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Customs and cuisines of New Year across India


From Gudi Pawda to Poila Baisakh, New Year is celebrated differently across various states in India. Here’s a look at some of the traditional food items prepared for the day.

The concept of the ancient Hindu Lunisolar calendar is still actively followed in India. This calendar is based on the orbital position of the Sun and Moon as observed from Earth, which means they do not fall on a fixed day or date. This day generally marks the onset of spring every year in mid-April, and is usually called Baisakhi in North and Central India, though each state has their own version of festivities and names for the day.

Here’s a glimpse at how some states mark their New Year along with their traditional rituals and delicacies:

  • Gudi Padwa – Maharashtra

Gudi Padwa is celebrated on first day of the month of Chaitra, during March-April, and marks the start of a new year in Maharashtra. ‘Gudi’, a beautiful arrangement of a silk saree or clothing, is tied to a stick with a ‘Lota’ (earth or brass pot) on the top and then decorated with sweets and garlands made out of neem leaves and mango. The region’s most celebrated warrior, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, is said to have started these celebrations after a victory.

Traditional cuisine – Puran poli; Shrikhand; Coconut ladoo; Kothimbir vadi; vegetable sabudana vada.

  • Baisakhi – Punjab

Baisakhi is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm in Punjab. The Sikhs celebrate this day by visiting the Gurdwara, participating in the prayers held during the day, followed by having langar (meals cooked in the community kitchen of a Gurdwara). Gidda & Bhangra are performed to the beats of the drum during the evening. Small fairs are also organized where people perform acrobatics and take part in other fun games.

Traditional cuisine – Dry fruit kheer; Flavoured lassi; Paneer jalebi; Makki ki roti with saag etc.

  • Rongali Bihu – Assam

The beginning of the harvest season is celebrated as Bihu in Assam. It is also known as Bohag Bihu and highlights the cultural diversity of the region. In certain places, cattle are washed and smeared with turmeric paste, and adorned with twigs of Dighalati and Makhiyal (two special trees found in Assam). Young boys and girls wear their traditional attire and sing Bali Husori songs and hold dance performances.

Traditional cuisine – Chira and pitha; Masor Tenga; Omita Khar

  • Poila Baishakh – Bengal

Poila Baishakh marks the first day of the Bengali calendar and the Baishakh month. People usually make elaborate alpanas or rangolis in front of their houses. It is also the start of the new financial year for businessmen, and is marked by opening new accounting books known as Haalkhata. The day is celebrated by holding various cultural programs, where people sing and dance to the tunes of traditional Bengali songs.

Traditional cuisine – Sweet dishes such as channar payesh, rosogolla, sandesh are the mainstay of this day, along with savory items such as Daab Chingri (made with prawns) served with a combination of rice and other fish preparations.

Each of these 8 fruits has specific health benefits. Choose the ones that are best for you, or try them all.

Along with the temperature, our craving for ice-cream also soars high with the arrival of summer. Though an ice cream cone seems like just what the doctor ordered to beat the heat, let’s look at eight summer fruits that are healthier alternatives.

Fruits provide hydration during the sunny season, they keep the body healthy and do not add to the guilt of eating junk food or consuming excess sugar. Each fruit contains certain vitamins and minerals which can help you improve certain aspects of your health. To help you choose, here’s a list of easily available summer fruits and their specific benefits.


  • Watermelon

They are the brand ambassadors of summer. Almost 92 per cent of a watermelon is water, which makes them extremely hydrating. What’s more, they are full of potassium, antioxidants, carotenoids, carbohydrates, Vitamin A, B6, and C, calcium, thiamin, sodium, healthy protein, and fiber. A couple of slices a day can help prevent heart attacks and various diseases, different types of cancer, digestive problems, poor eyesight and hair loss.

  • Mango

This fruit is an absolute delight during summer. Apart from their distinctive flavour and smell, mangoes contain vitamins A, C, D, iron, potassium and calcium in abundance. Their high levels of pectin and fibre reduce cholestorel levels and the other nutrients control blood pressure and heart rate, and help strengthen your immunity. But remember not to overeat mangoes to avoid stomach problems.

  • Muskmelon

Considered to be the most nutrient-dense melon, a single serving of watermelon takes care of half our daily vitamin C and A needs. Muskmelons are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which boost eyesight. The pulpy fruit also hydrates your body, replenishing the moisture lost due to the heat.


  • Plums

These soft, rounded fruits might be small, but they are a powerhouse of nutrients and dietary fibres, sorbitol and statins, which are great relievers of constipation and all sort of digestive problemsThey also protect your heart from high blood pressure and the chances of a stroke, while anthocyanins help reduce the probability of type-2 diabetes and breast cancer.

  • Peaches

Everyone’s favorite juicy fruit is pumped up with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is good for your eyesight and your skin, and you can even apply it directly on dark circles and wrinkles. Peaches also fight against toxins and extra pounds.

  • Litchi

The litchi is a glorious fruit and comes to us just in time for summer. Apart from the second highest concentration of polyphenols found in any fruit, litchis contain potassium that maintains sodium levels and helps maintain blood pressure levels, and vitamins C and B that have antioxidant properties and enhance immunity as well as help in producing red blood cells.

  • Cherries

Who doesn’t enjoy a bowl of cherries? This super fruit is great for enhancing sleep due to the presence of melatonin, it also reduces pain and joint soreness for those with arthritis or osteoporosis, and prevents diabetes. Cherries also aid your memory, and make for a great snack or dessert if you are watching your weight. Have a handful of cherries every day to get the best of what they offer.

  • Strawberries

This small red bulb is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, fibre and antioxidants. A cup of strawberries a day will aid your immune system, lower your cholesterol and regulate your blood pressure. If you are pregnant, strawberries contain folate, a B-vitamin that will enhance your baby’s development in the early stages of pregnancy.

So the next time you crave for some ice cream, look for these fruits instead.

Berries deliver a bevy of benefits including better cognitive health, preventing cancer and lowering blood pressure.

Along with being small delicious bursts of sweetness, berries are also considered as one of the richest source of antioxidant which is required by your body. It can be added to any meal of the day as a dessert, in a certain quantity which is required individually. According to the researches on these pops of nutrition, berries deliver a bevy of benefits, including bettering cognitive health, helping prevent cancer, and lowering blood pressure.

These vibrant, brightly colored berries provide some of the highest levels of nutrients, as antioxidants. These antioxidants hold good anti-inflammatory properties, which helps protect your body from disease as you age specially to maintaining your bone health. Thus it is considered a healthy part of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle for both prevention and treatment of chronic diseases like, arthritis, osteoporosis, neurological or central nervous system disease etc.

Each berry has its own nutritional benefits and values besides being a source of anti-oxidant, these are briefed below-

  • Goji berries- This contains high levels of vitamin A and zeaxanthin, both of which are important for eye health.
  • Raspberries– Contains antioxidant polyphenols called ellagitannins, which can help reduce oxidative stress, it is also a very good source of fiber.
  • Blueberries– These berries serve as a great source of vitamin K. Anthocyanins from blueberries may reduce oxidative stress, thus lowering the risk of heart diseases.
  • Strawberries –It is one of the most commonly consumed berries in the world and also one of the best sources of vitamin C.
  • Cranberries– Best-known for their ability to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs), cranberries content a high amount of polyphenols in its skin, thus is recommended to consume the fruit as a whole instead of extracting its juice.
  • Grapes – The skin and seeds are an excellent source of antioxidant polyphenols. A number of studies have shown that grape seed polyphenol extracts can lower both blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Blackberries – Contains a high level of vitamin C for better immune system.
  • Overall benefits of berries
  • For better mental health– These compounds, found almost exclusively in berries, are known to cross the blood-brain barrier and locate themselves in learning and memory centers in the brain, thus maintaining the mental health.
  • Diabetes management– They come with a fibrous property, so people with diabetes can include that in their diet as a serving of fruit. But one need to keep the check on quantity being consumed.
  • Reducing inflammation and heart disease -The antioxidants in berries “promote healthy cell function and protect against inflammation. Consuming berries helped decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and reduced systolic blood pressure
  • Helps in losing weight – Because of their fiber and liquid content, berries give us a sense of fullness. Berries in nutrition-rich recipes such as fresh fruit sauces and salad dressings can be paired with almonds for a quick snack or even be eaten as they are. Also you can curb your sweet craving without any guilt of gaining extra calories, as they belong to the low calorie group.
  • Lowering blood pressure – Anthocyanin in blueberries helps to improve blood circulation which in turn aids in better functioning of the blood vessels. The chemical compounds fight the systemic inflammation that accompany high blood pressure, helping to make your body healthier overall
  • Fighting cancer– Flavonoid-packed berries, such as blueberries and raspberries, are an important part of a cancer-prevention diet. Berries have been shown to help protect the body against gastrointestinalbreast, and possibly even liver, prostatepancreatic, and lung cancers
  • Great source of prebiotic – Berries are not probiotics, but they are prebiotic-rich foods. These are fiber-rich foods that provide fuel to the probiotics in the stomach.

Kidneys, the active filters of the human body, need special attention to maintain optimal functionality. Here’s how to keep them healthy and active.

March 11 is celebrated as World Kidney Day. A pair of kidneys, the bean- shaped bilateral organs on the posterior side of the abdomen is an indispensable component of human anatomy. Kidney performs the function of filtration and excretion of waste materials to keep the alimentary and digestive system clear of all the impurities. It also plays a key role in regulation of blood pH and maintenance of electrolytes such sodium, potassium and phosphorus. Kidneys are actively responsible for maintenance of blood pressure and adrenal hormones secreted by the cap-like adrenal/suprarenal gland placed right on top of both the kidneys. Moreover, conversion of Vitamin D to its activated form takes place in the kidneys that facilitates calcium absorption. Kidney diseases are silent killers with massive effects on the overall quality of life. It is well known that people with kidney disease are more susceptible to heart and neurological diseases than the others. People with diabetes, hypertension, obesity or overweight or any other comorbidities are always at increased risk of contracting kidney disease.

Here are a few mantras to keep your kidneys happy and healthy

  • Physical activity is must

Staying active and fit is the basic requirement to achieve or sustain good health. Keeping the body weight within ideal limits always helps in controlling blood pressure and further prevalence of CKD

  • Cutting down intake of processed food

Intake of processed foods poses a very serious challenge on the overall functional abilities of kidney. Packaged biscuits, pickles, pasta, pizza- all these are considered as the most harmful sources with the potential to cause kidney damage and also they trigger diabetes which in turn exacerbates kidney conditions.

  • Regular monitoring of blood sugar

Diabetes is a very common yet idiopathic health condition characterized by increased level of blood sugar. Thus, having an eye on the blood sugar level and making it a part of regular health checkup is very crucial, particularly for those who are inching towards the middle age or further.About half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage; but this can be prevented/ limited if the diabetes is well controlled. Check your kidney function regularly with blood and urine tests.

  • Regular monitoring of blood pressure

Just like blood sugar, monitoring the blood pressure level also holds equal importance. Lowering daily salt intake is extremely critical to keep blood pressure levels in check. The recommended sodium intake is 3-5 grams of salt per day. High blood pressure level is also very closely associated with high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases. In case of a persistently elevated blood pressure level, an immediate consultation of a physician is always recommended.

  • Adequate fluid intake

The ideal amount of fluid intake varies from person to person. A lot of external determinants come into play in order to decide the right amount for of fluid required for an individual. The determinants include exercise, climate, health conditions, pregnancy and breastfeeding. Normally 8 cups (or approximately 2 litres) per day is the prescribed amount of fluid for a healthy person in a comfortable climate condition which might vary commensurately with changing climate conditions. An individual with an already prevailing kidney condition needs to be extra cautious about fluid intake. Clinical consultation is highly recommended.

  • Smoking kills

Smoking hinders the flow of blood to the kidneys. Reduced inflow of blood often leads to failed kidney functionality. Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50 per cent.

  • Avoid frequent intake of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs/painkillers

Common drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS)/ pain-killer (e.g. drugs like ibuprofen) can harm the kidneys if taken regularly. Medicines, with prevalent kidney conditions, should always be taken with doctors’ approval.

  • Checking kidney function particularly in presence of one or more of the ‘high risk’ factors

Here the risk factors include

  1. Diabetes
  2. Hypertension
  3. Obesity
  4. Family history of kidney disease

Tired of regular tea and coffee? A cup of fruit tea may be just what the doctor ordered.

The immediate word that comes to our mind when we hear ‘tea’ is relaxation. It is indeed the staple beverage of the nation – a drink brewed in times of trouble or stress, a cup of which can set us up for the day with great energy. Tea can be caffeinated and non- caffeinated. The caffeinated beverage can be further classified, depending on the climate and its level of processing of leaves based on the season that the leaves are harvested.

But today, herbal teas, which many or may not actually have real tea in it, have become very popular. Those who have been consuming coffee or tea on a regular basis find the shift from the regular tea leaves to a concoction of flowers and herbs help them cut their tea-addiction. Herbal teas are typically brewed with myriad spices, herbs or other parts of the plant, like flowers, fruit, with water.

Fruit tea is slightly different from other types of tea because –again– there is no real tea involved. It is simply made from dried or fresh fruits, sometimes with spices or flowers and herbs are added, giving them a new nomenclature- tisane. They have now gained prominence among tea-lovers. Fruit-infused teas may contain some essential water-soluble vitamins and nutrients that are seeped into the water that the fruits are being boiled in. They are delicious as they contain the delicate flavours of the fruits and can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

Fruit tea is packed with vitamins and antioxidants and is amazing for cleansing the body of toxins and keeping the immune system boosted. In that aspect, it is very similar to tea leaves, with high levels of health benefits.

  • Major health benefits
  • Fight insomnia
  • Improve the quality of sleep.
  • Balancing digestive issues
  • For better heart health – antioxidant properties
  • Stress buster
  • Strawberry + brown Sugar + Basil
  • Lemon + Honey + Ginger
  • Watermelon + Mint
  • Raspberry + brown Sugar + Peach
  • Orange + ginger + Honey
  • Blueberries + Mint
  • Some great combination of tea

Adding any source of vitamin C to the tea gives the calming and soothing earthy flavor for example with lemon or orange. You can also combine it with chamomile tea, jasmine tea, mint leaves and ginger. It is very easy to make the tea and all you have to do is wash all your ingredients thoroughly and then boil them in water and then pour the filtered water out into cups. You may add honey/ brown sugar as per your taste and requirements.

our diet plays a major role in determining your sleep patterns. Try these tips to ensure peaceful sleep.


You might have noticed your normal sleep pattern has been revised ever since lockdown and the outbreak of Covid pandemic. For some, the sleeping hours may have increased 2x or 3x, but on the other side, some people have cut off their sleeping hours. Life has changed dramatically for many of us, from our usual daily routine – including commuting, meal times, and the amount of time we spend outside – has been modified because of the home isolation.

All of these changes have affected our natural circadian rhythm, which is our biological clock of the body that plays a key role in regulating our sleep pattern and metabolism. It controls body temperature and hormones in order to make us feel alert during the day and tired at night based on our melatonin hormone.

Exposure to light (natural/ screen light etc.) and regular meal times are two of the most powerful forces in aligning our circadian rhythms. However, for many of us, quarantine/work from home has changed the amount of time we spend on physical activity. It has adversely affected the eating cycle, like eating at irregular intervals.

No doubt, the lockdown period made a positive impact On our lives. Apart from keeping us away from the Covid-19) infections, we developed healthy eating habits. We relied more on home cooked meals rather than stepping out and eat. On the contrary, we snacked more on the oily stuff. The exercise scheduled turned hayware. Sleeping cycle became toxicated because of the late night work, binge-watching favorite web series. The quality of sleep also reduced. Overall, people specifically with obesity improved their diets the most. However, they also experienced the sharpest declines in mental health and the highest incidence of weight gain.

Healthy tips for a sound sleep

· Develop your bedtime routine at least an hour before bed. Try to stop work before preparing to go to bed, reduce screen time, meditate well, or go for good breathing practice. These techniques allow us to relax and help our circadian rhythm take control by releasing hormones that will promote sleep and reduce alertness.

· Proper exercise: Both aerobic and resistance exercises have been shown to have positive effects on the sleeping pattern. It is best to avoid vigorous exercise at night or one hour before bedtime as this may reduce our sleep duration, quality and make it more difficult to fall asleep in the first place.

· Avoid caffeinated beverage post 7 pm. However, we all respond differently to caffeine consumption because caffeine is a known stimulant to make us active and keep awake. So when trying to fix your sleep pattern, it may be best to limit caffeine intake after 7 pm.

· Practice Pranayama: It stimulates your melatonin hormone and relaxes your muscles from stress.

· Good choice on carbs type: Eat complex, low-GI carbohydrates only around dinner time, not afterwards, to boost serotonin levels needed for sound sleep. These include quinoa, oatmeal, millets, buckwheat, sweet potato or legumes. Avoid processed carbs, such as breads, biscuits, muffins and cookies, which prompt a short-term spike in blood sugar.

· Chocolates/ pumpkin seeds with milk / berries: Pumpkin seed powder with warm glass of milk, gives a potent punch of the amino acid tryptophan that is good for a sound sleep. Sour berries are supplied with natural melatonin, the hormone produced in the brain that helps fight insomnia and promote sleep. Even chocolate contains tryptophan and is one of the richest dietary sources of magnesium, which can help improve sleep.

· To avoid waking up in the middle of the night, limit your liquid intake two or three hours before bedtime. So that you can avoid multiple trips to the washroom and by empty full bladder, which hampers sleep.

Here are some tips to control unhealthy eating habits developed during the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns.


Covid-19 stirred the usual lifestyle and resulted in various changes. From normalizing work-from-home culture to increasing screen time, the pandemic forced us to prioritise our health.
With less chances to step out, and more ideal time – Many people complained about degrading mental health conditions. The lockdown and isolation is still impacting mental health, giving rise to anxiety and depression. Even the post recovery stress is adverse.
Many people are jobless or some are running their own business with less physical exposure and working from from home with longer screen timing.

In a troubled situation like this, keeping your nutrition in check can be tough Moreover, moving back to the normal life need a proper and good monitoring on your lifestyle Working from home gets , you comfortable, as there is plenty of food available. In addition, unlike in the office, you are free to graze all day along with the work. Moreover, longer screen exposure and continous sitting job add onto the ill effects on your health. This habit can wreak havoc on your waistline, weight loss regime and halt your productivity or growth towards a healthy living.

It is found that increased boredom is linked to emotional overeating. In the crucial time, people are struggling with developing strategies to cope up with various losses, such as losing a job; metabolic health issues; business losses etc.

A detailed study suggests that eating behavior is highly affected when people are either in crisis or stress. The Covid-19 pandemic added to the physiological reasons for turning towards consuming more food.

The body tends to crave high-calorie and high-sugar foods during stressful times, as these foods provide short-term bursts of energy. Stress leads to elevated cortisol levels, which can increase appetite. Moreover, sugary foods generate dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with motivation and reward. Therefore, there is a great need to consider some healthy tips to control side effects of the cause.

Major challenges and remedies to control unhealthy eating habit developed during Covid-19

• Mindful eating –Avoid working and eating all together. It is always advised to avoid using laptop, television or mobile and concentrate on having a good family time on dining table.

• Avoid adding junk food to your pantry- While buying grocery, try not to pick junk food. During this pandemic situation munching over potato chips, namkeen and cookies etc. became a common practice One can munch on home – made snacks, roasted chana/ foxnuts – makhana / puffed barley / dry fruits / fresh fruits and many more.

• Limit your caffeine intake– while increasing your concentration during work and to stay attentive, we tend to have more of caffeine intake. Too much of caffeine is known to cause headaches, anxiety, digestive issues and even fatigue – none of which is good, but particularly not good when you are trying to work. Instead one can go for herbal tea/ lemon water/ kadha/ buttermilk/ lassi with jaggery/ coconut water/ vegetable juice. This will add good amount of fibre and essential vitamin and minerals.

• Focus on super foods – increase the intake of food that helps to improve your immunity. Superfoods like fresh or dried berries/ golden milk with ginger and garlic/ seasoning with black pepper-ginger-garlic/ vitamin C through guava; amla; oranges; sweet lime or kiwi and many more.

• Do not skip essential meals while working- try to maintain time table keeping the gaps in meals intact of just 2-3 hrs. While working, we tend to forget our meal and in replacement go for munching on junk food, which is not at all advisable. Be particular about breakfast, lunch and dinner with 2 intermitent meals.

• Have proper working area at home-do not work near your kitchen/ on bed as it distracts you and and results into lazy working regime.

• Reminder for water- Ensure to take about 8-10 glasses of water in a whole day. You can also add reminders for that.

• Be wise on snacking – make sure to add good healthy and nutritious snacks on intermittent basis. Along with that, keep the portion size in consideration. Good snacking options include – no oil dhokla/ saute vegetable idli/ humus – palak corn sandwiches/ sprout salad/ dry fruits and seed mixes/ fruit platter etc.

Green Diet

When it comes to chilly winters, we always look for foods that are comforting and can protect us from the cold waves. Moreover, there are several chances of indigestion due to high intake of fat, slower metabolism, inadequate physical activity etc. Hence, it is better to keep your kitchen occupied with the winter vegetables that are beneficial for the health of your family and loved ones as they contain high fibre, protein and essential vitamin and minerals. Winter brings a variety of green vegetables along with their amazing nutritional value. There are surplus produce of certain vegetables rich in nutrients and flavor during this time of the year. These are known as winter vegetables. Consuming seasonal vegetables help us bear the cold weather and manage digestion problems. These green vegetables include spinach, mustard leaves, chenopodium, lettuce, celery, chard and kale, which grow and flourish in the icy temperatures or even outdoors.

Here are nutritious recipes to increase metabolism with seasonal green veggies:

Green raita


• 1 cup boiled bhathu (chenopodium)
• 300 gm curd
• 1 cucumber grated
• 1 tsp Crushed dried mint powder
• Chopped coriander leaves
• 1/4 tsp Red chili powder
• 1 tsp Cumin seeds
• Salt to taste


– Boil 1 cup of bathu in water. Strain the bathu and squeeze it properly.
– Beat the curd properly with all spices. Add boiled bathu and grind it with hand blender.
-Add grated cucumber in the prepared mixture and garnish with coriander and mint powder.

Healthy tip- You can boil all the bathu together and use it whenever required. Squeeze excess water from the boiled bathu and store it in refrigerator in airtight container

Green quinoa tabbouleh


• 2 bunch of parsley
• 1 bunch of beet green/ spinach
• 2 cups of quinoa
• 1 tbsp. Ginger – Garlic paste
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 1 cup chopped carrot and capsicum
• Salt for taste
• Green chili
• Olive oil for cooking


– Cook quinoa well for about 15 minutes. Go ahead with blanching of chopped green separately.
– In a separate pan, pour oil; add garlic paste and sauté chopped vegetables well. Sauté the green properly and add seasoning on the top.
– Add partial cooked quinoa to the pan and add some water. Close the lid and let it cook for another 10 minutes.

Beetroot Palak- wheat cutlets


• 1 cup chopped spinach
• ½ cup grated beetroot
• ½ cup chopped capsicum
• ½ cup grated carrot
• Ginger and chili paste
• 1 cup of curd
• 2 cup of whole wheat flour
• ½ cup of gram flour
• ½ tsp of turmeric
• Salt for taste
• 1 tbsp.Chili flakes
• 2 tbsp. of oregano
• 2 cup of grated cheese
• ½ tsp Cumin (jeera) powder
• Fresh coriander leaves
• Mint leaves
• Oil for cooking


– Roast whole wheat Atta and gram flour in a pan until the colour changes to light brown.
– Add all vegetables in the roasted flour mix. Then add all the seasoning and spices.
– Knead the dough well with curd and luke warm water. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
– Roll down to small round cutlets and shallow fry it in pan.
-Serve hot and Enjoy with coriander dip.

We all know that fibre eliminates body toxins and is important for digestive health. But, do you know how to balance the fibre intake?

Almost each and every health expert mentions adding whole foods to your diet to maintain health. These whole foods are basically rich in fibre content, and majorly are acquired from plant sources. What does fibre do to your body once added in our diet? Dietary fibre, which is also referred to as roughage, is the part of plant foods, that is not digested/ absorbed by our body, unlike fats, proteins or carbohydrates. Instead, it passes relatively intact with our food through the stomach, small intestine and colon and out of our body. Many studies claim that adequate fibre intake may benefit our digestion, and also reduce the risk of chronic disease. Moreover, some part of it stimulates the growth of good bacteria which further improves the metabolism rate.

During the pandemic and post lockdown period, several issues related to constipation, obesity/overweight etc. have increased tremendously. Physical activity has declined to many folds due to the work-from-home situation. The continuous online work further increases our sitting duration. Besides, the eating pattern has also changed as people are going for home cooked fried and processed food that adds on to further health issues.

There is no harm in adding taste to your food, unless and until you track the health part too. As per RDA guidelines, fibre requirement for adults varies from 25-30 gm of fat. Whereas, for children it is calculated as per their age + 5 gm. There are 2 types of fibres – soluble, which dissolves in water and helps in controlling your cholesterol and sugar levels, and insoluble, which is not dissolved in water and helps in regulation of stool for curbing constipation. Soluble fibre is found in rolled oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium. It even aids in growth of good bacteria for gut microbiota. While whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans are good sources of insoluble fibre.

As much as fibre consumption is essential for us, taking it in excess can lead several health problems, such as, bloating, abdominal pain, flatulence, loose stools or diarrhoea, reduced blood sugar, and temporary weight gain. This can solved by taking plenty of fluids and regular workouts.

In order to achieve optimal intake of fibre, try to incorporate salad and fruits in a healthy amount in your diet. Take around 150-200 gm of fruits and vegetables each as salad at least twice a day. Also, while kneading, you can mix regular flour with any other flour for a nutritious combo. For instance, taking wheat and oats in equal ratios, or mixing barley flour with wheat flour.

As per the Indian tradition, people really enjoy sattu stuffed chapatti with curd. Sattu is the powder obtained from roasted barley or chana mixed with onion, garlic, ginger and other seasoning for taste. This accentuates the nutritional value of sattu powder, plus it gives early satiety also.

Moreover, we can go for some quick and easy mixes or recipes to complete your daily requirements for dietary fibre in your diet. Try this instant oats smoothie recipe with nuts in the curd base. Moreover, we can go for some quick and
easy mixes or recipes to complete your daily requirements for dietary fibre in your diet.

Healthy Fibrous Recipe

To perk yourself up, try this instant oats smoothie recipe with nuts in curd base.

Preparation: Mix 3 tbsp of roasted oats with 1 apple + 10-12 almonds and walnuts + 1 tsp of chia seed in 1 cup of curd – blend it well and make a smoothie. Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon on top for enhancing taste.

Apart from a wholesome diet, it is mandatory to follow a regular and intense workout routine for staying fit and healthy tomorrow.

Increasing your consumption of milk does not help in production of breast milk. Instead, try some of these superfoods.

Breastfeeding an infant post-delivery is the most challenging period in every woman’s life. It is essential for every mother to breastfeed her child for proper growth and nourishment. But what if the mother is facing problems in milk production?

Let’s discuss a few essential facts that need to be kept in mind while breastfeeding an infant, in order to provide him/her with the right amount of nutrition required. We must remember that breast milk production is foremost based on demand and milk supply, so we need to make sure that we need to have frequent feeding action in the beginning.

First, the common myth that consuming a lot of milk helps in production of breast milk needs to be busted. There are some superfoods that help in increasing the production of milk, as most of them are basically high in beta-glucan, which helps in releasing prolactin hormones. But this will not reflect immediately. Having a proper balanced diet comprising some superfood is the best way for improving the quality and quantity of breast milk. Here’s a the list of some such superfoods:

1. Barley

Barley is the richest dietary source of beta-glucan, a polysaccharide that has been shown to increase prolactin, known as the breastfeeding hormone, in humans. This can be easily used as barley atta/ barley daliya khichdi or we can also go for malted barley juice and salad.

2. Fennel + fenugreek seeds

These herbs are widely used in Indian households, as well as in other countries. Fenugreek seeds are rich in phytoestrogen, which helps in increasing breast milk production. A combination of these two helps in digestion issues, and also and brings a sweet and liquorice kind of flavour to the milk, which the baby finds more appealing.

But while consuming them together, we need to take care of the dosage as there are some side effects connected with it if consumed in large amounts. It is advisable to consult with qualified people before consumption. Mothers can safely consume fennel and fenugreek water with 1 tbsp of seeds (1:1) in 1 litre of water.

3. Oats

After barley, oats are considered to have higher concentration of beta-glucan. This is better consumed as oats chaptatti, oats upma/porridge, also can be taken as oats idli or pancakes, or the simple way by making granola bars of oats with unprocessed sugar.

4. Papaya

Papaya in both the green and orange aids in increasing the quality and quantity of the breast milk. This can be better consumed as soup/ raw fruit/ in the form of vegetables or chutney.

There are many other such foods that help increase breast milk production, such as Dill leaves, apricots, garlic, beet root, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, anise seeds, coriander seeds. Moreover, a concoction of these is also beneficial.

Tips To Remember

-While breastfeeding, keep a check on your medicines. Some drugs can affect breastfeed milk quality and quantity. Commonly used medicines like antihistamines and decongestants, diuretics, hormonal contraceptives containing estrogen,
and some weight loss medications may cut your milk supply include. Check with your doctor about alternatives.

-Avoid consuming an excess amount of tea, as this can affect your sleep, including the baby’s. It also disturbs your iron absorption process. Make sure at least you have a gap of 1 hour before and after consumption of tea before breastfeeding.

As protein week ends, here’s some vegetarian combinations for a high protein diet, and a smoothie recipe as a bonus.

A lack of protein, combined with an erratic lifestyle, are the key causes of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. A hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age, it causes infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels, which in turn leads to excess hair growth.

Hormonal birth control is one of the most common treatment options, aiming to regulate the hormonal imbalance at the root of PCOS. Other prescription drugs used include Metformin, which may help the body process insulin and lose weight, since 80% of PCOS patients are obese. There are lots of clinical trials on PCOS in relation with low carbohydrate and high protein diet. Some evidence has suggested that this type of diet has certain metabolic advantages to treat PCOS.

Replacement of carbohydrates with protein improves weight loss and improves glucose metabolism. These results show that not only is a low-fat, high-casein or whey protein weight maintenance diet more effective for weight control than low-fat, high carbohydrate diets, they do not adversely affect metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors in weight-reduced moderately obese people.

Increasing dietary protein may be a helpful strategy for preventing weight gain, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes— all common complications of the condition. This is because in addition to fueling the body with calories (along with carbohydrates and fats) and providing the so-called building blocks for bones, muscles, skin, and blood, protein helps facilitate digestion and metabolism and plays an integral role in the synthesis of hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and insulin levels, functions that are often impaired in women with PCOS. Protein has greater thermogenic effects on food, which means it triggers the metabolism and helps secrete cholecytokines, hormones which control appetite. Protein also stimulates the release of glucagon, a hormone that raises blood glucose levels and counteracts the action of insulin.

Yet some commons about myths about proteins persist. These include
High protein diet leads to weight gain
High Protein diet is only needed for athletes those who lead extremely active lives
Protein is very complex to digest.

As per Recommended Dietary Allowance or RDA approved by by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for Indians, the average Indian adult needs 0.8g-1gm of protein per kg of ideal body weight.

The right amount of protein can help balance the levels of glucagon and insulin in the blood. Proteins low in saturated fat are like skinless chicken, eggs, salt water fish, and low fat dairy products are ideal. Animal proteins are complete because all essential amino acids are well maintained. Plant sources like legumes, soy, quinoa, millets, almonds, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds are also high in protein but sometimes deficient in all essential amino acids. So a combination of meals (like rice+lentil) is nutritious.

Many PCOS patients are told that instead of milk, curd is a better option. Over processed milk products are not healthy.

High fiber diet with good protein lowers insulin levels, so seeds (chia, flax, sunflower seeds), legumes (black beans, lentils, chickpeas), Berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries), whole grains (bulgur, quinoa, brown rice, whole oats) are ideal.

If you are a vegetarian, then a combination diet is recommended. For instance, you can combine:
• Grains and Legumes
• Peanut butter on whole- wheat bread
• Rice and black beans/rajma/lobia/ any lentils
• Grains and Nuts/Seeds
• Whole-wheat bun with sesame seeds / pumpkin seeds
• Oatmeal with flaxseeds
• Combine Legumes and Nuts/Seeds
• Hummus (chickpeas and sesame tahini)
• Trail mix (peanuts / sunflower seeds)
• Bean soup/ dals with Rice / roti
• Chopped nut/tofu veggie burgers

Here’s a high protein cooling recipe for a quick snack in this humid monsoon season :
Mixed Berry Smoothie

for 1 serving
2 tablespoons milk, of choice or water
½ cup greek yogurt(140 g)
½ cup mixed organic dry berries(60 g) or it can be replaced with banana/ cherry / apple – 60 gm

Combine all ingredients into a blender.
Mix until consistency is smooth. Serve.


No matter what we do, stress seems to be our constant companion. Here are some simple foods to keep it at bay

Have you ever felt stressed? If your answer is no, you are either a liar or a saint who has achieved nirvana.

For everybody else, stress is a fact of life, a constant companion that erodes our physical and mental health, and shortens our lifespans. Each and every one of us undergoes stress in our daily lives. Whether it’s our work or our personal lives, whether you are rich or poor, you just can’t seem to escape it.

But not all stress is bad for you. Good stress, for instance is when we feel excited about something, when our hormones surge and our pulse speeds up, but it’s not due to a threat or fear. Do you remember falling in love? That promotion, that first date, that euphoric feeling when you achieved something which you never thought you could? That feeling of being alive and excited about life?

Bad stress, on the other hand, is when we worry and fret over our lives. It increases our heart beat, wearing it out before its time. It raises our blood pressure and cholesterol. It increases
cortisol, a type of hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar, and raises the sugar level in our body, which can lead to insulin resistance and high blood sugar. It weakens our bones,
makes us prone to obesity, gives us restless sleep, and aggravates conditions like heartburn and inflammatory bowel problems. In fact, it’s one of the leading causes of premature death across the world.

Yet it’s not all that difficult to beat. You don’t really have to lie or achieve nirvana to remove bad stress from your life. All that you need is proper nutrition, good sleep and a positive

Food for thought

Do you remember how happy and contented you felt after a good, wholesome meal?

Nutritional psychiatry, which some refer to as psycho-nutrition, explains how a good diet and mental health go hand-in-hand. Our body depends on Tryptophan, an amino acid to produce serotonin. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that takes care of our overall wellbeing. Tryptophan is also used by the body to make melatonin, which helps us with a good sleep.

So foods that possess high levels of tryptophan and healthy carbs can have a calming effect on our brain. These foods are also referred to as “snooze foods”. These include beans, hummus, lentils, whole grains, almonds, peanuts and other nuts, eggs or milk, and pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Easy does it

Eat light at night, at least a few hours before you hit the sack, because heavy meals tend to disturb your sleep.

Eat Regularly: Irregular eating habits are the bane of modern life. They cause a sharp drop in our blood sugar level, inducing lethargy and ennui. We tend to feel tired, irritated and depressed the entire day.

Ensure Proper Hydration: Our body is dependent on water. It not only helps flush out toxins, it also lubricates our joints, regulates body temperature, and keeps our complexion glowing.
Insufficient water can not only cause several ailments, it also hampers our focus and hinders our daily routine.

Have veggies and fruits: Just five serving fruits and vegetables a day can work wonders on our stress levels. Loaded with many nutrients, vitamins and fiber, they protect us from falling ill frequently, and also perk up our mood.

Trust your gut: Sometimes, our gut determines whether we feel, happy, sad or depressed. If we get stressed or anxious, our gut functioning might become slow or speed up. For a healthy gut, we need to consume plenty of fibre, drink ample fluid and last but not the least, exercise regularly.

Protein pays: Protein contains amino acids, which produce chemicals required by the brain to regulate our thoughts and feelings. It also helps us feel full for a long period of time. Lean meat, fish, eggs, cheese, legumes (peas, beans and lentils), soya products, nuts and seeds, etc are rich sources of protein.

Cut caffeine: Caffeine is a major stimulant which boosts our mood instantly and provides us with a surge of energy. But at the same time, it can trigger anxiety and depression, and lead to
disturbed sleep, particularly if you have it before bedtime. But remember that quitting caffeine completely could result in withdrawal symptoms making matters worse. Moderation is the key here.

Fat fact: Our brain requires fatty acids, such as Omega-3 and -6 to keep it working well. Therefore instead of giving up on fats completely, we must pick and choose foods that provide healthy fats. Oily fish, poultry, nuts (especially walnuts and almonds), olive and sunflower oils, seeds (such as sunflower and pumpkin), avocados, milk, yoghurt, cheese and eggs provide healthy fats to our body.

Try out these simple tips, and watch your bad stress fade away.

June 5, 2020
World Environment Day


“A lone owl sitting by a pond watching the night sky”

This thought is shared in a painting by my 4 year old son Viyaan. Like the night owl, dreaming of getting back to a world with pollution free sky and water and humans and other earthlings co-existing with love and compassion. On this thought, Sugati, Viyaan and myself wishing a peaceful and better world on this World Environment Day 2020.

Stay safe, stay happy and keep smiling.

With love
Bipasha Das
Health coach and Nutritionist

Make a note of these diet myths and facts to make the most of your pre-wedding weight loss without impacting your health!

Myth : Say “No” To Dairy Products:


Fact: Not adding dairy products in your meals might end up with many nutritional deficiencies for the long run as they are a primary source of calcium and protein in the body. Adhere by these diet myths and facts as you might be eating all wrong and depriving yourself of many important nutrients.

Myth : No Snacking


Fact: Eating healthy snacks between meals can actually help you to control your appetite. Fruit, vegetables, crudités and low fat yoghurt are great choices.

Myth : Eating Chocolate Will Invite Blemishes and Breakouts


Fact: Chocolates have such a bad reputation. Diet that is high in sugar and fat can lead to sebum production and acne. The truth of the matter is, chocolate is actually good for both the heart and the skin, particularly dark chocolate, as it contains antioxidants.

Myth : Certain Foods Help You Burn Fat


Fact: No food can actually help you to burn fat. Leave behind such diet myths and facts since it’s important to eat fewer calories (energy), rather than eating specific foods that are thought to have special properties.

Myth : Low Fat Only


Fact: Replacing fat with other ingredients can still result in a product with high calorie content. Don’t be fooled – check the label. Quantity is also important – you won’t cut back on calories if you eat twice as much of a low fat product as a full fat one.


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“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food. ”

That quote by ancient Greek physician Hippocrates stands true even today, as we grapple with a pandemic which knows no borders.

Without question, fruits and vegetables are critical components of a healthy diet. They can help you ward off heart disease, avoid gut issues, control blood pressure, prevent some types of cancer, and strengthen your immunity against both infectious and noncommunicable diseases like diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular problems.

Fruits and vegetables also contribute a number of nutrients that are generally under consumed, including vitamins A, C and K, potassium, fiber and magnesium. And since they are relatively low in calories, they can can replace high calorie foods and thus help in weight loss.

While this information is easy to understand, it may not be as easy to practice. Getting kids (and even adults!) to eat vegetables may require some creative strategy. Below are four strategies you can use as you start incorporating new fruits and vegetables into your diet:

The Bite Rule: If you’re reluctant to try a new fruit or veggie, commit to taking at least three bites. One bite just isn’t enough to really tell if you like it or not!

Dip It: Think hummus, salsa, guacamole, peanut butter or even yogurt. Many time fruits and veggies dipped in something is not only fun, but tastier as well.

Steam the Greens: They’re much more flavorful and usually sweeter than when eaten raw.

Be Persistent: Your taste buds need time to change. Give a new fruit or veggie at least three tries or more before you cross it off your list forever.

Almost everyone can benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables, but variety is as important as quantity. No single food can provide all the nutrients your body needs, so keep trying new foods until you have a broad array of fruits and veggies that you can enjoy daily.

If you’re ready to eat more fruits and vegetables, but need help getting started, contact us forthe first step to a healthier you. Want to learn more about the positive impacts of eating more fresh veggies?

Here’s a healthy Lockdown recipe for you.

Cold watermelon salad

Watermelon – 200 gm
Dry Berries / anar – ½ cup
Pumpkin seeds – 2tbsp
Mint leaves – ½ cup
Lemon juice – ½ cup
Paneer / feta cheese – 100 gm
Cheese cube- 1 to 2 as per taste
Black salt /rock salt


-Add mint leaves and lemon juice along with salt on chopped cold watermelon.

-Add scrambled Paneer or feta on top , also add small pieces of cheese with it.

-Garnish with berries , anar and pumpkin seeds.

Also Read| Try These Natural Immune System Boosters

Quick Tips

How to Easily Fit Fruits and Veggies into Your Day

-Keep fruit out where you can see it.

-Eat some at every meal, every day. Try filling half your plate with veggies or fruit at each meal. Think salads or even stir fry!

-Bag the potatoes and choose other veggies that are packed with more nutrients and are more slowly digested. Make veggies the star of the dish!


What should you eat before you go to bed? Sleep better with the right nutrition. Tips from nutritionist Bipasha Das, Sugati, Delhi

#LetsTalkNutrition #OutlookPoshan

Nutritionist, Bipasha Das, talks about how to take care of yourself during pregnancy

To know more about Outlook Poshan Initiative, click:

#LetsTalkNutrition #OutlookPoshan Sugati

A growing body of evidence indicates that access to safe drinking-water, sanitation, and hygiene has an important positive impact on nutrition. Add to that the concept of food safety.

Nutrition does not mean just the food that you eat. It’s also the way it is cooked and preserved. There can be n-number of sources of contamination around you and your food. Microbes invade food products, kitchen surfaces, knives, spoons, ladles and utensils in millions. So it is crucial to understand the key principles of food safety issued by the World Health Organisation, to reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses.

CLEAN: Always wash hands, kitchen surfaces and utensils

♣Personal hygiene should begin at home, covering the essential elements like clean body, clean hair and clean clothing. Hair in food can be a source of both microbiological and physical
contamination. So tie up your hair properly before coming in to the kitchen.

♣ While working, clothing should be kept reasonably clean. Removal of smocks, lab coats or aprons should be a priority when leaving the work area to go to office canteens, restrooms or leaving
the building.

♣Wash your hands with warm water (as bacteria dies in warm water) and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food, after using the bathroom, changing diapers and handling pets

♣Consider using paper towels/ tissues to clean up kitchen surfaces/ utensils. If you use cloth towels, wash them often in the hot water.

♣Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water.

SEPARATE- Avoid cross-contamination

♣Cross-contamination is a process through which bacteria can spread. Improper handling of raw non-vegetarian food can lead to cross-contamination. As a result of this, harmful bacteria can
spread to other food and throughout the kitchen.

♣Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate board for raw meat, poultry and seafood items.

♣Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs.

♣Keep separate sections for perishable and nonperishable items.

COOK- Cook to the optimal internal temperature

Bacteria in food is killed when it reaches a high enough internal temperature. It is recommended to use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of cooked foods.

♣Use a food thermometer specifically for cooked meat, poultry and egg dishes, to make sure that the food is cooked to a safe internal temperature.

♣Cook roasts and steaks to a minimum of 145°F / 62°C and maximum to 165°F./ 63.8°F The internal temperature is checked to the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.

♣ Avoid recipes in which eggs remain raw or only partially cooked.

♣Proper thawing of food products before reheating/cooking in order to avoid cold spots in food (where bacteria can survive)

CHILL- Refrigerate promptly

♣Refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry, eggs and other perishables as soon as you get.

♣Never let raw meat, poultry, eggs, cooked food or cut fresh fruits or vegetables sit at room temperature more than two hours.

♣Give a proper blanching process to the food before preserving them.

♣Divide large amounts of leftovers into shallow containers for quicker cooling in the refrigerator. Use small portion in one time preservation.

♣Use or discard refrigerated food on a regular basis in first in first out (FIFO) manner.

Getting adequate nutrition is a major challenge as you get older. With age, your overall calorie requirement decreases as your activity level nosedives. The absorption of key nutrients slows down, along with your metabolism rate. In addition, the ability to taste food declines, blunting your appetite.

Every calorie you consume must be packed with nutrition in order to hit the mark. Even then, your diet may fall short. Proper diet and a healthy lifestyle go hand in hand, especially for older adults over the age of 50. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a majority of diseases that older people suffer are because of lack of proper diet.

Major challenges for the elderly

Decreased sensitivity: Numbness of senses; sensation of smell and taste decreases, thus reducing your appetite.

Medication side effects: This age group is often affected by the consumption of some or the other type of medication, some of which can cause nausea, bring down appetite, change taste perceptions. In such cases, you can end up skipping meals.

Poor dental health: Missing teeth and receding gums can make your teeth shaky, cause mouth sores, and jaws painful, ultimately reducing your appetite.

Physical difficulty: When dealing with conditions like arthritis and disability, it becomes difficult to stay physically fit. Performing basic functions like standing for long, carrying heavy bags, or even peeling fruits may become difficult tasks.

Memory loss: Memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease are some common issues found among the seniors. A major reason can be nutrient-deficiency.

Degenerative diseases: Say, osteoporosis and diabetes, are also diet-related, more specifically with micronutrients.

Micronutrients deficiency: Iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin E and C are key micronutrients and are often found lacking in the elderly, due to factors like reduced food intake and lack of variety in diet.

Nutritional remedies

Fiber-rich food: The problem of indigestion grows with age. What happen is, the walls of the gastrointestinal tract thicken and the contractions becomes slow, which lead to constipation. In addition, the fibre-rich foods have also been found to reduce the risk of heart disease. For example, wholegrain cereal, wholegrain bread and pasta, brown rice, fruits, and vegetables.

Water retention: With age, the body’s ability to conserve water decreases, and reduces thirst. However, you body would still need water. In order not to get overwhelmed by the quantity of water you are taking, you can put the water in small bottles and drink it throughout the day. Best to check your urine for getting the view of dehydration in your body. If it is light and transparent, that means you are hydrated. If it is dark or bright yellow and cloudy that is a sign of dehydration. Exceptions are always there for seniors with kidney or liver disease. Please consult your doctor or dietician about the amount of water you should be drinking.

Iron-rich food: Main source of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood from the lungs to the rest of the body. Supply of oxygen to the body tissues decreases in case of iron deficiency, resulting in feelings of tiredness and lethargy. For instance, peas, lentils, white, red and baked beans, soybeans and chickpeas, dried fruits, such as prunes, raisins, and apricots.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These fatty acids helps in preventing inflammation which can cause cancer, rheumatoid, arthritis, and heart disease. It has also been found to slow down the progression of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)—a condition that leads to poor vision. Basically found in fish mainly sardines, Tuna, Mackerel, and Salmon. They are also present in flaxseed, soybeans, canola oil, and walnuts.

Calcium for Bones: This is essential for healthy bones and for lowering blood pressure. If your body is not getting enough calcium, it begins to reabsorb it from the bones, leading osteoporosis as your bones becomes fragile. Major sources: dairy products, such as, milk, yogurt and cheese, as well as leafy vegetables and cereals fortified with calcium.

Vitamin D: Precursor for absorption of calcium in the body, slowing down the rate at which bones lose calcium. Recent studies show that it also protects against chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and rheumatoid osteoporosis. Vitamin D is produced by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Naturally, found in eggs and certain fish (salmon and tuna).

Vitamin C: Helps In repairing bones and teeth and aids in healing wounds. This essential vitamin can be found in fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C also has antioxidant properties, which are believed to prevent cancer and heart disease.

Vitamin B12: For maintaining nerve function, production of red blood cells, and DNA. Found in dairy products like milk, meat and poultry products.

Potassium: Aids in cell function reduces blood pressure and lowers your chances of kidney stones. It is also believed to strengthen bones. Found in fruit and vegetables like bananas, prunes, and potatoes.

Magnesium: Helps in keeping your heart healthy, maintaining your immune system, and bone health. Mainly found in whole grains, nuts, fresh fruit, and vegetables.

Navratri, the festival celebrated in various parts of India. The first mention of navratri comes from the Markandeya Purana, where it’s mentioned how the nine forms of the Goddess Durga are to be worshipped during this period. It’s a time to pray, fast and feast. The nine days of Navratri, leading up to Dussehra and culminating on Diwali, is a special time for lot of people around the country. The sole purpose of the ritual fasts associated with these festivals is to purify, cleanse or detoxify the body.

Learn the rules

Usually during navratras, nine days of serious fasting is done. In some cases, because of hectic work schedules, many people nowadays choose to fast for only two days. In these fasting days, many of us feel the need to constantly munch on something, or indulge in too many fried and fattening foods. So, here we are providing you with some of the fasting principles and remedies, to maintain your navratras healthy and full of nutrition.

Firstly, keep in mind, you must have plenty of fluids—35ml water/kg body weight. Drinks like fresh coconut water, fresh lemon water, buttermilk in rock salt, or sendha namak, will help keep you hydrated. Green tea can also be taken along with your meals. Or you can chill it for a refreshing drink during any part of the day.

Satvik vs tamasik

You can take the traditional flours and grains that are a part of the navratri diet: buckwheat (kuttu) flour, water chestnut (singhara) flour, amaranth (rajgira) flour, millet (saame) flour and sabu dana. Sendha namak is the only salt one can use during navratri, which is quite good for your blood pressure and helps in absorption of various minerals as compared to common salt. In fact, in the navratra fasting all the food items that make the body feel heavier, bloated, or induces acidity are avoided. They are also classified as tamasik food: onions, garlic, lentils and legumes, asafoetida (hing), mustard (sarson), fenugreek (methi), garam masala, alcohol, meat, poultry (chicken and eggs), coffee, and refined oil.

Super foods

These ingredients of navratri foods are extremely nutritious. The cereals are basically rich sources of healthy carbs, proteins, fibre, minerals and vitamins and are all gluten-free too. The vegetables allowed are super foods loaded with huge amount of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The whole structure of the navratri vrat, or fasts, supports the idea of maintaining or achieving a healthy lifestyle, if followed in proper manner. One has to be really good on fruits and liquid intake, also have to maintain frequent small-meal intake. Of course, one should not end up having just potatoes, sago (sabudana) fritters, and deep fried stuff, like pakoras and vadas, rather eat more roasted makhana, fruits, coconut water, buttermilk, healthy fruit smoothies, dry fruits etc. Keep the cooking oil to the minimum and avoid adding to much of sugar to your milk shakes and tea.