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Vitamin E: Benefits And Top 7 Dietary Sources Of The Antioxidant Vitamin

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Vitamins are important for our body, but often get ignored in our obsession with proteins and fats. Vitamins are a part of the essential micro-nutrients that are required in smaller quantities by our body, for smooth functioning of a number of processes. Some of the most important vitamins required by the human body include vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, D, E and K. It's a long list to remember, but the good news is that if you consume a healthy and balanced diet, you may already be consuming a good majority of these vitamins on a daily basis. However, your nutritionist might be better able to shed light on exactly how much of each of these vitamins is required by your body. We're going to talk about vitamin E and its benefits as well as foods rich in vitamin E, in this article.

Benefits Of Vitamin E And Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that has a number of forms. The one that is useful to our body, however, is alpha-tocopherol, the main role of which is to act like an antioxidant and hunt down free radicals in the body. Free radical damage is linked to a number of potentially fatal diseases, including cancer, atherosclerosis, dementia, diabetes etc. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin E (as specified by guidelines of the Institute of Medicine) is 15 mg for both men and women.

Here Are Some Benefits Or Roles Of Vitamin E That You Must Know About:
1. Vitamin E-rich foods and supplements may help in reducing heart disease risk.

2. Vitamin E, in combination with zinc, vitamin C and beta-carotene may protect against advanced age-related macular degeneration, indicating that this vitamin may protect eye health.

3. Some studies have shown that consuming vitamin E is linked with improvement in cognitive function and reduced risk of diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

4. One study showed that taking vitamin E-rich foods and supplements may reduce risks of death from ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, which is a rare condition that causes progressive muscle weakness.

5. Vitamin E has been hailed for its purported ability to stop production of free radical cells and protect the cells from damage by free radicals.

Sources Of Vitamin E, The Antioxidant Vitamin
1. Wheat Germ Oil
This oil is extracted from the germ of the wheat kernel and is one of the best dietary sources of vitamin E - 255 milligrams per 100 gram. However, wheat germ oil is extremely perishable and quite expensive.

2. Almonds
The most popular nuts around - almonds are nutritious and consumed for their many health benefits. A 100 grams portion of almonds contains 25.6 milligrams of Vitamin E.

3. Avocado
One of the most popular superfoods around, avocado is replete with healthy nutrients, including vitamin E that is 14 percent of the Daily Value per 100 grams of the fruit.

4. Sunflower Seeds
The seeds of sunflower are also consumed as healthy snacks, rich in mono and polyunsaturated fats, as well as vitamin E. A 100 grams portion of sunflower seeds contains 35.7 milligrams of vitamin E.

5. Peanuts and Peanut Butter
Peanuts are technically legumes that are most often mistaken for nuts. They are rich in protein and are consumed as snacks as well as in the form of peanut butter. Peanuts contain 44 per cent daily value of Vitamin E, per 100 grams portion.

6. Soyabean Oil
Some of the best dietary sources of Vitamin E are plant-based oils, including soyabean oil, which is widely used for cooking in a number of homes worldwide. Hundred grams of refined soyabean oil contains 8.8 milligrams of Vitamin E.

7. Spinach
One of the best low-calorie vegetables that- spinach- is a favourite of health freaks around the world. Spinach is a versatile vegetable with a wealth of nutrition including good amounts of Vitamins A, C and K. Spinach is also among the richest sources of Vitamin E among popular vegetables- 44 per cent of daily value per 100 grams.

A deficiency of vitamin E is rare, as it is needed in such trace amounts by the body and also because it is found in commonly consumed foods. However, those who do not consume enough fat in their diet may develop a deficiency of this vitamin. Some of the signs of vitamin E deficiency include reduced immunity, retinal damage, damage of the peripheral nerves resulting in pain and weakness in hands and legs and ataxia or loss of movement in body. If you notice one or more of these symptoms, contact a qualified medical professional.

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Healthy Diet: How Much Protein Is Enough? Celeb Nutritionist Rashi Chowdhary Reveals ‘All About Protein’

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Protein is one of the three macro-nutrients required by our body for keeping healthy, the other two being carbohydrates and fats. Health freaks are obsessed with this essential nutrient that no one seems to be getting enough of it. Often times our 'fitness diet' becomes all about loading up on protein. But does this nutrient deserve all this attention and most of all, obsession? Protein is certainly required all throughout the body, but especially by our muscles. Protein is the nutrient that helps build and retain muscle mass, which is why fitness enthusiasts are often seen paying careful attention to this nutrient in their daily diets. Celebrity nutritionist Rashi Chowdhary addressed this dietary query that most of us have, in her post on Instagram.

How Much Protein Is Enough?
Chowdhary, who has 107k followers on Instagram, has an impressive list of clientele comprising Bollywood actors and other celebrities. Rashi Chowdhary frequently addresses diet and nutrition questions and topics on her Instagram page. In her recent post, Chowdhary spilled the tea on this brouhaha around protein consumption, shedding light on how one should decide on how much protein to consume in daily diet. In the post that talked, 'All about protein', Rashi Chowdhary talked about a feedback loop, which she said was crucial in deciding how much of this important nutrient one should be consuming. "We all have a feedback loop that kicks in when we eat. If we are in tune with that.. we'll always know when to stop eating. You'll notice how you feel like eating a lot more meat or dals some days to feel full and on other days half the amount is enough", the Instagram post said.

Here are a few key takeaways from Rashi Chowdhary's post about dietary protein consumption:

1. Protein intake depends on body goals: Rashi Chowdhary says, "How much can you eat? Depends a lot on your goal and your current body weight/ shape /size. Not everyone needs to calculate macros from the very beginning. Just cleaning up your diet and having 30 % of your calories from Protein can initiate fat loss. But with protein I rather you use your own feedback loop!" According to Rashi Chowdhary, one must get about 30 per cent of their total calories from protein.

2. Best sources of protein: Chowdhary simply suggests that you should choose protein sources that are not processed and that don't cause any skin or gut issues for you. "This will require some trial and error from your end. Start making connections with what you eat and how you feel so you know what works best for you", she says, advising her followers to steer clear of soy chunks and cheese.

3. Best protein sources for vegans: For vegans who can't tolerate lentils and beans, Rashi advises to rely on plant-based protein powders instead. "Adding some activated nuts which are gut friendly, spirulina, sesame seeds, chia seeds, some leafy greens high in protein are a great way to up your intake", she added.

Rashi Chowdhary further said that according to her it is a myth that vegans don't get enough protein in their diet. However, she also suggested that the "efficiency of vegan protein is still questionable".

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Safed Jamun: Health Benefits And Nutrition Facts About The Lesser Known Rose Apple (Bell Fruit)

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Come summers and Indian grocery stores and the local fruit-vendor stalls are filled with seasonal goodness from a variety of fruits and berries. There's the bright red of watermelons and cherries, the bright yellow of mangoes and sun melons, the greens from pears and grapes and the purplish black from jamuns. The tangy jamuns are perhaps the most celebrated desi summer fruits of all, second only after a whole range of mangoes that flood the markets. Jamuns are available for a very short period of time during the year and they're the best when consumed during peak summers. Also known as java plums, these purple fruits are turned into chutneys and dips, added to desserts and ice-creams and also added to drinks like lassis and other summer coolers. But have you heard of white jamun or safed jamun?

The elusive fruit is not very widely available in India and hence, isn't as much in the limelight as its purple cousin. Safed jamun is better known by a plethora of English names including wax apple, love apple, java apple, Semarang rose-apple and wax jambu. It is also known as bell fruit because of its bell-like shape, and water apple. The fruit comes from the plant Syzygium samarangense, which is native to only certain areas, including Andman and Nicobar islands. The fruit has a pinkish tinge on the outside with a waxy pulp on the inside and is known as rose apple, due to the subtle flavour of rose petals in its pulp. The fruit is said to be mostly used in preparing salads. The raw white jamuns may be used in making vinegar and wine due to its tangy and dry taste.

Benefits Of Wax Apples or Safed Jamun (White Jamun)
Safed jamun or wax apple is also known as Golap Jaam in Bangladesh and it is also popular at fruit markets in Kolkata, where it is more popularly known as Gulab Jamun, owing to the sweet smell of rose in the fruit. In the Philippines, it is known as Makopa. The consumption of wax apples is not very widespread, owing to the handful of regions that the cultivation is restricted to. Additionally, it is advised for one to practice caution while consuming it, as the seed is considered poisonous.

Here are some purported benefits of the rose apples (safed jamun):
1. Rich in Vitamin C: These fruits are said to be rich in Vitamin C, which is important for boosting immunity and formation of collagen for keeping the skin looking young. A 100 gram portion of wax apple contains 22.3 micrograms of Vitamin C (as per USDA data).

2. Rich in Dietary Fibre: White jamuns or rose apples are said to be rich in dietary fibre, which may help protect against common digestive troubles like diarrhoea and flatulence. Dietary fibre is also good for regulating blood sugar and helps in weight management.

3. Rich In Vitamin A: One of the most important nutrients for eye health is Vitamin A, which is found in abundance in the rose apples.

4. Rich in Calcium: The most important nutrients for teeth and bones is calcium, which rose apples are rich in. A 100 gram of rose apple contains 29 micrograms of calcium (as per USDA data).

5. Rich in Potassium: Rose apples contain good amounts of the nutrient potassium, which is important for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.

Rose apples or safed jamun also has high water content (93 gm per 100 grams) and may hence help you stay hydrated in the scorching heat. Not enough information is available about the dietary benefits of rose apples, but the fruit is certainly said to be popular in certain isolated parts of the Indian subcontinent.

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Hypertension Diet: Best Whole Grain Flours To Regulate Blood Pressure

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Blood pressure is simply defined as the pressure of blood against the walls of the arteries. There are two components in blood pressure - systolic BP and diastolic BP. The systolic BP is the top number and it represents the pressure the heart generates when it pumps blood to the body, while diastolic BP is the lower number, which represents the pressure in blood vessels between heartbeats. High blood pressure is a condition when both the systolic and diastolic BP is raised above acceptable limits and high blood pressure is called hypertension. The condition often has no symptoms, but if left untreated, it may lead to serious health implications, including heart diseases and even stroke. Diet is essential to controlling or regulating hypertension.

Hypertension Diet: The Role Of Whole Grains
Typically, a low sodium diet is recommended for people suffering from hypertension. People with high blood pressure are also advised to switch from refined flours to whole grain flours, as well as include more fruits and vegetables in the diet. Whole grains may actually work wonders when included in a high blood pressure diet. A 2010 study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, said that following a diet rich in whole grains is as effective as anti-hypertensive medication, as these may reduce blood pressure and in extension, reduce the risk of heart diseases, stroke, heart failure etc.

Here are some whole-grain flours that can be included in the hypertension diet:
1. Whole Wheat Flour
One of the most commonly used flours in India is the whole wheat flour, which is supplied by a number of chakkis. Wheat is ground in fresh and used to prepare rotis and chapatis - whole wheat flatbreads are eaten with vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries. Whole wheat flour contains good amounts of fibre and proteins.

2. Whole Oats Flour
Whole oats can be turned into flour that can be used to prepare a number of dishes- both sweet and savoury. Rolled oats are one of the best varieties of whole-grain oats that you can lay your hands on. All you have to do then is to blitz the oats in a grinder to a fine powder-like consistency and use it instead of refined flour for making breads, pancakes, etc.

3. Buckwheat Flour
Buckwheat is another whole grain that is extremely rich in dietary fibre and proteins. It is also gluten-free and can be consumed by those who have an allergy. The flour can be used to prepare anything, from noodles to breads and snacks like chips and crisps.

4. Barley Flour
Barley, or jau, was one of the first cultivated grains on Earth and this ancient grain has made a comeback. Barley belongs to the grass family, but is widely cultivated as a food grain that is a healthy alternative to refined grains. A 100-gram serving of hulled barley contains a whopping 17 grams of dietary fibre and 12 grams of proteins (as per data by the USDA).

Some people have been known to have allergic reactions to some specific flours. Although these allergic symptoms may rarely show up (if ever), it is better to ensure that these grains are safe for you to eat, before including them in your diet.

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What Is Satiating Diet? Is It Better Than Other Trending Diets?

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With the rise in number of people suffering from obesity, the importance of following weight loss diets is gaining momentum. There are a lot of fad diets in today's time that claim to cut down weight quickly. But these diets follow a restrictive pattern and eliminate one or more class of foods, which are otherwise essential for our nutritional needs. For instance, the hugely popular keto diet lets you eat only high-fat, high-protein foods but disregards carbohydrates completely. And, there are some diets that rely on carbohydrates and fibres, but shun away fatty foods. Following any of these diet means that you'll have to shun some kind of foods that you had been consuming regularly till now.

Going on such diets may help you lose weight faster but might backfire later. Feeling of dissatisfaction and frustration may crawl in, which will eventually make you eat more to beat the stress. Moreover, all kind of foods are important for normal functioning of the body. You need carbs as much as you need fats. So now, the health experts have come to a conclusion that the most beneficial and sustainable way of maintaining weight is to eat to your heart's content.

What Is Satiating Diet?
A new version of diet - satiating diet - is making news these days for its positive approach towards weight loss. It proposes eating nutrition-rich foods that fill the stomach and satiate the appetite to the hilt. A satiating diet consists of foods that are high in fibre (like breads), protein (like eggs), healthy fats (like avocados), dairy products (like yogurt) and fruits and vegetables. All these foods have their own individual nutritional properties that contribute in bringing health and wellness to us.

Some foods are good for heart health, some are good for digestion and some protect the body from harmful free radicals. Is satiating diet the best diet for weight control? Will it be successful in the long run, negating the effects of other factors like irregular sleeping, long working hours etc.? We are not sure. However, we do believe in following a balanced diet and fulfilling all our nutritional requirements.

Dr. Atul Patil
Dr. Atul Patil
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Proctologist Ayurveda, 9 yrs, Pune
Dr. Rachana Parmar
Dr. Rachana Parmar
MBBS, Gynaecologist Infertility Specialist, 20 yrs, Pune
Dr. Varun kumar  PT
Dr. Varun kumar PT
BPTh, Homecare Physiotherapist Physiotherapist, 5 yrs, Pune
Dr. Mahesh Yadav
Dr. Mahesh Yadav
BAMS, Ayurveda, 25 yrs, Pune
Dr. Vinod Shinde
Dr. Vinod Shinde
BAMS, Ayurveda Dietitian, 17 yrs, Pune
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