KNOW YOUR FOOD OF FAST

KNOW YOUR FOOD OF FAST

By Ambika Niranjan  on: 16 March 2018
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Fasting is observed by people for it is believed that, fasting can purify his/her mind, body and soul. Fasting is also observed so that our body is detoxified by all the toxins that are accumulated with our everyday eating habits and other practices.

            This navratri fast observed twice a year, comes with many food restrictions to be followed. The same kind of fast is also observed for a day on ekadashi, janmashtami and mahashivaratri. This fasting can have a direct impact on your body and mind. Therefore, it requires an enormous sense of responsibility and a proper nutritional guideline while planning a fast during navratri to keep you energetic and healthy all through the day.

            Hence, here are a few foods that are allowed to eat in fast, along with their benefits and overconsumption effects, so that you can plan your fast better, keeping yourself devoid of hunger pangs, lethargy, laziness, nausea or weakness.

SABUDANA – Also called as tapioca pearls are the first food to come to our mind when we think of fasting. This energy loaded food is easy to digest and helps to cool your body temperature. Loaded with Vitamin C, Calcium and minerals, helps to keep you energetic throughput the day. High in potassium, good for regulating blood pressure and cardiovascular system, considered as a good antidote for hypertension. Rich in iron will keep your hemoglobin levels up even during fasts. Will help in healing digestive issues like bloating, constipation, indigestion, flatulence and acid reflux.

BUCKWHEAT (KUTTU) – Not related to wheat family, this is a gluten free grain, so can be consumed by people with gluten intolerance. A food with low GI, also good for people who are diabetic. Will keep your blood sugar levels regulated even in the fasting state. With all the essential amino acids present, a very good source of protein. Its high fiber content will improve digestion and aid in weight loss.

AMARANTH SEEDS (RAJGEERA) – A gluten free seed rich in calcium, will improve bone health. Rich in cysteine will help your hair stay strong and healthy. Slow to digest, will leave you feeling fuller for longer. One of the few food items containing lysine. Lysine helps the body absorb calcium and promotes bone health. Rich in potassium so will keep a check on your blood pressure levels.

BARNYARD MILLET (SAMWAT KE CHAWAL) – A good source of digestible fiber and protein, so losing weight and gain lean muscle can be done together by eating this food. A food low on Glycemic Index, ideal staple on fast for people with diabetes. A good source of B-complex vitamins to keep you away from anemia and weakness.

WATER CHESTNUT (SINGHARA) – A good water content and high in fiber, these are packed with all the essential nutrients. Gluten-free, low in saturate fat and cholesterol free, a good snack as tuber or a staple as flour (aata) during the fast. Low in sodium and high in potassium helps with hypertension. High in riboflavin, helps relieve symptoms of repeated headaches and migraines. Considerable amount of Vitamin E present helps with premenstrual and post menstrual symptoms. Also helps relieve the symptoms of dysentery and diarrhea. A good coolant to the body due to its high water content also helps in alleviating mood and good for sound sleep due to high Vitamin B6 content.

FOX NUTS (MAKHANA) – One of those superior dry fruits, rich in protein, carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, a low calorie snack which you can munch to lose your weight. Low in fat and sodium, a good snack to beat your evening snack hunger pangs. Low in GI, a good snack for diabetics. Good for heart, reduces inflammation, helps with infertility and also flushes out toxins, good for liver and spleen, rich in calcium with so many benefits, the old style makhana has made a comeback as the new popcorns.

SWEET POTATO (SHAKARKANDI) – These high in fiber tubers, will help you lose weight, also help in better digestion due to their magnesium content. Loaded with healthy vitamins, minerals and proteins, these keep you satiated for longer duration. A good immune booster as they are rich in antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin C, along with B complex vitamins. These have a soothing effect on stomach and intestines, hence used for reducing pain ulcers in the stomach. Rich in vitamin C, produces collagen that maintains your skin elasticity. High magnesium content in this acts as a anti-stress mineral and helps you relax better throughout the day. These are low in GI, and do not release glucose immediately in the blood after food, hence can be consumed by diabetics in the moderate level. So, these in the form of baked, roasted or occasionally even fried at home can be your new French fries.

POTATO – Potato has been our regular staple vegetable for ages but being avoided now for a myth of gaining weight with it. Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium (good for people suffering from hypertension). Fat, sodium and cholesterol free. A good source of Vitamin B6 that helps all your carbohydrate and proteins consumed metabolize better. Potatoes look huge as they contain about 70-80% of water. Considering the myth that consuming potatoes make you fat, it depends upon the source of potatoes you opt for. If they are consumed in the form of fries or wedges or patties at fast food joints, then one is bound to gain weight. Knowing the right amount and right combination, potato can also be used as a food to help you lose weight.

PUMPKIN – Apart from being used for Halloween decorations, pumpkin is known for its dense nutrient content rich in vitamins and minerals and low in calories. Rich in beta-carotene which is an antioxidant. Good potassium content so a positive effect on the blood pressure. These are also a good source of fiber helping you with constipation and promoting regular bowels.

DRY FRUITS – Dry fruits are a must eat, whether on fast or not. These energy packed foods come with most unqiue and amazing health benefits. Dry fruits are packed full of energy and calories. These are a good to go snacks and keep you full for longer. A great alternative compared to all the other packed and processed snack foods. Some of the dry fruits are rich in antioxidants and plant polyphenols that help you fight heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, and degenerative diseases of the brain. Some of these contain high amount of beta carotene, vitamin E, niacin, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Prunes, raisins, apricots contain high levels of iron and prevent from anemia. Rich in potassium, vitamin A, fiber, copper, prunes help in maintaining high energy levels. Almonds help in the formation of new blood cells and help improve hemoglobin levels. A tasty and convenient snack, dry fruits and nuts are the ideal substitute for fast food high calorie junk snacks. With natural sugars and fiber, zero cholesterol and fats, and a variety of delectable flavors, these are an easy source of all essential nutrients.

      

MILK AND ITS PRODUCTS (PANEER, CREAM, GHEE, CURDS) – These are a must on everyday basis when on fast. While observing fasts, we do make some food restrictions that may leave you deprived of nutrition, especially proteins. Hence, milk products like paneer and curds are a very good source of protein that will maintain your muscle health. Ghee can be used to cook your food in, a fat which will help the stubborn fat in your body mobilize. Milk should be an everyday drink to fulfill your calcium requirements, provided you take it from a genuine vendor.

FRUITS – Loaded with fiber, water, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, the seasonal fruits are the best to go snacks or meal on fast any day. Since fruits do contain natural form of sugar, diabetics can consume fruits but do need to keep a watch on the quantity.

SOME USEFUL TIPS:

  1. Consuming fried foods during fasts may lead to gastric issues. Let there be more of roti made of any flour instead of poori and papads.
  2. Do keep yourself hydrated by sipping water all day. This will prevent you from feeling bloated and keeps your skin glowing.
  3. Always opt for whole fruits rather than fruit juices. The juicing will remove all the fiber, dense in calories and loaded with sugar.
  4. There may be only one complete meal in a day. Opt for small, frequent snacks in between.

So, these are the food items along with their benefits that will help you add health and make you stronger and energetic even during fasting.

HAPPY AND HEALTHY FASTING TO ALL!!!

 

 


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WHY SHOULD YOU VISIT A NUTRITIONIST DURING PREGNANCY – PREGNANCY NUTRITION
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. 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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.”
FIRST DAY OF KID AT SCHOOL?!!!
07 June 2018
    Let the first day of this month with academic year re-opening be a pleasant yet temporary good-bye to your vacation cheats, holidays, eating almost every junk available, unending parties and invitations, kids wandering around all the junks and quickly putting them in their mouth when no one's watching. Le the start of this new academic year a start of healthy routine to you and your kids, so that the kids make the most of it.  A few tips to keep your kids healthy during the academics. 1. Plan your kids meal a day prior so that you can complete their nutritional requirements. (Food made in a jiffy without better planning is usually incomplete in Nutrition). 2. Inculcate the hygiene habits in your kids by asking them to use washroom and brush immediately upon waking up. Not to forget combating the main cause of most of the infections is by washing hands before and after every meal, after returning home from outside, after the play, and every time the kid uses washroom. 3. Start their day with some water followed fruit and dry fruits. 4. Never let the kids leave home empty stomach. A homemade healthy breakfast will keep them happy, healthy and help them concentrate better on studies. 5. Let the breakfast never be a packed food (never recommended anytime of the day though). Some of the breakfast options can be idli, dosa, upma, poha, paratha, roti sabzi, eggs in any form, and vegetable sandwiches with paneer etc. A small serving of vegetables and fruits along will pack their body with all the required vitamins and minerals. 6. Do teach your kids the importance of homemade and nutritious food. Refrain them from eating bakery or packed products in the lunch break hours.  7. The lunch can and should be anything made at home like roti, dal, sabzi, rice, parathas.  8. Sharing not only increases bonding between friends but will also add to their Nutrition by providing more varieties of foods. Teach them the importance of sharing their lunch boxes. 9. Kids need to stay hydrated too. Do pack their bags with water bottles and also tell them why they need to finish drinking that water. 10. Ones they are back do provide them with some healthy snack. A small part of the lunch will also do if nothing's available. Occasionally, a chocolate or some wafers or a piece of cake will also do. (They are kids, they are running around all the time getting tired, run out of their glucose stores so they need to replenish and they will be easily able to burn these calories in their evening play session again). 11. Never reward your kids with food of their choice. Ones developing this as a habit, it may make them a picky eater leaving them under nourished or lead to obesity in kids. 12. Indulge your kid into some evening sport activity. It will help them stay strong, active and keep away from obesity. 13. A good session of completing the home work, soothing homemade dinner with the family, a little more play and it's good to call it a day.  HAPPY SCHOOL REOPENING TO ALL!!! 
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
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