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Stay Younger By Including These five food items in your diet

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We challenge you to name anything more satisfying than having your skin smooth and glowing. We are betting that you can not. Indeed, there's the reason most of us are willing to shell out a good amount of money when it comes to skincare products that promise to keep our youthful and supple look.

Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is charged with monounsaturated fat, polyphenols and phytonutrients that play an important role in keeping the skin firm and elastic. It is also rich in vitamin E which helps prevent premature ageing signs.

​Yoghurt
Yoghurt is one of the very strongest protein sources. It is calorie minimal and has plenty of good bacteria that can help with digestion. It is also filled with phosphorus, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and calcium. Good part? It can also help to do away with those fine lines on your face, in addition to its delicious taste.

Tomatoes
​Red juicy tomatoes can be eaten raw or fried, and they can also be used in salads or grilled with a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper. These are rich in lycopene, a pigment that helps to reduce wrinkles and fine lines by eliminating dead skin cells and protecting the skin against damage from sunlight.

​Carrots
In addition to being loaded with antioxidants, minerals and beta-carotene, the winter fruit can also help you get your glow back. In addition, beta carotene present in carrots is known to encourage youthful skin as it is a potent antioxidant. So if you're looking for firmer, toned skin, we recommend chomping on a few carrots every day.

​Indian Gooseberries (Amla)
It is a cheap and abundant source of vitamin C. We all know the benefits of this vitamin; it battles free radicals, stops aging, and gives you the skin that is illuminated from within. Amla is the secret to a healthy immune system and clear skin.

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Health Benefits Of Oranges

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Orange is known to have several health benefits and is among the most popular fruits around the world.
Oranges can be had not only as a snack but also as a major recipe ingredient in various dishes. Nowadays orange juice is an integral part of a healthy breakfast thus promoting a healthy start to the day. They're mainly available in two categories — sweet and bitter, with the former being the type most commonly consumed. Generally an orange should have smoothly textured skin and be firm and heavy for its size. These will have higher juice content than those that are either spongy or lighter in weight.

Benefits of eating oranges

High in Vitamin C
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C. One orange offers 116.2 per cent of the daily value for vitamin C. Good intake of vitamin C is associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer as it helps to get of free radicals that cause damage to our DNA.

Healthy immune system
Vitamin C, which is also vital for the proper function of a healthy immune system, is good for preventing colds and preventing recurrent ear infections.

Prevents skin damage
Anti-oxidants in oranges help protect skin from free radical damage known to cause signs of aging. An orange a day can help you look young even at 50!

Keeps blood pressure under check
Oranges, being rich in Vitamins B6, help support the production of haemoglobin and also help keep blood pressure under check due to the presence of magnesium.

Lowers cholesterol
According to a study by US and Canadian researchers, a class of compounds found in citrus fruit peels called Polymethoxylated Flavones (PMFs) have the potential to lower cholesterol more effectively than some prescription drugs without side effects.

Controls blood sugar level
Fibre in oranges help by keeping blood sugar levels under control thereby making oranges a healthy snack for people with diabetes. Moreover, oranges have simple sugars. The natural fruit sugar in oranges, fructose, can help keep blood sugar levels from rising too high after eating. Its glycemic index is 40 and normally whatever foods fall under 50 are considered to be low in sugar. However, that does not mean you go about eating too many oranges in one go. Eating too much can spike insulin and may even lead to weight gain.

Lowers the risk of cancer
Oranges contain D- limonene, a compound that is touted to prevent cancers like lung cancer, skin cancer and even breast cancer. Vitamin C and antioxidants present in oranges are both important to build body’s immunity – they help in fighting cancer. The fibrous nature of the fruit also makes it cancer protective. According to a study, up to 15 per cent of cancer cases happen because of mutations in the DNA, which can be prevented with Vitamin C.

Alkalizes the body
While the basic nature of oranges is acidic before you actually digest them, they have a lot of alkaline minerals that play a role in the process of digestion. This property of oranges is similar to that of lemons, which are without doubt among the most alkaline foods.

Good eye health
Oranges are a rich source of carotenoid. The Vitamin A present in them play an important role in keeping the mucus membranes in the eyes healthy. Vitamin A is also responsible to prevent age-related mascular degeneration, which in extreme cases can lead to blindness. It also helps eyes to absorb the light.

Safeguards against constipation
Oranges have both soluble and insoluble fibre. This helps in keeping your intestines and stomach function smooth, preventing irritable bowel syndrome. Additionally, the fibre helps treat constipation to a greater extent.

Useful tip
Oranges like most citrus fruits, produce more juice when warmer — juice them when they are at room temperature. Rolling the orange under the palm of your hand on a flat surface will also help to extract more juice. Vitamin C gets destroyed fast when exposed to air, so eat an orange quickly once cut up.

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Benefits Of Sweet Potato

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Sweet potato is a versatile root vegetable thatis great for weight loss. Unlike the regular starchy potato, it is loaded with proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It can easily be usedas a substitute for normal potatoes. This vegetable witha high satiety indexis scientifically proven to aid weight loss . Wondering what makes the sweet potato diet so good for weight loss? Read on to find out.

The sweet potato diet, as the name suggests, requires you to incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet. It also includes other fat-burning foods – like yogurt and vegetables- and high-fiber foods.

How Sweet Potatoes Aid Weight Loss

Low In Calories
Sweet potatoes are surprisingly low in calories. One sweet potato (5”, 130 g) contains only 112 calories. One of the main factors that affect weight loss is maintaining a negative energy balance. This means you need to consume fewer calories and burn more. Two sweet potatoes have around 250 calories. Therefore, they will fill you up and keep your hunger pangs at bay.

High In Dietary Fiber
Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber. One sweet potato (130g) provides around 4 g of fiber. Dietary fiber aids weight loss by forming a gel-like mesh in the stomach. This makes you feel full, curbs hunger, and prevents you from overeating.

Purple sweet potato starch can be used to produce resistant starch (RS) . A study conducted on rats found that resistant starch escapes digestion and gets fermented in the gut. This releases short-chain fatty acids that stimulate the secretion of peptide hormones that regulate satiety and help you cut down on your calorie intake, thus aiding weight loss.

Energy-Rich Good Carbs
Carbohydrates should not be ignored totally. They provide the energy to do various functions (5). To expend the calories you consume, you should have enough energy to walk around, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and work out regularly. If your body is deprived of carbs, you will not have the energy to keep yourself active and healthy.

Low Glycemic Index
Glycemic index is a number given to food depending on the glucose spike it causes in the body after a meal. If a particular food causes a high blood glucose spike, it means it has a high glycemic index. This indicates that consuming too much of that food can cause type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.

Though sweet potatoes are sweet, they have a low glycemic index. The glycemic index of boiled sweet potato ranges from 44 to 61, of baked sweet potato is 94, and of roasted sweet potato is 82. So, you can consume them without worrying about blood glucose spikes.

High Water Content
Sweet potatoes have high water content. This is another reason they can aid in effective weight loss. Dehydration slows down your metabolism. Consuming sweet potatoes helps rehydrate your cells and kick-start metabolism.

Lastly, a randomized control trial study showed a positive relationship between white sweet potato intake and improvement in anthropometric measurements (body weight, BMI, waist circumference, hip circumference, etc.).

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Foods you should avoid on an empty stomach

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Do you grab the first edible thing you see in the morning and stuff your face with it? Well, many of us who are rushed for time tend to make these terrible breakfast mistakes but eating the wrong food on an empty stomach can wreak havoc on your system the entire day. From cramps, acidity, bloating and gas, it’s not a pretty picture. Just being a little careful about what you eat in the morning can help you feel better and be more productive all day. Here’s a list so that you can be more discerning in the future!

Coffee: Can’t function without coffee on an empty stomach? Well, you might just have to break this habit because it increases acidity and gives you a case of heartburn and indigestion. Coffee is known to reduce the secretion bile and gastric juices, making it difficult for you to digest the other food that you eat. It also ups the production of hydrochloric acid in the digestive system which may give you a nasty case of gastritis.

Spicy food: Love your parantha with a generous dollop of mango pickle first thing? Well, all that spice and heat in the pickle is going to make you writhe in pain because spices and chillies on an empty stomach irritates your stomach lining and causes indigestion and acidity.

Bananas: you are probably eating a banana every morning and feeling very virtuous about it with reason, because it is a food power-packed with nutrition. However, on an empty stomach it can affect your heart, no less. Bananas are rich in magnesium and potassium and eating them on an empty tummy can overload your bloodstream with these two nutrients and harm your heart.

Tomatoes: Some people eat tomatoes first thing in the morning as they are considered a source of many essential nutrients. However, the high amounts of tannic acid will give you acidity that will ultimately lead to gastric ulcers. Even, cucumbers are hard to digest on an empty stomach so as a thumb rule, so avoid raw veggies and rustle up a salad later in the day.

Citrus fruits: This is something that your mom must have told you and she was absolutely right. Citrus fruits increase acid production with very uncomfortable consequences if you haven’t had anything to eat. The glut of fibre and fructose in fruits also slows down digestions and messes up your system all day.

Processed Sugar: Love drinking a large glass of sugary fruit juice in the morning? Well, maybe you will change your mind when you know that excess sugar on an empty stomach can harm your liver and pancreas over the long run. It’s as bad as drinking a bottle of wine first thing in the morning. All that sugar can also give you gas and make you feel bloated. And sugar in processed foods like pastry and doughnuts is doubly bad because some kinds of yeats used in these inflame your stomach lining and cause flatulence.

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Benefits Of Carom Seeds(Ajwain)

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India is a land of spices, and also a land of home remedies, or dadima ke nuskhe. One such spice that any Indian kitchen is incomplete without, is ajwain, or carom seeds. If one goes back to the roots, these seeds are derived from the urugandha plant, and their origin lies in India.

Although on their own they have a bitter and pungent flavour, carom seeds are added to several vegetables and curries owing to their digestive properties. They possess antioxidant, antihypertensive, antimicrobial, hypolipidemic, and several other properties. The main component of ajwain oil is thymol, which treats gastrointestinal ailments. Carom seeds can remedy abdominal issues arising out of indigestion, especially stomach ache or a burning sensation. Carom seeds contain important fatty acids, fibre, and other antioxidants. These contribute to their benefits. While the polyunsaturated fats help lower cholesterol levels, the thymol in the seeds regulates blood pressure levels. The seeds also help fight inflammation. Take a look at the benefits.

Carom seeds provide relief from stomach ailments:
For relief from ailments like acidity and indigestion, carom seeds work like magic. It is one of the most crucial health benefits of these tiny, pungent seeds. They keep the stomach strong when they are had regularly, but when you are suffering from digestive problems, ensure you use carom seeds for relief. An upset stomach upsets your daily routine, so treat it well.

How to use: You can mix a teaspoon of cumin seeds (jeera) with a teaspoon of carom seeds and half a teaspoon of ginger powder and mix it with a glass of warm water and drink it. You will find instant relief. This helps with heartburns as well as gastric issues and releases gas from the body.

Tip: If you feel you have had a heavy meal, swallow half a teaspoon of raw carom seeds with regular water. This will help in the digestion of the meal.

Carom seeds help in treating cold and cough:
These tiny carom seeds have a host of uses, including opening up nasal blockages and relieving sinus stress. Use of the seeds also helps with discharging the mucus easily.

How to use: When suffering from a cold, make a paste of carom seeds and jaggery, by mixing equal quantities of both and heating it in the microwave or over a flame. You can also add a pinch of dried ginger powder to this paste, it will enhance the relief properties. Consume two teaspoons of the paste twice a day until you are better. The paste also helps with respiratory problems. If you have a cough, you should boil the carom seeds in water and drink the liquid as a hot tea for relief.

Make a small pack (potli) with carom seeds in a thin cloth or handkerchief, and heat this on an iron pan (tawa). Use this hot compress on the head for headache or on the chest and nose to relieve congestion.

Tip: You can also place this potlis under your pillow when you sleep and inhale it frequently for relief from a migraine headache.

Carom seeds for ear and toothaches:
Here, the oil extracted from the carom seeds becomes useful! You can buy it at any medical store. It provides instant relief.

How to use: For an earache, you have to use the oil directly. Just put two drops of the oil in the ear. If you are suffering from a toothache, you need to mix 1 teaspoon of carom seeds with a pinch of salt in a glass of lukewarm water. Gargle with this warm water at least twice a day until you have complete relief.

Tip: Gargling with this water regularly also helps maintain good oral hygiene.

Carom seeds for cleaning bruises:
The thymol in the carom seeds also acts as an agent to kill germs. Often, these seeds are crushed into a paste and used to treat minor cuts and wound. These caroms seeds also contain terpenes, sterols, and glycosides, which help in reducing and soothing inflammation around the wound.

How to use: For minor cuts and bruises, crush carom seeds and apply the paste on the bruise. Clean it with a clean cloth.

Tip: you can also wash the wound with carom seed water.

Carom seeds help fight premature greying of hair:
Carom seeds are used to fight premature greying of hair.

How to use: Make a solution of a handful of curry leaves, a few raisins, a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of carom seeds in one cup of water. Cook this solution for five to seven minutes, and strain it after turning of the heat. Drink this water every day, once a day for a month. After you start seeing results in a reduction of the speed of greying, reduce the frequency of consuming the water to thrice or twice a week.

Tip: Combine this will regular oiling of hair, to prevent premature greying.

Carom seeds properties as a natural mosquito repellent:
If you are afraid of using repellents available in the market due to the fumes, you can easily create a natural one at home, using carom seeds. The store-bought repellents can cause harmful fumes in a closed room, and will not be effective in an open area. Try this natural remedy instead.

How to use: Mix equal quantities of carom seeds and mustard oil, so it forms a thick paste. Adjust quantities in a way that you can spread this mixture easily over small pieces of cardboard (about three inch-squares). Place these pieces of cardboard in the corners of the rooms of your house to keep mosquitoes at bay. You will achieve the purpose well, without the harmful fumes from the repellents.

Tip: You can also add a drop of citronella oil to this paste before applying on the cardboard for a sweet scent.

Carom seeds ease arthritis pain:
One of the home uses of carom seeds is that they can be used for relief from the aches and pain related to arthritis. As mentioned earlier, they can also reduce redness and ease inflammation.

How to use: Crush the carom seeds with a little water and apply it on the painful areas and leave it on for a while, at least 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can also soak the affected area in a tub of how water with a handful of carom seeds.

Tip: You can use the carom oil directly on the aches as well.

Dr. Sujata Bauskar
Dr. Sujata Bauskar
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda Panchakarma, 23 yrs, Pune
Dr. Zainab Shaikh
Dr. Zainab Shaikh
BAMS, Ayurveda, 2 yrs, Pune
Dr. SS Bansal
Dr. SS Bansal
MBBS, Obstetrics and Gynecologist, 32 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sunil Ugile
Dr. Sunil Ugile
BAMS, Proctologist, 18 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sujeet Ranjane
Dr. Sujeet Ranjane
BAMS, Ayurveda Panchakarma, 9 yrs, Pune
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