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

Every season comes with its own dietary demands. You might want to tweak your meals with the change in seasons to accommodate more seasonal produce and also meet the changing physiological demands of your body, according to a particular season. Monsoon, for example, is a season when your immunity may take a hit as you're likely to be more exposed to germs resulting in flu, viral fever etc. Additionally, your body is likely to crave more warming foods like soups and hot beverages, which are also rich in essential vitamins and minerals that may also help boost the health of your immune system. If you're on a diet, you might want to steer clear of calorie-rich hot chocolates and soups and instead go for healthier and nutritionally rich low-calorie foods and drinks. This is why pumpkin and coconut shorba is an excellent example of a weight loss-friendly addition to your daily meals.

Pumpkin Coconut Shorba For Weight Loss: A Soothing And Healthy Recipe
Pumpkin is a vegetable that is revered among our low-calorie vegetables for being extremely beneficial for the body. The earthy vegetable that is part of the squash family contains just 26 calories per 100 gram portion (as per data by the United States Department of Agriculture). The vegetable is extremely rich in vitamin A and it also contains good amounts of vitamin C, which boosts immunity. Coconut milk, which is also an ingredient of this recipe, is also great for your body during monsoons. This is due to the presence of medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), in particular, lauric acid, which contains monolaurin- an antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial compound.

Apart from this, this pumpkin and coconut shorba is spiced with a number of beneficial spices like fennel seeds, ginger, garlic, star anise etc. This warming drink may help you in achieving your weight loss goals during monsoons. This shorba is delicious as well as incredibly soothing, especially if you're looking to recover from a viral infection.

Here's the recipe for pumpkin and coconut shorba by Chef Manish Mehrotra of Indian Accent:

1. Take chopped pumpkin, chopped onions, grated garlic, grated ginger, fennel seeds and star anise in a deep-bottomed pan and cover them with water.

2. Cover the pan and simmer on low heat. Cook until the pumpkin becomes tender.

3. Once the pumpkin is cooked, take it off the heat and put it in a blender. Once the ingredients are blended, strain them.

4. Add the coconut milk and adjust the seasoning by adding salt as per your taste. You may optionally also add sugar, to add a little sweetness.

Prepare this shorba and sip on it to tide over those mid-meal hunger pangs!

Peanut butter is something that we all have been eating since our childhood. It is that one ingredient that goes well with almost everything; be it toasts, fries or burgers, peanut butter tastes great with all! Peanut butter provides with a lot of nutrients as it is packed with the goodness of proteins, carbohydrates and vitamin E. If you're bored of having peanut butter in its regular form and wish to experiment with the same, then here are 5 amazing combinations that you would definitely love to try. Have a look at them:

1. Peanut Butter Salad: If you happen to be a salad lover, then here's an exciting new addition to your salads - peanut butter. Move over those regular dressings and toppings like mayonnaise, mustard sauce etc. and experiment with peanut butter instead. You have to follow the same recipe as earlier for your regular salad but instead of mixing mayonnaise into it, you may add 2 tablespoons of peanut butter for an extra punch.

2. Peanut Butter Fruit Cups: Having a regular bowl of fruits in the morning is too mainstream. Here we have got some addition to it! Take some dry fruits, fresh fruits, oats and add some peanut butter to it. Mix them all together. This fruit parfait is sure to provide you with a lot of nutrients.

3. Peanut Butter Quesadilla : Make peanut butter quesadillas for an amazing breakfast session. All you need is 2 ripped bananas, 2 quesadillas and a spoonful of peanut butter. Spread the peanut butter on the quesadillas and place the sliced bananas on it. Your healthy breakfast is ready to serve.

4. Peanut Butter Energy Bites: If you're getting late for work and have no time to eat an elaborate breakfast, then bring these peanut butter energy bites to your rescue! Take half cup of oats and flax seeds, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and raisins. Mix all the ingredients together and make bite-sized balls from the same. Refrigerate them for one hour and enjoy on-the-go.

5. Peanut Butter Crackers: Move over cheese crackers and try peanut butter crackers instead! Take few crackers and spread a layer of peanut butter and jam on it. Enjoy the sinful bites!.

These were 5 different ways in which you can savour your favourite peanut butter. Let us know in the comment section below if you liked them!

Peanuts have been enjoyed during winters along with jaggery or gur in India for ages now. Roasted groundnuts are cracked open from their shells and popped into our mouths as we happily snuggle next to our space heaters. Peanuts can, however, be enjoyed during any season as a snack. The delightful and delicious peanut is technically a legume, but is consumed like a nut. It is added to a number of dishes to make them crunchy, including poha, pulav and even desserts like halwa. But peanuts have become notoriously unpopular, after health freaks started shunning them for being fat-rich. It is believed that eating peanuts daily may lead to weight gain. Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar recently attempted to bust this myth by posting about the humble peanut on her Instagram page.

Diwekar, who has an impressive list of clientele including Bollywood actors Kareena Kapoor and Varun Dhawan, has been a staunch advocate for all local and desi foods, which she firmly believes we should be eating more of. In her latest Instagram post, Diwekar addressed one of the most common dilemmas of modern nutrition- is peanut butter healthier than eating peanuts? Rujuta Diwekar lamented the fact that people are opting for peanut butter more than peanuts and claims that the common belief that the former is healthier than the latter is a misconception promoted by manufacturers.

She wrote, "The priceless peanuts. A friend for all seasons, the peanut can be turned into a chutney, eaten roasted or boiled with namak or powdered to garnish your bhaji and koshimbirs. And of course squeezed into oil too. It's rich in proteins, essential fats and fat soluble vitamins. Essentially, it's a power house of nutrients for anyone who wants a strong heart, flawless skin or a good vibe." (sic)

Rujuta Diwekar talked about how biscuits have replaced the desi peanuts as a chai-time snack and have been packaged as peanut butter that is being promoted as healthy and sold to us as for a profit. She said, "As long as you eat the peanut butter we sell you as a morning snack, or as a pre-workout meal. Don't eat the nut straight, that way the farmer and the small trader will make some money, that's no good, that's fattening. Buy from us, we will process and package it as the ultimate fat burning agent, because the one thing that must get fat is the food industry profit." She added by saying that we should turn back to eating peanuts to reap their benefits.

Carrots are one of the healthiest vegetables among the rainbow of veggies available to us. The reddish orange vegetables are fortified with beta-carotene, which is incredibly essential for healthy eyesight. Besides this, carrots are also low in calories and are one of the most popular negative-calorie vegetables. This means that carrots may help in weight loss, on account of the fact that it may require more calories to digest them, than what the vegetable itself supplies. Carrots are root vegetables that can play a role in both Main and side dishes. Carrots can be fashioned into savoury and sweet dishes as well and although they're probably the healthiest when you eat them raw, they might not be the tastiest veggies out there, on their own.

Although carrots can be added to almost anything, they don't really have much going for them, taste-wise. This is probably an advantage too- the neutrality of taste is exactly what increases carrots' potential as a versatile vegetable. They're sweet when they're in season and endlessly nutritious. For someone who is on a low-carb diet for quick weight loss, carrot can be especially beneficial. But how does one eat them, besides as part of the regular boring raw salads?

Low-Carb Diet- We suggest some yummy ways to add carrots to your diet:
1. Carrots In Soups
Grate some carrots and add them to your clear soups and/or vegetable stocks. Carrots contain good amounts of roughage, which is important for digestive health. So soups may be a good idea, instead of juicing carrots.

2. Carrots In Fried Rice
You can increase the fibre-content of your bowl of Chinese fried rice by adding vegetables like corn, carrots, beans etc. to it. Carrots have high water content and may fill you up faster.

3. Carrots In Dips
Shredded carrots can also be added to healthy dips and accompaniments. This includes recipes like carrot raita, carrot hummus etc. You can also roast carrots and once they're soft, simply turn them into a dip by adding spices and some cream to it.

4. Carrot Pickles
Simply pickle your carrots to increase their nutrition. Pickling or fermenting vegetables makes the beneficial compounds in them more readily available for absorption by the body. You may add pickled carrots to your salads or simply eat them for a kick of healthy gut-friendly bacteria.

5. Carrots In Baked Goods
You can add shredded carrots to the batter of your muffins, cakes, breads etc. for a delightful dessert. Carrot cakes are already quite popular. Carrots go well in baked goodies, due to their inherently sweet taste.

Got any more interesting ways of adding carrots to your diet? Let us know in the comments section below!

In this sweltering heat, all you need is a refreshing cup of green tea to rejuvenate and boost the system to get along the day. The many nutritious benefits of green tea have made it a popular option across tea lovers and even those who are not. Green tea is known to soothe our body, mind and soul like nothing else. It is believed that a cup of green tea everyday can cleanse and rejuvenate our body from within.

Originating in China, which is the largest producer of green tea followed by Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia, green tea is derived out of Camellia sinensis leaves and does not go under oxidisation, which makes it a great antioxidant. Oxidisation in simple words refers to letting the tea leaves dry. Tea leaves go through a process of hand or machine-rolling to initiate the release of essential enzymes after which they are left to dry and oxidise. The more oxidised the leaves, darker will be the colour with a strong taste. The innumerable health benefits of green tea would make you a fan just in case you are not.

Health Benefits Of Green Tea:
1. Loaded with antioxidants, polyphenols and flavonoids, green tea helps in boosting the immunity and may also prevent our body from cold and flu.

2. A regular intake of green tea also helps in lowering the cholesterol levels.

3. Consumption of green tea can also facilitate healthy skin and hair.

4. Green tea is known to maintain a healthy heart.

Nowadays, markets are stocked with a huge variety of flavours of green tea, from chamomile, tulsi, honey, jasmine and many more. While all these flavours might be great, the joy of brewing fresh green tea at home is unmatched. In the summer heat, add the magic of mint leaves to your green tea for the ultimate therapeutic experience. Infusing a few fresh or dried mint leaves adds a great flavour and additional refreshing properties to your green tea due to the presence of menthol. Here is a five-step recipe to make the perfect green tea with mint at home.

How To Make Mint Green Tea: 5 Easy Steps
1. Take a cup of water and add it to a container. Heat it until it gets boiled.

2. Take a strainer, measure and put one teaspoon of green tea leaves in it. When almost simmering, put one teaspoon of cleansed mint leaves.

3. Now pour hot water into the cup through the strainer. Pour till the bottom strainer is immersed completely. If you are using a tea bag, then dip the tea bag directly into the cup of water for about 2-3 minutes.

4. Take a sip to check how strong you would like it to be and you are done!

5. Steep again for 30 seconds if you feel the tea needs to be stronger.

Sip on the freshly brewed mint green tea and reap the many health benefits that come along.

Dr. Rahul Pherwani
Dr. Rahul Pherwani
BHMS, 22 yrs, Pune
Dr. Ajit kadam
Dr. Ajit kadam
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda, 20 yrs, Pune
Dr. Niranjan Vatkar
Dr. Niranjan Vatkar
MDS, Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dentist Dental Surgeon, 10 yrs, Pune
Dr. Kusum Garudkar
Dr. Kusum Garudkar
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Family Physician Ayurveda, 23 yrs, Pune
Dr. Yogesh  Gangurde
Dr. Yogesh Gangurde
BHMS, Family Physician, 10 yrs, Pune