Clean Eating & Anxiety: Is There A Connection?

Clean eating is sometimes dismissed as a ‘fad diet’, but it’s not really a diet and certainly not a fad. It’s based on the idea that eating whole foods, while restricting or avoiding processed foods can yield health benefits. This fundamental belief is supported by evidence[1], which shows that high intake of refined sugar, trans fats, and other additives can contribute to a variety of ailments. Not surprisingly, cutting back on processed foods and focusing on whole foods may also help cope with anxiety disorders. Although there is a need for more research, this idea is supported by animal studies [2], which show that diets high in sugar and fat can affect behavior. Research into the gut-brain axis [3] also points to the role of diet in brain function and mental illness. 

We’ll take a closer look at some food groups that are notable in the context of clean eating and anxiety relief.

Healthy Fats

Despite what you may have heard, not all fats are unhealthy. When we talk about healthy fats, we’re mainly referring to omega-3 fatty acids like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These nutrients are vital for brain health and are found most abundantly in foods like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. Vegetarian sources of these healthy fats include flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans. Studies suggest [4] that adequate intake of these healthy fats can improve the brain’s ability to adapt to different situations, helping you cope with stressors more efficiently.  

These anti-anxiety benefits could be linked to the vital role that healthy fats play in the regulation of dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters. They are also known to reduce inflammation, which can protect against brain cell dysfunction that is linked to mental illnesses like anxiety.

Vitamins E & D

While balanced nutrition is essential and all of your vitamin requirements should be met, vitamins E and D deserve mention, as deficiencies in both vitamins have been linked to anxiety and depressive disorders. Vitamin E intake can be boosted by consuming nuts like almonds and peanuts, and by using oils like sunflower, safflower, corn, and soybean oils. Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin, but it can also be obtained from the same fatty fish that are rich in healthy fats. Other whole food sources of the vitamin include egg yolks, beef liver, and cheese. Vitamin D deficiencies are among the most common, so it’s important to get your levels tested and take supplements if you need to. 

Vitamin E works as antioxidant, protecting against free radical damage and is believed to protect against changes that increase the risk of anxiety and depression. Research shows [5] that vitamin E supplementation may even slow the progression of degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s. Similarly, vitamin D is essential for mental health as studies suggest [6] that vitamin D deficiency results in neuronal changes and a reduction in serotonin levels in the hippocampus. 

Minerals – Magnesium and Zinc

As with vitamins, adequate intake of all minerals is essential for the maintenance of optimal health. However, we now know that magnesium, zinc, and potassium play a particularly important role in the maintenance of mental health. Magnesium appears to be particularly important, as research suggests [7] that magnesium deficiencies are widespread among patients who suffer from depression. This important mineral can be obtained from whole foods including leafy greens like spinach and kale, pulses like chickpeas and soybeans, nuts like almond and cashews, seeds like chia, flax, and pumpkin, and whole grains like wheat, barley, and oats. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are also good sources of magnesium. 

Like magnesium, low serum levels of zinc have been observed in patients [8] with depressive disorders. Zinc may benefit patients with disorders like anxiety and depression as it is believed to increase Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (sometimes described as brain fertilizer!) in the hippocampus. Zinc intake can be increased by eating whole foods, especially red meats like beef, pork, and lamb. Shellfish like oysters are healthier low calorie sources of zinc. The mineral can also be obtained from the same nuts, seeds, pulses, and whole grains used to boost magnesium intake.

Probiotics

The role of probiotics in gut health, inflammation, and mood disorders is a burgeoning area of research and there’s much that we have to learn about the subject. So far however, studies do show [9] that probiotic foods like yogurt, kefir, and tempeh, can help in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders because of the strong connection between the gut microbiome and brain function. One study published in the journal Gastroenterology [10] found that the functioning of brain regions that regulate emotion and sensitivity improved with daily consumption of 125gms of yogurt twice a day for 1 month. 

While our focus here is limited to a few food groups and nutrients, this in no way implies that other nutrients are non-essential. The importance of the nutrients mentioned here is emphasized as they are most commonly associated with anxiety disorders. In addition to ensuring balanced nutrition and increasing your intake of the foods mentioned here, you should also increase your intake of whole foods that are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, as they are associated with a wide range of health benefits, including stress reduction and improved brain function. 

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723973/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3762204/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31460832-the-microbiota-gut-brain-axis/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4540034/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9110909-a-controlled-trial-of-selegiline-alpha-tocopherol-or-both-as-treatment-for-alzheimers-disease-the-alzheimers-disease-cooperative-study/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6132681/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3046018/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20156515-the-role-of-zinc-in-neurodegenerative-inflammatory-pathways-in-depression/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25470391-gut-emotions-mechanisms-of-action-of-probiotics-as-novel-therapeutic-targets-for-depression-and-anxiety-disorders/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3839572/

5 Reasons Why Should Include Chia Seeds In Your Diet

Chia seeds have grown in popularity in recent years. From cereals to salad and smoothies, these edible seeds are everywhere these days. The word ‘chia’ in itself means strength and the seeds are harvested from a flowering plant in the mint family known as Salvia hispanica. Once cultivated by the Aztecs, chia seeds were a staple of Mayan and Aztec diets.

Chia seeds are nutrient-dense and contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, minerals, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Don’t be fooled by their size, an ounce of chia seeds (about 2 tablespoons) contains 138 calories, 10 grams of fiber, 9 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein, as well as 17 percent of your daily calcium needs, 12 percent of the iron and 23 percent of your magnesium [1].

Chia seeds are tasteless, which means it can be added to almost anything – from granola bars to cereals, sauces, and baked goods. When added to water, these seeds expand to hold about 10 times their dry weight and swell into gel-like globules

Here are five reasons why you need to incorporate chia seeds into your diet

1.Loaded with Nutrients & Minerals:  A combination of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese makes chia seeds extremely nutrient-dense. You can get 20% of your daily calcium requirement from chia seeds, which makes it a great choice for people who do not consume dairy products [2].

Calcium is essential for bone health, while Manganese plays an important role in collagen production. Magnesium is known to improve mood and the quality of sleep, whereas phosphorus helps from cell structures and keeps the bones healthy. Whip up a smoothie with some chia seeds for a boost of energy. You can also sprinkle some seeds on your yogurt or oatmeal.

2. Full of Antioxidants: Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants which helps the body defend itself from cell damage. Antioxidants are known to fight free radicals [3], which contribute to aging and diseases like cancer. Add some chia seeds to our cereal for healthier and younger-looking skin.

3. High In Fiber: Chia seeds are one of the best sources of fiber as 40% of its weight is made up of roughage [1]. Its high soluble fiber content contributes to a feeling of fullness, which keeps you from snacking mindlessly.

This makes chia seeds a good option for people trying to lose weight. Fiber also helps keep the gut healthy and prevents constipation. It promotes slower absorption of your food which keeps blood-sugar levels stable. Add chia seeds to your salad or stir fry it with veggies for a healthy and wholesome meal.

4. Rich In Protein: Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein and amino acids, especially for vegans and vegetarians. About 14% of chia seed’s weight is protein, which is comparatively high when it comes to most plants [1].

Protein is crucial for our overall health and promotes healthy muscle growth and hormone balance, amongst other things. Protein also helps you feel fuller for longer, aiding in weight loss. Satiate your sugar cravings with some easy to whip chia pudding. Creamy, satisfying and packed with proteins, chia pudding is a healthy take on desserts.

5. Packed with Omega-3 fatty acids: Often referred to as the ‘superfood’, chia seeds are the richest plant source of Omega-3. These unsaturated fats help keep the heart and brain healthy.

Omega-3 also protects the body against inflammatory diseases such as Arthritis [4]. Unlike flax seeds, you don’t have to ground chia seeds to benefit from its nutritional properties. The gel from soaked chia seeds can replace egg in vegan baking. You can also top your baked goods with toasted chia seeds for a healthy crunch.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6627181/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4926888/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614697/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796167/

Understanding Antioxidants And Their Effect on Free Radicals

A walk down the aisles of a grocery store is proof of the fact that the hype around antioxidants is very much real. They are in your food, your packaged juice, and your skincare. Highly promoted by dieticians and health professionals, antioxidants are said to slow the aging process and help prevent vision loss, cancer, heart disease, and stroke, amongst other things. But what is an antioxidant and how does it work? Let’s take a closer look.

Antioxidants are a group of compounds found in food that share a chemical property. They are known for their ability to protect our body by neutralizing free radicals. They help prevent and reduce the damage caused by free radicals.

What Are Free Radicals?

By definition, free radicals are essentially unstable atoms and are natural by-products of chemical processes such as cellular respiration [1]. Additionally, free radicals are also formed from the air we breathe, the water we drink and things we consume such as tobacco or alcohol.

Our body needs the energy to function. We get this energy from the food we consume, which is then broken down in the mouth, the stomach, and the intestine and finally absorbed into the blood. Once in the bloodstream, sugars are made into energy within tissue cells by a process called cellular respiration, the by-product of which is free radicals.

Free radicals form when atoms or molecules gain or lose electrons. Because of their unstable and reactive nature, free radicals scavenge the body to find a replacement for their missing electron and regain stability. In this process, they end up damaging proteins, DNA and even cause cell death [1]. 

How Do Antioxidants Work?

An imbalance between the free radical and antioxidants leads to a state called oxidative stress, which leads to cell and tissue damage [2]. Factors such as lifestyle, diet, and environmental conditions contribute to oxidative stress, symptoms of which include headaches memory loss, fatigue, gray hair, and more.

This is where antioxidants come into play. They bind with the unstable free radicals by giving up their electrons. This terminates the oxidative chain reactions and the body’s cells and muscles are no longer under attack.

Sources of Antioxidants

Our body produces some antioxidants on its own, however, it is not enough. A diet rich in antioxidants is essential to keep the body healthy. Here’s a list of most common antioxidants and where you can get them.

  1. Vitamin A:  Orange vegetables like carrot, sweet potato and green leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage are good sources with vitamin A.  Vitamin A is also found in liver, milk, and egg yolks.
  2. Vitamin C: Citrus fruits such as orange, lime, kiwi are rich sources of Vitamin C. Additionally, green vegetables such as broccoli, capsicum, and spinach are also packed with this vitamin.
  3. Vitamin E: All kinds of nuts, sunflower seeds, and greens like spinach and broccoli are excellent sources of the vitamin. You can also find vitamin E in vegetable oils, avocados, and whole grains.
  4. Beta-carotene: This antioxidant is mostly found in fruits and vegetables that are red, yellow or orange. These include sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mango, apricot, cantaloupe, and carrot. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli also contain beta-carotene.
  5. Lycopene: Red fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, tomatoes, grapefruit, and papaya are packed with lycopene. Guava, red cabbage and bell peppers are also excellent sources.
  6. Lutein:  The best natural food sources of lutein are green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, kale, broccoli, and spinach.
  7. Selenium:  Animal produce and seafood such as ham, tuna, oysters, beef, beef, chicken, and shrimp are rich in selenium. Brazil nuts, tofu, cottage cheese, whole-wheat pasta, and mushrooms are great vegetarian sources of this antioxidant.

Additionally, dark chocolates, green tea, and coffee are also rich sources of antioxidants. If required, one can take supplements as per directions from the doctor.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10693912

Diet & IVF Treatment: Is There A Connection?

It’s been almost 40 years since the first baby was born through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and today many people are opting for this treatment. IVF is the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology. During this process, mature eggs are retrieved from ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then the fertilized egg (embryo) or eggs (embryos) are transferred to a uterus. 

Several studies have reported that the success rate of IVF treatment is relatively high when combined with a tailored diet [1]. It helps manage issues such as ovulatory infertility [2], sperm DNA damage [3], poor semen quality [4], polycystic ovaries [5], and endometriosis [6].

What to Nutrients to Have During IVF Treatment?

  1. Folate-rich foods
    Folate can improve your fertility rate by increasing progesterone levels and reducing risks of ovulatory infertility [7]. It is also a vital nutrient for men who are trying to conceive. Studies have proven that folate consumption can improve sperm concentration and motility [8]. For including folate in your diet, consume daily servings of vegetables such as  broccoli, spinach, cabbage, and beetroot [9]. Fruits such as papaya, pineapple, orange, and other citrus fruits are excellent sources of folate. Legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils are also rich in folate.

  1. Iron-rich foods
    Research says that proper iron nutrition is essential for lowering the risk of ovulatory infertility, an inability to produce healthy eggs [10]. Include iron-rich foods in your diet such as meat, poultry, fish, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, eggs, raisins, etc. Also, to enhance iron absorption, it is necessary  to pair them with vitamin-C-rich foods [11].
  1. Healthy fats
    Healthy fats include monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6). According to a study [12], omega-3 fatty acids can promote fertility in men by improving sperm morphology. Another one quotes that omega-3 acids can lead to improved pregnancy rates in overweight and obese women undertaking IVF treatment [13].

What Not to Have During IVF Treatment?
Just like how certain foods improve the chances of conception during IVF. There are certain foods that both men and women should avoid while undergoing this treatment, they are discussed below:

  1. Unhealthy fats
    Unhealthy fats such as saturated fats and trans fats can have a negative impact when consumed in excess. For example, processed red meat, an important source of saturated fat can lower sperm concentration and total sperm count [14]. Trans fats are usually found in fried foods, processed and baked foods. Therefore, refrain from such foods during IVF treatment.
  1. Alcohol
    Studies suggest that women who are planning to conceive should abstain from consuming alcohol as it can disrupt the normal menstrual cycle [15].  Alcohol can also affect the health of eggs and lead to fetus impairment.

  1. Caffeinated Beverages
    Limit the consumption of tea and coffee while undergoing IVF treatment. A recent study has revealed that  there is an increased rate of spontaneous abortion with more than 300mg caffeine/day [16]. Therefore do not consume more than 300 mg of caffeine per day during IVF treatment. If you can, refrain from it completely.

Diet plays a crucial role in increasing the success rate of your IVF treatment. A Mediterranean diet is one of the most recommended diets while undergoing fertility treatment. According to the latest study, this diet can improve the embryo yield in IVF [17]. It focuses on  high consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains, moderate consumption of poultry, eggs, and dairy products, and limited consumption of red meat. The healthier you are, the better your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby. 

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6079277/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17209201?dopt=Abstract
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22935557?dopt=Abstract
  4. https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/20/4/1006/701270
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3752890/
  6. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325092608_Endometriosis_and_food_habits_Can_diet_make_the_difference
  7. https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(07)00828-X/fulltext
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4614702/
  9. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1541-4337.12193
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17077236
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2507689
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22416013/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26742065/
  14. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/144/7/1091/4615605
  15. https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh26-4/274-281.htm
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5733907/
  17. https://rbej.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12958-019-0520-9

8 Foods To Eat Your Way Out Of A Hangover

Sometimes (often during weekends) you wake up with a terrible headache, dizziness, dry skin, and little memory of the previous night’s binge drinking with friends. Maybe you didn’t need to have that fifth drink, even though it tasted delicious. Now, we can’t do much about the last evening’s embarrassing videos and photos, but we could help you with the hangover, by suggesting these nutrient-rich foods.

What Happens in a Hangover?

That soul-crushing hangover is nothing but the alcohol interfering with the neurotransmitters of your brain. Alcohol is known to release reward chemicals like dopamine, hence you feel happy when you have a drink or two. Now, when the drinking stops your brain takes time to regain its regular balance of these happy chemicals, making you feel confused and sometimes sad. 

Additionally, when your body processes alcohol it creates a substance called acetaldehyde, which makes you feel nauseated and gives you those neverending headaches. If you drink moderately, your liver can get rid of acetaldehyde, however, when you binge it puts pressure on your liver, causing the sick-in-the-stomach feeling, literally. Of course, the dehydration and acidity due to lack of water and food, doesn’t help.

How Can You Fight Hangovers?

Since you can’t turn back time and drink in moderation, eat these foods the next morning to get rid of the hangover.

1. Bananas: When you are dehydrated, your body loses electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. [1] One banana has almost 12% of the potassium that a person needs daily [2]. Bite into this yellow fruit and see the magic.

2. Eggs: Your morning omelet is packed with amino acids that help produce antioxidants in your body. Now when you drink, it depletes your body of these powerful fighters that aid your liver to process alcohol. Eggs help fuel-up these antioxidants in your body, making you feel healthier and full [3].

3. Nuts: Alcohol stays in your bloodstream for 24 hours. Almonds, walnuts, and other nuts contain magnesium, which helps break it down for your liver [4]. This eases hangover symptoms.

4. Leafy Vegetables: Alcohol is known to attack the iron storage in your body, hence you feel fatigued the next day along with having a pale, dull skin [5]. Spinach, kale, and other leafy vegetables are rich in folate or iron and help replenish this nutrient in your body.

5. Ginger: This amazing root has a host of health benefits. It is ideal to cure a sore throat, nausea, and upset stomach that come with hangovers. It has anti-inflammatory properties and calms the acidity [6] in the body, soothing the throat and the stomach.

6. Coffee: If you’re severely dehydrated, coffee may not be the best option, but it might be a boon if you have it an hour after drinking enough water. It has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the stomach [7]. If you need to get to work, you will definitely need a caffeine pick-me-up after a fatigued and confusing morning. Stick to a light one with milk.

7. Other Fruits: Have water-rich and citrus fruits like orange, pineapple, watermelon, and berries that are packed with vitamin C and fiber to help your body recover. This vitamin helps slow down the conversion of alcohol into acetaldehyde easing symptoms of a hangover [8].

8. Oatmeal: Complex carbs in oatmeal provide a slow and steady release of sugar into your body, helping you avoid the spikes of high or low blood sugar [9], common after an alcohol binge. 

References: 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14044808
  2. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1846/2
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1930162/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23740536
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11505030
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/ginger
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S175646461200093X
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12499341
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1322250/

 

Top 5 foods for beautiful skin

We usually think that expensive serums or lotions are the reason behind someone’s glowing skin. Or maybe the person is plain lucky to have been born with a radiant blemish-free skin.

Yes, moisturizers, genes and expensive beauty products have a role to play. But it’s only a supporting role. The real hero behind gorgeous and lustrous skin is FOOD. So whether you want to get rid of acne, fight premature aging or reduce fine lines, eating right is the right way ahead.

After all, you are what you eat.

So, here’s the list of top 5 foods for beautiful skin-

Continue reading

Indian diet for hair growth and health

indian diet for hair growthMothers are often seen scolding their kids because they forgot to eat nuts, didn’t drink the glass of milk or refused to eat spinach and dal. It might have happened with you when you were a child. It has happened with most of us.

Turns out mothers had a good reason to be strict when it came to consuming all these foods. Because they know that these nutrients are required for healthy hair.

Bon Happétee has compiled the best Indian diet for hair growth  and health- Continue reading

Eat right this monsoon

Goodbye, mangoes. And a warm hello to the kadak adrak chai!

Monsoon has arrived and so is your temptation for eating all foods steaming hot. The warm soup and hot chocolate you detested during summer become a comfort food in the rains. Similarly, the mangoes you devoured in the scorching heat lose their luscious taste with the first showers.

As the season changes, your eating preferences and habits should change to help you cope with the climatic changes. For instance, rains leave puddles and dampness that become the breeding ground for mosquitoes and insects. Also, the high humidity levels lower your immunity. Your digestive system is at its weakest in the monsoon. Thus, your favourite season spells trouble for your health. And of course, skipping exercise due to the downpour or the lazy monsoon mood and gorging on pakodas, bhajiyas and fried just add to the woes.

But before you get all worked up, Bon Happetee has sorted your health and weight issues.

We’ve compiled a list on the foods to eat so that you remain healthy and fit during the rainy season:

  • Salads:

bon happetee lose weight at home fast

Salads are nutritious and you should eat them to ramp up your fiber and nutrient quota. But, as a nutritionist, I know monsoon’s not the best time to chomp on salads.

So here’s how I relish my salad – I throw in the cabbage and heat it for 25-30 seconds in the microwave. This practice kills all the germs and ensures I grab my dose of antioxidant. Cucumber and carrot kachumber is another favourite since peeling the skin lowers the risk of food infection.

  • Leafy greens:

A storehouse of nutrients, leafy greens are every nutritionist’s favourite. But during the monsoons, green leafy vegetables are swarming with insects and food infection. So avoid eating them raw.

However, you can savour by cooking as cooking destroys the microbes – palak paneer, aloo gobhi, palak khichdi, gobhi paratha are smart ways to relish your greens without falling ill.

  • Fruits:

Move over the mango and dig into the delicious monsoon fruits – pear, plum, peach, apple and custard apple. And before you start on how fattening custard apple is, let’s talk about its benefits.

Custard apple is bursting with the goodness of iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin B 6, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients play a key role in promoting healthy hair, radiant skin, along with steady sugar levels and a happy heart. With 100 calories in a 100-gram serving, custard apple is a steal! And custard apple contains zero fat and cholesterol. So, it’s definitely not making you fat.

bon happetee lose weight at home fast

The other fruits – plums, pears and peaches – are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C activates production of white blood cells, the first line of defence for your body’s immune system. Thus, all monsoon fruits are loaded with iron and Vitamin C, nutrients that strengthen your resistance to infections and inflammations. Additionally, both these nutrients play a key role in keeping your tresses healthy and combat hair loss, a common problem in rains.

  • Sprouts/pulses:

Obviously, you can’t wolf down leafy veggies, the tinda, bhindi, and doodhi for lunch and dinner throughout the monsoon. You need variety. It’s time to eat pulse-based vegetables like rajma, chawli, chole and besan. What’s more, pulses are brimming with protein, a vital nutrient to boost your immunity; a strong immune system protects you from the monsoon-related illnesses. The easy-to-digest sprouts are a healthy addition to your monsoon diet. A treasure trove of B-complex and Vitamin C, sprouts make a great in-between snack, sabzi, or usal.

bon happetee lose weight at home fast

And of course, dal khichdi with ghee makes for a perfect monsoon meal when you’re craving for something hot, quick and delicious.

Clearly, nature has the answer to all weather-related changes!

While we’ve discussed the food groups, there’s an important rule or two about staying fit during monsoons: eat light and fast.

With the constant downpour, sunlight is rare; these sunbeams play a key role in digestion. With decreased sunshine, your digestion power decreases drastically. That’s why go easy on the mouth-watering monsoon munchies – pakoras, bhajoyas, samosas, and kachori. And relish the khichdi, sprouts and custard apple and occasionally you can grab a bhajiya or a samosa!

Indigestion and stomach problems is also one of the key reasons why fasts are observed during monsoon. Most people observe the chaumasa (four months of fasting during the monsoon) or fast at least during the shravana month which sees the heaviest rainfall. By fasting, your vital organs get needful rest as they work hard throughout the year to keep you healthy.

And before we forget – have loads of ginger in the rainy season. Ginger is highly effective in improving food absorption and digestion. Also, it helps keep the cold and flu away.

bon happetee lose weight at home fast

 

Have an awesome monsoon from team bon happetee 🙂

content writer - bon happetee diet plan appVishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.

Easy & healthy tiffin recipes for kids

The summer break is over; it’s time to go back to school. And as the new school year begins, every mother’s biggest nightmare is back: what to make for tiffin?

bon happetee indian food diet plan app

Now kids always peep into each other’s boxes while they sit together for lunch. The radiant smile when your child has the most delicious lunch is priceless – and every mother’s pride.

Managing your child’s nutrition and pleasing his taste buds during the vacation was easy. But once school starts, you can’t prepare wholesome and interesting meals in the maddening morning rush. And at the same time, you can’t give him the boring roti and sabzi every day.

That said you need not lose sleep over what to prepare for dabba. Bon happétee has some healthy and fun tiffin recipes you can whip up in a jiffy.

So here we go:

  • Bread uttapam:

Prepare a batter of suji, curd, finely chopped veggies, salt, and spices. Heat a griddle, add some oil and place a bread slice. Spread a layer of the batter on the bread. Ensure that the batter side is on top. Flip the bread and cook from the other side.

This uttapam is a smart way to sneak the fiber and antioxidant-loaded veggies in your child’s diet.

  • Baby corn and capsicum rice:

An international version of the Indian pulao, this rice preparation is a sure-shot hit. It entails freshly prepared/leftover rice, olive oil, diced bell peppers and baby corn, along with onion, garlic, tomato puree, ketchup, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. You can toss in a protein surprise by adding paneer cubes.

  • Hung curd sandwiches:

bon happetee indian food diet plan app

Mix finely chopped capsicum, onion along with grated carrot to the hung curd. Add chaat masala, salt, oregano, black pepper powder and mix well. Apply a thick layer of the mixture on the bread and grease it lightly with butter on one side. Grill it either in an oven, a sandwich maker or on a tava.

This easy-to-prepare snack will make your child’s tiffin box the most interesting one. As a mother, you can pat yourself for preparing a snack that’s rich in protein, calcium, antioxidants, and fibre.

A paneer bhurji sandwich is another interesting lunch box idea.

  • Chapati or paratha wraps:

The regular chapati and sabzi are boring. Time to give it a makeover.

In a pan, heat butter. Throw in some finely chopped onion, tomato, and capsicum with boiled potatoes, green peas, pav bhaji masala, salt, coriander leaves, and cheese. Now spread this mixture in the middle of a roti and roll it up. With such a delicious wrap, your child will flash his broadest smile. And you’ll be happy since you’ve wrapped all the five pillars of nutrition in a one meal.

You can always showcase your culinary skills by trying new fillings.

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  • Parathas:

bon happetee indian food diet plan app

Parathas have been the most popular and versatile tiffin recipe. You can try different parathas – from a sprouts paratha to mix vegetable, gobhi, spring onion and cheese, paneer and the all-time favourite aloo paratha. You could add ragi, soya, bajra, or jowar flour to the whole wheat atta to up the nutrition quotient.

And yes, the home-made mint/coriander chutney is a healthier accompaniment to parathas than the preservative-laced ketchup.

  • Idli stir-fry:

A quick meal you can prepare with leftover idlis. In a wok, heat oil. Add sliced onion, carrots, capsicum and cabbage. Once the veggies get cooked, put in salt, noodle masala, and diced idlis.

This simple dish will win your child’s heart with its colourful appearance and scrumptious taste. Additionally, the fermented idlis and veggies will boost your child’s immunity.

  • Pasta:

This one’s special and coming straight from my mom’s kitchen. As a kid, I’d always be behind mom to make pasta for dabba. In fact , I still do 😉

She prepares home-made pasta sauce using dudhi, carrot, tomatoes, chilli flakes, oregano, basil leaves, salt, sugar and cinnamon the previous evening. In the morning, she heats olive oil/butter in a pan, adds the home-made sauce and durum wheat pasta. A grated cheese cube on top and my day is made.

Sometimes, she cooks white sauce pasta. She prepares the sauce using atta, not maida. She adds corn, capsicum, mushroom, and yeah, I can’t stop grinning.

Now you can heave a sigh of relief. You’ve taken care of your child’s nutrition and taste buds without running from pillar to post or worrying about what to cook.

Happy school day cooking from Team Bon Happétee 🙂

content writer - bon happetee indian food diet plan appVishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.

Be a smart carb-eater : Your guide to a low-carb life

“I want carbs off my plate”

That’s always the first input I get from a client when they sign up for weight loss.

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And I don’t blame them: websites and nutritionists have made ‘low-carb’ a buzz word for weight loss. Carbs are painted as the villain for those extra pounds. And lost in the haze of such misleading advice, people eliminate this vital nutrient and invite a mountain of troubles including – insomnia, constipation, mood swings and hair loss.

To avoid falling into this vicious trap, you must understand that carbs are your friends; they provide energy for every task you do. All you need to do is learn how to make the right carb choice and eat in the right amount.

Now bakery products and desserts, loaded with refined flour and sugar, are the carbs you should avoid. These foods have a high-glycaemic index i.e. they result in an instant spike in blood sugar levels, which causes the pancreas to produce more insulin. The excess insulin converts all the surplus sugar into fat.

That said opting for the healthier choices – rice, roti, multi-grain bread – can result in weight gain if you overeat. But if you drastically reduce your carb quota, you’ll feel hungry soon and end up gobbling much more than you would have in the first place. Also, it would be near to impossible for you to say no to chips or cookies on an empty stomach.

The bottom line is – you should not exceed nor fall behind your carb intake.

So, let’s tread a middle path – the smarter ways to relish carbs and still lose weight:

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