Tag Archives: constipation

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
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Celery and its Benefits

Celery is a vegetable well known for its crunchy stalk and as a low calorie snack. It is commonly consumed with flavoured dips and sauces. The fruit and seeds are dried or pressed into oil for use as a medicine. Sometimes celery oil is marketed in capsule form. Some people also consume celery juice, which is known to have medicinal properties. The ancient Greeks used celery to make wine, which was given out as an award at athletic games.
So celery is a very useful vegetable and its benefits are mentioned below:-
1) Acidity:
The important alkaline minerals found in celery effectively balance the body’s blood pH, neutralizing acidity.

2) Athletic recovery:
Celery juice acts as the perfect post-workout tonic as it replaces lost electrolytes and rehydrates the body with its rich minerals.

3) Cancer:
Celery is known to contain at least eight families of anti-cancer compounds. Among them are the acetylenics that have been shown to stop the growth of tumour cells. Then there are Phenolic acids which block the action of prostaglandins that encourage the growth of tumour cells. And coumarins which help prevent free radicals from damaging cells.

4) Cholesterol:
There is a component in celery called butylphthalide, which significantly lowers total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol and prevents heart disease.

5) Colon and stomach cancer:
The phytochemical, coumarin prevents the formation and development of the colon and stomach cancers.

6) Constipation:
Despite being primarily water, celery also provides a fair amount of dietary fiber. The vegetable contains 1.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams. That acts as a natural laxative and prevents constipation. It also helps in relaxing nerves that have been overworked by man-made laxatives.

7) Diuretic:
The potassium and sodium in celery helps to regulate body fluid and stimulate urine production, helping in eliminating excess fluid from the body.

8) Inflammation:
The polyacetylene is a phytochemical found in celery and is amazingly beneficial for all inflammations like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, asthma and bronchitis.

9) Kidney function:
Celery promotes healthy and normal kidney function by aiding elimination of toxins from the body since it contains 80 to 90% water which helps in flushing out the toxins. While eliminating toxins, it also prevents formation of kidney stones.

10) Lower blood pressure:
Drinking celery helps in lower blood pressure. A compound called phtalides helps in relaxing the muscles around the arteries, dilating the vessels and allowing blood to flow normally.

11) Weight loss:
Celery contains enough fibre to make you feel full for longer and prevents over eating. It also curbs your cravings for sugary and high fat foods.

12) Urinary stones, breaking of stone:
The diuretic effect of celery juice also aids the breaking and elimination of urinary and gall bladder stones.

— 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 Papad Good For You?

Papads are an essential part of many diets. It is regularly consumed across many parts of India. Papads come in a wide variety of flavours and textures. Papads could be roasted, baked or fried. But most papads could be unhealthy due to a variety of reasons.
The possible harmful effects of papads are as follows:-

1. Papad is a hidden source of salt / sodium

Salt is the main ingredient of the papad. It is used to enhance taste and as a preservative. Indians are already consuming more salt than they need to. Salt is added in copious amounts to nearly every food preparation in India. Added to that, in certain parts of India, salt is even served separately as a taste enhancer.
Such high content of sodium causes high blood pressure, water retention, abdominal bloating, increased thirst, diabetes etc.

2. Spicy papads are not good

There are hundreds, or maybe thousands of varieties of papads available in the Indian market. Many of these papads are very high on the spice content. And since most people consume multiple papads in one sitting, it can cause acidity and other digestive problems.

3. Papad causes constipation

If the papads are consumed in excess, the dough used in making papad may stick to the intestine and causes constipation or gastric issues.

4. Quality of oil used in papad / Fried Papad

Oil which is used for frying and preparation of papad is not of a good quality because that oil may contain trans fat. Most of the papads available in the market are prepared in low quality oil with little to no quality control. The same oil could be being re-used multiple times. This may increase the levels of bad cholesterol in the body causing heart problem, diabetes etc. So try to have baked or roasted papads.

5. Unhygeinic preparation of papads

Papads need to be left out in the open for drying and they might be kept on dirty and unhygienic surfaces, leading to further chances of infection for the consumer.

It is always important to be cautious about what goes into your food, so that can cut down on health risks relate to food. There isn’t any need to cut papads out of your diet, but be sure about the quality of their preparation and eat them in moderation.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Are Dried Figs Healthy for Weight Loss

Figs can be eaten either fresh or dry and has a sweet taste and variety of health benefits that it provides. Though in India fresh Figs are not easily available but can be found in the form of dry fruits popularly known as Anjeer. The high amount of calcium, iron and potassium present in it along with the high amount of fiber and low fat makes it a healthy food to include in your diet which can be eaten alone or mixed in yogurt, salad and toppings on cereals and oatmeal.

Fresh Figs (Cr/freedigital)

Figs are  nutritious but do they help in weight loss ? Should one eat figs regularly if you are trying to lose weight. Lately figs are fast becoming popular with nutritionists that are recommending it as a part of weight loss diets. Let us help you understand why it might not be the healthiest weight loss food option.

Lets start with understanding the calorie and nutrition content of figs. Figs are rich in Vitamins A, B1 and B2, manganese and potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorus. The high levels of potassium and low sodium helps people with hypertension. High calcium levels present in figs promote bone health. High mucilage content in figs, helps to heal and protect sore throats. Figs also contain beta-carotene as well as benzaldehyde (anti-cancer compound), flavonoids and a digestive enzyme called ficin.

Dried figs provide higher amount of calories than fresh figs and around 100gms provide 220 calories approx. Though it is recommended to be eaten in moderations but its sweet taste and pulp makes it addictive making you eat more than actually required. Other than the calories figs are sweet and have a medium glycemic index of 61 and a glycemic load of 16 which is high.

The high glycemic load (GL) of figs makes the blood sugar levels rise as dried figs quickly release high level of sugar in the body which may not be helpful for people on weight loss and people suffering from type 2 diabetes. The high amount of fiber and high glycemic load makes the body feel satisfied. The GL provides energy and makes you feel fuller longer making you crave less food. This might make you miss out on a balanced diet which is essential to regulate the metabolism in the body.

Besides it high glycemic load figs have other benefits also. The high fiber content improves digestion and benefits people with constipation. The fiber helps in throwing away the toxins out of the body. They have anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidants present in them fights diseases and cancer in the body. They help regulate blood sugar levels and reduces cholesterol in the body.

Foods that are sweet and provide quick energy should be eaten early in the day so that the energy released by them can be burnt in the day itself. Also figs are recommended to people who have iron deficiency. Every diet especially available online is very generic and might not be applicable to you. You need a diet plan that is customized to your lifestyle, eating habits and medical conditions. Its important to get professional consultancy from a qualified fitness expert before you start any diet plan.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Healthy Seasonal Vegetables

Vegetables offer low calories, no fat (when eaten raw) and add lots of vitamins and minerals to the diet. Through out the year we see different vegetables in the departmental store or being sold by our local vendors. We encourage consumption of seasonal vegetables for two reasons, first they are cheaper and secondly they are fresher than those not in season. Most of the vegetables available in summer have high water content as they keep the body cool and replenish the lost nutrition caused due to sweating and general heat. Vegetables are also high in fiber content which keeps us fuller with a healthy digestive system.

Vegetables (Cr/freedigital)

Vegetables are not always tasteless and boring. If prepared well they can be better tasting than most of the processed food available. Besides they build immunity and improve the metabolic functions in the body. People especially watching their weight or suffering from any therapeutic condition or even just living healthy should include portions of vegetables in their diet either as salads or stir fried. You could eat vegetables raw, cooked, individually or in a combination with other vegetables, legumes, cereals, etc. Here are some seasonal vegetables that you can eat this season for good health.

Some summer vegetables and their benefits in keeping us healthy

Lady Finger/Okra/Bhindi: This vegetable is low in calories and it adds just 30 calories per 100 grams. It contains vitamins A, C, K and B vitamins along with flavnoids. It is rich in anti-oxidation properties and helps in vision. It contains important minerals as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium. Healthy for people on weight loss as it makes you fell full and adds lots of nutrition too.

Tori/Ridge Gourd: It is beneficial for the stomach and helps reduce blood sugar levels. 100 gms of Ridge Gourd adds just 20 calories to the body. It is rich in nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamin c, riboflavin, thiamin, iron and magnesium. The high fiber and low fat content make it effective for weight loss.

Pumpkin: A bowl of pumpkin will add just 30 calories to your diet besides supplying  a lot of vitamins and minerals to the body. It is rich in vitamin A, C and E along with iron, magnesium, potassium, niacin and dietary fiber for better digestion. It contains carotenoids which improve the immune system. It has anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory properties.

Bottle Gourd/Lauki/Bottle gourd adds just 12 calories per 100 grams. It is 96% water and contains vitamin c and B vitamins. Sodium, iron, potassium are presnt in the vegetable and contains high amount of dietary fiber. It is extremely effective in weight loss, reduces constipation, improves complexion and has a cooling effect on the body.

Gavarfali/ Cluster Beans: Gavarfali (cluster beans) are rich in iron, folic acid, calcium and are an excellent source of fibre. They are best eaten with lentil dals. It only contains 25 calories every 100 gms. High in dietary fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals. Also recommended for weight loss as it  improves metabolism.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Flaxseed and Its Health Benefits

The tiny seeds add not much of calories to the body and are low in carbohydrates but are full of vitamins, minerals, essential omega fatty acids and antioxidants that keep many health problems away keeping you healthy.

You could include flax seed in your diet on cereals and salads and include it in yogurt and shakes. You could eat it directly or eat in combination.
Flaxseeds contain health fighting properties and is beneficial for weight loss. Below are health benefits of flaxseed.

- Cardio-protective: Due to presence of high content of alpha linolenic acids (ALA) a type of plant-derived omega-3 fatty acid, flax seed is known to have cardio-protective benefits Flax seeds aid in lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol levels and may also keep platelets from becoming sticky therefore reducing the risk of a heart attack.

- Controls Blood Glucose Levels: Fiber present in flax seed helps stabilize blood sugar. A recent study demonstrated Lowering of blood sugar levels by 28% an hour after eating flax seed.

- Cancer Fighting: Flaxseeds are high in lignans, (a phytoestrogen) and in alpha linolenic acid (ALA) which are found to be promising as a cancer fighting agent. Flax seed’s high fiber aspect is also beneficial in the fighting against colon cancer. Lignan metabolites can bind to estrogen receptors, hence inhibiting the onset of estrogen-stimulated breast cancer Lignans are known to promote fertility, reduce peri-menopausal symptoms, and possibly help prevent breast cancer.

- Prevents Constipation: Flax is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Flaxseed promotes regular bowel movements and helps to absorb water, thereby softening the stool and allowing it to pass through the colon quickly.

-  Boost Immunity: A study in Nutrition Journal stated that eating flax daily favorably affects immunity, the body’s ability to defend itself successfully against micro-organisms. Lignans and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), affect immune cells and compounds that control immune reaction.

- Mood-Enhancer: Flaxseed has a mood boosting ingredient: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which is essential for the proper function of brain cells. Flax seed decreases risk of Alzheimer’s due to presence of Omege-3 fatty acids.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Four Yoga Poses That Will Keep You Cool Through Summer

Benefits of the Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha-Matsyendrasana):

The Ardha-matsyendrasana helps in cultivating flexibility and strength in the spine. Its a great “cool down” pose that also smoothes stiff necks and upper back and tension caused by stress, poor posture, or prolonged periods of sitting in one position.

The alternating compression and release of the abdominal region flushes this area with blood and give massage the internal organs. Muscles of the stomach and hips are also toned from repeated practice of this asana.

Half Spinal Twist Pose

How to perform the Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha-Matsyendrasana):

- Sit comfortable in a cross-legged position.

- Straighten both legs out in front. While bending your right knee, bring the heel of the right foot close to the left hip. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Simple Yoga Asanas to Start

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of yoga, but have you wondered how you can start. As we always suggest, start with the easy stuff. So, here are some simple yoga asanas and poses that can get you started.

Yoga Pose

Child Pose or Balasana: This pose is ideal for beginners where a person surrenders to (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo