By Ambika Niranjan  on: 02 March 2018
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HOLI – The festival of colors, family gatherings, parties, outings, loads of exertion and last but not the least, the sinful delights of food varieties around the corner that ranges from sweets, savories, chutneys, drinks to all the food items that have been dipped into the oil at high temperature burning themselves just to add the flavors to your tongue and satisfy your taste buds.

We all look forward to celebrate holi with the beautiful bright colors, enjoy all the food but do not want to end up ruining our diet plans. So, here are a few tips that make sure that this holi, you don’t just have a happy and beautiful skin but a healthy and beautiful stomach as well.

  1. Since holi is celebrated in the start of the summer season, do keep your consumption of fried foods to the minimum and prevent yourself from indigestion and heart burn.
  2. Holi is a festival that needs a lot of energy. So, kick start your day with a banana, a fruit rich in potassium that will keep your blood pressure levels on check and will help you stay on your toes with its high energy content. Do keep munching healthy snacks in between.
  3. Besan ka cheela with mix veg paneer burji, moong dal thepla, idli with sambar and chutney, or green peas uttappam are the best high protein breakfast options to start your day with on this exerting day.
  4. We all understand our love for the festivals and the food items. Do keep the serving size very small so as to taste the food and not just indulge into it like there is no tomorrow.
  5. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and eat salads as snacks to curb your appetite for those large servings of sweets and chats. Do drink a minimum of 10 glasses of water to keep your body hydrated and cool when you spend all your day out in the scorching sun.
  6. Do try to attend some dance holi parties to keep yourself active and burn those extra calories you just ate deliberately.
  7. Last but not the least, do protect your skin by avoiding harsh colors and playing freely with gulal and herbal colors.                                                                                                                                                                                       Hope your life is framed with all the colors of love and happiness today and always.


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24 January 2018
Winters are something that everyone dreads of not because of. Not because of the cool breezes and the foggy mornings, but the temperature changes in the weather that our body is not able to take and hence giving us the lethargic feelings of not wanting to get out of the bed, wrapped in the comforters all day long, loaded cups of coffee and tea, and the non-stop sneezes and running nose.             So, here is a list of few foods along with their usage tips that will not only make you feel warm in winters, but also build your immunity and keep cold and flu at bay. TURMERIC:  Turmeric is widely recognized to augment immunity as is fungicidal, antiviral, and anti-bacterial in nature, improving the blood movement and liver detoxification. Adding a pinch of turmeric to boiling milk will not only reduce inflammation in the body but also keeps the body warm from within.     DRY FRUITS:  Dry fruits like almonds, dates and walnuts are good for generating heat in the body during winters. They also help in curing anemia, iron and other vitamin deficiencies. Add them to your daily salads, milk or eat them raw.   EGGS:  Filled with all the essential vitamins and amino acids for a digestible protein, a complete meal in self, eggs not only keep your body warm in winters but also help body fight infections. This powerhouse of energy, add it to your diet boiled, poached, fried or as you like it. HOT SOUPS:  Eating hot soups during winters is the easiest and healthiest way to get warmth when your body gives up due to extremely cold weather outside. Add soups to your dinners and enjoy the comfort of warmth along with shedding some weight as this happens to be a low calorie and filling food when made at home than those ready to packet foods.   FENUGREEK (METHI SEEDS): Winter miraculous foods with antiviral properties, that will help eradicate the chances of getting cold. This food will also provide comfort during running nose and sneezing due to its heat generating properties. CINNAMON:  A wonderful ingredient to dry up excess moisture and mucus present in the body. Helps increase metabolism, progress blood flow and also helps in better absorption that augments the core body temperature. Add them in powdered form to your tea, green tea or as a sweetener to your beverages.   PEPPERCORNS:  Black or white, rich in antioxidants, this is the best winter spice to keep your body warm and keep the cold symptoms away. Top freshly crushed on your salads, foods, eggs and toast. HONEY:  A traditionally used medicine for cold and flu, regular use in winter season will keep your body warm and aid fight chilly cold outside. TULSI LEAVES:  Rich in Vitamin A, C, and iron, helps the body combat respiratory problems. Very good natural antiseptic, treat allergies, infections and inflammations. GINGER:  Taken daily, keeps the body warm and keeps your lungs and respiratory tract free from phlegm, builds immunity in winter season and augments the blood movement in the body. Tulsi & Ginger when taken in combination- A very good stress reliever and lifts up your mood. Treats cold and flu by keeping your body warm. Rich in antioxidants helps fight free radicals and harmful chemicals keeping your youth maintained for longer. Aids in digestion and prevents formation of gas in the stomach.   SESAME SEEDS:  Whether the black ones or white, these tiny seeds are miraculous in their own way. Adding this to your diet, peeks up the metabolism, regularize the endocrines, increases the body temperature and help us stay warm and also helps cure chronic respiratory problems like pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma. Roll it into sweet laddoo with jaggery and dry fruits or top it up on your sabzi, roti and enjoy. SAFFRON (KASHMIRI KESAR):  Royal and rich food items which not only help you stay warm in the winter, but also add glow to your skin. Mix a few strands to boiled milk mixed with dry fruits or just soak for a while in warm water and take it before going to bed.               Add these foods to your diet and stay warm and comfortable in the winters without having to suffer from cold, sneezes, flu and running nose.        
08 March 2018
PREGNANCY is all about -             Carrying a blessing in your belly. An infinite love blooming in your heart. Thinking about yourself second and your child first. Anxiously waiting to hold your child for the first time. These things will remind every mother reading this, her days of pregnancy, her days of blessing. These days have also left some unwanted and unforgettable memories in a few mothers. Some memories in their mind and for some on their body. Yes, you read it right. The memories and the thoughts of being hungry, nauseous, tired, can’t sleep, terrified, thrilled, anxious, pregnant and all those tantrums which made your 9 months of pregnancy a miserable time leaving you with gestational diabetes, anemic, hypertension, thyroid hormone imbalances, c-section, underweight baby, loss of blood from the mother, hospitalizations, baby born with defects, sudden abortions and in some worst case scenario, death of the baby. Most of these scenarios could have been and can be avoided by taking your pregnancy not just as a blessing, and for some who take it as a disease, but also as a responsibility. Coming to responsibility, many of the men out there might be avoiding the reading of this section by assuming that, pregnancy is all about ladies. The responsibility of the successful pregnancy and this piece of reading is also for every man out there whose mother, sister, friend, colleague, wife, and neighbor and also daughter will be pregnant someday. By gaining the knowledge on how to have a healthy pregnancy and the maximum outcome of it will ensure that such above mentioned scenarios can be avoided to a great extent and that can be achieved by eating right before and during the pregnancy. Pregnancy is not about just those 9 months, it’s all about giving birth to a new life, for which your body needs preparation way before time by eating right, taking the right supplements and adopting the right activities. The woman who enters pregnancy with full nutrient stores, sound eating habits, and a healthy body weight has done much to ensure an optimal pregnancy outcome. Then, during pregnancy itself, if she eats a variety of nutrient-dense foods, her own and her infants health will benefit further. And the infants, who are well nourished in the womb, have an enhanced chance of entering life in good physical and mental health. The effects of under nutrition during reproduction will vary depending upon the nutrients involved, the length of time it is lacking and the stage of gestation at which it occurs. If women are underweight before pregnancy, with poor nutritional status, lead to Low Birth weight infants, premature spontaneous rupture of membranes, infection and anemia. Ever imagined how all this happens? Right from early stages when the embryo is just about 2 inches long to a fetus growing at a tremendous pace increasing in size and weight from mere 15grams to 2700grams around the 40th week. To support this rapid growth, which includes formation of bone, production of blood, building of muscles, brain, other tissues, the fetus solely depends upon the nutrients supplied by the mother and the mother can supply all these nutrients adequately when she is on a good nutrition regimen giving the body all the required vitamins and minerals and facilitating their better absorption with the right combination. We have always heard about our ancestors asking us to eat more during pregnancy, as the mother is the only source from where the growing baby can acquire all the nutrients for proper growth. Well, all they meant is eating energy dense foods rich in proteins, fats, carbohydrates and the vitamins and minerals which have their own roles to play in the protection of the mother and in the development of the baby. ENERGY –  we need more energy dense foods during pregnancy for Growth and physical activity of the fetus. Growth of the placenta and maternal tissue, Increase in maternal body size and fat deposition (gradual increasing of subcutaneous fat in the abdomen, back and upper thighs serves as energy reserve for pregnancy and lactation). Carrying the weight of the fetus and extra maternal tissues. The fat accumulated throughout pregnancy (specially the first 30 weeks) acts as an energy reserve. When the supply of calories is inadequate, the fat and tissue may be used up to provide high energy needs of the rapidly growing fetus and leaving the mother’s health in a bad condition. Energy dense foods during pregnancy apart from rice and wheat are – bajra, jowar, maize, ragi, roots and tubers, etc. PROTEIN -  Extra protein is required during pregnancy for The rapid growth of the fetus Enlargement of uterus, mammary glands and placenta. Increase in maternal circulating blood volume. Formation of amniotic fluid and storage reserves for labor, delivery and lactation. Transfer of amino acids from mother to fetus. If protein requirement are not met during pregnancy: There is increased risk of pregnancy. Fetus may grow at the expense of mother. Maximum growth of the baby cannot be obtained. Less number of brain cells. Protein rich foods during pregnancy are – chicken, fish, eggs, every kind of lentils, legumes, cheese, paneer, etc. FATS:  The requirement of fats in the form of EFA’s are very high during pregnancy as these are very essential to the formation of new tissues. A pregnant woman’s diet should contain minimum 20% of fat. These fats relax muscles and blood vessels of the uterus and makes delivery easier. Lack of fats in diet adversely affects pregnancy outcome. Hence, dietary intake of these is very vital during pregnancy as these are also important for neural development and growth. Fatty acids rich sources are oils, ghee, walnuts, fish, peanuts, meat, eggs. CALCIUM:    The requirement of calcium doubles during pregnancy. For the calcification of fetal bones and teeth and also for protection of calcium resources of the mother to meet the high demands during lactation. The amount of dietary calcium needed is reduced when Vitamin D is available. Use of Vitamin D and calcium reduces muscular cramps of pregnancy. Adequate amount of vitamin D and calcium is required to prevent osteomalacia (weakening of the bones). It is essential to meet the calcium needs during pregnancy to conserve the mother’s bone mass as the fetal bones begin to calcify in the last trimester. Milk and its products like cheese, paneer, curds are the locally available and inexpensive sources of calcium. Low serum calcium levels lead to leg cramps during pregnancy. Adequate calcium and magnesium should be taken to relieve leg cramps. VITAMIN D:   this vitamin is very important as it is required for maternal calcium absorption. Deficiency during pregnancy results in neonatal hypocalcemia and hypoplasia. Excess Vitamin D results in complications like atherosclerosis, hypercalcemia, calcium deposit in organs and mental retardation in infants. Exposure to sunlight is usually sufficient to provide the recommended amount of Vitamin D during pregnancy. Vitamin D and calcium are also useful to reduce muscular cramps in pregnancy. VITAMIN B9 (FOLIC ACID):  We all have known about the folic acid supplements during pregnancy and in some cases, even before we got pregnant but, little did we know about its work and the food which can provide us with folic acid and help us overcome the deficiency. Needed for normal fetal growth Prevents macrocytic anemia of pregnancy Needed for synthesis of DNA & RNA, as the requirement increases during growth. Needed for development of RBC’s as the blood volume of women increases during pregnancy. Deficiency of folic acid may lead to spontaneous abortion and labor complications such as preterm labor and low birth weight infants. Most important to prevent neural tube defects like, spina bifida. Can also lead to anencephaly – absence of brain in the fetus. Pregnancy induced hypertension. Also leads to selective spontaneous abortion of defective fetuses. The foods that can give you natural forms of folic acid are – dark leafy vegetables, legumes, soya, almonds and peanuts. Ever wondered how women in the previous era delivered healthy babies even without folic acid supplementation in the earlier ages, because they did eat healthy and energy dense foods, had active lifestyle and included all these locally available and not so difficult to find foods in their everyday diet. IRON:    There is an increased requirement of Iron during pregnancy. Required for better growth of fetus and placenta. For the high levels of Hemoglobin storage in the infant which will be stored in the infant’s body and help survive for 3 to 6 months. For the increase in the Hemoglobin levels as the maternal blood volume increases in the second trimester due to increased production of hemoglobin in mother. Iron rich foods – meat, liver, fish, eggs, green leafy vegetables, cereals such as wheat, ragi, jowar and bajra, pulses, jaggery, and dried fruits.  Ladies craving to eat nonfood substances like laundry starch, clay or ice cubes is due to the deficiency of calcium or iron. Some ladies believe these to be normal symptoms of pregnancy and ignore them. Including nutrient rich foods will help women overcome this symptom. VITAMIN C:   The antioxidant vitamin we all have known about, taking in the form of green tea, supplements, citrus fruits etc. Taking Iron through foods should be accompanied by Vitamin C, as it enhances the absorption of iron (not when taking iron tablets) Milk, tea and coffee inhibit iron absorption. So the supplement should be taken with any other liquids apart from these. Low Vitamin C intake during pregnancy leads to premature rupture of fetal membranes, neonatal death and may also lead to preeclampasia (Hypertension during pregnancy) Vitamin C rich foods are citrus fruits like lemon, orange, sweet lime, guava, amla, berries etc. SODIUM:  We have all known about the unusual cravings during pregnancy occurring due to the hormonal and biochemical changes. Craving for foods like pickles, papads, chaat, fried foods with the fear of suffering from hypertension during pregnancy which usually occurs due to excess intake of sodium commonly known as salt. The fear is so much that some ladies during pregnancy restrict their intake of salt completely or to less than required. Sodium restriction in diet during pregnancy can cause severe hormonal and biochemical changes. Sodium deficiency can cause an increased risk of eclampasia, prematurity and low birth weight of infants. Iodine deficiency can lead to abortion, still births, congenital anomalies and psychomotor defects. So, do know the philosophy of moderation and do consume salt even when pregnant. Pickle when taken in moderation acts as a probiotic which will maintain your gut health. Limit your sodium intake by saying no to packed foods rich in salt like wafers, chips, ready to eat snacks and foods. ZINC:   Zinc deficiency during pregnancy adds to the risk of LBW infants and also risk of preterm delivery. Zinc deficiency post-delivery during nursing leads to fetal mortality and malformations. Foods rich in zinc are meat, sea foods, beans, seeds, and green leafs. VITAMIN A:    Vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy leads to night blindness, severe anemia and preterm deliveries in mother. Low retinol also leads to systolic hypertension. Excess Vitamin A can be toxic to the fetus as this can cause malformations in fetus and also increased risk of birth defects.  So, do consult your nutritionist to know your requirement of this vitamin. Vitamin A rich products – dairy products, fat spreads, eggs, carrots, leafy vegetables. VITAMIN K:   Vitamin K produces prothrombin, needed for the normal coagulation of blood, needed to prevent neonatal haemorrhage. Vitamin K rich foods are green leafy vegetables, dry fruits, meat, and dairy. WATER SOLUBLE VITAMINS:  As these set of vitamins are not stored in the body, they need to be supplied every day to the body through our diet. These vitamins can be acquired by all the kinds of vegetables and fruits, etc. A few of them are explained here. THIAMINE:  thiamine during pregnancy helps to relieve the nausea of pregnancy. RIBOFLAVIN:   Low riboflavin may lead to skeletal malformations like shortening of bones and fusion of ribs. VITAMIN B6:   Low Vitamin B6 results in high blood pressure, oedema and proteinuria during pregnancy. Also helps in controlling nausea during pregnancy. ALCOHOL:  Alcohol consumption for anyone is not good. Just imagine about its effects when consumed during pregnancy. High alcohol consumption during pregnancy may lead to reduced birth weight and length in child including small head, size and other abnormalities. Can also show mental retardation and stunted physical growth. Absorption of B vitamins, antioxidants which protect us from the damage of free radicals and utilization of folate is also reduced by the consumption of alcohol in pregnancy. CAFFEINE:   Tea or coffee first thing in the morning is bad for one’s health is known to all. But, excess of it during pregnancy has its own consequences to offer. More than 3 cups of caffeine a day lead to low birth weight infants and also spontaneous abortion. Caffeine is present in most of the food items which we generally store in our kitchen and refrigerator like every kind of coffee, tea, drinking chocolates, energy drinks, aerated drinks, chocolates and flavored cakes and pastries. Even after people know so much about good foods and nutrition during pregnancy, they still tend to avoid for the various reasons known to them. When not eating adequately, she supplies nutrients to the baby in the womb by withdrawing them from the tissues of her own body. This tissue depletion weakens her so much that she is unable to cope with the stress and strain of child bearing. Weight gain during pregnancy is ok, it’s ok to be fat in the normal range, but its not ok to deprive yourself of the nutrition and not taking care.                 Frequent visits to a family doctor and mainly a nutritionist will enable the pregnant woman to learn what she should eat to safeguard her health as well as for an uneventful pregnancy and deliver an strong and healthy baby.                 So, just make healthy choices for your baby, visit a nutritionist to know the requirements of your body and the baby growing in it and always remember “you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and twice as beautiful as you’d ever imagined because you have a beautiful and healthy soul growing within you, so the best way to keep your baby healthy is to keep yourself healthy.”
Ambika Niranjan

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Nutritionist / Dietitian in Sec 119, Noida, India 

You become what you eat... It is always 80% food and 20% exercise... Don't starve to be healthy, rather eat healthy to be healthy.... These are some of the fitness mantras which prove to be so very true. For someone who was obese to 95kgs at the age of 21 to a person who has been on a rough roller coaster to achieve the ideal weight and the best shape with a naturally radiant and glowing skin.My journey to fight my obesity issues forced me to learn more and transform myself into a completely new and energetic me overloaded with confidence.I have completed M.Sc and Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) in Alternative Medicine with Diet and Nutrition as one of the major subjects and also Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Nutrition in Clinical nutrition and DietiticsA nutritionist by profession and passion, I am always available for my clients through the best communication system possible to help them overcome their health issues, a stronger, energetic, confident and healtheir you full of positivity. Expertise in obesity, PCOD, PCOS, post pregnancy weight loss, thyroid, Diabetes Management and all the other disorders arising due to nutrition issues. You hire me as your nutritionist and I'll ensure that you reach your goals. I am also an expertise in online consultation available through skype or any other mode of communication, so that I can consult people at any places. 
Ambika Niranjan
Dr. Ambika Niranjan
Nutritionist / Dietitian in Sec 119, Noida Register Now!
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