Healthy Food Tips

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Tips To make Your Food Healthier!

Eating Wax Coated Apples And Pears

Fruit manufacturers often coat their produce with wax, to help preserve them longer and give them glossy look to attract buyers!

Most often the wax is said to be food source wax and the layer is thin.

But many consider the wax to be harmful to us and hence eat fruits like apples and pears only after peeling them.

Eating apples and pears without skin is a bad idea!

Apple skin contains nearly half the fibre in the apple, almost three fourth of its Vitamin K, fair bit of its potassium and Vitamins A and C!

It also includes an antioxidant that helps keep the heart healthy and prevents many cancers.

Soaking apples in warm water with baking soda or vinegar and lime juice and rinsing them thoroughly and scrubbing with a napkin can remove wax from the apple skin.

Fruits like oranges are no problem because we don’t consume the skin anyway.


Why Soak Nuts?

Nuts and seeds have a considerable amount of phytic acid, a phosphorus compound. It is an antioxidant and also protects the nut till germination. They also have enzyme inhibitors which prevent the nut from premature germination.

Both bind with minerals in our intestinal tract, reducing the absorption of the minerals leading to mineral deficiencies and also cause irritation of the intestines, making the nuts difficult to digest. Nuts in the raw form make it difficult for us to digest and absorb the nutrition in them adequately.

Soaking nuts in water with sea salt overnight and then sun drying them adequately breaks down these substances and renders the nuts more easily digestible and improves their texture and taste. Soaking also cleanses the nuts.

It is difficult to digest and absorb all the good nutrition available in the raw nuts, soaking and drying help us utilities the nutrition more fully.

People in the Western world use dryers or ovens to heat them at low temperatures, but we have ample sun most times.

Drying the nuts properly and refrigerating them is essential if you wish to preserve them longer. If not, they can develop moulds quickly.

socking nuts

Harmful Oxalates In Spinach

Spinach is a most easily available, inexpensive, highly nutrition dense vegetable.

Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fibre, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and choline.

Spinach is rich in antioxidants known as alpha-lipoic acid, Vitamin C and A, and carotinoids that help us prevent or fight hypertension, diabetes, asthma, certain cancers and improves bone health.

But it is also high in sodium and oxalates. Sodium elevates blood pressure opposing the action of potassium.

Oxalates bind with iron and calcium, reducing their absorption. Excessive use of spinach can cause renal stones, anaemia and osteoporosis.

Oxalates can be reduced by soaking oxalate rich vegetables in water, boiling and adding citric acid rich lime juice, tomatoes and potatoes to these vegetables.

So it is prudent to include a wide variety of leafy vegetables in your regular food and not just spinach. All leafy vegetables are low calorie and nutrition dense.


Easily Affordable Super Fruit: Guava

All fruits are treasures of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, some of them more abundantly endowed than others.

Guava is easily the most affordable super fruit, rich in Vitamins C and A and potassium and antioxidants.

Vitamin A and flavonoids like beta-carotene, lycopene (pink guavas are twice as rich as tomatoes in lycopene), lutein and cryptoxanthin are essential for optimum health. Vitamin A is essential also for keeping our mucous membranes and skin healthy and for protecting us against lung and oral cavity cancers.

Guava is the richest source of Vitamin C, other than Indian gooseberry. The sourness of the Indian gooseberry makes it difficult to eat them in large quantities. Citrus fruits like oranges and lime have less Vitamin C than guava.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, it helps repair and regenerate tissues and helps build immunity. It helps absorption of iron, helps reduce the intensity and duration of bouts of common cold, helps lower total cholesterol and LDL, the bad cholesterol, helps prevent heart disease and many cancers.

Potassium helps regulate our water balance and blood pressure, helps keep our nervous system, heart, kidneys healthy, helps prevent heart disease and strokes. It helps control anxiety and stress.

Guava is also a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin E and K, as well as minerals like magnesium, copper, and manganese. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells.

So make it a point to eat them amply in their best season, viz. monsoon and early winter.


Rajgira (Amaranth Grain) Nutrition

Amaranth (rajgira in Marathi, ramdana in Hindi) is not exactly a cereal, as it is not a grass, it is otherwise similar in nutrition to cereals and can be used as cereals like wheat, jowar and bajri, only it is much superior in nutrition.

Rajgira flour can be used singly or mixed with other cereals to make chapatis or bhakri.

It is a super grain, superior to the heavily publicised, aggressively marketed and unnecessarily expensive quinoa. And it is a readily available, indigenously produced, Indian food grain, which is much cheaper than the imported quinoa.

It makes no sense in wasting foreign exchange on buying quinoa when the much superior Indian grain, rajgira, is readily available, for much less!

It provides 65 gm of carbohydrates, 7 gm of fats, 14 gm of proteins, 372 calories and 7 gm of fibre per 100 gm.

It is an excellent source of proteins, 14 gm per 100 gm of the grain, 9 of which are complete protein, that is, they provide all the essential amino acids, on par with proteins from animal products.

Thus milk and rajgira could help supply top quality proteins to purely vegetarian people.

It is also an excellent source of iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, Vitamin B5 and B6, folate and fibre. It is also a good source of Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2) and Niacin (B3) and potassium.

It is gluten free and hence it can replace wheat in the food of people who have gluten intolerance.


Rajgira (Amaranth) Leaves Nutrition

Amaranth leaves include a number of green and red leafy vegetables like ‘rajgira’ or ‘lal math’, ‘green math’, and ‘chavlai’.

They provide about 4 gm carbohydrates, 2 gm proteins, 1 gm fats and 23 calories per 100 gm.

Amaranth leaves are an excellent source of Vitamin A and manganese and a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and folate.

Vitamin A plays an important role in growth and development, in maintenance of immunity and good vision. It is also essential for maintaining the skin, mucus membranes and teeth enamel healthy.

Manganese is essential for keeping bones and the thyroid glands healthy and for regulating blood sugar and digestion. It boosts metabolism and immunity and reduces inflammation and PMS.

Calcium is essential to the health of our bones and muscles. It also helps regulate our blood pressure.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, it helps repair and regenerate tissues and helps build immunity. It helps absorption of iron, helps reduce the intensity and duration of bouts of common cold, helps lower total cholesterol and LDL, the bad cholesterol. It also helps prevent heart disease, strokes and many cancers.

Potassium helps regulate our water balance and blood pressure, helps keep our nervous system, heart and kidneys healthy, helps prevent heart disease and strokes. It also helps control anxiety and stress.

Like spinach, amaranth too is high in oxalates which bind with the calcium and iron in the amaranth leaves, reducing the absorption of the minerals in our intestines.

Like in spinach, we can neutralise oxalates by soaking and boiling the leaves first and then cooking them with lime juice, tomatoes and potatoes.


Also visit the article ‘Basics Of Nutrition’ on this website.

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