Health Tips
Stay healthy by reading wellness advice from our top specialists.

Imagine the world without the efficient functioning of the eyes; blank, isn't it? Summers are upon us and it is time to take extra care of them, especially as they are most exposed to heat, sun, pollution, et al, which may further lead to weaker eyesight, conjunctivitis, pre-mature macular degeneration and vision problems. While one of the best ways to take care of your eyes is to wash them with water, it is imperative to load up on healthy foods in order to ensure a healthy pair of eyes. Ayurveda is known to consider food just as powerful as medicine. Similarly, it suggests some foods that may help strengthen your eye health.

According to the book, 'The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies' by Dr. Vasant Lad, individuals who work in front of a computer for a long time, watch a lot of television or movies, or live in a city with high air pollution, may find their eyes become irritated and strained. The irritation may be due to the dryness of conjunctiva that results from excess vata dosha, or it may be related to excess hyper-acidity or pitta dosha in stomach. Liver and eyes are closely related, so one of the reasons can be problems occurring in the liver.

Here are some of the essential home remedies as suggested by Ayurveda in order to keep your eyes healthy.
1) According to the book, you can prepare a solution of rose water. Use a dropper or an eye cup; make sure the water is neither too hot nor too cold. A drop or two in the eye will help soothe the irritation.

2) The book also suggests putting a single drop of pure castor oil into your eyes at bedtime. Make sure the oil does not contain any preservative.

3) According to the book, 'Home Doctor' by Dr. P.S. Phadke, if you experience redness, pain or even swelling in the eyes, boil a teaspoon of turmeric in two cups of water. Reduce it to a cup and let it cool. Strain four to five times with a muslin cloth. This extract can then be used as an eye drop. Use it at least three to four times a day.

4) Infusions made of coriander seeds or fennel seeds can be used as cold eye-washes.

5)If there is only a burning sensation in the eyes, cold compress will work. In fact, direct cold application of a little cream of cow's milk or fresh yogurt will also help soothe the eyes. Make sure the application is cold.

Cauliflower, or phool gobhi as we lovingly call it, is an immensely popular vegetable in north India. Gobhi ke paranthe and aloo gobhi ki sabzi are probably the most consumed item in a typical Punjabi home. Cauliflower's origin can be traced to Cyprus from where it moved to west Asia, and Europe. The British brought it to India about 150 years ago, thereafter, our farmers raised their own seeds, creating the Indian cauliflower. Four of the earliest varieties listed are the Early and Main Crop Patna and Early and Main Crop Banaras. Botanically speaking, cauliflower belongs to the species Brassica oleracea in the genus Brassica, which belongs to the family Brassicaceae. Other popular vegetables in this species include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, and kale, which are also referred as cole crops. The edible white flesh of cauliflower is referred to as "curd" and we normally eat both the stem and flower tissue.

Not All Is White: While white is the most popular and common coloured cauliflower, there is one in orange too, and its colour comes from beta carotene, which is a vitamin A precursor. Then, there is a green variety known as broccoflower. And, the very less popular purple coloured cauliflower is known to have anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants also present in red cabbage and red wine.
Nutritionally 100 g of Cauliflower will provide:
-2.15g protein
-0.44g fat
-2.03g carbohydrate
-3.71g fibre, both soluble and insoluble fibre.
-Vitamins B - thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6
-47mg/100g vitamin C (mzkes it one of the richest sources in our food)
-14 microgram/100g of vitamin K, which is 20% of our daily requirement
-45.95 microgram/100 g of folates

Health Benefits: Broccoli is generally touted as one of the healthiest vegetables, whereas cauliflower has never got that position. Surprisingly, white cauliflower's nutritional value is quite high. Its health quotient is as good as its fellow green cruciferous vegetables. Some of the benefits it brings to our table are:

1. Reduces The Risk Of Cancer: As per various studies, Cruciferous veggies are linked to a reduce the risk of cancer. A group of compounds - glucosinolates are known to have anti-cancer properties. These compounds are converted to Isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are believed to destroy potential cancer-causing substances before they can damage a cell's genetic material (DNA) or work to prevent healthy cells from becoming cancerous. ITCs also help in increasing detoxification of toxic substances that might be detrimental to cancer risk.

2. Relieves Inflammation: Chronic health problems are a public health concern today. Most of these are outcomes of imbalanced metabolic systems, which cause injury to our body leading to inflammations, when left unchecked. Cauliflower has one of the richest antioxidant profile containing anthoxanthins, which gives cauliflower its signature white colour, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, rutin, and kaempferol. In addition, it has one of the highest contents of vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant system in our body. Vitamin K, present in cauliflower, also works on the anti-inflammatory system and prevents it from going into an overdrive. The omega -3 fats present in cauliflower also add to its anti-inflammatory ability.

3. Reduces The Risk Of Heart And Brain Diseases: The antioxidant profile of cauliflower also help reduce the risk of heart diseases, diabetes and stroke. They also exert a protective effect against neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Vitamin C, vitamin k and the omega -3 are documented to prevent plaque formations; keep blood pressure under check; and control cholesterol build up. By binding with bile acids, cauliflower helps regulate cholesterol.

4. Great Detox: Sulphur compounds present in the veggie - glucosinolates, which impart the typical smell to cauliflower, are very beneficial for our digestive system. They help with nutrient absorption while aiding toxin removal. They also aid in the development of good gut bacteria.

5. Weight Loss: Since cauliflower is low in calories, adding to your weight loss diet is not a bad idea. Its good fibre content leads to early satiety and being low in carbs and fat make it as a favourable veggie for weight watchers.

6. Good For Eye And Skin: The sulphur compounds protect our retina against oxidative stress preventing cataract and macular degeneration. The vitamin C, also known as the skin vitamin, protects against signs of early ageing like wrinkles and dryness of the skin.

7. Cook It Right: Keep the cooking time, and contact with the cooking surface, to the minimum, which enhances the flavour and also retains the essential nutrients. Boiling or steaming cauliflower isn't great for its texture or flavour enhancement. Studies have shown that cauliflower stands up well to various cooking methods without losing its nutrient levels. Vitamin C, phytonutrients and flavonoids present in the vegetable aren't destroyed after cooking. In fact, researchers have found that the bioavailability of nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin improves after cooking.

Tomato makes an indispensable part of the Indian and international cuisine. This beautiful red fruit not just adds a tangy flavour to innumerable delicacies but has several health and beauty benefits to offer. Not just tomato, but its juice is also nutrient-rich and low in calories and fat. So, if you are looking to lose weight, this drink is just for you. In fact, according to the book 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing, one glass of tomato juice contains 74 percent of your recommended daily vitamin C intake. Other key vitamins include K, B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals such as potassium, manganese and iron. If you haven't known the many benefits of tomato juice yet, there is a chance you are missing out on something important and beneficial.We tell you some amazing health and beauty benefits of tomato juice that will convince you to add the colourful drink to your daily diet.

Health Benefits Of Tomato Juice

1. Super Antioxidant Properties

One of the biggest selling features of tomato juice is its antioxidant properties. It is particularly rich in beta-carotene and lycopene, which are responsible for a tomato's deep red colour, and has been linked to reduce the risk of developing heart diseases. These powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients defend your body from free radicals that cause damage to your cells.

2. Helps Regularise Digestion
Consuming tomato juice regularly may help stimulate the bowel movement, further preventing constipation and boosting digestion. Tomato juice is rich in fibre and functions as a mild laxative that can help prevent constipation.

3. Helps Prevent Blood Clotting

The rich supply of phytonutrients found in tomatoes are known to prevent abnormal platelet cell clumping, which is beneficial for those who are at a risk of heart conditions.

4. Heart-Friendly

Tomatoes have a high amount of lycopene, vitamin C and E, and beta-carotene, all of which support heart health. Lycopene helps strengthen the walls of blood vessels and remove cholesterol from the blood.

5. A Great Detoxifying Agent

Tomato juice works wonders in flushing out the toxin deposition from the body. Moreover, the presence of chlorine and sulphur content helps liver and kidneys to perform their detoxification function better. In fact, tomato juice is contains potassium, which reduces water retention, moreover, it helps the body remove fat-soluble toxins.

6. Lowers Cholesterol

The excess fibre content in the juice helps to break down LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). The presence of niacin has also been found to have a beneficial impact on high cholesterol levels.

7. Boosts Eye-Health

Tomato juice is loaded with phytonutrients like beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin along with vitamin C that are known to protect your eyes from eye problems like age-related macular degeneration and cataract.

8. Makes For A Great Workout Recovery

Tomato juice provides the perfect balance of chemicals to help your body recover from strenuous exercise. So, ditch the fizzy energy drinks and choose to drink the healing juice instead.

Some of the side-effects of summer aren't as cheery as blue skies and sunshine. The heat can also leave your body dehydrated, your skin thirsty and worse, your eyes dry. This summer time worry is especially prevalent in contact lens wearers as the climate further dries the eye's natural lubricant on top of lenses. The result can be dry eyes that you end up itching, just because they are so parched. We're going to change that with these six ways to soothe your tired, dry peepers, even in the middle of May.

1. A Warm Compress

Before you wonder question what a hot compress can do for your eyes, hear us out. A warm compress over the eye area can open clogged ducts and encourage the glands to produce more tears. All you have to do is placed a warm towel directly on closed eyelids and hold in place for 10 minutes. Repeat this twice a day for best results.

2. Look Around

Make sure your surroundings aren't worsening the condition of your eyes. Stay away from smoke, heat and air conditioning drafts or wear protective glasses when you are exposed to any of them. If the air in your home is too dry, consider installing a humidifier to add moisture to it.

3. Eat Well

What you eat directly impacts the rest of your body, especially your eyes. To keep dryness at bay, add foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. Such foods include chia seeds, salmon and tuna, walnuts and eggs. They reduce inflammation in the body and help the production of tears in the ducts.

4. Switch Off

Continuously staring at your screen can tire your eyes and further dry them out. Prevent this from happening by taking a break away from your screen for a few minutes after every hour so that your eyes aren't strained and get excessively dry.

5. Splash And Blink

Twice daily, make it a habit to splash your eyes with water as it will refresh them and reduce the itchy, dry feeling. Also add a blinking exercise to your routine. Try blinking slowly by keeping your eyes closed for two counts and opening them. This will help lubricate the eyeball surface and even remove any irritants.

6. Eye Drops

If you aren't able to produce tears naturally, try lubricating eye drops under the care of a doctor. Their formula is close to natural tears and will keep the eyes wet and healthy.

Dry eyes can cause a lot of discomfort. They not only make the vision blurry, but also cause burning sensation, redness in the eyes and constant sticking of the eyelids. However, there are several ways in which you can cure this dryness; having a healthy diet is one of them. According to Consultant Nutritionist, Dr. Rupali Datta, "Having Vitamin A and Vitamin C rich foods could be really healthy for your eyes. Especially, Vitamin A as it provides with beta carotene. Add yellow, green and red vegetables along with essential minerals to your diet as these foods will provide you with sufficient beta carotene and healthy vitamins.

Here's how you can get rid of those dry eyes in a natural way. Read on to know more about them.

Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a versatile ingredient as it has multiple benefits and uses. It has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing agents which aid in keeping the dry eyes nourished. Take 2-3 drops of coconut oil and rub it near your eyes for about 2-3 minutes. Wait until the skin absorbs the oil fully. After few minutes, repeat the procedure again and watch out for results!

Cucumber: To avoid itchiness and redness, take a cucumber slice it place it on your eyes for about 15 minutes. Cucumber is an excellent source of vitamin A which is a great nourisher for dry eyes.

Yogurt: Yogurt is a rich source of vitamin D, B and A. Having a bowl of yogurt everyday can cure the itchiness and provide you with proper eye nourishment.

Blinking Exercise: Tears are essential for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eyes. Regular blinking of eyes can stimulate the flow of tears which can help in keeping the moisture intact

So if you happen to be one of those who is suffering from dry eye syndrome, then you can try these remedies at home to get some relief.

Dr. Abhijeet  Shinde
Dr. Abhijeet Shinde
DNB, Cardiologist Diabetologist, 13 yrs, Pune
Dr. Smita  Patil
Dr. Smita Patil
BHMS, Homeopath, 15 yrs, Pune
Dr. Rohit Kamate
Dr. Rohit Kamate
BDS, Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dentist Dental Surgeon, 4 yrs, Pune
Dr. Rajendra kadam
Dr. Rajendra kadam
BAMS, Ayurveda, 10 yrs, Pune
Dr. Chandrakumar Deshmukh
Dr. Chandrakumar Deshmukh
BAMS, Ayurveda Panchakarma, Pune