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

It was believed by Dr Peter D’Adamo that the unique antigen markers of different blood group types react to different kinds of food. The consumption of the wrong kind of food may lead to various health conditions. The right kind of food, when consumed according to the blood types can help prevent chronic diseases, maintain an optimum body weight and act as defence against a large number of diseases. It was also believed that stomach acid levels and digestive enzymes are related to blood types.

Blood type diet:

1.Blood Type A should only consume a vegetarian, in fact vegan diet.

2.Blood Type B is recommended a balanced diet of meat, dairy products and vegetables.

3.Blood Type O should consume high amounts of animal protein along with lots of fruits and vegetables. The carbohydrate, dairy and wholegrain intake must be low.

4.Blood Type AB should stick to a vegetarian diet mostly, with occasional inclusions of meat and dairy products.

Pros of a diet based on blood group

1.Food that agrees with your body system is essentially beneficial to your body.

2.Blood type dieting makes exercising the most important part of your daily health regimen. This helps to promote fitness.

3.It is effective as far as weight loss is concerned.
It discourages the consumption of processed food and junk meals.

4. Healthy fresh vegetables, fruits or dairy products will always be beneficial.

5.Does not allow the intake of fatty, sugary food items.

6.You can choose different food for your diet from a variety of food items suitable for your blood type.

Cons of a diet based on blood group

1.It does not include food from all food groups.
Many nutritionists and scientists have not been able to establish a connection between blood type and food suitability.

2.Cutting out certain essential food groups can be quite dangerous.

3.The theory of Dr D’Adamo is quite questionable and disputable.

4. It does not have a medical backing.

5.Following this diet can be quite tedious.

6.There can be varying results from following such diet and this makes it difficult to analyse the outcome of following such diets.

With people becoming more health conscious, several restaurants have started introducing dishes with healthy ingredients like kale, beetroot and quinoa. These dishes offer wholesome goodness as it is not just good on nutrient value but also on taste, say experts.

Rajesh Sawhney, Co-founder of and Rajiv Kumar, CEO of Culinate, have listed some of the healthy ingredients that restaurants and cafes have started using in their dishes:

* Quinoa is a seed that belongs to the spinach/chard family, which is why it is called a pseudo-cereal or pseudo-grain. Quinoa is rich in protein and a lot of other vital nutrients such as magnesium, dietary fiber and vitamin B. It is also a good source of antioxidants called flavonoids and it's a healthy alternative to rice.

* Kale is high in fiber, low on calorie and has zero fat. It is one of the most common ingredients in the healthy dishes prepared by restaurants. Apart from being highly nutritious, kale is also high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be added to pasta, green smoothies or can be simply tossed in a salad.

* Chia seeds are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, iron, and calcium. A 28 gram, or 1ounce, serving of chia seeds also contains 5.6 grams of protein. Hence, they make it on the menu of most healthy food restaurants. These seeds can be added to smoothies, oatmeal or yogurt.

* Nuts are often counted as good fats and are also rich in fiber and Omega-3. Plant sterols are a substance present in nuts that helps in lowering the cholesterol level in the body.

Nuts are a great source of L-arginine, which make the artery walls more flexible and less prone to blood clots that can block blood flow. You can make a nutty trail mix and simply munch on nuts in between meals or add them to your stir-fry.

* Activated charcoal is a natural ingredient that helps in flushing out toxins from the body. It not only helps in the detoxification of the body but also helps in digestive cleansing by alleviating problems like gas and bloating.

Activated charcoal also helps in fighting the signs of ageing.

Healthy restaurants incorporate activated charcoal in their healthy drinks and also in the breads and buns used for their special sandwiches and burgers.

* Beetroots contain valuable nutrients that may help lower your blood pressure, fight cancer and inflammation, boost your stamina, and support detoxification. It is an amazing source of iron but is often ignored due to its peculiar taste. Beetroots can be added to salads, smoothies or you could even add beetroot to your chapati dough to get that much-needed iron intake.

Poha is a much-loved Indian breakfast food that has a number of variants in different parts of the country. Whether you like to eat it the traditional way with peanuts, curry leaves, et al, or whether you love to munch on the chivda prepared from this flattened rice dish, poha holds a unique appeal that is almost universal. In Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Rajasthan, poha is eaten topped with some spicy bhujia and with a side of sweet and sugary jalebis or imartis. On the other hand, in Maharashtra, poha has potatoes added to it and is served with a side of some chutney and topped with crunchy, bright yellow sev. But did you know that poha is incredibly healthy too?There's a reason poha is considered the perfect breakfast food and has gained traction not just across India, but also globally. For one, it's incredibly easy-to-prepare and even a novice cook may not go wrong with any basic poha recipe. For another, it's cooked along with a number of vegetables like peas, potato, coriander and even crunchy peanuts are added to it. This makes the dish more nutritious and filling. It's also easily available and packs in a nutritious punch for very cheap!

Here are some health benefits of eating poha:
1. Controls Blood Sugar Levels

Poha is considered a good meal for diabetics. Being rich in fibre, poha promotes a slow and steady release of sugar into the blood stream, thereby preventing any sudden spikes in blood sugar levels

2. A Good Probiotic

This may come as a surprise to many, but poha is a good probiotic food too. This is because the dish is made by parboiling paddy and then drying it out in the sun for a few hours. After this the dried product is beaten flat to make poha. The finished product has undergone fermentation and hence retains the microbial flora from the partially digested carbs and proteins, which is healthy for the gut.

3. A Good Source Of Healthy Carbohydrates

Poha is made up of 76.9 per cent of carbohydrates and about 23 per cent of fats. Hence, it's a great breakfast food as these healthy carbs provide energy to the body to carry out its daily functions.

4. Easily Digestible

Poha is also light on the stomach and can be easily digested. Therefore, it can either be had as the first morning meal or as a light evening meal. Poha will never cause bloating and will also keep you full for longer.

5. Rich In Iron

Lactating or pregnant women are often advised to eat softened poha, as these women are at high risk of gestational anaemia. This is because the production process of poha requires the rice to pass through iron rollers. The flattened rice retains some of the iron from the process and are hence considered to be rich in iron. You may want to squeeze a bit of lemon juice in your bowl of breakfast poha to help your body absorb the iron better.

Also Read: A Nation United by Poha

6. Low In Calories

Poha is also quite low in calories. One bowl of cooked vegetable poha has just around 250 calories, along with a number of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants too due to the presence of curry leaves in it. If you add some peanuts to the mix, it raises the number of calories in the meal, but if you're watching your weight, you may want to skip the peanuts.

You can make your poha healthier and more nutritious by cooking it in olive oil or coconut oil and by adding more vegetables to it. You may even increase the satiety factor and make it protein-rich by throwing in some soya bean chunks. All in all, the Indian poha is quite a rockstar on the health front and must be included more often in your diet.

Born and brought up in North India, I didn't have much curd rice growing up, and it was not until my early twenties, that I had curd rice for the first time in my life! Not only that, I had to travel to the other side of the world to discover this yummy food. Once I started living in USA, most of my friends were from South India and they introduced me to this wonderful dish. It was indeed love at "first taste", and I joined the community of lakhs of people around the world (mostly South Indians living globally) who have to have this dish at least once a day to feel that their day is complete.

Having curd rice gives you such a sense of satisfaction, and contentment. It also makes one feel restful and sometimes sleepy too, especially if eaten in excess. Let's examine today why this dish is so sought after and gives us this immense feeling of satiation, contentment and happiness.

The first ingredient in this process of creating a sense of satisfaction is Tryptophan, an essential amino acid present in curd. It is an essential amino acid meaning that it can't be made by the body and must be taken through our diet.
Tryptophan is the building block of a chemical called Serotonin. Serotonin has a wide variety of functions in the body, from playing a role in learning and memory to digestion. Serotonin is also a neuro-chemical and a natural mood regulator, which makes us feel happy, emotionally stable, less anxious, more tranquil and even more focused and energetic. Low levels of Serotonin are also linked to mood disorders like Depression.

Serotonin is also a precursor for Melatonin, the sleep inducing chemical which is necessary to induce sleepiness. That is why sometimes we feel sleepy after eating a lot of curd rice.

Serotonin can not cross the bloodbrain barrier, so for it to make us happy, it has to be produced in the brain. Here is where the rice comes in. Many foods contain tryptophan, but what makes the brain take up tryptophan to create serotonin is the carbs! That is why just eating foods rich in tryptophan might not create the same satisfaction and happiness.

The best way to reap the benefits of tryptophan is to combine complex carbohydrates with it. Extensive studies at MIT carried out by Richard Wurtman, M.D., showed that tryptophan, the building block of serotonin, could get into the brain only after sweet or starchy carbohydrates were eaten. The carb rich foods create production of insulin in the body that clears the competing amino acids from the blood stream so that brain can take up tryptophan. In absence of insulin the brain prefers the competing amino acids, so eating Tryptohan rich foods without the carbs doesn't have the same impact that curd rice has. This is one of the reason when we are sad or upset we reach out for carb heavy foods, so that our brain can take up tryptophan and create serotonin.

So its the combination of Tryptohan containing curd and the carbs in the rice that creates the bliss we experience after eating curd rice! Let's be happy that our ancestors knew these simple ways of creating daily happiness and reach for that pot of curd rice.

Bon Appetit!

Sugar cravings are extremely common and, hence, are bound to knock your door at some point of the day (read midnight). Did you know that the sugary treats that we eat are mood enhancers, they bring about a pleasurable feeling and soothes our mind, especially after a stressful day? But, we usually end up kicking away our sugar cravings in order to stay fit and follow a healthy diet. However, ignoring your sugar completely is not a great idea, as your body needs a minimal amount of sugar in your diet for that energy boost for the day. So, let's switch to some healthy options for your sugar cravings that are not just good for your health but also good for your taste buds too. So, all the sugar lovers, this article is just for you. Keep aside your sugar-dipped jalebis, churros and gulab jamuns and try these healthy options for your never-ending sugar cravings.

1. Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are a good source of many important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to raise HDL cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke. Chia seeds comprise 40% fibre, meaning adding them to your pudding or smoothies will give you a healthy dessert and keep your hunger pangs at bay.

2. Dates: Dates are a great source of fibre, potassium and iron, moreover, they are also known to boost energy level in people. Having a few dates, instead of the junk sugary food, will help give you a sugar fix with an energy boost for the day. You can also pair them with nuts like almonds for a sweet and crunchy treat.

3. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potato is a starchy, sweet tasting root vegetable, which is rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Sweet potatoes are also known to promote a healthy digestive system.
Moreover, they are a good source for your carb intake, which would help you to stay on your balanced diet quotient while providing you the sweet taste that you're craving. You can have roasted sweet potatoes with a pinch of cinnamon for an enticing treat.

4.Snack Bars: Yes, you heard it right! Snack bars can be healthy too. But, you'll have to pick the right one as not all snack bars are healthy. From the wide variety of snack bars available in the market, pick the ones that are made with oats and sweetened with dried fruit. But, if you're not able to find the perfect healthy snack bar for your sugar cravings, you can always make one by yourself at home.

5.Smoothies: If you need a quick snack to get over your sweet tooth, a healthy smoothie could be a great fix for your sugar cravings. This on-the-go drink is a mix of healthy and nutritious fruits, with the filling effects of yogurt. While curbing your quest for sugar, it also provides you all the goodness of fruits, especially if you use the whole fruit instead of the juice and retain all the fibre.

Now, that we've shared a list of healthy sweet substitutes, you can satisfy your sugar cravings without any guilt!

Dr. Lalit deshmukh
Dr. Lalit deshmukh
BHMS, Family Physician, 14 yrs, Pune
Dr. Anand Karale
Dr. Anand Karale
MS - Allopathy, Gynaecologist Obstetrician, 5 yrs, Pune
Dr. Vivek Patil
Dr. Vivek Patil
MDS, Dentist Pediatric Dentist, 13 yrs, Pune
Dr. Harshad Danwale
Dr. Harshad Danwale
MD - Homeopathy, Homeopath, 5 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sayali Shinde
Dr. Sayali Shinde
BAMS, Pune