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

We all love to add a dash of saunth ki chutney on our dahi bhalla, papdi chaat, aloo tikki and raj kachori; basically everything chaat. The sweet-tangy chutney adds to the many flavours chaat has. This chutney is made using dried ginger and tamarind paste and is brownish-red in colour. While it is enjoyed in most Indian street foods, it has a bad reputation for making you gain weight. Tamarind or imli, on the contrary, is a great food to help you shed kilos, considering it has one of the most important compounds known as hydroxycitric acid that is connected to weight loss. Moreover, it has fibre present in it that makes it a healthy food. Now, although the dominant part of saunth ki chutney is tamarind, what makes it fattening? Let's find some answers.Saunth ki chutney is said to be great for digestion; thanks to the dry ginger in it. It is said that digestion is the key to losing weight. Dry ginger has long been used as a natural remedy to reduce the symptoms of conditions like IBS, bloating, gas, constipation and stomach cramps. Tamarind is another great ingredient in the saunth ki chutney that helps you shed those extra pounds.
Saunth ki chutney has sugar in it, which is generally considered the main culprit. Sugar has zero nutrients, plus it gets converted into fat and stored as adipose tissue on our waistline. In fact, it also spikes blood sugar levels that are associated with weight gain. Refined sugar can be super-addictive, which can be harmful for your health. Basically, sugar is too much of bad carbs that can lead to weight gain. According to Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Coach Shilpa Arora, "Saunth is great for weight loss and digestion; however, the sweetening agent used should be either jaggery or palm sugar, otherwise, this defeats the health and weight loss benefits it has to offer."

How To Cut Down On Sugar In Saunth Ki Chutney?
The best way to make saunth ki chutney more effective and good for weight loss, is by adding the following ingredients in it that make for great sugar alternatives.

1. Jaggery (gur)

Jaggery is said to be one of the best and most-unprocessed raw forms of sugar. In fact, jaggery is known to boost metabolism and reduce water retention, which in turn helps in managing your weight. Read: How to tell that the jaggery you are buying is pure.

2. Dates

Dates are high in fibre content. Fibre tends to keep you full for longer as it adds bulk to your diet, which further helps you lose weight.

3. Raw Honey

Yes, you heard us! You can add honey to your saunth ki chutney. Honey contains a good amount of fibre, protein and other essential vitamins and minerals that help cut the flab.

Basically, anything that's not refined sugar is good for health. Don't worry about the taste, as these alternatives will only enhance the flavour of saunth ki chutney. While you cannot ask the chaat-wallah to prepare chutney that has these sugar alternatives, you can definitely prepare it at home; making it healthier and yummier.

Pickles are considered divisive foods and different people are always at varying ends of their pickle-enjoyment spectrum. While most people love them, some do not love them at all. But regardless of whether you like them or not, you should include them in your daily diet to receive a wide range of health benefits. Most people are intimidated by the thought of having pickle shots, but they will not just zing up your taste buds, but also offer a host of benefits for your health.

Why should you have pickle shots?

Have quite a few nutrients: There are tons of benefits of drinking pickle shots which includes relieving muscle cramps and help you stay hydrated during workout sessions. Pickle shots can inhibit electrically induced muscle cramps and the sodium and potassium content work as the electrolytes that you lose while sweating. The calcium chloride and potassium present in pickle shots are readily absorbed by the body which makes it an absolute necessity for athletes and fitness freaks. Moreover, it is free of fats which make it an essential replacement of sugar-loaded sports drinks.

If you are a regular sufferer of PMS, it will help you in easing salt carvings. But since pickle shots contain vinegar, it is quite acidic, and thus you should avoid taking them on empty stomach.

Rich in antioxidants: Pickle shots are rich in antioxidants which can combat cancer-causing free radicals. This is especially true in case of cucumber pickle shots which is rich in Vitamin A and E. The antioxidants not just help in preventing free-radical damage, but the nutrients are better absorbed by the body owing to the acidic nature of the pickle shots.
Improves gut health: Moreover, pickle is a form of fermented food which proves to be effective for the digestive system and improves gut health. Vinegar helps in relieving bad breath, and thus, you can have pickle shots to freshen up breath.
Controls blood sugar: Last but not the least, pickle shots can help in controlling blood sugar. If you have type 2 diabetes, then pickle shots can regulate blood sugar levels after a meal.

World Liver Day, commemorated on April 19 every year, is about building awareness and understanding how important the liver is for our body and how liver diseases can be managed effectively. According to WHO, liver diseases is the 10th most common cause of death in India. This year, the theme of World Liver Day 2018 is ‘Riding New Waves in Liver Diagnosis, Staging & Treatment’.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW:

The liver is the second largest organ and is a key player in our body’s digestive system. Everything we consume passes through the liver. It fights infections, removes toxins, controls cholesterol, regulates blood sugar, make proteins and releases bile to help digestion.

According to Dr Manish Srivastava, consultant, Surgical Gastroenterology and Liver Transplant Department, Jaypee Hospital, Noida, general symptoms of liver diseases include abdominal pain, abnormal stools, loss of appetite, sensitivity to medications, dark urine, to name a few.

To take care of the liver, one needs to adopt a healthy lifestyle and have a balanced diet of grains, proteins, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and fats. Abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, and drugs and exercising is equally important.

Here are the foods that can help combat liver diseases:

Garlic: It helps in detoxifying the body and is rich in allicin, an antioxidant that protects the liver from oxidative damage. It helps the liver activate enzymes that can flush out harmful substances.

Carrot: Carrots contain carotenoids called beta-carotene, which help keep the liver healthy. Carotenoids are fat-soluble, which stimulate bile to flow and remove liver toxicity.

Apple: These fruits are high in antioxidants, which are great for detoxifying the liver and protects it from various diseases.

Walnut: Like carrots, walnuts help the liver flush fat-soluble wastes. They also contain arginine, which the liver uses to remove toxins like ammonia and glutathione.

Green tea: It contains catechins that help reduce liver cancer, steatosis, and cirrhosis. Drinking 2-3 cups of green tea daily reduces the liver enzymes that are associated with the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Cruciferous vegetables: Veggies such as spinach and lettuce contain a lot of vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, and antioxidants that help in flushing out carcinogens and have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the risk of liver diseases.

Citrus fruits: Fruits like grapefruits, lemons, limes, and orange are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, both of which help in the production of liver detoxifying enzymes and have natural cleansing abilities of the liver.

One of the most nutritious fruits known to humans, bananas are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that a bunch of fruits together cannot compete with. They are rich in potassium, which are crucial in maintaining blood pressure levels in our body. Bananas are also natural antacids that make them an excellent remedy for soothing an upset stomach. Moreover, having banana can eliminate the bacterium that causes stomach ulcers, further ease heartburns. The high fibre content of bananas helps bowel regularity and ease constipation. They are extremely good for drooping energy levels, too. Bananas contain slow release sugars, which act as energy boosters. With so many health benefits, all packed into one delicious fruit, yet there are many who are weary of having them at certain points in a day. For instance, according to old wives' tale, eating banana during the night may aggravate cold and cough.Is It Safe To Have Bananas During Night?

According to Ayurveda expert Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, "There is nothing unsafe about eating bananas at night. But, one may want to avoid it late at night. It is known to aggravate cough and cold. As banana is a heavy fruit, it takes a long time to digest. If you want to eat it make sure you have it 2-3 hours before you hit the bed. Bananas make you feel lethargic and lazy too."
It is a common belief that eating bananas or citrus fruits should be avoided by those who have cold and cough, especially at night. It is true that during night you are more vulnerable to infections. It is also true that one should avoid eating anything close to bedtime, as that is when our metabolism is the lowest and our body is looking to wind down. If you feed your body with food, it would transform into energy, which our body is not exactly looking for at that time.

However, does that put our favourite banana at spot? Not entirely. According to many experts, nothing in moderation can harm. Bananas are rich in vitamin C, which boosts our immunity system. Experts also say that nutrient-dense banana helps replenish lost minerals and antioxidants that may help soothe cold and fever.

According to Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner Shilpa Arora, "Bananas are extremely healthy and energising; however, according to ancient Indian medicine, bananas are not recommended for people of 'kapha'prakriti. As per Ayurveda, your prakriti is classified into three: Vata, Kapha and Pitta. Those who are prone to cold, cough or are asthmatic should avoid bananas in the evening as it produces toxins in the digestive tract. But, that being said, bananas are extremely nutritious and must not be ruled out of your diet. "

So Should You Have Bananas At Night?

It is best to avoid eating sweet things at night, especially very sweet fruits, as they escalate energy levels at the time when your body is actually demanding sleep. But, if you must have something, then bananas may not be a bad bet. Bananas have decent quantum of magnesium, which has been known to aid sound sleep. Bananas are low in carbohydrates; therefore, they release sugar slowly, which doesn't elevate your blood sugar levels. But, those struggling with cold and fever, may want to consult their physicians in before having a banana, late in the evening.

Kachchi kairi, or raw mango, is etched in all of our summer memories, as strongly as are the scorching winds, the uncomfortable heat and the relentless Sun. One of the perks of living in a tropical country like India is the opportunity to indulge in yummy thirst quenchers prepared from summer favourites, of which raw mango has the widest appeal.

Here are some amazing raw mango health benefits:

1. Protects From Intense Heat And Dehydration

Drinking juice of raw mango during summers is more than a mere exercise in palate pleasing. The drink reduces the effects of intense heat and prevents dehydration, by stopping excessive loss of sodium chloride and iron from the body. These minerals often tend to leach out into your sweat, during summers, making you dehydrated.

2. Cures Stomach Troubles

Raw mango is also consumed for its action against gastrointestinal disorders, which tend to go up during the summers. Raw mangoes are often prescribed to people with morning sickness, constipation, diarrhoea, chronic dyspepsia and indigestion.

3. Good For The Heart

The presence of niacin makes raw mangoes heart-healthy fruits. Niacin reduces risks of cardiovascular ailments and improves blood cholesterol levels.

4. Treats Scurvy

Raw mango powder, or amchur, is believed to be an effective treatment for scurvy, which is often characterised by bleeding gums, rashes, bruising, weakness and fatigue. This is because raw mango is extremely rich in vitamin-C, the deficiency of which causes scurvy. The same vitamin also promotes elasticity in blood vessels and promotes formation of red blood cells.

5. Promotes Health Of Liver And Intestine

Raw mangoes are great for the liver, and are believed to treat liver ailments. Chewing on raw mango pieces initiates bile secretion into the small intestine, where it increases the absorption of fats and also kills harmful microbes present in food.

6. Gives An Energy Boost

Having a little bit of raw mango powder cures the afternoon drowsiness that often takes effect after your meals. This is because raw mango gives your body an energy boost that wakes you up and helps you perform well.

Nature has fortified raw mango with a number of vitamins and minerals, which make it an effective antidote for a lot of summer ailments. Not that we needed any more reasons to consume raw mango chutneys, pickles and drinks, but these health benefits are certainly encouraging, aren't they?

Dr. Snehal Deshmukh
Dr. Snehal Deshmukh
BDS, Dentist, 3 yrs, Pune
Dr. Shubham Hukkeri
Dr. Shubham Hukkeri
BPTh, 1 yrs, Mumbai City
Dr. Abhijit Sangule
Dr. Abhijit Sangule
BDS, Dentist, 8 yrs, Pune
Dr. Jetin Anand
Dr. Jetin Anand
BAMS, Ayurveda Clinic, 12 yrs, Mumbai Suburban
Dr. Tushar Shivaji Ghode
Dr. Tushar Shivaji Ghode
BDS, Dentist, 6 yrs, Pune
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