Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling rather tired? One’s lifestyle choices affect how energetic one feels. Factors like food, hydration & sleep have a significant impact on our energy levels.
Let’s admit it - our lives are not getting any slower. The constant humdrum in everyday life can be very taxing on the human body. Due to this fast-paced lifestyle, it is convenient to choose options that help us avoid cooking. It is probably the reason why many of us are susceptible to picking processed food and supplements, neglecting health in the process.
However, to maintain energy levels, it is imperative to consume healthy foods like fruits & vegetables to cope with the body’s nutritional requirements. There are numerous quick ways to incorporate these into our diets, without spending too much time.
Fruits and vegetables are naturally abundant in nutrients that help the body cope with stress and duress. Processed foods add unhealthy sugar and fat to the body making you feel tired.
Additionally, it is important to keep a check on which fruits and vegetables to consume to match your body’s daily nutritional requirements, along with how you consume them.
Here are 10 fruits and vegetables that prevent you from feeling tired all the time
Bananas promote sustained energy and muscle function. This is probably the reason why it is a popular fruit among sportspersons. This fruit is rich in potassium, vitamin B-6 and fibres. An interesting fact about bananas is that their fibres slow down the process of digesting sugar, ensuring the body utilizes it for longer. The fruit is easy to carry and consume, making it a healthier alternative to the other processed food in the market. You can also use bananas to whip up a quick smoothie with some nuts and berries. It’s a quick on-the-go snack that’s easy on the wallet and dense with nutrients.
One of the most common reasons for fatigue is a deficiency of iron. That is why spinach can play a crucial role in your diet. This green leafy vegetable is high in vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and iron. Iron promotes the production of red blood cells, which leads to the efficient delivery of oxygen throughout the body; thus, making the body feel energised. Spinach can be added to your diet through salads, baked dishes or blended with other vegetables and used as a sauce.
Watermelon is a delicious, refreshing fruit with 90% water. It makes for a great source of energy and water that can help combat fatigue and dehydration. Since fatigue may result from dehydration, adding fruits like watermelon to your diet makes the process easy and delicious. Watermelon is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino-acid like L-citrulline, which helps reduce muscle soreness. It is simple to add this water-rich fruit to your diet. Watermelons can be enjoyed as is, grilled like steak, juiced or diced and incorporated in salads.
4. Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is rich in carbohydrates, fibres, minerals and vitamins. It is a starchy root vegetable that is easy to prepare. You can boil it, peel off the skin and consume. It is a rich source of minerals like iron, magnesium, and vitamin C. Vitamin C helps transport fats to cells, where it helps provide energy to the body. No matter how you cook a Sweet Potato ( boiled, steamed, fried or grilled), it always tastes delicious.
Orange is a 'power house' for energy and vitamin C. Besides, oranges contain phosphorus, minerals and fibres for the healthy functioning of your body.
Avocado is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats that provide the body with much-needed energy. It helps tackle adrenal fatigue - a form of fatigue caused when the adrenal glands cannot keep up with the body, causing stress and weight loss. Avocados also help regulate the sugar levels in the body You can add it to your diet by eating the fruit as is, in a bowl of salad or even whip it up like a smoothie or make guacamole with it and use it as a healthy dip for carrots or bread.
Kale is one of the richest sources of nutrients that you can find. It has the required vitamins and minerals your body needs especially iron. Iron helps the red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of the body, improving energy levels. It is easy to incorporate into your diet through salads and smoothies.
Apples can not only help keep doctors away but even prevent fatigue. It contains a flavonoid called quercetin. According to research, quercetin functions like antioxidants in the body, fighting radicals from damaging parts of the cell. It boosts muscles and brains, providing energy to the body.
Apple can be eaten raw, tossed in a salad or cooked and added to pies/ savoury dishes.
Sweet to taste, Dates are a powerhouse of energy and come packed with nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron.
Moreover, these replenish the energy loss in the human body very quickly. Dates can be enjoyed with nuts or whipped in a dessert/ smoothie.
10. Mixed Berries
Berries prove to be a good energy-boosting source. They have high levels of natural antioxidants, reduce inflammation and help beat fatigue. Berries are palatable, making them a healthy alternative to eating something delicious while helping the body improve its energy levels.
When you feel tired, the first instinct may be to eat some food. However, try drinking a glass of water first. The fatigue that you experience may be caused by dehydration and not hunger. Water has no calories but is critical in energising nutrients. It also helps avoid headaches, mood swings and improves concentration. You should ideally drink at least 6-8 glasses of water daily. Make sure to sit down and drink it slowly, rather than gulping it all at once.
Research suggests that eating high-quality fruits and vegetables can improve vitality and motivation. However, a healthy diet needs good sleep, hydration and exercise to combat fatigue. Feeling tired all the time is a cause of concern and requires you to revisit your lifestyle. Incorporate a healthy mix of fruits and vegetables into your diet to provide your body with the nutrients needed to energize you. Ready? Check out our range here!
Despite the mayhem caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, what is vital to observe are the small yet significant lifestyle changes we can make to ensure we are protected. Don't worry, you can take steps to help keep your body protected against the effects of Covid!
These include washing our hands properly, maintaining a sanitized and sterilized environment, keeping adequate physical distance, going out only when necessary, wearing a mask whenever stepping out, and, as importantly, eating right to ensure our body is prepared to tackle the burden of the virus. We all are what we eat, which remains the same when battling infections and maintaining our immunity.
Be it any age, gender, or anyone with any pre-existing condition (such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory illnesses, or autoimmune disorders), we need to maintain a healthy and disciplined lifestyle to ensure our vitals are in place and our body responds to changes in the most appropriate way. Eating right is one of the basic steps to supply proper nutrition, maintain a healthy immune system, and keep our calories in check.
Some of the most common food items that help to maintain a stable immune system include,
- Citrus fruits like orange, sweet lime, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, clementine, kiwi
- Herbs like ginger, ashwagandha, mulethi
- Fruits and vegetables that are red / orange in colour, like bell peppers, carrots, papaya
- All berries, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mulberries, acai berries (wherever available naturally)
- Broccoli and leafy greens like spinach and kale
- Dry fruits and nuts like almonds
The most common nutrients available from all these food sources, helping in keeping the immune system in check, include -
Vitamin C contains powerful antioxidants and helps combat any damage caused due to oxidative stress. Its benefits range from protecting against mild coughs and colds to improving health conditions in patients with severe infection levels, such as sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Generous doses of vitamin C can be derived from citrus fruits, viz. oranges; lemon; tangerines; sweet lime; kiwi; grapefruit; greens such as broccoli, spinach, and kale (wherever available); all forms of berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mulberry, elderberry, acai, and goji berries (wherever available); red bell peppers; and tomato juice.
Vitamin D has been shown to confer bone strength, maintain, and regulate the levels of calcium and phosphate in the body as well as facilitate the normal functioning of the immune system. The most abundant source of vitamin D is sunlight; however, owing to the stagnant lifestyle of many these days, most people are left with a vitamin D deficiency.
The only plant source that provides vitamin D are mushrooms, so ensure you eat them regularly.
Vitamin A is an omnipotent vitamin that helps maintain multiple vital functions of the body—whether it is maintaining eyesight, regulating the immune system, maintaining good hair and skin, or maintaining overall growth and development, it is everywhere!
It plays a significant role in reducing oxidative stress and ensuring protection against free-radical mechanisms. This is crucial to maintaining a healthy immune system.
Precursors of vitamin A known as carotenoids are present in most red and green vegetables such as carrots, spinach, kale, sweet potato, grapefruit, and red and yellow bell peppers.
Vitamin E is another forerunner of immunity in the body. It is responsible for fighting oxidative stress in the body and prevents the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) when fats are oxidized in the body. It occurs naturally in most food sources. Common sources include avocados, kiwi, spinach, broccoli, mangoes and green turnips.
Zinc is another power-packed nutrient that helps maintain white blood corpuscles (WBCs), which fight infections. Zinc deficiency can end up making people susceptible to a lot of diseases. Common fresh sources of zinc include legumes, spinach, asparagus, okra, mushrooms, garlic, broccoli, and kale.
Other Factors to Help You Stay Fit
Remaining adequately hydrated is another important factor in maintaining good health. Hydration keeps the body balanced and flushes out toxins, which may cause severe damage if accumulated inside the body.
Regular exercising is another critical component. Indulging in 150–200 minutes of moderate activity throughout the week works wonders for the immune system.
Health supplements should be taken if and only if we are advised by a medical professional. Self-advocacy in such cases can do more harm than good.
Above everything else, we need to remember that there is no magic pill for ensuring good health or perfect immunity. It is only our daily practices and constant perseverance that help us reach our goals.
"...the avocado is a food without rival among the fruits, the veritable fruit of paradise" ~ David Fairchild.
Persea Americana — ring a bell?
Well, that is the scientific name assigned to the natively Mexican Avocado tree. Belonging to the flowering plant family Lauraceae, this tree also bears fruit by the same name.
Typically, avocados are large bright-green/ pear-shaped berries with a leathery exterior and buttery interior engulfing a single seed. However, the shape, size, and color may vary based on its variety and ripeness.
Avocados flourish in tropical and Mediterranean climates; Mexico is the leading producer, contributing 32% of global supply.
Studies suggest that the superfood has been consumed from time immemorial (almost 5000 BC). Since then, the fruit has undergone many changes in both: name & form.
Sir Hans Sloane, an Irish naturalist, is credited with coining the term "avocado" in 1696 when he included the plant in a catalog of Jamaican plants. He also referred to it as the "alligator pear tree."
Today, avocado is popular owing to its nutty taste, buttery texture & numerous nutritional benefits.
There are very many health benefits one can reap by consuming this lush fruit. An avocado contains 20 essential vitamins and minerals that boost haleness.
Healthy Fats - Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, especially oleic acid. This helps lower inflammation & cholesterol.
High in fiber - Since avocados are a good source of fiber, it makes for a healthier snacking option and also acts as an aid to the digestive system.
Absorption of vitamins and minerals - This is perhaps the greatest boon of an avocado! The monounsaturated fatty acids present in the pear-shaped fruit help the human body absorb ever-so-important vitamins such as A, D, E & K.
Good for the heart - Eating this fruit will ensure your body's cholesterol levels are in check as well as maintain blood triglycerides. This means, consuming avocados lowers the risk of heart-related illnesses. Other health benefits include improved vision & lower chances of depression, Alzheimer's, arthritis, etc. Avocado oil when combined with Vitamin B12 works wonders for skin diseases like psoriasis. The pulp is often used to promote hair growth, whereas the seeds, bark, and leaves are used to relieve toothache.
People often complain about avocados being riper than desired. This feeling is an unpleasant one and can be avoided by following some simple steps.
Knowledge - Picking out the perfect avocado is subjective based on its future use. If it is going to be sliced and placed on toast or tossed in a salad, the avocado must have a bite to it. While guacamole requires a mushier texture.
Sight - In most cases, the riper an avocado gets, the darker its exterior. Since avocados ripen quickly once plucked, timing is key. Choose a dark avocado if you want to utilize it right away when you get home. Choose one that is greener if you expect to use it in a few days. When looking for a ripe avocado, keep in mind that color isn't the only thing to look for. Always test it by touch as well.
Touch - Squeezing an avocado gently in the palm of your hand will reveal a lot about its ripeness. The riper it is, the mushier it gets. The best practice is to keep in mind the time of consumption and anticipate its state by then. While buying multiple avocados, it is recommended to choose them at various degrees of ripeness. You should look at the texture of the avocado's skin as well as its color. The skin should be slightly pebbled, but there should be no large indentations that could indicate that the fruit has been bruised.
Scratch the stem - Peel back the stem at the top of the avocado to make sure it's ripe and creamy on the inside. If the region beneath the avocado is green, it is OK to purchase. If the region around the avocado is brown, it's overripe and should be avoided.
Once purchased, it is integral to store the avocados in the right conditions to prevent spoilage. Avocados ripen quickly, place them in the refrigerator to make the ripening process tardy. Alternatively, to ripen the avocados, store them overnight in a paper bag with a ripe banana.
Cut avocados turn bad quickly once in contact with oxygen, brush the exposed avocado with lemon juice as the citric acid delays the oxidization process. These can then be sealed off in an airtight container until ready to use. A good tip would be to store the avocados in a cool dry place
Avocados have a mild flavor profile and ripen quickly upon plucking hence it is important to prevent them from rotting. Keep an eye out for these tell-tale signs of a bad avocado.
Damaged Skin - The skin of a rotting avocado will begin to turn darker as it ripens. The outer skin of the avocado will have dents upon over-ripening and might turn mushy. Check for cracks, dents, and bruises on the outer skin before purchasing. If the avocado leaves a dent upon a gentle squeeze, it might be rotting and unfit for consumption.
Smell - A ripe avocado should have a slightly sweet aroma. If the avocado smells musky, moldy, or rancid, it's rotten and should be discarded. Ripe avocados have a slightly spicy flavor, a pleasant fragrance, and a nutty flavor. As the fruit spoils, it may develop an unpleasant taste. If it has a bad taste or smell, it may have bacterial spoilage. Discard it.
A chemical odor and taste may indicate that it is rancid. This can happen if the fruit's unsaturated fat is harmed or broken down by oxygen or microbes.
Rancidity can result in the formation of potentially toxic compounds. Don't eat it if you suspect it's rancid. The flavor of steamed avocados varies, but it is usually easy to tell if they are past their prime based on taste. You can tell if an avocado has spoiled by its smell, taste, touch, and visual inspection.
Listen - When an avocado becomes overripe, the flesh separates from the pit. It's no longer good if you shake it and hear a faint rattling.
Grey streaks in the flesh - The flesh of a ready-to-eat avocado is bright green. Brown or black spots cover the flesh of a rotten one.
Grim lines in the flesh, on the other hand, are another sign of rotting. Despite not being rotted, some avocados, particularly those harvested from young trees, may have black streaks. If the fruit looks good and doesn't taste bad, it's safe to eat.
Similarly, when an avocado ripens, the texture can become stringy. Even if there are no other signs of decay, it's not too bad. A fibrous texture may also be referred to by the growing conditions.
Formation of mold - Avocado mold is typically white or grey in color and appears fluffy. If you are allergic to it, you may inhale mold spores, causing breathing problems.
Avocados with mold on the outside should not be purchased because the mold can enter the flesh and cause decay. If you cut an avocado open and see mold, throw away the entire fruit. Even if you only see mold in one place, it can easily spread through the soft flesh.
Fret not, the magic of an avocado lies in its functionality. An overripe avocado can be employed as a face mask to rejuvenate the skin, as a hair mask to strengthen hair follicles, or even as an ingredient in avocado mousse, brownies & ice - cream.
We all must have studied that minerals are an essential component of our bodies. Minerals are present in blood, bones, and tissues, and they are also required for the production of enzymes and hormones. However, do you know why they are so vital? From where can you get minerals? And what happens when there are inadequate minerals in your body? Knowing about different minerals and what they do will help you ensure that you are getting enough of the minerals you require.
So let's delve further into this and learn everything there is to know about minerals.
What are minerals?
Minerals are nutrients that aid in the development and operation of our bodies. They are necessary for optimum health. The body uses minerals for various purposes, including the normal functioning of our muscles, bones, brain, and heart. We need several minerals daily, and these minerals are known as essential minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium.
What are the different types of minerals?
There are two types of essential minerals necessary for human health: major or macro minerals and trace or micro-minerals.
The primary minerals that are used and stored in significant quantities in the body include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, chloride, magnesium, sodium, and sulfur. These minerals are referred to as macro-minerals. These minerals are essential for the proper functioning of bones, muscles, the heart, and the brain.
Trace minerals are just as vital for our health as major minerals, but we don't need a lot of them. Minerals in this category include chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, molybdenum, selenium, iron, manganese, and zinc. These minerals are referred to as trace minerals. All trace elements, except chromium, are integrated into enzymes or hormones necessary for physiological functions (metabolism). Chromium aids the body in maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels.
Read on to find out the distinct functions of each of the minerals and why they are important for the human body.
Why are minerals so important?
The human body requires both macrominerals and microminerals. Distinct minerals serve different functions in the body. According to Dr. Bruce Bistrian, chief of clinical nutrition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, each mineral is involved in hundreds of bodily activities. It may only take a trace amount of a mineral, but having too much or too little might disturb the body's delicate equilibrium.
They transport oxygen and carbon dioxide and are components of our DNA and RNA; Minerals, like vitamins, are essential components for efficient metabolism. They also serve to maintain acid-base balance, are found in bones and teeth, are necessary for proper development, and are found in glands. They are required for the heart to function normally. They are also required for the prevention of certain illnesses. Furthermore, certain vitamins and minerals contain antioxidants, which help to prevent oxidation in the body, decreasing the risk of inflammation and cancer.
Given below are the distinct functions or importance of each of the minerals.
Importance: This is required for appropriate fluid balance, muscular contraction nerve transmission.
Importance: It aids in the equilibrium of fluid within and outside of your cells. It also aids in the maintenance of normal blood pressure, blood volume, and the pH of your bodily fluids.
Importance: It aids in the regulation of fluid balance, muscular contractions, and nerve impulses. It is required for all cells to operate normally.
Importance: Important for bone and tooth health; aids in muscle relaxation and contraction; aids in nerve function, blood coagulation, blood pressure management, and for a healthy immune system.
Importance: Phosphorus is a mineral that accounts for 1% of an individual's total body weight. It is the body's second most prevalent mineral. It may be found in every cell of the human body. The bones and teeth contain the majority of the phosphorus in the body. It has a significant impact on how the body utilizes carbs and lipids. It is also required for the body to produce protein for cell and tissue development, maintenance, and repair. Phosphorus also aids in the production of ATP, a chemical that the body utilizes to store energy.
Importance: Magnesium is an essential element that participates in over 300 enzymatic activities in the human body. Its several roles include assisting with muscle and neuron function, blood pressure regulation, and immune system support.
Importance: Sulfur is required by your body to produce and repair DNA and protect your cells from damage that can lead to serious illnesses such as cancer.
What happens if you don't get enough minerals?
When your body does not receive or absorb the appropriate quantity of a mineral, you have a mineral deficit. A deficit generally develops gradually over time and can be caused by a variety of factors. Some of the most frequent reasons include an increased requirement for the mineral, difficulties absorbing the mineral from food, or a shortage of the mineral in the diet. Mineral deficiencies can cause a number of health issues, including weak bones, tiredness, and a weakened immune system.
Here are several minerals (macro and micro) and what can happen if you don't get enough of them.
Sodium - Lack of sodium may cause headache, confusion, altered personality, weakness, fatigue, vomiting, muscle cramps.
Chloride - Lack of chloride can cause Addison's disease, which is a disorder in which your adrenal glands fail to generate enough of certain hormones. It can cause a number of symptoms such as weakness, disorientation, weight loss, and dehydration. Also, chloride deficiency can cause heart failure and lung diseases.
Potassium - Lack of potassium causes muscle cramps or a feeling of weakness, paralysis, heart rhythm irregularities, kidney issues, etc.
Calcium - Long-term calcium deficiency can result in osteoporosis or low bone mineral density. Muscle cramps, tingling in the fingers, numbness, tiredness, abnormal heart rhythms, and low appetite are also some of the symptoms of calcium deficiency.
Phosphorus - Loss of appetite, anxiety, bone pain, brittle bones, stiff joints, weariness, uneven breathing, irritability, weakness, numbness, and weight fluctuation are all symptoms of phosphorus insufficiency.
Magnesium - Diabetes, poor absorption, persistent diarrhea, celiac disease, and hungry bone syndrome are all symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
Sulfur - Arthritis, acne, convulsions, depression, gastrointestinal disorders, memory loss, rashes, and even delayed wound healing can all be caused by a sulfur deficit in the body. Obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer's, and chronic tiredness may also be exacerbated by a lack of sulfur in the body.
Micro mineral deficiency
Iron - Iron deficiency progresses slowly and might result in anemia. Iron-deficiency anemia symptoms include fatigue and weakness. Slow social and cognitive development in children may manifest as symptoms as well.
Zinc - A lack of zinc might result in a loss of appetite, scent, or taste. Other zinc deficiency symptoms include decreased immune system function and delayed development.
Iodine - In babies and children whose mothers were iodine deficient during pregnancy, iodine insufficiency can cause hypothyroidism, thyroid hypertrophy, and intellectual impairments.
Selenium - Lack of selenium causes male and female infertility, fatigue, muscle weakness, mental haze, hair loss, and compromised immune system.
Copper - Deficiency of copper may cause anemia, neutropenia, paleness, and osteoporosis.
Manganese - Undernutrition, weight loss, muscle mass loss, hollow cheeks, and sunken eyes, bloated stomach, as well as dry hair and skin. Manganese deficiency could delay wound healing and cause fatigue.
Fluoride - Lack of this mineral can cause an increase in dental cavities as well as osteoporosis.
Chromium - Lack of chromium can cause a variety of symptoms, including those that are similar to diabetic symptoms, such as weight loss, decreased glucose tolerance, neuropathy, anxiety, exhaustion, and muscular weakness.
Top 9 fruit and veggies that are mineral-rich
Studies show that eating foods that are less fibrous, contain more saturated fat and sugar throughout the day results in light and less restorative sleep. Researchers tracked the diet and sleep for a group of healthy adults throughout five nights and found that the food choices during the day indeed affect sleep.
Benefits of Good Night Sleep: Why Is It Important?
Sleep is the most important part of one’s health and well-being as the body repairs, rejuvenates itself, and makes one prepared for another day and the activity associated with wakefulness. Sleep has additional benefits including preventing excess weight gain, heart disease, and prolonged illness duration. When a person is rested, he / she can problem solve and fully use memory capacity, whereas if one is not rested, his / her brain function will not be at full capacity. After a full sleep cycle, one is filled with the energy to perform various athletic and sports activities. A person can reduce the risks of depression and exposure to the common cold and flu. A well-rested person is able to lead a balanced life and be a well-adjusted person in society.
Problems That Arise With Poor Sleep
The long-term effects of continuous sleep deprivation are real and tangible. Both our short-term and long-term memories are negatively impacted. An individual’s concentration, creativity, and problem-solving skills are affected. Lack of adequate sleep and eating more may also result in type 2 diabetes. Moreover, individuals who do not sleep well routinely are prone to becoming quick-tempered and moody. Poor sleep leads to our body’s immunity system becoming compromised, which we want to avoid at all costs.
How Do Our Bodies Chemically Work With Respect to Sleep?
According to the energy conservation theory, sleep's primary function is to reduce an individual's energy demand and expenditure during part of the day or night. The body secretes a chemical named melatonin—a hormone that induces drowsiness. Melatonin starts to increase in the evening and peaks in the middle of the night, letting us know it is time to sleep. Many biological processes take place during sleep; the brain rejuvenates and the body begins the digestive process to digest the food consumed during the day and generate toxic waste. Nerve cells repair themselves and promote healthy brain function. The body repairs its cells, restores our energy, and releases molecules such as hormones and proteins. All human activity during the time of its activity is linked to a chemical called dopamine. The pineal gland regulates our internal clock, known as our circadian rhythm, by releasing melatonin in response to light. Melatonin is produced in response to a hormone called norepinephrine. Apart from this, amino acids, enzymes, nutrients, and hormones (including tryptophan, gamma-aminobutyric acid [GABA], calcium, pyridoxine, serotonin, potassium, magnesium, histamine, acetylcholine, L-ornithine, folate, antioxidants, vitamins D and B, zinc, and copper) induce good sleep and regulate the sleep cycle.
What Are Some of the Sleep-Promoting Compounds?
Different foods contain differing quantities of sleep-promoting compounds, whereas some exceptions have high concentrations that could potentially stimulate sleep. Hormones such as leptin (satiety signaler) and ghrelin (appetite stimulator) are generated during the sleep process; these hormones are regulated during the deep sleep cycle, and during a poor sleep cycle, their production is disturbed, thus leading to other health problems.
Fruits & Veggies that promote sleep include the following:
Cherries, especially sour cherries contain melatonin, control your body’s internal clock, lower body temperature, and induce drowsiness. Two 1 oz. glasses of tart cherry juice can increase sleep time by 40 minutes more on average and sleep efficiency by 6%.
Bananas are a quick and easy snack full of powerful nutrients, including vitamin B6. Potassium and magnesium help the body’s muscles to relax, and the relaxed state prolongs deep sleep. Consuming bananas also helps to reduce high blood pressure. Bananas contain the chemical—amino acid tryptophan, which the body converts to serotonin and melatonin.
Pineapples contain 75% more aMT6-s than bananas or oranges; this measures the amount of melatonin circulating in the body and aids digestion in the body. Additionally, pineapples contain immunity-boosting antioxidants; their enzymes can ease digestion. Consumption of pineapples has multiple benefits, including, reduce the risk of cancer, suppress inflammation, ease symptoms of arthritis, and speed recovery after surgery or strenuous exercise.
Oranges, in addition to melatonin, contain vitamin B, which help with sleep in several ways, viz. by reducing anxiety and depression, improving the regularity of the sleep/wake cycle, and helping the body process hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA (the chief sleep-promoting neurotransmitter in the brain).
Avocados contain high quantities of magnesium—the sleep mineral that helps a person sleep and regulates the sleep cycle. Magnesium is a chemical that is a natural relaxant that reduces the production of adrenaline. Resultantly, you wake up feeling more refreshed from a good night’s sleep. Avocados are incredibly nutritious and contain more potassium than bananas. Avocado produces monounsaturated fatty acids and fiber that help in preventing heart disease and provides roughage. Eating avocados lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Kale has abundant quantities of calcium, which aids one’s brain to use tryptophan to manufacture melatonin; it is an all-around healthy vegetable. Other dark leafy vegetables including collards, spinach, and broccoli fall in the same category. Other health benefits include vitamin A (important for eye and bone health and a strong immune system), vitamin C (aids in cold and chronic disease prevention), and vitamin K (good for blood clotting and bone-building), folate—a vitamin B that's key for brain development, and alpha-linolenic acid—an omega-3 fatty acid.
As a salad vegetable, there is none superior to lettuce. Lettuce has lactucarium—a milky secretion that has sedative properties and is commonly referred to as lettuce opium. There are several lettuce varieties, including garden lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and especially wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa). Lettuce and other leafy vegetables also aid in providing roughage and fiber that helps in easy motility.
Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant, phytonutrient lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits; these include reduced risk of heart disease and cancer and promoting sleep cycles. Lycopene colors tomatoes bright red and protects them from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays; it has the same effect on human body cells. Tomatoes also have potassium, vitamins B, C, E, and K, potassium, folate, and other nutrients.
Holy basil—a medicinal plant known for its qualities of promoting health and wellness—is also known for its sleep-inducing properties. Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is used in holistic treatments for the body and calming the mind, helps lower cortisol levels, and treats depression. Ayurveda and Vedic religions consider Tulsi as a sacred plant used in medicine, but Thai cuisine uses this as a common herb, named kaphrao. Apart from Thai dishes, it is also used to make tea by steeping it in hot water. Drinking this tea before bedtime will promote a state of calm and make us drowsy.
Alpha-carotene, which induces better sleep cycles, is found in abundance in carrots. Carrots and pumpkins are potent sources of the powerful carotenoid.
Spinach is filled with nutrients that help promote overall health and well-being. It contains tryptophan and a large quantity of vitamin B6, which promotes better sleep.
Stone fruits, also known by their botanical names – Drupes, are biologically indehiscent fruits. This means that these fruits do not shed their seeds on maturity. As the name suggests, they have a ‘stone’ or a pit in the center and a thin skin on the outside layer. The rest is all the fleshy and succulent goodness of the fruit.
Nutritionally, stone fruits are low in calories and high in micronutrients. The average nutritional value can be up to 70 calories per cup of chopped fruit, with very little fat (<1 gram). Vitamins C, A, potassium, and calcium are the chief components of stone fruits, and they are known to keep cholesterol in check, owing to their high fiber content.
Some of the most common stone fruits are peaches, plums, cherries, nectarines, apricots, mangoes, lychees, coconuts, green almonds, dates, and even olives. Stone fruits may also appear in clusters like berries (mulberries, blackberries, and raspberries). These fruits mostly peak in summer, roughly between late April till mid-August.
How do you know when a stone fruit is ripe?
When drupes are ripe, they are a little tender and soft to touch and have a sweet aroma. Covering stone fruits (kept distinctively aside from each other) with a piece of dry cloth or paper for one to four days at room temperature (65-75°F) helps ripen them.
Do you keep stone fruits in the fridge?
If the stone fruits have become ripe but are not to be consumed on the same day, they can be stored in the refrigerator. However, they need to be covered in plastic or a Ziplock pouch in order to retain the necessary moisture.
Popular Stone Fruits
Peaches: Peaches are best enjoyed when bought fresh from the market and consumed immediately. If this stone fruit is more on the green side, it needs to be covered and stored at room temperature for a day or two to be ripened for consumption. It should be remembered that peaches do not get sweeter with time as sugar (sucrose) production ceases when they are harvested. A large peach has roughly 68 calories and fulfils almost 1/5th of the daily requirement of Vitamin C and 1/10th of the requirement of Vitamin A and potassium.
Apart from being low in fat (almost nil), peaches are also rich in essential minerals like copper, manganese, and Vitamins B3 (niacin), E, and K. Being red, orange and yellow in colour, they possess carotenoids like such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin which are known to be beneficial for the eyes and cardiovascular health. They also prevent different metabolic diseases (diabetes) and cancer (breast and prostate being the most notable ones). The peel of peaches are high in antioxidants and should be consumed to reap the maximum benefits of this stone fruit.
Plums: Not only are plums one of the most delicious, juicy, succulent fruit, but they have the added benefit of being equally good for consumption when fresh or dried (as prunes). These drupes are rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants, including phenolic compounds, such as proanthocyanidins and kaempferol.
Anti-inflammatory antioxidants prevent damage caused by free radicals and may reduce the chances of progressive illnesses like neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disease.
When dried, prunes provide concentrated doses of the same nutrients found in the fresh plums and are equally good sources of nutrition, if not better. Moreover, it has been scientifically proven that eating prunes may increase bone mineral density, relieve constipation, and reduce blood pressure.
Two plums (approx. 130gm) have a nutritional value of 60 calories with generous doses of Vitamin A, C and K.
Nectarines: Nectarines are stone fruits similar to peaches with both white and vibrant yellow, orange variants, with either clingstone (clinging to the seed) or freestone (free from the seed). The main differences between the two lie in their physical appearance, texture, and aroma.
Nectarines have a smoother skin and are more aromatic than peaches. When purchasing nectarines, be sure that they are free of bruises and punctures. One large nectarine has around 88 calories and is high in essential vitamins and fiber with negligible fat content.
Being orange and yellow in colour, nectarines are also high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps in maintaining skin, teeth, and bone health.
Cherries: Cherries are a popular choice of many, owing to their sweet flavour. This stone fruit is nutrient dense and is high in fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium, which have many health benefits.
Vitamin C in cherries keeps the immune system in check and maintains skin health, while potassium helps in muscle contraction, nerve function, blood pressure regulation. The dietary fiber in this drupe promotes favourable bowel movements and ensures gut health. Some other micronutrients in cherries are Vitamin B, manganese, copper, magnesium, and vitamin K.
Dates: Dates are tropical fruits that can be consumed fresh and in dried form. The fresh form has fewer calories than the dried ones. Dates are high in essential nutrients like Vitamin A and K, along with phosphorus and magnesium. On average, 100 grams of this stone fruit provides 282 calories. They make an excellent snack in between meals and can be had with warm milk for the best health benefits.
Lychee: Lychees have a distinctive pinkish-red appearance with a bumpy texture, while the inside fruit is fleshy and translucent. Their taste is distinctively sweet and can be best described as somewhere between watermelon and pear, with a hint of tropical flavour. On average, 190 grams of lychee has about 125 calories with the highest amounts of Vitamin C, folate and Vitamin B6. This stone fruit also has high amounts of phenolic compounds, including rutin, epicatechin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and gallic acid, which are useful antioxidants.
Apricots: These stone fruits are similar to peaches but are smaller in size. Much like dates, apricots can be consumed fresh or as dry fruits. On average, these golden stone fruits contain 87 calories apiece and are packed with Vitamin C, A, and potassium. Apricots also contain catechins, flavonoid phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory benefits and help in digestion, maintain healthy skin and bones. The dried form of this drupe has a relatively higher concentration of Vitamin A, E potassium and iron that fulfils about 1/4th of the daily requirement of these micronutrients.
Mangoes: One of the most prominent and coveted tropical fruits, mango, is a powerhouse of nutrients, popular especially in the Indian subcontinent. They are bright yellow in colour and are rich in antioxidants, including anthocyanins and carotenoids. This stone fruit also provides a rich amount of Vitamin B complex, Vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, and copper.
Nutritionally, a 200 gram serving of mangoes contains about 170 calories and 4 grams of fiber, with almost 96% of the daily requirement of Vitamin C, 1/3rd of the requirement of Vitamin A and 1/10th of Vitamin E. It also promotes healthy digestion and improves metabolism when eaten in moderation.
Raspberry, Mulberry & Blackberry: Raspberries, mulberries and blackberries make it to this list because they are actually aggregates of stone fruits, known as drupelets. These berries are strong in antioxidants such as quercetin and gallic acid, which prevent free-radical induced damage and even protect from different forms of cancer. A serving of 150 grams of these berries has only 70 calories and is high on vitamins and minerals.
Apart from these, coconuts and olives are also stone-fruits known for their healthy fat content, apart from being rich in antioxidants.
Transform Your Health with these Mood-Boosting Foods
If you want to increase your happiness quotient or well-being, look no further than the food you eat.
Have you ever enjoyed a delicious meal of rice and rajma for lunch but soon after that felt yourself struggling to stay awake? Or been tempted by a steaming hot cup of coffee first thing when you get up in the morning but then a few hours later find yourself dozing? It’s not you; it’s what you ate.
Food plays so many roles in our life – it gives us sustenance, nourishment and even comfort. But there’s an additional quality it possesses that is often overlooked, which is the ability to change your mood. So make the right choices and adopt experiential eating or eating with all your senses, where you immerse yourself not just in the taste but the authentic value food brings to your body.
The Starting Point
The food we consume gets broken down into various nutrients, making neurotransmitters, otherwise known as brain chemicals, that control your moods. Hence, both your emotions and cognitive abilities are affected by the food you eat.
There are various types of neurotransmitters. Some like serotonin helps you sleep well and keep you calm, while others, like dopamine, keep you mentally alert. For the neurotransmitters to be most effective, you need to feed your body well. Otherwise, when your serotonin levels are low, you will experience feelings of anxiety and depression and might find it hard to sleep. When your dopamine levels are low, you are putting yourself at risk for Parkinson’s disease and may find yourself dealing with social anxiety.
The Right Eating Habits
When and how you eat is essential. One of the best habits you can develop is to take an interest in eating the right breakfast. Studies show that this can affect your whole day. Who can resist a plate of delicious cut fruit to start your day off on the right note?
Remember your mother coaxing you to eat your greens when you were a child? She had her reasons. Green vegetables like spinach, fenugreek, and broccoli enhance your mood and improve your health immensely.
Did you know that trans fats increase depression by 48%? Fast foods are full of preservatives, chemicals and stabilizers to tempt your taste buds but are the fastest way to put your health at risk. Fruits, vegetables, and legumes keep you satiated and stop you from giving in to temptation.
Hormones regulate your cells and organs and impact your stress levels and menstrual cycles. Load up on broccoli, which balances the sex hormones, particularly estrogen, needed for a healthy reproductive system. Avocados contain fibre to keep your insulin levels in check and also reduce inflammation and stress. Pomegranates contain punic acid, a rare fatty acid that can burn fat.
The juice trend shows no signs of slowing down, so juice up for better health and hydration. Orange juice is full of vitamin C, which can improve your memory and focus. Blueberry juice is full of antioxidants to boost your brain. Beetroot juice, apart from tasting delicious, is rich in nitrates for improved blood flow and oxygenation. Don’t just have your veggies whole; blend spinach, cucumber, green apples, lemongrass, and celery for a fast-acting health-boosting drink.
The Right Foods
If you have felt low or experienced symptoms of depression caused by the traumatic pandemic, you should know that you could improve your mental health by changing your diet. Opt for healthy treats that open up a lasting world of well-being and give you stress relief as well as energy to cope.
Self-care starts with the correct functional foods whose value extends beyond nutrients to offer additional vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Focus on intentional consumption, which involves first asking yourself why you are eating a particular food before you even put it into your mouth.
Citrus fruits are packed with Vitamin C and folate.
Papaya contains compounds to reduce pain levels.
Mango gives you 20% of the recommended vitamin B6 quota.
Bananas can prevent anaemia and constipation.
Radishes can make you alert and happy by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in your brain.
Sweet potatoes increase serotonin to help you feel good.
Spinach regulates blood sugar.
Mushrooms are one of the best sources of vitamin D, which is needed for bone health.
Bell peppers help neurotransmitters to function properly.
Asparagus can keep you from feeling irritable.
You have no excuse for letting your diet keep you down. Just fill your plate with foods that are bursting with health and vitality and watch the positive effect on your mood. Start your mood-boosting shopping here
Live Healthier With These Everyday Superfoods
The food you eat has a substantial impact on your overall health and it stands true with the saying “You are what you eat.” In current times, physical activity along with healthy eating habits is crucial to stay disease-free. A healthy body and strong immune system are your only true friends that can save you when bacteria, viruses, or fungi attack you!
As the right fuel is necessary for the normal functioning of any machine, so does our body. The right amount of balanced diet, along with additional incorporation of superfoods may help in staying fit.
Superfoods are not wearing anything marked with the “S” logo! They are readily available, seasonal foods present in the local markets at affordable rates.
What Are Superfoods and What are the Benefits Tied to Them?
Superfoods are unprocessed foods that are rich in micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These micronutrients are essential for the normal functioning of our bodies.
Antioxidants are chemicals that can neutralize free radicals and prevent damage to the cells. Antioxidants are also known as free radical scavengers.
The body produces free radicals as a byproduct during the conversion of food into energy. In high concentrations, these free radicals are capable of damaging cells and genetic material.
An antioxidant is a substance that can prevent or delay cell damage and help in the prevention of many diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, Parkinson’s disease, respiratory diseases, and arthritis.
The best health food or superfood:
- Contains a good amount of vitamins and minerals
- Is easily available
- Is rich in antioxidants
- Helps in reducing the risk of diseases
According to The Macmillan Dictionary, a superfood is “a food that is considered to be very good for your health and that may even help some medical conditions.”
The Relationship Amongst Superfoods, Immunity, and Keeping a Well-Balanced Diet
At all times, several bacteria, viruses, and fungi try to invade and attack your body. What protects you is your strong immune system that fights off these microorganisms and keeps you safe. The fundamental to strong immunity is eating right.
Superfoods are nutrient powerhouses, rich in micronutrients like minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants that can bring health benefits. Superfoods like berries, ginger, cherries, teas, and avocados, etc., boost immunity and protect you from many diseases.
Especially, during this testing time of the COVID-19 pandemic, a strong immune system is all that you need to survive. Superfoods or plant-based foods play a vital role in enhancing the immunity of people to fight and control COVID-19.
Eating a well-balanced diet is of utmost importance as no single food contains all the nutrients. We should eat a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods. As per WHO, a healthy diet of an adult includes fruits, vegetables, legumes (lentils and beans), nuts, and whole grains (e.g. unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat, and brown rice).
Top Superfoods You Need to Include in Your Diet
Amaranth is considered a superfood because it has high nutraceutical value. It contains protein, dietary fibre, flavonoids, vitamins, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Amaranth possesses anti-inflammatory, cardio-protective, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-malarial, anti-cancer, and hepatoprotective properties. It also fights ulcers and helps in managing diabetes.
The leaves can be refrigerated in a damp cloth or plastic bag. They can be used whole or torn into bite-size pieces.
Amla is a small, nutritious fruit low in calories and fats and packed with lots of nutrients.
It is an excellent source of vitamin C, K, B6, and E, and it boosts immunity, helps prevent ageing, and cancer.
It also contains carbohydrates, fibres, fatty acids, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, manganese, chloride, and quercetin.
Amla has antioxidant properties and may be used as supportive therapy for diabetes.
Amla juice is a simple recipe that can serve as a detoxifying drink. For full benefits, drink early in the morning. It can be refrigerated for a few days.
Avocados are smooth and creamy fruits with a unique nutrition profile. They are rich in antioxidants. They contain vitamin K, vitamin A, carotene, essential amino acids, copper, potassium, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and phytosterols.
Avocado is a weight-loss-friendly fruit and helpful in osteoarthritis. It reduces cancer risk.
Avocados can be eaten directly by sprinkling them with a pinch of salt and pepper, or a salad dressing. Place avocados in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days to keep them fresh.
These vibrant coloured vegetables not only add to the visual appeal of your dish but also have many health benefits.
They contain zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and B.
They have a low glycemic index and are good for bones and skin health. They reduce inflammation and help in managing weight. They have numerous antioxidant properties. They are used as immunity boosters.
Bell peppers can be added to many dishes by thinly slicing them. Bell pepper can be kept fresh by placing them in the refrigerator drawer.
This thriving vegetable is a powerhouse of nutrients. It is high in antioxidants, fibre, zinc, iron, phosphorus, vitamin C, B12, and A.
Broccoli is protective against stomach, breast, and intestinal cancers. It is good for the eyes and heart. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It is helpful in diabetes and autism.
Broccoli can be eaten raw, steamed, with a dip, or in a salad. Blanching in boiling water gives it a crisp-tender texture. Wrap it loosely in damp paper towels to keep it fresh and store it in the refrigerator.
Red cabbage is a popular vegetable as it contains phytochemicals, antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Zinc, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium are some essential components present in cabbage.
Its antioxidants like anthocyanins and indoles are very valuable for human health. It boosts the immune system and helps in weight loss. It is good for the eyes and helpful in Alzheimer’s disease.
This vegetable can be easily added to soups and salads. Cabbage is best-stored whole in a refrigerator.
Carrots are a rich source of antioxidants and have many health benefits. Carrots are rich in vitamin A and C, calcium, iron, sodium, and potassium.
- Beta-carotene present in carrots is good for the eyes.
- These help prevent cancer
- Carrots reduce blood cholesterol
- Good for cardiovascular health
- Boost immune system
Help control diabetes
These can be eaten raw or consumed as juice. Fresh, whole carrots can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.
This cruciferous vegetable is a rich source of vitamin C and a good source of folate. It also contains calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin K.
Cauliflower may improve cardiovascular functioning and may help reduce hypertension. It is useful in nervous disorders.
Eat it raw, cooked, baked, steamed, or roasted. It can be kept in the refrigerator for 4-6 days.
Anthocyanin—the antioxidant present in blueberries—gives the colour as well as anti-inflammatory properties. It is a rich source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fibre, and proteins.
Blueberries improve mental health and cardiovascular health. They also improve memory in older adults.
Dark-Green Leafy Vegetables
Kale contains fibre, antioxidants, calcium, iron vitamin C and K, and many other nutrients. Spinach is a superfood as it contains iron, magnesium, and calcium.
These green leafy vegetables are low in calories and carbohydrates and help in the management of diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and prevent cancer.
These can be added to salads, soups, and stews. Wrap them in a moist paper towel and store them in the refrigerator.
Colocasia contains minerals and vitamins A, C, E, and K. It has anti-cancer properties and lowers blood sugar.
It should be stored in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place.
Green radish has more nutrients than white root vegetables.
Vitamins A and C build the immune cells in the body. It treats urinary problems. It also helps in managing diabetes. It controls blood pressure.
Moringa leaves are rich in minerals like calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron, copper, and vitamins A, B, C, D, and E.
They are a potent neuroprotectant and have anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties. Moringa leaves can treat ear and eye infections, scurvy, bronchitis, etc.
Mustard green is rich in fibre and micronutrients. It is a rich source of vitamin K and has anti-cancer properties.
Dill is used to treat various ailments, including colic in infants, digestive disorders, and bad breath. It is rich in vitamin A and C, and manganese.
The spicy, pungent herb ginger has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is rich in protein, iron, and vitamins B, C, and E.
It contains essential oils like gingerol and zingerone. Gingerol has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Zingerone helps prevent diarrhoea.
Onions contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and folate.
Garlic is a source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese.
As per The American Institute of Cancer Research, garlic and onions have antibacterial and antiviral properties. They also possess anti-cancer properties. Allicin present in garlic gives it a pungent taste and has antiviral properties.
Mushrooms are edible fungi that contain vitamins, minerals, proteins, and antioxidants.
They have anti-cancer properties, help in managing diabetes, and regulate blood pressure. Beta-glucan present in the cell wall of mushrooms helps to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
Fruits are excellent sources of essential vitamins and minerals, and they are high in fibre. Fruits also provide a wide range of health-boosting antioxidants including flavonoids.
Strawberries contain anthocyanins, which are flavonoids that can help boost heart health. The fibre and potassium in strawberries can also support a healthy heart.
Pomegranates have anti-inflammatory effects and may help protect against brain-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. This could be attributed to high levels of polyphenols in pomegranate.
Pineapple is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin B, and manganese. Manganese in pineapple promotes bone health. Due to antioxidants, pineapple has anti-cancer properties.
Pomelo is a nutritious fruit that is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, protein, calcium, potassium, carbohydrates, and dietary fibre.
Grapes and grape juice have antioxidants that help in the normal functioning of the cardiovascular system.
Pumpkin is a highly nutritious vegetable rich in vitamins and minerals. Beta-carotene gives a vibrant colour to this vegetable, which is a powerful antioxidant.
Watermelon is a refreshing fruit that is rich in vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamin C and A, magnesium, vitamin B1, B5, carotenoids, and lycopene.
It has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in weight management.
Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant-lycopene, which has many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They have cancer-fighting properties and promote gut health.
The active compound in turmeric is curcumin which has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful antioxidant. Curcumin plays an important role in protecting your body against cardiovascular diseases.
Tamarind is a heart-friendly fruit. Tamarind is an excellent source of vitamin B, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, thiamine, phosphorus, riboflavin, and fibre.
How to Sneak Superfoods into Your Diet?
It is easy to incorporate superfoods into your daily diet routines. Here are some ways to eat superfoods:
- Add superfoods to sauces and soups
- Make desserts with superfoods
- Make smoothies
- Green leafy vegetables and nuts can be topped with whole grain cereals and fresh fruits, which can add great flavour to many dishes
- Many green leafy vegetables can be eaten raw
- Baking pumpkins, carrots, and walnuts can make wonderful bread and muffins
- Instead of eating one fruit at a time, drink the juice of vegetables or mixed fruit juices
- Shredding or dicing is also an alternate way to eat some superfoods in salads
- A puree of roasted vegetables can be a good sauce with fish or chicken
Superfoods are not magical substances but foods that have the superpower to make you healthy if you consume them in the right amounts along with a balanced diet. There are dozens of them to choose from and incorporate into your diet.
You should make these superfoods part of your diet to boost your immune system and promote overall well-being. If not all, try to add as many as you can to lead a disease-free life.
Ozone - Washed! Yes, we know it sounds fancy. The only other reference you are probably familiar with is - “The Ozone Layer”. If someone asks you - What does the Ozone layer do? - you’d most likely say ...“it's this layer in the atmosphere that keeps us safe from the Sun’s harmful ultraviolet light”. If however, someone asks you to explain what Ozone is? Like almost everyone, your answer would be something like…”Hmmm….I’m not sure exactly. It just keeps us alive...that’s all that matters”
So, you already kinda know Ozone is a good thing. It keeps everyone safe. In fact, keeping our ozone layer alive and kicking is what climate change is all about. We simply cannot live without it.
To keep things simple, let’s just tackle the 2 words: Ozone + Washed.
You already know washing implies cleanliness. We shower, we wash our clothes, and we wash our fruits and vegetables. Nobody questions this behaviour. We inherently know this activity cleans and we need cleanliness.
Coming to fruits and vegetables, all of us wash our produce at home for a few minutes at a minimum before eating anything. Add Covid - 19 to the mix and now there are disinfecting machines available that get rid of the virus from the surface of items that come to your house. What do these machines do? Get rid of a virus you can’t see. Just cause you can’t see something, doesn’t mean it’s not sitting there waiting to do damage. This is what “Ozone - Washing” does at its core. It removes harmful contaminants from the surface of your fruits & veggies
How does Ozone sanitize your fruits & vegetables?
Ozone is a powerful natural oxidizing agent (1.5 times stronger than Chlorine). On contact with pathogens and microbes that cause illness, Ozone is able to penetrate their cell walls and destroy the cells completely in just seconds.
Is Ozone Safe?
Ozone - Washing is simply using ozone dissolved in water (aqueous ozone). This method is recognized as Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA (USA). Due to its high reactivity, it quickly reverts back to oxygen, leaving no chemical residues. In addition, it contains no chemical additives. It is after all "Mother Nature's Detergent"
What does Ozone Kill?
Ozone washing is particularly effective (99.9% reduction) against the following common pathogens:
- E. COLI: infections especially arise from contaminated produce. Causes food poisoning and is particularly dangerous for young children and older adults as can lead to life-threatening kidney failure.
- Salmonella: Most common cause of food-related illness and severe food poisoning
- Staph A: Can cause serious infections, like blood poisoning and toxic shock syndrome, along with common skin infections
- Enterobacter aerogenes: Can cause gastrointestinal infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), skin & respiratory infections, and adult meningitis.
- Klebsiella pneumonia: Can cause severe infections in your lungs, bladder, brain, liver, eyes, blood, and wounds
Think of Ozone - Washing as a choice. A choice that keeps you safe in the long run. We all buy insurance, most of us exercise regularly, look before crossing a road and do a wide range of other activities that keep us safe. Choosing to eat Ozone - Washed produce is a similar life choice. Eating safer is the goal. Ozone - Washed produce is just one step you can take on this journey.
Start your journey by Signing Up here!
Did you cut into a fresh veggie that you just bought off a grocery store shelf only to make its way to the bin? If only you knew how to choose that perfectly ripe watermelon, you would have mastered that Watermelon Piña Colada served at your brunch party. Or, perhaps you’re used to bringing home a carton of berries only to be disappointed the next morning. At IndusFresh, we do everything to ensure that fresh produce from the farms reaches you with the shortest food mileage and minimal handling. However, here are a few tips to keep handy the next time you shop for fresh fruits and vegetables.
1. Don’t go by the looks always
Most of us shop with our eyes. If you are solely dependent on appearance, you are sure to miss out on a combination of elements like – flavor, juice, and in the case of fruits – sweetness. For example, the berries with the perfect shape and color may appear to be straight out of an advertisement – but they could turn out to be dry, bland, and even hard. If you’ve tried your hand at organic farming, you’ll know that even though berries can be ugly looking, lumpy, and imperfect in color, they can very well be fresh, aromatic, and juicy. Appearance may not predict the perfect berries, however, if you do smell a hint of mold, fermentation, or ever foulness, you know they may not survive the next morning.
2. Seasonal veggies are your best bet
The next time you go veggie shopping, check for firmness and color consistency across the veggie’s surface. In case of leafy vegetables, check for wilting or browning of the leaves. Smell may not be the best determiner of vegetable freshness, however, check for an overly sweet or sour smell that may indicate that the product has passed its prime. Pick veggies that are seasonal and put off veggie shopping when the weather is inclement for days together. Additionally, to get the most of your veggie shopping, purchase and consume vegetables as frequently as possible.
3. Wait until you weigh
Large fruit is an indicator of coarseness and may have been harvested tad too late. On the other hand, a smaller fruit could have been harvested way too earlier. The next time you head to the produce section, check for similar-sized fruits or veggies and weigh them. Chances are, the heavier produce has more water content and is, therefore, your best buy!
4. Give ‘em a good squeeze
While vegetables should feel sturdy, fruits shouldn’t feel too hard, or else they may not have fully ripened. When the surface of the fruit feels rough or coarse, chances are that the water content of the fruit has withered away. Carrots, onions, potatoes, and cucumbers, must feel firm on squeezing. Tomatoes, citruses, and bananas shouldn’t be squishy, wrinkled, or wilted.
5. How about a lil thump?
Here is a tried and tested method to pick the best melons. Along with a combination of smell and touch, try thwacking a melon on one hand while you hold it from the other. Do you hear a hollow and full sound? That’s the sound of a melon that was picked just in time. If it smells sweet and gives in when touched, well, you know you’ve made the right choice by bringing those melons home.
6. Pick wisely
It’s good to understand fruit behaviors when picking them before or after ripening. For example – apples, papayas, and kiwi get sweeter after they are picked, while bananas and avocados ripen only after picking. Olives, litchis, and watermelon never ripen after picking, while peaches, passionfruit, and figs ripen in color, texture, and juiciness but not in sweetness after picking. So, pick wisely!
Whether shopping online or in-person, be rest assured that IndusFresh puts great care in meeting your most stringent specifications and ensures stocking its produce department with only the highest quality. Now that you know how to select fresh fruits and vegetables, be sure to take advantage of these tips and choose the best produce!
Urban Indians are increasingly getting into the habit of getting healthy. Rightly so, as India is expected to be home to 1 billion lifestyle disease incidents – one of the largest in the world. Guess what? 90 Million Indians are Health Conscious Individuals (HCI) and the number is expected to rise to 130 Million HCIs by 2022. As we strive to be confident about our holistic health, it’s not surprising for us to ask relevant questions on healthy consumption, including food labels like organic, naturally fortified, non-GMO, and ethically sourced. With the abundance of misinformation and myths in the market, we could be misled and manipulated on what we consume. Read along to differentiate the truth from the hype and make the most informed food choices.
The No.1 claim of the organic label is that it’s pesticide-free. This is a broad misconception. Organic farmers do use herbicides and pesticides that are natural and not synthetic or artificial. However, everything natural may not necessarily mean safe and healthy. Natural herbicides are safer than their synthetic peers only when within the permissible toxicity levels. Besides, organic and nutritious don’t go hand in hand either.
If you purchase your fruits and veggies from ‘purely organic farms’ that use natural pesticides to the bare minimum, it doesn’t necessarily ensure that the produce is pathogen-free. Organic produce tends to be more contaminated with potential microbial agents that tag along with manure, running a higher risk of fecal contamination. If these pathogenic agents are in higher proportions, it could jeopardize your health thereby doing more harm than good. It, therefore, becomes important to know and trust the source of the produce – the organic farmer himself. It’s a great idea to understand his conventional farming techniques and the frequency of pesticide usage to be 100% sure of what you eat. Catch up with our Farmers of Indusfresh to know how we bring the safest produce to your table.
Higher nutritional value?
Hate to break this to you that there is no scientific evidence proving the nutritional upsides of organic produce. Scientists cannot derive conclusive evidence basis the present-day results and literature. One may splurge on produce that’s ‘labeled’ as a highly nutritious luxury item. What scientists and nutritionists do confirm is that - one can increase nutritional intake by simply incorporating a variety of fruits and veggies and increasing its volume in one’s diet instead of eating organic ones.
Pro ‘non-GMO’ consumers passionately believe in consuming environment-conscious produce. However, organic farmers use protein from soil bacteria as an organic herbicide for crops all year long. Surprisingly, the same protein when encoded in a crop’s gene could intrinsically boost plant immunity and reduce toxin seepage into the farm’s soil and water. Additionally, a study reports that organic farms produce 50% lesser than conventional farms. This means lesser food per unit land. While organic farms prove ideal for small scale niche produce, large scale organic production is bound to have a huge ecological impact along with increased global hunger and malnutrition. Check out IndusFresh’s farming practices that ensure ethical and sustainable produce.
So what’s the bottom line? Rely on local and seasonal farm produce – whether organic or not. You’ll discover that the product is not only fresher and healthier but also competitively priced and ecologically responsible. Local producers will be more than happy to answer your queries too. What’s best? You’ll be allowing home-grown businesses an opportunity to flourish!
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The Great Indian Festival Season begins and so does the season of festive treats! How can you possibly diet when surrounded by those mouthwatering sweets? As the foodie in you gorges on the delicious food, your carefully curated diet goes out of the window. But what if we told you that dieting has some pretty damaging effects – not just on your body but also on your relationships? So before jumping into the dieting bandwagon, here are some tips on intuitive eating for sustainable and effective health benefits.
1. Dieting ≠ Weight Loss
The first few days or even weeks of calorie counting must’ve made you feel amazing and in complete control of your weight. You may have lost a few pounds too. But the next time you went out partying, you just couldn’t resist those fritters. And your diet plan went for a toss every other occasion thereafter. The truth is – your body perceives dieting as starvation. As we age, metabolism slows and resisting weight loss is impossible even when sticking to a strict diet. Experts say that the carb avoiding and waistline measuring not only makes you emotionally miserable but also could lead to overeating which could further lead to lifestyle diseases.
2. Fall in love with your body
While diets scream, “How to get that perfect body!” your body hears, “You are fat, ugly, and unacceptable”. Diets don’t tell you to tune into what your body is trying to tell you. Hence the emergence of the concept of ‘intuitive eating’ that goes beyond weight loss. Intuitive eating is all about understanding your body’s signals, the food it craves to binge on, and the triggers to avoidable hunger pangs. Doing away with ‘food labeling’, intuitive eating helps you develop a healthy relationship with your body image along with the mindfulness of mediating junk eating tendencies with healthier choices. It’s all about loving your body for the way it is, respecting it, and treating it with care.
3. Eat what you love, love what you eat
As you get in touch with your internal food cues, you’ll understand the foods that make your body feel good. As you make a conscious effort to take note of them, you’ll start gravitating to add more of those to your diet. You’ll observe that you are eliminating foods that make you binge. You’ll start giving yourself visual cues of healthy fruits and vegetables in the kitchen or at the dining table. You’ll discover healthier substitutes for your indulgences. Like the apple, cinnamon, yogurt bowl that nips sweet cravings in the bud! Try the broccoli fritters with the spinach avocado dip that takes care of the protein intake and provides the perfect savory indulgence! Experimenting with fruits and veggies that are high protein, high fiber, and high water content is sure to bring taste to your palate and do wonders for your health!
4. Fat yet healthy!
Who says thin people are fit people? Weight loss is not the only fitness parameter. Health experts claim that a person’s overall disease risk is a combination of factors besides weight, including family history, lifestyle choices, and blood pressure. This means, irrespective of size, one can lead healthy lives by eating healthier food without dieting, incorporating an energizing fitness routine that is centered on increasing the happiness quotient rather than weight loss, and grabbing a good night’s sleep that helps manage stress levels.
As Colin Wright quotes, ‘Your body isn’t a temple, it’s a home you’ll live in forever. Take care of it.’ It’s therefore important to maintain a healthy relationship with your body by treating it with respect, rather than punishing yourself or restricting yourself. One must be focused on being the healthiest version of themselves, every day.
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