reduction as it is low in calories. It is very nutritious and has a high amount of fat soluble dietary fibre. This fibre aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar and curbs overeating. Thus, this leafy vegetable is often recommended to dieters.

Sun Protection

Spinach is rich in vitamin B, which protects your skin from the harmful ultra violet rays that cause sun damage, skin cancer and pre-mature ageing of skin.

Make spinach a part of your regular diet to benefit in multiple ways. Not only is it a great weight loss food, it promotes overall health and prevents various ailments and diseases.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

The benefits of kiwi

People like to eat kiwi because it looks attractive once it has been cut, and because of it’s interesting tangy taste. It is also nutrient dense, which means it is high in essential nutrient. It is extremely beneficial for the body and is low on calories.

 Some of the benefits of Kiwi are:-

1.    Helps in digesting enzymes

 Raw kiwi help in digesting enzymes found in fruits. Enzymes such as papian in papaya and bromelain in pineapple (both enzymes increase the risk of abortion during pregnancy).

 2.    Optimizes Blood Pressure

The level of potassium in Kiwi plays a role in maintaining electrolyte balance by counteracting with sodium.

 3.    Antioxidant Rich

 Due to the high level of antioxidants, kiwi prevents the cell’s DNA from oxidative changes, stops premature ageing and makes skin beautiful.

 4.    Boosts immunity

 Kiwi’s high Vitamin C content along with other antioxidant compounds has been proven to boost the immune system by fighting with the nucleic acid of the virus and also fights bacteria until they are dead.

 5.    Low glycemic index

 Kiwi has a lower glycemic index because of it’s high fibre content. The fibre content even prevents sudden increase in blood sugar levels, which is why kiwi is also good for diabetics.

 6.       Helps in weight loss

 Due to it’s higher fibre content, Kiwi has a higher satiety value which prevents overeating.

 7.    Improves digestion

 Kiwi improves digestion by preventing constipation and other intestinal problems. This is due to it’s high fibre content.

 8.    Helps clean out toxins

 The fibre found in Kiwi binds and moves toxins from the intestinal tract

9.    Prevent heart disease

Eating 2-3 kiwis a day has been shown to reduce the potential of blood clotting by 18% and reduce triglycerides by 15%.

10. Protects from eye problems

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in older adults. Eating 3 or more servings of kiwi every day decreases macular degeneration by 36%. This is thought to be associated with the kiwi’s high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin — both of which are natural chemicals found in the human eye.

Make Kiwi an essential part of your regular diet and benefit from it.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Is Thandai Healthy?

Thandai is a refreshing milk beverage specifically served during Holi festivities. Even consumed during the summers in across India, thandai makes you feel cooler and serves as an instant energizer in the scorching summer heat. The ingredients present in the thandai even have a few health benefits.

So here are the benefits as you plan to down glasses of thandai during Holi:-

1. Fennel Seeds

Known for antioxidants, anti-flatulance and cooling properties.

2. Peppercorn

It is considered the king of spices. It has medicinal properties that prevent the formation of intestinal gas, stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid in stomach which helps in digestion. Peppercorn also promotes sweating and urination for removing waste from our body.

3. Watermelon seeds

Watermelon seeds are a good source of energy, protein and iron. Watermelon seeds also contain lycopene which is good for male infertility.

4. Rose petals

Rose petals are rich in vitamin C,D,K and E and other organic acids like malic acid,citric acid and pectin which help in building a strong immune system, strengthening the digestive system and detoxifying the urinary tract and kidneys.

5. Almonds

Almonds are loaded with healthy fats. They are also rich in Vitamin E. They are good for the brain and heart as they have cholesterol regulating effects.

6. Milk

Milk is known as the best source of calcium and protein for vegetarians. It is also a rich source of micro nutrients like zinc, phosphorus and iron. Cold milk is known to be an antacid and has cooling effects on the body.

7. Poppy seeds

Poppy seeds contain minerals like iodine, manganese, zinc, magnesium and copper. They also contain thiamine and riboflavin as well as B vitamins. The presence of linoleic acid in poppy seeds protects the body from heart attacks and other heart disorders.

8. Pumpkin Seeds

High in Omega 3 fatty acids and the heart-healing mineral-magnesium, this is also Nature’s natural relaxant.

9. Saffron

Saffron has many therapeutic applications in many traditional medicines as antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-oxidant, digestive, anti-convulsant.

10. Bhang

Bhang give relieves from stress and anxiety. It is used as intoxicant and is also used for the treatment of common ailments like vomiting,nausea,fever,sunstroke etc.

Thandai gives instant relief to the exhausted body and mind and provides a shot of energy. It also helps to cope with problems related to acidity and constipation. It even enhances appetite.

But along with the benefits, there are few harmful effects of thandai, considering the way it is prepared for mass consumption during holi and other occasions. You should keep these factors in mind and moderate it’s consumption. So here are the harmful effects-

1. Sugar

The sugar content of thundai is very high, so not only will it spike your blood sugar levels, it can also become an obstacle in weight reduction.

2. Full fat milk

Milk used in thandai is full fat milk, which may increase the cholesterol and saturated fat levels in your blood and increase the risk of heart disease, other than hindering your weight loss.

3. Bhang

If bhang is consumed in excess, it increases your heart rate which causes psychosis and high blood pressure, apart from slowing of the metabolic rate. It is difficult to moderate bhang consumption as the onset of it’s intoxicating effects takes some time, by which time you might have consumed more than your body can handle. So, be cautious while having bhang in thandai.
There is isn’t any need to completely avoid thandai, since not having it would leave your holi incomplete. But have it in moderation and not much harm will be done. If you follow a good exercise and diet routine regularly, one or two glasses of thandai will not make much of a difference.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Vegetarian Diet for Better Health

Health is a major concern for most people but we only take it seriously when we know someone who is a victim of an unhealthy lifestyle or are affected by health disorders. Indian is the hot seat for two major lifestyle disorders diabetes and heart health. Diabetes is a lifestyle disorder and usually the main reason of people becoming diabetic is due to sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise and physical activity and eating excess junk and unhealthy foods which affects the pancreatic functions.

Fruit Salad (Cr/freedigital)

Numerous studies on health have quoted that the cure for type II diabetes is removing the very cause of the disease which is a unhealthy lifestyle can reverse the disease. The chief cause of diabetes type 2  is excess weight from unhealthy diet and inactivity.

Chronic diseases not only inflict pain and cause health deterioration but their diagnosis is costly, time consuming and doesn’t provide full recovery at times. Also the stress and burden it adds to your life is less anticipated than the reality. Eating plant based vegetarian food products and eliminating meat and dairy products from the diet will considerably reduce the risk for chronic diseases like  obesity, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

According to new dietary guidelines emphasizing vegetarian diet that is nutrient-rich plant foods can enable modern populations to dramatically improve their health, dramatically reduce healthcare costs, while at the same time save millions of needless deaths from heart disease, strokes, cancer and diabetes.

Digging for reasons whether meat products which are considered to be a good source of protein along with dairy products could lead to chronic diseases. Also diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure are pre-cursory to heart diseases and health. Meats and dairy products are high in saturated fat which increases the bad cholesterol and decreases good cholesterol from the body. Consuming excess amounts of these products regularly can lead to accumulation of saturated fat on your visceral and body which increases your cholesterol levels in the body leading to chronic diseases.

Sodium in meats and dairy is high which increases the blood pressure which acts with high cholesterol further decreases the heart health. Overall if you see as the cholesterol and blood pressure keep rising to the danger zones it also effects the metabolism of the body. This slow down in the metabolic rate further aggravates the problem where calories that are not consumed get stored as fat in the body resulting in weight gain and other problems related to it.

Thinking practically one should avoid foods that are not healthy for the body. Switch to more vegetarian diet that has plants based food sources which are natural, healthy and keep you in good shape. Also many plant food sources are low in calories and fat free this helps avoid consuming any useless and saturated fat in the body. And if you are wondering that would a vegetarian diet that has plant food sources meet all your nutritional requirements including protein. The answer is yes, a vegetarian diet can meet your daily nutrition requirement intake that will not only make you lose weight but make your body healthier and stronger.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Benefits of Seasonal Fruits

Eat a fruit every time you have a growling stomach. Its the healthiest substitute for a snack as it is packed with nutrition and can actually boost your metabolism. There are variety of fruits present through out the year offering loads of nutrition packed in different flavors. Binging on fruits is specially helpful when you are trying to lose weight or are on a  weight loss diet. Seasonal fruits then become an ideal in-between meal snacks. Fruits contain phyto-chemicals and antioxidants help fight free radicals and diseases in the body.

Watermelon (Cr/freedigital)

Regular consumption of fruits promote healthy heart health reducing the chances of cardiac problems, lower blood pressure and keeps cholesterol in check. The vitamins and mineral quality of fruits can’t be replaced with supplements as it is a natural source and gets absorbed by the body easily. Summers offer a range of fruits which are full of taste, colour and nutrition. Add 1-2 fruits in your diet and experience the change.

Some Summer Seasonal Fruits

Water Melon: Eating 100 gms would add just 20 calories to your diet. Though it is sweet but the high amount of water and fiber lessen the calories present in it. It is refreshing and reduces body temperature, blood pressure, inflammation and many other health conditions. It has the highest concentration of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant which improves heart health. It contains vitamin, A,C and B and minerals like potassium, calcium and is fat free. Enjoy its juice or eat raw in salads.

Mangoes: 65 calories is what it provides for 100 gms. You could eat a small sized mango before a workout as it is high is carbohydrates but with a low glycemic index. vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium along with phenolic compounds are present in mangoes. It is rich in minerals and has high anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory properties. Check the portion control while eating mangoes for weight loss.

Plum: 52 calories Potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous are minerals present in plum along with Vitamin A, E and c. It provides 55-60 calories per 100 gms though consume 2 fruits. It is high in fiber and boost immunity and protects against cancer. It is a healthy fruits.

Jamun/Jambul: High in vitamins and minerals like  iron, manganese, zinc, calcium, sodium and potassium. It contains antioxidants like Tannic acid, Gallic acid and oxalic acids along with alkonoids. It is beneficial for diabetics and eating 100 gms adds 60 calories approx.

Musk Melon: Eating a cup of muskmelon will add 50-55 calories with lots of fiber and carbs for energy. It is rich in vitamin A, B and C along with potassium, magnesium and sodium. Improves constipation problem. It has anti-oxidation properties and improves metabolism.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Low Calorie Lunch Options

Eating meals timely is important to maintain the metabolism. Untimely meals, delayed meals or even skipping meals slows down the metabolism. What happens when the metabolism gets disturbed? Simple, you start putting weight. Everyone tries to start healthy by keeping breakfast options minimal and healthy. But by the time we reach lunch all the work or a busy day takes a toll over our lunch choices. We dont realize eating unhealthy food will only make things worse both in terms of being bad to the body but also adding stress to our lives. Eating processed and junk food leads to high cholesterol, disturbed sugar levels resulting in high blood pressure, hyper-tension and Type 2 Diabetes.

Vegetable Roll (Cr/freedigital)

We suggest why develop bad habits when its as easy to develop good habits. This doesnt mean you have to punish yourself and live only on raw food and water. It means that if you start planning  in advance you can be more conscious while packing lunch at home or eating out.   Here are some healthy lunch options that you could carry it from your home or buy.

Vegetable besan cheela with low fat curd: This chick pea-flour pancake are packed with protein. It can be prepared in no time and at the same time its tasty as well as nutritious. Chick pea is said to be a good source of fiber and many other nutrients and low in fat. One best thing about this Besan Chilla is that it can be pretty much toyed around with to suit different tastes. You can change the veggies you add to it:  mushrooms, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, or spinach. One vegetable chilla gives aroun 120-140 calories.

Paneer/Chicken wheat flour Kathi Roll: Kathi Rolls are hot crispy rotis served with a choice of fillings. Use any combination of vegetables like  paneer, mushroom, soya, corn or green peas to make these vegetarian rolls. For non veg fillings you could use chicken. These rolls are ideal for packed lunches as these are quite easy to prepare, pick and eat.The calories varies according to type of filling, But on an average 1 vegetable kathi roll provides around 195 calories. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Are Diet Pills the Best Option!

Diet pills are getting more popular for fast weight loss. There are many successful as well as not so successful stories about these fat loss pills.  Lets explore more about these pills and how they really work. Quick weight loss without diet and exercise has created the hype around diet pills which is increasingly finding its space in drug stores & superstores. But the questions remains the same, is it a healthier
option and does it help in weight loss.

diet-pills (Cr/freedigital)

What is most commonly seen is that some diet pills work and some don’t depending upon the constitution of chemicals in the pills. Probability of effectiveness of the diet pills also varies with body type (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Fiber for Optimum Health

Fiber is an essential nutrient in your diet. Fiber is in the form of soluble fiber as well as insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber binds with the fatty acids in the stomach and the arteries. This helps to regulate blood sugar and reduces the over all cholesterol. The insoluble fiber removes toxins from your colon and balance intestine acidity.

Research has shown that people who consumed the highest amount of fiber were 22 percent less likely to develop heart and health related risks. Fiber helps in controlling diabetes and heart disease risks because it improves cholesterol levels, blood pressure, inflammation and blood sugar levels. Besides it, fiber also has the property to bind along with the toxins and remove it from the body quickly. Read on to find out how much fiber your need, and best sources of fiber for your body. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo