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

Diwali Diet For the Festive Season- Diwali, the biggest of all festivals is around the corner, time to bring out those lovely clothes that you have been dying to flaunt. Oops! They are a tad tight. The mirror isn't too flattering either, a healthy glowing skin is hidden beneath a layer of long working hours and eating all kinds of junk and oily foods. No problem! Let's put it right in a week so that you can slay it this festive season. Your skin is what you eat. The largest organ of our body needs the benefits of a nourishing diet to stay healthy, a lot of recent research has pointed towards the benefits of proteins, certain vitamins and minerals to enhance and protect skin health aka-get a healthy glowing skin:

Here are the foods found in the kitchen you must be eating daily to get a natural glow back on your skin | Foods For A Natural Glow:

1. Green leafy vegetables are full of Vitamin A which revitalise the skin. Among the greens, Kale is right on top. It has a good amount of Vitamin C and Vitamin K which help prevent free radical damage and repair tissues to give you a glowing skin.2. Carrots are a good source of beta carotene. It is known for its ability to prevent early aging, reducing damage caused by UV rays and imparting a natural glow to the skin.

3. Tomatoes provide lycopene, a phytonutrient which gives it antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Eating tomato paste has been linked to reduced fine lines and furrows and it is also associated with protection against sunburn.

4. Vitamin C from citrus fruits is one of the most potent antioxidant, it boosts collagen production and keeps the skin smooth and firm. Orange can be eaten and its skin, which has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties can be used as a face pack.

5. Quercetin, a flavonoid, acts as an antioxidant fighting inflammation. It is abundant in Apple skin. Quercetin is known to increase the production of collagen and protects against UVB rays.

6. Lutein in avocados along with its beta carotene are perfect to use topically and in your food to nourish your skin inside out. The healthy fats present in this fruit are also great for the skin as they keep the skin supple.

7. Walnuts contain omega -3 fats which are anti-inflammatory in addition they are a good source of zinc, essential for the skin to function efficiently. Walnuts also give us a modest amount of Vitamin E and Vitamin C -both potent anti-oxidants. Sunflower seeds contain nutrients essential for the skin health like Vitamin E, linoleic acid, which keeps the skin moisturized. Almonds provide healthy fats in addition to Vitamin E, both required for a healthy moisturized skin.

8. Olive oil contains essential fatty acids or EFA's, which are fats not manufactured in our body. EFA's are an essential part of our cell membrane and help hold in the moisture making our skin supple

9. Did you know that whole wheat, barley, oats, kuttu (buckwheat flour), brown rice and red rice are all rich sources of antioxidants? These foods are usually associated with just "carbs" and we forget to think of them in terms of other beneficial nutrients they give us. They also provide us with the most essential skin Vitamins of the B family, which prevent dry itchy skin. Make sure you get the entire grain -bran, endosperm and germ to get it all.

10. Proteins are what makes the skin- keratin, collagen, and elastin. These are the ones that provide strength and elasticity to the skin. So get your daily dose of proteins by including lean meat, chicken, eggs, legumes, fish and milk daily.

11. Drink up! You need at least 35 ml of water per kilogram body weight daily. In addition, add some green tea for its skin nourishing flavonoids. Water is the best drink for keeping the skin hydrated and glowing in any season.

Now, let's work out a diet for 7 day diet including the above foods to help you lose a kilogram or two:

Day 1. All fruits and 10-12 glasses of water. Avoid bananas and make sure you have one apple at least. Try to consume 1 kilogram of assorted fruits, eat a fruit whenever hungry don't starve.

Day 2. All vegetables. Get the greens, yellows and reds in. Eat to your hearts content but avoid adding oils. Use vinegar and lemon juice as dressings for your salads. You can start your day with a large boiled potato and a teaspoon of butter.

Day3 . A day for a mix of fruits and vegetables. No banana, no potato in your meals.

These three days will help your body throw out all the toxins, so have plenty of water. The fiber and nutrients from fruits and vegetables will nourish your body while giving it a rest from daily excesses. Start your day with warm water, no tea or coffee. No sugar, no juices.

Day 4. Have 3 glasses of milk, one each at breakfast, lunch and dinner and take 8 bananas today. If milk is not suitable you can substitute it with soy milk.

Day 5. 6 tomatoes with 500 gram of either chicken or fish. For vegetarian options, you can use 500 grams of paneeror Bengal gram. All of these must be cooked without oil. There is lots to eat, so no reason to starve. All that tomato and protein needs 8-0 glasses of water to wash out, so drink up good.

Day 6. You can add vegetables to your chicken, black gram or paneer and eat any amount of this combination.

Day 7. You did it! Treat yourself to some brown rice or a chapati, any amount of vegetables and add some fresh fruit juice to your meals today

Note: This diet is not for diabetics, heart patients or if you are recovering from any surgery or aliment. This plan is the GM Motors Diet modified for us Indians, but it helps lose weight. Do not follow it for more than one week. Also, add 30 minutes of moderate walk or pranayama and surya namaskar to your schedule and watch your health improve way beyond the weight loss.

Healthy eating always leads to weight correction and the skin being an indicator of good health also shows signs of a detox and glows naturally.

Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt has millions of fans around the world and just how popular she is among Bollywood lovers is also reflective in her followers on Instagram. The Raazi actor reached a whopping 25 million followers on Instagram recently and to celebrate this milestone, she held an impromptu Q and A with her followers on the platform. During the Q and A, she answered a number of questions posed to her by her followers, who asked her numerous things with subjects ranging from her future projects to her favourite foods and even beauty tips. When asked about her favourite Gujarati food, Alia answered without any hesitation, "Khandvi." Well, we're with you there Alia! Some followers also asked Alia Bhatt her diet and fitness routine, which she said will take a lot of time. But there was one particular question that the beauty gave a definitive answer to - the secret to her glowing skin.

Alia Bhatt's Secret To Her Glowing Skin
Alia Bhatt's diet tip for a glowing skin is one that many beauty and health experts will also give you and one that should be followed in order to stay and look healthy - "Drink lots and lots of water!" Drinking adequate water is important to keep the skin hydrated and to flush out toxins from the body. It's often advised to drink at least eight glasses of water every day, in order to maintain a healthy skin. Water is important for the smooth functioning of a number of processes including digestion, circulation, absorption and excretion. If you are not drinking enough water, your skin will turn dry and flaky, and it will be more prone to spots and wrinkles.

Just like all organs of your body need water to function properly, the skin also needs it. Drinking optimum water can regulate a number of skin functions like preventing sun damage by synthesising vitamin D, besides improving hydration levels of the skin. Moreover, water is also crucial to maintain the plumpness and elasticity of your skin. In an interview with Vogue magazine, Alia Bhatt had revealed that she trusted multani mitti, or Fuller's Earth, for her skin and also used ice to reduce early morning puffiness in her face. She also revealed that she consumed alkaline foods, in order to reduce acidity in her body and drank water before and after her meals. Now, these are some steal-worthy tips, wouldn't you say?

Who doesn't want a fresh, glowing face? One that reflects the beauty within, the zest you have for life and all the goodness that you are made of. But getting a face that has a natural, healthy glow takes a little bit of work; after all, not everyone is born with complimentary genes! You may have a skin type that leads to acne and pimples easily, or may be sensitive to the many pollutants our skin is exposed to on a daily basis. While artificial products or cosmetics are great to cover up minor blemishes, nothing looks better than fresh, clean and nourished skin. Cleaning your face well is critical to maintaining the quality of your skin. This is even more important at bedtime, when your skin is carrying dirt and grime from the activities of the entire day. In fact, going to bed with a squeaky clean face is one of the hallmarks of a good skincare regimen. And you know what's even better? Following this practice with 100% natural products, and by that we mean the kind you find on your kitchen shelves.

Your kitchen is a storehouse of wonderful ingredients that make for effective skincare products too. But you need to know what to use depending on our skin type.

Here's a list of natural face washes you can use based on normal, oily, sensitive and combination skin type.

Natural Face Wash: What To Use As Face Wash For Normal Skin?

Normal skin is neither dry nor oily. This skin type isn't too sensitive and usually devoid of any 'flaws'. It's easy to maintain, and those with a normal skin generally have a clear, radiant complexion with negligible pores. You got all that? Great! But don't take it for granted; your skin needs care and nourishment too.

Coconut Oil Face Wash:

Coconut oil can help in removing all that dust and pollution from your face. This versatile beauty aid restores the moisture of your skin and can easily replace all the expensive products you own. 'The Tree of Life', or the coconut palm tree is highly valued for its nourishing qualities. Coconut oil is made up of saturated fats with a high amount of medium chain fatty acids; a good part of this fatty acid is lauric acid. It contains vitamin E, which is also known to protect the skin from free radical damage.

You can apply a few drops of natural, virgin coconut oil on your face every night. Massage gently for about 30 seconds and then cover your face with a warm towel that will help open up pores and remove impurities. Keep it for 15-30 seconds, remove the cloth and dab the oil away with a clean washcloth. Leave the extra bits of oil on your face on, as this will help keep your facial skin soft and supple.

Natural Face Wash: Face Wash For Oily Skin Type/Acne Prone Skin:

People with oily skin may be familiar to pimples, acne, blackheads, whiteheads and large pores. This skin type needs a lot of attention. Artificial products that contain chemicals, emulsifiers and fragrances can sometimes worsen the condition and also cause breakouts. On the other hand, there are natural ways to clean the skin and keep it healthy. Use a face wash that can be made by using natural ingredients that would not have any side effects. Make sure the face wash sweeps away excessive oil from the skin surface and makes your skin feel clean and not tight and stretchy. Using a combination of baking soda and honey is the most inexpensive and natural way to effectively fight bacteria that cause pimples and acnes. The result is a pure, oil-free glow!

Baking Soda and Honey:

Baking soda has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and neutralising properties, which help acne-prone or oily skin type. Honey is known to help keep the facial skin supple and soft. Just like baking soda, honey also contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help keep breakouts at bay. This face wash contains natural ingredients that clean your skin, remove build-up of dead skin cells on the surface and reduce excess oil from the pores. Using this regularly over a period of time can leave the skin amazingly bright, youthful and pimple-free.

First, you need to wash your face with lukewarm water. Take one teaspoon of honey and half a teaspoon of baking soda. Rub your hands together and gently massage your skin in circular motion for at least 2 minutes. Take time on the area that is most oily and greasy. Rinse your face with cold water and pat it dry with a towel.

Natural Face Wash: Face Wash For Dry Skin Type:

One of the most uncomfortable and unsightly skin problems is having a dry, dull face. It is because of lack of moisture content that skin becomes dehydrated, loses elasticity, and becomes cracked. The skin on your face is sensitive, and often feels drier than the rest of your skin. When this happens, your face may seem itchy, irritated or inflamed. Fortunately, there are a few natural ingredients that will help you make a face wash out of it.

Oatmeal and Milk:

Oatmeal contains polysaccharides that help to form a protective layer on the skin to prevent moisture loss from the skin. Saponins present in oatmeal scale off dry skin cells from the skin surface and render a smooth texture to the skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties protect the skin against damage and dryness that is caused by sun exposure. Milk is the best remedy that works to keep the layers of the skin moisturised and hydrated. Milk contains Vitamin D that stimulates collagen production in dry skin and improves skin elasticity by keeping it hydrated from within. First, you need to mix the two products until you get a slippery mixture. Wash your face with it as milk nourishes the skin and oatmeal exfoliates.

Natural Face Wash: What To Use As Face Wash For Combination Skin Type:

Combination skin type is when your skin is dry or normal in some areas and oily in others like, nose, forehead, and chin - basically your T-zone. This type needs slightly different care in different areas since your oil producing glands are more concentrated there. Your nose and chin may appear dull and rough because of a build-up of dead skin cells. And your cheeks and the skin around your eyes may be drier than the rest of your face. In order to make your face look evenly moisturised, here are some of the kitchen items that can be used to make face wash. Combination skin needs a homemade face wash to balance the oil secretions and to lighten the skin along with anti- acne benefits. The ingredients include flour, oats, turmeric and lemon peel powder, which takes less than 5 minutes to be made but can be stored for 1-3 months without even refrigerating it. Oats and flour scales off your skin to remove dead cells along with preserving just the right amount of oils. Turmeric and lemon peel powder imparts skin-brightening, anti-septic and anti-ageing action to the face.

Flour, Oats, Turmeric and Lemon Peel Powder:

First, you need to grind the oats and mix it up with flour, turmeric and lemon peel powder. Rinse your face with plain water; take the mixture on your palm and add some drops of water making a paste of it. Massage the paste on your face gently in circular motion concentrating especially on your T- zone. Rinse it off with cold water and pat with a soft towel. You could use a soft, clean tissue to dab your face to prevent the remnants of turmeric from staining your towel.

Natural Face Wash: Face wash For Sensitive Skin Type:

This skin type not only contains the characteristics of dry, oily and combination skin, but it also deals with a great amount of redness and irritation. People with sensitive skin should avoid harsh chemical-based skin treatments as they may cause other skin conditions like rosacea or allergies. This skin type is easily inflamed, so it is very important to choose the right natural care to avoid adverse reactions. Coconut oil and honey is the most useful mixture of face wash for a sensitive skin as coconut oil has a softening and soothing effect on the skin. It has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that help keep acne at bay by fighting bacteria on the skin. Like coconut oil, honey has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties as it heals the damage caused by acne and scarring. It effectively helps in removing oil and dirt from the face and moisturises the skin.

First, both the products need to be mixed and poured into another container through a funnel so the paste is smooth. Rinse your face with lukewarm water and shake the paste well to ensure that the ingredients are mixed well together. Take the mixture on your palm and massage it on your face and neck for at least 30-45 seconds with your fingertips. Rinse your face with lukewarm water and make sure that the oil is removed. Wipe it with towel and you can splash some water again if the oil is still not removed.

You can now experiment with these natural products mentioned above for all skin types and see what gives you the best results. Of course, you need to start by knowing what your skin type is!

Mosambi, also known as sweet lime, is one the most delicious and nutrient-dense citrus fruits. Apart from being immensely versatile in nature, sweet lime is a rich source of vital nutrients as well. Including it in daily diet can provide you with a lot of health benefiting properties. However, what makes this fruit more versatile is its ability to treat a lot of skin woes as well. Yes, you read that right! Mosambi can be easily used on face, either as a whole or as a face pack. It is an inexpensive way to treat skin problems. Here's how you can use mosambi to get a soft and supple skin that too in the comforts of your kitchen. Just get hold of few ingredients and get going.

Mosambi For Face Cleansing

Mosambi is an excellent source of vitamin C and the citric juice present in it acts as a great cleansing agent. To begin with, cut a mosambi in two halves and use one half to gently scrub your face in a circular motion. Continue doing this for 7-8 minutes and then wash off your face with water. Pat dry your skin and feel refreshed.

Mosambi Face Pack For Stubborn Tan

If you are suffering from summer tan and wish to get rid of the same, then this face pack will come to great use. All you need is ground mosambi peel, just a pinch of cosmetic turmeric, and 1 tbsp of natural honey. Mix the ingredients thoroughly till a fine paste-like consistency is attained. Apply on the face and allow it to stay for 5 minutes. Rinse off with water. Repeat this procedure twice a week and say bye-bye to stubborn tan.

Mosambi For Dark Circles And Puffy Eyes

Sweet lime is known to effectively reduce dark circles. If you happen to have puffed eyes, then apply this mixture on your under-eye skin and watch out for results. For this, you need is 1/2 tsp of sweet lime juice, 1 tsp of banana paste, 1 tsp of cucumber juice and 1 tsp of vitamin E gel. Add the four ingredients in a bowl and combine them to form a smooth paste. Refrigerate the bowl for 3-4 minutes and with the help of a cotton pad, apply this paste on your under-eye are. Let it sit for 10-12 minutes and after that massage for few seconds and rinse off with water.

So, make your skin feel rejuvenated by using this inexpensive home remedy.

Navratri, appearing at the point of changing seasons, is a way to give our bodies a break and get ready for the next. Every Navratri we promise ourselves to use this time to better our health by using the fasting period to lose weight, and detox. Great! So, we eat well, avoid fried food, use less oil in our cooking and stay away from the sinful 'thalis'. Our home-cooked meals are healthier, but where we trip is on the snacking. During Navratri, the market is flooded with special namkeens; eateries roll out special menus, and a variety of snacks including chaat is made available. The demand from more discerning consumers who want to eat fewer calories to lose or maintain their weight has led manufactures to create products that can carry all the alluring keywords like "low-fat", "roasted", "healthy" and much more. But, are they really good for our health? Well, let's deconstruct.

Fatty Issues: A study conducted by the Cornell University showed that by putting a low-fat label on a snack, consumers actually consumed about 50% more! The assumption drawn was that ''low-fat' automatically translates into fewer calories. Low-fat versions of processed and packaged snacks should have lesser amounts of fat than their regular versions, which alone does not add to its health quotient. It is always good to read the nutrition lable to check fat percentage.
The boom in this demand for low-fat foods also brought us to the point of consuming more than necessary saturated fats. Therefore, the manufacturers replaced the animal origin saturated fats with vegetable oils, but they needed to change the form so hydrogenation was used to create solid and semi solid vegetable oils. This process led to the introduction of Trans Fats which are even worse. So, while picking up a "low fat" snack check to see the source of fat added.
Fats are an important part of a balanced diet and are known to be a concentrated source of energy. Both the quantity and quality of fats consumed can take it from healthy to unhealthy.

Sugary Tales: WHO has recommended that daily intake of added sugar should not be more than 6 teaspoons/day. Research indicates that excessive intake of sugar has serious detrimental effects on your health, and it's not just the calories that it adds.
In order to remove fat from snacks, manufacturers turned to sugar to enhance taste, flavour and texture of the food. The sugar content per serving may go from 2tsp to 6tsp. However, the full-fat versions of foods may contain lesser sugar than the low-fat versions. So, it is always recommended to check your food content and choose your low-fat food wisely.

- Serving Size: It is very important to understand the serving sizes mentioned on the labels of processed snacks. Be careful whether the numbers are for a portion size of 100gms, the whole pack or per serving (which may be more than 100gms).

- Nutritionists recommend that every snack must provide between 80-100 calories. You need to know the calories in the snack to be able to calculate its consumption.

- Lables on packaged snacks can be misleading too. For example; a low-fat label doesn't mean that it is calorie-free. These 3 points should help you move forward.

- Read the label carefully, understand and then choose.
Try not to eat straight from the bag; you will over eat this way.

- Divide the snack, especially the on-the-go ones, into smaller portions and carry only the amount you need for the day.

- Know your serving size, check the internet or learn from your nutritionist.

9 Healthy Snacks For Navratri 2018

- Snack with nuts like almonds and walnuts, an ounce a day adds calories, proteins, healthy fats, antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals. These are easy to carry along too.

- Flax, Sun flower and Chia seeds are excellent sources of healthy nutrients and prevent exhaustion and control hunger. Use up to 15gms/day

- Fresh seasonal fruits are low in calories, are great sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre

- Homemade roasted amaranth and jaggery ladoos

- Homemade sweet potato and potato grilled wedges

- Baked plantain chips

- Homemade trail mix using dried fruits and nuts

- Roasted peanut- 28g. Alternatively, you could also enjoy baked chips with a dip of homemade peanut butter

- Home roasted makhanas. 30gm for one serving.

Dr. Rahul Pherwani
Dr. Rahul Pherwani
BHMS, 22 yrs, Pune
Dr. Gauri Karve
Dr. Gauri Karve
MBBS, 6 yrs, Pune
Dr. Snehal Deshmukh
Dr. Snehal Deshmukh
BDS, Dentist, 3 yrs, Pune
Dr. Rajendra Lahore
Dr. Rajendra Lahore
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ophthalmologist, 11 yrs, Pune
Dr. Yogesh  Lohade
Dr. Yogesh Lohade
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda Panchakarma, 9 yrs, Pune