Tag Archives: skin

The Magic of Wonder Foods

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

Watching Angelina Jolie down a tall glass of strawberry milk, Jessica Alba relish a piece of sinful dark chocolate and closer home, size zero Kareena Kapoor lick her fingers after finishing her eighth meal of the day makes you wonder, where does the food go? Are they all blessed with a high metabolic rate? Do they invest millions in body shapers? Are they bulimic? Or do they live on their treadmills? The reality bite? They eat and they eat right.

  • Blueberries: Not only are they a rich source of antioxidants but also reduce ageing and help in keeping off abdominal fat.
  • Asparagus: Being a natural diuretic, it helps to shed water weight. Asparagus also contains phytochemical glutathione, which has antioxidants and cancer preventing properties.
  • Apples: Rich in fibre, they keep you satisfied for longer, which is the key to maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Eggs: High in proteins, eggs are good for long lustrous hair. Being a good source of Vitamin B12, they help break down fat too.
  • Yoghurt: A rich source of good bacteria, it strengthens and stabilises the immune system. These probiotics can also work in our bodies to benefit our complexions, leaving the skin softer, smoother and less prone to breakouts.
  • Green tea: Aids digestion, detoxifies the body, making the skin glow. It also helps burn calories.
  • Salmon: A rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids that help burn fat and add glow to the skin. Salmon contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid that improves skin elasticity, so you’ll have fewer fine lines.
  • Cabbage: Contains cancer fighting goodness like chemical sulforaphane and phytonutrients which act to prevent damage to cell membranes from free radicals and is excellent for detoxification.
  • Dried plums: Great for digestive health, they also keep the heart healthy, reducing cholesterol levels. Plums contain potassium, magnesium and boron which regulate blood sugar levels and reduce wrinkles.
  • Beets: The natural yellow or betacyanin and the purple or betaxanthin of the beets are pigments that are potent phyto-chemicals and antioxidants fantastic for protecting from the damage that free radicals can cause to the body.
  • Pomegranate juice: Loaded with antioxidants, it is also said to destroy breast cancer cells, halt the development of lung cancer and lower the risk of blood pressure.
  • Papaya: Beneficial for skincare and repair, it can be used to eliminate old dead skin cells, dandruff and other skin disorders and even reduce signs of premature ageing.
  • Cinnamon: Reduces cholesterol levels in the body and regulates blood sugar, making it extremely beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes.
  • Sardines: Contain Omega 3 fatty acids that aid brain function and calcium and Vitamin D for strong bones.
  • Pumpkin seeds: Said to be the most nutritious part of the pumpkin, they contain high levels of magnesium which is good for general well being. They also contain L- tryptophan, a compound that acts naturally against depression.
  • Turmeric: Helps in digestion and contains anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It also acts as a great antioxidant.
  • Almonds: High in alpha linoleic acid, they can speed up the metabolism of fat as they contain good fat. Almonds are an excellent source of the skin loving antioxidant Vitamin E, providing 35 per cent of the required daily value.
  • Soyabeans: Contains choline which breaks down fatty deposits and blocks fat absorption.
  • Milk: Being rich in potassium, vitamins, calcium and protein, milk helps make the bones stronger. It’s external application leads to healthy skin and shiny hair.
  • Dark chocolate: Full of antioxidants, it also reduces signs of premature ageing and is being used in skin treatments worldwide.
  • Strawberries: Used topically in traditional medicine to treat burns and other skin irritations due to their astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Chili: Capsaican, the chemical that makes chili so spicy, improves the body’s ability to clear insulin from the blood stream leading to increased fat burn after the meal.
  • Cherry: The iron content in cherry is 20 times higher than that in apples or oranges. It promotes the formation of haemoglobin.
  • Bean sprouts: Rich source of proteins, vitamins, minerals and fibres. They can prevent freckles and dark spots.
  • Avocados: A good source of biotin, avocados help to prevent dry skin and brittle hair and nails. When applied topically, they hydrate parched skin.
  • Tomatoes: Besides being a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are considered a highcarotenoid fruit. These nutrients may help slow down cellular damage from free radicals.
  • Walnuts: Walnuts are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help put shine in your hair, aid in making skin smoother and younger.
  • Beans: Legumes help repair cells that have suffered free radical damage. During digestion, protein breaks down into amino acids, which help to speed the repair and regeneration of skin cells and collagen.
  • Mushrooms: Great for skin, they have anti-ageing properties and also boost hormone secretion in women.
  • Carrots: Rich source of Vitamin A, which is essential for good skin. They also improve eyesight.

P.S.:- While I was looking for info to write the above article I stumbled upon a great e-book where you would get to know everything that you ever wished to know about weight reducing diets. You shall come across a great deal of amazing facts which shall make you realize that it is not at all necessary to starve yourself to get that fabulous body. You just have to be aware of what to eat which shall make you lose a huge amount of weight beyond your wildest imagination.

Watch the video with patience, it is extremely informative. And then do not waste time to grab the e-book.

See the video

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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The Oval Wonder

To Eat or Not To Eat

To Eat or Not To Eat

Eggs are something which I just can’t resist. In fact, I freak out over those lovely white (sometimes brown) oval objects. I am sure that there are many like me.

But we are scared to consume them! Scared that we would certainly die if we don’t stop eating them.

There are so many scary stories about eggs which we know since the time we started knowing.

But hey, all you egg lovers, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Read the following lines and get to know some startlingly fresh facts about eggs.

OLD EGG MYTHS

It was previously thought that eggs raised blood cholesterol levels — one of the main causes of heart disease. The yolk in a single large egg contains five grams of fat, so it was quite natural for the doctors to assume that eggs clogged up people’s arteries, especially since they also contain dietary cholesterol .

Another myth was that fat is cholesterol. That is simply not true. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that resembles fat, but has little to do with it. Today, scientists know that cholesterol content in food and the cholesterol in our blood aren’t as directly related as once thought. So to know more about egg, one must have a look at cholesterol.

CHOLESTEROL

One has to understand that cholesterol is not necessarily bad. Humans need it to maintain cell walls, insulate nerve fibers and produce vitamin D. There are two types of cholesterol, dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol.

Dietary cholesterol is found in certain foods, such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy products. The second type (blood cholesterol, also called serum cholesterol) is produced in the liver and floats around in our bloodstream. Blood cholesterol is divided into two sub-categories: High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL). LDL cholesterol is considered bad because it sticks to artery walls.

What is bad, is the amount of LDL blood cholesterol in the body. Too much of it can cause heart problems, but scientists are now discovering that consuming food rich in dietary cholesterol does not necessarily increase blood cholesterol.

Evidence showing that eating a lot of dietary cholesterol doesn’t increase blood cholesterol was discovered during a statistical analysis conducted over 25 years ago by Dr. Wanda Howell and colleagues at the University of Arizona. The study revealed that people who consume two eggs each day with low-fat diets do not show signs of increased blood cholesterol levels.

So what does raise blood cholesterol? Saturated fat does. Of the three types of fat (saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), saturated fat raises blood cholesterol and LDL levels. It so happens that eggs contain mostly polyunsaturated fat, which can actually lower blood cholesterol if one replaces food containing saturated fat with eggs.

Discarding Myths

Discarding Myths

DELICIOUS, NUTRITIOUS

Eggs are actually quite nutritious. They are not just fat (yolk) and protein (white). In fact, they contain a wide array of essential vitamins and minerals. Here is what’s in an egg…

Vitamins

A: good for the skin and growth.

D: strengthens bones by raising calcium absorption.

E: protects cells from oxidation.

B1: helps properly release energy from carbohydrates.

B2: helps release energy from protein and fat.

B6: promotes the metabolism of protein.

B12: an essential vitamin in the formation of nerve fibers and blood cells.

Minerals

Iron: essential in the creation of red blood cells.

Zinc: good for enzyme stability and essential in sexual maturation.

Calcium: most important mineral in the strengthening of bones and teeth.

Iodine: controls thyroid hormones.

Selenium: like vitamin E, it protects cells from oxidation.

BEST TYPE OF PROTEIN

If that wasn’t enough, egg whites contain the purest form of protein found in whole-foods. It is so high that nutritionists use them as the standard when comparing other whole-food proteins. Their “biological value” — a measurement used to determine how efficiently a protein is used for growth — is 93.7. Milk, fish, meat, and rice respectively have a biological value of 84.5, 76, 74.3, and 64.

The higher the value, the better the protein is absorbed. This is why many bodybuilders include eggs in their diet. When a person eats meat, for instance, all of the protein is not necessarily absorbed and used to rebuild tissue.

Protein is a complex substance, which is why bodybuilding protein supplement makers are constantly trying to refine the quality of their product and some protein shake brands boast that their protein is made from egg whites. Each large egg contains 6.3 grams of protein.

NUTRITIONAL VALUES OF EGGS

Chickens raised with lots of sunshine, fresh food, fresh air and room to move around produce eggs which are one of nature’s most nutritionally dense foods.

Grass-fed Eggs

Grass-fed Eggs

However, there are still some concerns with commercial egg production, due to scientifically formulated chicken feeds. Commercial production methods require hens to spend their entire life indoors, hopped up on antibiotics to prevent infections in crowded quarters. Chicken feed is altered to increase shelf life by removing spoilable nutrients from grains. Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are also spoilable, so the linoleic and alpha-linoleic acids are replaced with a more stable and Non-Essential Oleic Acid. The result is an egg with the same amount of cholesterol, but less EFA’s to transport and metabolize it properly in the body. Plant sterols found in vegetables, which reduce the cholesterol content of eggs by up to 35 percent also are removed from the chickens’ diet. Commercial eggs therefore contain more cholesterol than home grown barnyard eggs or organic eggs.

Eggs contain all the essential amino acids in the exact proportions required by the body for optimum growth and maintenance of lean, metabolically active tissue.

HOW TO EAT EGGS

Experts advise that despite being low in saturated fat, one should not eat more than two eggs a day on a low-fat diet. Egg yolk is mainly fat, so even though it doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels, it can cause other problems if abused.

Contaminated eggs kill up to 5000 individuals each year. One egg in 10,000 is contaminated with salmonella, so you should never eat undercooked eggs or swallow them raw.

It is advisable that grills should never be set higher than 250F. Anything above that will leave the interior raw while burning the outside. To get a proper hard boil, an egg should be boiled for at least ten minutes. If an egg has runny parts, it means it is not cooked properly.

So, now don’t be scared and let the oval wonder cast its spell upon you.

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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Colorful Health

We inherently have natural reactions to color—a clear blue sky can make you feel peaceful; a bunch of daffodils can give rise to optimism. So there is every possibility that the colors in our home can have an impact on our mood, too. Red, for instance, tends to be stimulating and blue, calming.

Here’s how you can tap into the power of color to feel happier, calmer or more inspired—without a huge paint job.

RED

Red makes us feel more energetic, outgoing & positive.
It nourishes our reproductive system, the cells in our blood stream and muscle fibers. Physical symptoms of blocked Red energy are:

  • Weakness
  • Reproductive Problems
  • Poor circulation
  • Anemia
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Tiredness

 

ORANGE

Orange is stimulating and instills enthusiasm & zeal.
It nourishes the organs of assimilation and the distribution processes of our body. Physical symptoms of blocked Orange energy are:

  • Disorders of the kidneys
  • Bladder problems
  • Spastic or sluggish colon
  • Some forms of arthritis and rheumatism
  • Constipation
  • Digestive disorders
  • Disorders of the spleen

 

GREEN

Green generates a calm and soothing atmosphere.
This color promotes harmony and balance. Green has a mild astringent effect and aids in the elimination of toxins. It assists in the building of muscles, skin and tissues. It is particularly beneficial for the sympathetic nervous system and  is useful for cell restoration.
Our heart and lung condition are directly related to its energy. Green also dissolves blood clots and relieves hardening of cells. Physical symptoms of blocked Green energy are:

  • Lung Disease
  • Cysts
  • Growths
  • Claustrophobia
  • Diseases of Connective and Muscle tissues
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Angina
  • Chronic Bronchitis

 

TURQUOISE

Turquoise encourages clarity in thought and communication.
It has a constant vibration which neither overpowers nor intrudes in any way.
It resonates to the thymus and thyroid glands of our Endocrine system.
Physical symptoms of blocked Turquoise energy are:

  • Viral and Bacterial Infections
  • Cysts
  • Hay Fever
  • Mental Fatigue
  • Skin Disorders
  • Leukemia
  • Psoriasis
  • Immune System Deficiencies

 

BLUE

Blue promotes values like loyalty & honesty.
Blue nourishes our throat region. It has an overall effect of calming, soothing, reducing feverish conditions and headaches. Physical symptoms of blocked Blue energy are:

  • Nervous Tension
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Coughs
  • Sore Throats
  • Hoarseness
  • Laryngitis
  • Vocal imbalances

 

YELLOW

Yellow encourages open-mindedness & observation power.
It strengthens the nervous system and helps in stimulating various organ functions, such as the action of the liver, the gallbladder and the flow of bile. It promotes the secretion of gastric juices, therefore assisting proper bowel movement. Physical symptoms of blocked Yellow energy are:

  • Nervous Disorders
  • Muscle Related Disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Calcium Deposits
  • Arthritis
  • Poor Digestion
  • Liver Problems
  • Poor Memory

 

PURPLE

PURPLE generates feelings of self-respect and dignity
It is a royal color and is associated with the emperor, extravagance and wealth. Purple normalizes and balances all hormonal and glandular activity. It resonates to and nourishes the Pituitary gland. Physical symptoms of blocked Purple energy are:

  • Pituitary Gland Dysfunction
  • Cerebral-Spinal Meningitis
  • Epilepsy
  • Mental Disorders
  • Visual Disorders

 

PINK

Pink is the color of compassion.
It generates feelings of tenderness, gentleness, kindness, affection and love. It is the color of ‘Manifestation’ and transmutes desire into its physical equivalents. It’s subtle and refined vibration increases blood flow to the brain and stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. Physical symptoms of blocked Pink energy are:

  • Pineal Gland Dysfunction
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Nervous Breakdown
  • Disorders of the Sympathetic Nervous System
  • Chronic Tiredness
  • Weak Memory

 

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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Glow with Saffron

A couple of days back I came across a very useful blog post titled ‘Saffron Cantuccini’.

The author of this blog is a very enterprising woman named Janice whose love for herbs is noteworthy. In fact, I told her so.

The link to her blog is http://potionsfromwildwood.wordpress.com

Anybody who has even a slightest bit of interest in nature and anything related to nature should check out Janice’s blog. While going through her post ‘Saffron Cantuccini’, I myself came up with something on Saffron.

Medicinal value of SaffronTraditionally saffron is believed to promote fairness of the complexion. It is widely used in cosmetics, especially in fairness creams. It is an age-old belief that pregnant women give birth to ‘fair’ babies, if they consume saffron.

1. Make a paste of a pinch of saffron with sandalwood powder and 2 tsp of milk.
2. The paste should be thick and flowy in consistency.
3. Apply a thin mask on the face and let it dry.
4. Wash with cold water.
5. This treatment is good for sensitive skin too.

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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