Archive for May, 2008

Whole Is Health!

On one hand with chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, coronary heart diseases on a rise like never before and on the other hand increasing health and nutrition awareness, its easy to infer how a lot of us are going in for wiser choices when eating both at home or dining out. Life’s suddenly all about eating right and low-cal!

Every roadside corner now has a fruit juice corner ( yeah…apart from the juices, the painted pictures of filmstars on their hoardings really fascinates me!). But, though fruit/vegetable juice is ofcourse a desirable substitute for other aerated drinks, alcohols (or for that reason even the diet colas) etc. the goodness of whole fruit/vegetable or grains can never be got from a glass of strained fruit/vegetable juice which definitely has ample minerals and vitamins but is devoid of another very essential component of our diets – Dietary Fiber! Hygiene is another aspect to be considered.

This potential health booster “ Fibre” is actually the roughage found in grains, vegetables and fruits….nil in animal foods. It gives shape and rigidity to trees, shrubs, grasses and herbs.The fiber composition of plants varies based on plant species but, generally, all plants contain all kinds of fiber. The 2 main categories are:

  • Insoluble Fibre, including cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin;
  • Soluble Fibre, including pectin, gums, and mucilage. Water-soluble fiber is considered the most health-benefiting type of fiber, especially mucilage fiber.

Insoluble fibre is found in the hulls and outer covering of grains, seeds, skins of most fruits and vegetables. It makes the stools bulkier and decreases the transit time of food traveling through our digestive tract. Faster transit time means less contact time for toxins and a reduced risk of colon problems, fewer infections. And, with less straining required to pass a softer stool, chances of haemorrhoids too are reduced.

Soluble fiber ,found in foods like oats, psyllium, barley, bran portion of grains, and many fruits and vegetables, unlike its insoluble counterpart, delays stomach emptying and reduces the rate of sugar absorption, thus aiding blood sugar control. Fiber also binds cholesterol and bile in the digestive tract, preventing their re-absorption and re-circulation. See how fibre reduces blood cholesterol and keeps your heart fit and fine?

The benefits of both kinds of fiber are many.

  • Fiber can be a useful ally in weight loss as fiber hardly contributes to the calorie intake, takes longer to chew hence slowing down our eating speed which gives the brain more time to register feelings of fullness. This means lesser overeating as well as snacking and binging.
  • By regulating the sugar and cholesterol levels, fiber helps keep a tab on diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and is also protective against many other chronic degenerative diseases including preventing colon cancers and infections of the intestines.
  • Fiber helps regulate smooth bowel movements and reduces the occurrence of constipation and Irritable bowel syndrome

Having discussed the benefits of fiber in the diet, hopefully the revolution of going “whole” will now gain momentum -Whole grains instead of polished and milled ones and whole fruits and vegetables, peeled minimally (Unlike many new processing methods leading to fibre and micronutrient losses).

                                             

So next time remember, Choosing fruit and vegetable juice over colas and synthetic juices is smart…..but grabbing a fruit instead of a glass of juice, is Smarter!! ‘Coz the glass of juice can never do the job of the whole fruit/vegetable itself!! 🙂                                 

 

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May 30, 2008 at 2:08 pm 1 comment

Colourize Your Diet

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The daily dose of colour in your diet comes from the vast spectrum of health promoting fruits and vegetables. They make your diet naturally low in fats, high in filling fibre and loaded with vitamins and antioxidants that help against all chronic degenerative diseases.

Lets talk about the “Pigment Power “ of the natural colouring agents which is as follows:

Red – includes tomatoes and watermelon which are rich in lycopene pigment that protects against the prostrate cancer as well as heart and lung diseases.

Red/ purple– includes the blue grapes , strawberries, beets ,red cabbage, plums and red apples. These delay cellular ageing and protects from blood clots.

Orangecarrots , mangoes and sweet potatoes protects the skin from the sun and promotes repair of DNA damage.

Orange/Yelloworanges,peaches and papaya help prevent heart diseases and also improve our immunity system.

Yellow/GreenSpinach,corn,green peas and avocado are sources of protective pigments again.these are strongly to reduced risk of cataracts and age related macular degeneratrion.

GreenBroccoli, sprouts, bathua and cabbage.These are rich in cancer blocking chemicals .

White/Green-garlic,onions,leeks,celery,pears,guava and green grapes. These protect against tumor.

The best way to eat colour is by including fruits and vegetables in your everyday diet.

If you start your day with cereal and milk then make it a point to nourish it by including a whole fruit. Seasonal fruits are preferred .Have plenty of salad during lunch and dinner. Vegetable rich Snacks like vegetable sandwich, vegetable Idli, vegetable cheelas etc during snack time gives a nutrition boost to the exhausted body. Adding a variety of colours in your diet makes you feel rejuvenated and definitely healthier!!

May 29, 2008 at 2:48 pm 3 comments


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