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5 Indian Alternatives to Fancy Diet Foods from the West

Are you tempted to spend on the present age diet foods imported from the west? These alternatives to fancy diet foods are marketed in India as superfoods and sold at exorbitant prices. Since most of us are unaware of their alternatives, we give in to the temptation of having ‘healthy’ foods.




Here’s a list of some Indian alternatives to fancy diet foods from the west:

Chia Seeds – Basil Seed

Have you ever noticed those tiny black seeds in your falooda? Well, these are actually Basil Seeds. Also known as tukmaria seeds, these seeds are native to south-east Asia (mainly India and China). The superfood is a perfect Indian alternative to the current favorite diet fads – Chia Seeds. The best part is that these are available at just one-fourth its price. You simply need to add basil seeds to your morning smoothie to get your daily dose of healthy Omega3. Basil seeds look similar to chia seeds when soaked in water. These help in weight loss, controls blood sugar levels, reduces body heat, cures a cough and flu, relieves constipation and bloating and promotes healthy skin and hair.

chia seeds and basil seeds

Avocado – Camphor

Avocado is deemed as the only imported superfood or diet food that does not have an Indian counterpart. The fruit is known for its quality to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It is also tagged as the World’s Healthiest Foods. Avocado contains high-fiber content, potassium Vitamin K, and folate. However, camphor is very helpful in reducing cholesterol. The best part is that it belongs to the same plant family as avocado. It helps to improve blood circulation in the body.

Avocado-camphor

 

 

Quinoa – Millet

Millet is a healthy gluten-free alternative to quinoa. This is widely used in India, Africa, and China. Millet is very healthy and can be used in the same way as quinoa.

Quinoa-Millet

Kale – Beet Greens

Most people have failed to recognize the power of beet greens. Kale’s arrival in urban India has diminished its value. Presently, health experts are promoting kale as the nutritional powerhouse of all greens. Although it is true to some extent (owing to higher Vitamin A & Vitamin K content than most greens), it is not the only option. Beetroot greens are usually thrown away. However, it a high nutrition food, low in calories and high in Vitamin E. The greens are the best source for potassium.

Kale-Beetgreen

Goji Berries – Amla

Goji berries have been proved as the best source of Vitamin C, beta-carotene and antioxidants. These are very effective in serious conditions such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and several eye diseases. However, Goji berries are very expensive. You may require spending up to INR 1,200 for 300grams. Indian gooseberries or Amla are the best alternatives to goji berries. These are affordable, easily available and one of the richest sources of Vitamin C. Amla helps in digestion and acts as anti-carcinogen. It balances stomach acids and keeps urinary infections at bay.

Goji Berries - Amla

References:

https://www.foodandwine.com/fwx/food/5-grains-will-overthrow-quinoa
http://www.catchnews.com/health-news/get-smart-dump-the-chia-4-powerful-superfoods-in-india-you-may-not-know-of-1433756217.html

10 Indian alternatives to international superfoods

Understanding Symptoms of Colic in Infants

What is Colic?

Colic can be defined as an attack of crying on babies due to abdominal pain. This condition is very common which affects babies during their first few months. Now babies cry for different reasons. They may feel hungry, cold, hot or a signal for you to change the diaper. However, the problem is when an infant cries despite the change of diaper, being fed, kept under the right temperature. If your child cries despite being well cared for, it may be colic!

Incessant, inconsolable crying without any reason may be a sign of colic.

Some Facts about Colic in Babies

  • Colic makes babies suffer from long bouts of crying for no obvious reason.
  • Colic may last for many weeks.
  • Mothers who smoke during pregnancy have higher chances of having a colicky baby.
  • Doctors diagnose colic to rule the possibility of other illnesses.
  • Many home treatments are effective in treating colic.
  • Colic usually appears a few weeks after birth.
  • The condition in babies may carry for up to four months.
  • Although colic makes babies cry a lot, it is not a dangerous condition.
  • Experts say that colic has no long-term effects.
  • An infant with colic will not stop gaining weight.

colic

Types of Colic?

Renal Colic – This is a kind of abdominal pain caused due to kidney stones. The pain may be constant or appear in waves.

Painter’s Colic – This type may be caused by lead poisoning.

Biliary Colic – The pain is caused by a gallstone, blocking the cystic duct while making contractions.

Horse Colic – This is one of the symptoms for a number of diseases in horses.

Symptoms of Colic in Newborn Babies:


Here are some symptoms you need to watch out for:

  • Intense crying. This appears more like screaming or expression of extreme pain
  • Crying despite being fed, after changing the diaper, or no apparent reason
  • Extreme fussiness even once the crying is over
  • Crying and screaming at the same time (especially in the evening)
  • Reddening of the face, paler skin (around mouth area)
  • Stiff body (legs, arms)
  • Clenching of fists
  • An arched back
  • Tense abdomen
  • Symptoms may relieve after a bowel or passing of gas
  • Sleep may be irregular and interrupted.

Some Tips

  • Try burping the baby. This will remove excess gas and air bubbles from the stomach and relax baby.
  • Give your baby some tummy time.
  • Apply little pressure to baby’s tummy. Place the infant face-down on your lap and gently rub or pat his back.
  • Keep the environment noise-free and calm around the baby. Also, use dim lights especially during the evening to pacify the baby. Playing soothing music may also help.
  • Give a warm water bath to the baby.
  • The gentle movement of the baby in arms or in the baby carrier may also help to soothe the baby. Else, cuddle her in the blanket.
  • Anti-colic or gas drops will help. However, make sure you give medications, which are prescribed by a pediatric after checking your baby.

When to Visit a Doctor

Excessive, inconsolable crying should be considered seriously. Take the baby to doctor (pediatric) for an exam. The baby might be feeling pain or discomfort.

References:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/162806.php
https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/colic-treatments
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/162806.php
https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/health-and-safety/what-is-colic/

Top Reasons to Include Walnuts in Winter Diet

Winter has already set in. Hence, it is important to boost your immune system against winter related diseases. Including walnuts in the diet is one of the best ways to do so. These are very helpful in keeping the body warm and protect the body from the harsh effects of cold weather.

Here are some of the best reasons to include walnuts into your diet during winter:

A Wonder Nut

Walnuts are an excellent source of arginine. An amino acid plays a vital role in many body functions such as healing of the wound, immunity, detoxification, and secretion of hormones such as growth hormone and insulin.

walnuts

Brain Food

Walnuts are often referred to as ‘Brain Food’. One of the major reasons is their appearance. They truly resemble the human brain. Therefore, our ancestors believed that they are good for the brain. Additionally, they are a high concentration of DHA (an). DHA protects brain health in newborn babies. It is also helpful in improving cognitive performance in adults. Walnuts prevent age-related cognitive decline.

omega-3 fatty acid

Protects Heart

Winter months are not so good for the heart. The weather can constrict blood flow to the heart leading to stroke and other heart diseases. Walnuts are very helpful in lowering cholesterol levels. The nuts are loaded with L-arginine (amino acid) and omega 3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid). Both compounds have anti-inflammatory properties and prevent blood clot formation.



Helps Weight Loss

Planning for a hot summer body? Start working for it in winter! Walnuts are helpful in weight-loss. Munching on a few walnuts will keep you full and reduce unnecessary cravings. Your appetite is reduced. Walnuts can help you with your weight management plan.

weight loss

Good for Digestion

Walnuts are high in soluble fiber. Hence, these help you with issues related to the digestive system and constipation. Make sure you consume these at night to help them work better. You will not feel constipated or bloated in the morning. Walnuts are an excellent source of, manganese, copper and healthy (monounsaturated) fats.

digestion

Good for Pregnancy

Adding walnuts to your pregnancy diet can do wonders. It helps in minimizing symptoms of nausea. Walnuts are a rich source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which promote healthy brain development in children.

healthy pregnancy

Rich in Antioxidants

Walnuts are the richest source of antioxidants. Antioxidants play a vital role in protecting your cells against the effects of free radicals (molecules produced upon the breakdown of food. Free radicals are also produced when the body is exposed to UV radiations and other harmful substances. These are responsible for health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, etc. Adding walnuts to a diet will help in protecting the body against these diseases and you in a healthy state.

Sleep Well

Walnuts are known to contain bio-available melatonin, which helps regulate the sleep cycle. So including the nut into your diet will help you sleep well.

sound-sleep

Prevents Diabetes

Walnuts build resistance for insulin and control the blood glucose levels. These crunchy nuts also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes

References:

https://www.brainhq.com/brain-resources/brain-healthy-foods-nutrition/nuts-brain-health
http://www.radicalcooks.com/blog/2016/1/20/the-walnuts-of-winter
https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/7-health-benefits-walnuts-704205

Health Benefits of Flaxseeds (Alsi) during Winter

Winter is here and you need to prepare your body to face it. Although one of the most beautiful seasons of the year, it demands you to ensure strengthened immunity of the body and additional protection. Whatever goes inside the body will help to stay strong and enjoy the beauty of weather. So make sure you keep a close watch on what you eat and drink.

Flaxseeds (Alsi in Hindi) are a perfect addition for winter diet. Here is a list of some of the benefits of these super seeds:

Flaxseeds

Omega-3 Fatty Acid

Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These are good for the heart and diabetic patients. Therefore, these lead to smoother, younger-looking skin. These are also helpful in reducing inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.

Strengthen the Immune System

Lignans, a powerful component of flax seeds are loaded with estrogen, antioxidant and fiber. These are very helpful in regulating hormone levels and supporting the immune system.

Keeps Body Warm

Flaxseeds generate heat in the body. So, these can keep your body warm longer during winter.



Weight Loss

Include roasted flax seeds in your diet to expedite your weight loss process. These tiny superfoods are high in fiber, healthy fats and low in carbs. These seeds will keep you fuller for longer and curb unnecessary cravings that may lead to weight gain.

Defies Signs of Aging

Including flax seeds in your regular diet will help you stay healthy. They are great for promoting hormonal balance, cellular health, and fight signs of aging.

Strengthen Body System

Power packed with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, flax seeds are helpful in fortifying all of the body’s systems. This protects them from diseases and deterioration.

Miracle Seeds for Women

These are specifically helpful for women suffering from bone and joints related conditions. Loaded with powerful antioxidant lignans, regular intake of flaxseeds can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Joint pain is common during winter. Flax seeds can help in natural lubrication of joints to protect excess rubbing and ease the pain.

Healthy Menstrual Cycle

Flax seeds will keep your menstrual cycle on track. These are also proven as an effective alternative to hormone replacement during menopause.

Keeps your Digestive System in Check

Flax seeds are great for digestive health. These are helpful in protecting the lining of the intestine and reduce intestinal inflammation. This will ultimately help your digestive system function at its healthiest state.

How to Eat Flaxseeds

Usually, flax seeds are recommended to be consumed as grounded or powdered form. For a stronger and healthier digestive system, you can have half spoon of flax seeds with water. Sprinkling it on curd, salad or even sandwiches will also help.

References:

Amazing Benefits and uses of flax seeds


https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/how-to-eat-flaxseeds-health-benefits-tips-and-recipes-1247569

How to use flax seeds for weight loss

3 Best Sesame Seeds Recipes that Help You Stay Fit during Winter

Winters are here and you need to take special care for yourself to be able to enjoy the holiday season well. Warming foods must make a grand appearance on menus and dining tables. Sesame seed (til in Hindi), is one of the warming foods widely recommended by health experts and Ayurveda medics. These minuscule seeds are used in a number of winter sweets such as til-gur (jaggery) ladoos, rewari, and gajak. The seeds are associated with longevity and prosperity in several Indian religious lores.

sesame-seeds

Here are some delectable and healthful sesame seeds recipes to help you include more sesame seeds in your diet, this winter:

1. Winter Garlic Sesame Seeds Dressing Salad

This salad is loaded with antioxidants and amazing benefits of sesame seeds.

Ingredients

Garlic – 1 head

Olive oil – 2 tbsp

Chopped kale leaves – 6 cups

Chopped broccoli slaw – ¾ cup

Thinly sliced red onion – ¼ cup

Unseasoned rice vinegar – 2 Tsp

Low-sodium soy sauce – 1 Tsp

Honey – ¼ Tsp

Orange zest – ¼ tsp

Toasted sesame oil – 1 tbsp

Sesame seeds – 2 tsp


Preparation Method

Step 1 – Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Step 2 – Bake garlic for 45 minutes on a sheet of aluminum foil with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil drizzled on it. Remove from the oven and open the foil. Allow the garlic to cool.

Step 3 – Place the kale in a medium bowl. Now add a teaspoon of olive oil. Rub oil into kale for about 2 minutes gently. Add the broccoli slaw and onion to the kale.

Step 4 – Discard skin of roasted garlic cloves and place into a separate bowl. Add orange zest, rice vinegar, honey, and soy sauce into the garlic until smooth. Add sesame oil and the remaining olive oil.

Step 5 – Add veggies to the bowl with the dressing. Toss and sprinkle sesame seeds.

Step 6 – Serve immediately.

2. Sesame Seed Jaggery Balls

Sesame seeds are rich in calcium, good fats, fiber and a number of essential minerals and vitamins, which are great for the hair, skin and overall health. So, go ahead and incorporate these healthy seeds in your diet!

This recipe is good for young, old, and the kids.

Ingredients

Sesame seeds – 1 cup

Melted Ghee – 3 tablespoon

Water – 1/2 cup

Powdered jaggery – 1 cup

Black cardamom – 8

Preparation Method

Step 1 – Dry roast sesame seeds in a flat pan on medium heat until they turn pale golden.

Step 2 – Put the jaggery and water in a pan. Heat and allow it to melt and forms a thick syrup. Drop a little syrup into a bowl of chilled water. If it forms a ball, your syrup is ready.

Step 3 – Now add the toasted sesame seeds to the syrup. Mix well.

Step 4 – Add some ghee and cardamom powder. Mix well. Take the mixture off from heat.

Step 5 – Grease your palms with ghee. Create a golf ball-sized lump of the warm mixture. You must roll it between your palms till smooth.

Step 6 – Lay the balls on a greased plate to cool. These will soon harden to candy-like texture.

Tip  – You can store jaggery balls for up to 10-15 days in an air-tight container.

3. Sesame Seeds Pulao

This is a delicious dinner recipe. It is highly nutritious with white sesame seeds added as one of the main ingredients.

Ingredients Required

Basmati rice – 2 cups

Red chilies – 4-5

Sesame seeds – 2 tbsp

Peanuts – 1/2 cup

Cashew nuts – 1/2 cup

Cream – 1/2 cup

Desi ghee – 3 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 2 tsp

Curry leaves – 10 -12

Uncooked urad dal – 1 cup

Salt

Preparation Method

Step 1 – Wash the rice with water. Soak for a while.

Step 2 – Dry roast the red chilies in a pan and add sesame seeds.

Step 3 – Grind them. Keep aside.

Step 4 – Heat a pan and add desi ghee. Add peanuts and cashew nuts and fry them.

Step 5 – Once they turn brown, take them out. Keep aside.

Step 6 – Heat ghee and add cream. Mix well.

Step 7 – Add the fried nuts to this mix.

Step 8 – Allow it cook for a minute or two. Pour it out in a bowl and pour this over the rice once cooked.

Step 9 – Heat some ghee in a flat-bottomed pan.

Step 10 – Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, and urad dal.

Step 11 – Mix well. Add the ground sesame seeds and red chilies once daal turns golden brown.

Step 12 – Mix well. Add some water (2 cups or more). Allow it to boil and add rice.

Step 13 – Stir gently. Add a pinch of salt.

Step 14 – Allow it cook on low heat till the water evaporates.

Step 15 – Add nut and cream mixture once the rice is cooked.

Step 16 – Mix well. Cover it with foil paper and allow it cook for 2- 3minutes.

Step 17 – Serve hot.

References:

https://food.ndtv.com/lists/10-best-sesame-seeds-recipes-1712210
https://www.ndtv.com/food/sesame-seeds-til-for-winters-warming-benefits-and-5-delicious-recipes-to-try-1952389
https://www.myfooddiary.com/blog/winter-salad-with-garlic-sesame-dressing