Healthy Foods

5 Iron Rich Vegetables For Healthy Diet

Iron is needed by the human body to produce red blood cells (blood production) which help in smooth functioning of the body and provide fuel to it. Oxygen is produced by the red blood cells which keeps us alive. Lack of iron in the body can lead to low production of red blood cells. Iron helps make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen in the body especially the brain. Iron helps in muscle building and movement, storing oxygen and allowing muscles to move and strengthen. Especially in pregnant women, iron is an extremely important nutrient for the adequate development of the fetus and placenta, needed both by the mother and the child in the womb. Having a diet rich in Vitamin C like tomatoes, fruits and green vegetables helps in proper absorption of Iron in the body. Adequate iron in the body helps in faster healing of cuts and bruises and makes us more energetic, maintains and regulates body temperature. Iron called Heme is mostly found in poultry, red meat, fish etc and can be readily absorbed in the body. Non-heme iron which is available in plant based foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts etc need the help of foods high in vitamin C for better absorption.

Inadequate iron supply leads to low production hemoglobin, which affects transfer of oxygen in the body and our ability to work better, this is called Anemia. Anemia is very common in women due to loss of blood during menstruation, internal bleeding and pregnancy. Tiredness, shortness of breath, headaches, paleness, dizziness, palpitations, brittle fingernails, skin and hair damage etc are symptoms of iron deficiency in the body. Folic acid medicines are prescribed by doctors in extreme cases and especially in pregnancy to counter the lack of iron in the body.

THE TOP 5 IRON RICH VEGETABLES

For all the iron related deficiency, vegetables are a great source of iron. Most of the green leafy vegetables are a good source of iron along with red meat, beans, mushroom, raisins, prunes etc.

These are the top 5 iron rich vegetable as per their iron content:-

  1. Mushrooms: They are seasonal and available locally. They were mostly used in exotic dishes, but now due to the increasing fast food culture and its low calorie content, mushrooms have become a popular choice in pizzas, pastas and Thai curries. MOREL & WHITE variety of mushroom contains the highest iron content. Along with iron, mushrooms are a good source of minerals, vitamins and fiber as well. It has low salt and sugar level and is free from cholesterol.
  1. Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of iron and is one of the most popular and used variety of green vegetables. It contains many antioxidants and can be consumed raw or cooked. Cooking it though helps in more absorption of iron in the body. It also helps in prevention of cancer. Spinach contains insoluble fiber, which helps in digestion of food.
  1. Legumes: Legumes are a great source of iron. Chickpeas, beans, peas, lentils etc are all loaded with iron. Beans such black beans, soya beans, kidney beans also provide magnesium and calcium requirement along with being a good source of iron. They also help in reduction of belly fat and risk of many heart diseases and conditions. As compared to red meat, legumes contains more iron and is preferred by the vegetarians for their overall iron requirements. Split lentils also called as dals are popularly used in Indian households for preparation of various types of curry/rice preparations.
  1. Broccoli: Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family. It is known for its health benefits. Along with iron, broccoli is a good source of proteins, fibre and vitamin c as well. It is also called a super food. It can be eaten raw or cooked, but due to consumption of great quantities when raw, it is preferably cooked or steamed. It is extremely low in calories and is therefore preferred by people on weight loss. It improves eye sight and helps in reducing cholesterol.
  1. Green peas: Green pea or peas as it’s commonly called is a rich source of iron and is widely available throughout the year as a frozen /packed variety. Due to the antioxidants and fiber content in them they are a popular choice for consumption along with being pocket friendly. Basically green peas belong to the legume family, but they are widely used as vegetables. The fiber in them aids digestion as well as it is helpful in preventing heart diseases such as strokes and high blood pressure.

These are just some of the iron rich vegetables which when included in our diets fulfill our daily iron requirements and help us in getting a fitter body and mind.

Natural Remedies To Cure Hair Fall Fast

Alopecia commonly referred to as hair loss/baldness from the head or body, mostly in the head, which is a big problem faced today by everyone in our daily lives. It affects kids, adults and older people all alike irrespective of our gender. Hair loss is mostly caused by genes, poor diet, hormones, puberty, menopause, pregnancy, lifestyle, iron deficiency, thyroid and low vitamin and protein levels, stress, hair styling products and procedures, aging etc. If treated early, it can prevent total hair loss (balding). There are many types of hair loss and treatment is available subject to the cause of the problem. Our head and hair are our crowning glory and make our own personal style statement. Hair loss can be very embarrassing and can lead to low self esteem as it affects our looks and personality.

The most common way to treat hair fall is medical treatment which is expensive and quick or natural tried and tested ways to curb hair fall which may or not work depending on many factors. Hairfall treatment is the only way to reduce/stop hair fall. As per slideshare, many different methods can be adopted in treating hair fall.

Listed below are the natural ways in preventing hair loss:-

  • OILING

The simplest and easiest way to enhance hair growth is regular oiling of the tresses. Oil (Olive, Coconut, Rosemary, Almond etc.) can be applied overnight and kept or an hour before your bath, which is equally effective on a regular basis. Frequency of oiling can be once or twice a week. Coconut oil works well in most cases. Medicinated or specially prepared oils can also be used e.g. Rosemary Oil as it reduces hair fall and treats baldness. The oil should be massaged in the scalp and hair with fingertips.

  • ONION JUICE

A regular and common item available in all households, onion juice is extremely effective in curing hair fall, reducing scalp infections and promoting hair growth.  Onion contains antibacterial properties. Onion juice is extracted by shredding/grinding the onions and then squeezing it to remove its juice. It can be applied on the scalp by using a cotton ball and should be washed by a mild shampoo after resting it for 20-25 minutes. A concoction made of Onion juice, olive oil and honey also works extremely well in preventing hair fall and makes the hair texture smooth and soft.

  • ALOE VERA GEL

Aloe Vera is a natural conditioner which promotes hair growth.  It also helps in reducing the itchiness and dryness/flaking of the scalp. It removes dandruff and provides coolness to the scalp. Ready-made Aloe Vera gels can be used, but ideally fresh or home extracted gel is preferred as its fresh and without any added chemicals or fragrances. The gel should be ideally left for 40-45minutes and rinsed off with a mild shampoo and water. It can be applied 3 to 4 times a week.

  • AMLA

Amla also referred to as the Indian Gooseberry treats hair loss in an effective way. Amla is a major source of Vitamin C, which helps in strengthening the hair follicles and preventing hair loss. It also prevents hair graying and maintains a healthy scalp. Amla can be consumed orally or it can be used in powder form an applied physically to the scalp. Wearing a shower cap or covering with a plastic bag is ideal so that it doesn’t dry out the amla paste.

  • EGGS

Eggs promote new hair growth and improves texture by leaving hair soft and shiny as it is a rich source of protein, iodine sulfur etc. it adds volume and thicken the hair. It helps in healing split ends, brittle hair and curbs hair breakage. It heals damage by building keratin in the hair due to its protein content. Eggs beaten in a bowl along with some olive oil or rosewater can be applied to the scalp as a hair mask. Egg can also be added to Mehndi/Henna paste and applied, as henna leads helps in coloring the grays and egg makes the hair less dry.

  • YOGURT

Like Eggs, Yogurt contains Proteins, fatty acids and vitamins which help in strengthening and protecting the hair follicles. Yogurt is also an alternative to eggs for vegetarian people and also to some people who don’t like the smell of eggs. Yogurt also helps in clearing the dead skin cells due to the presence of lactic acid. It also removes frizz from the hair due to its natural moisture content. It helps in unclogging of follicles. Sebum in yogurt balances the PH level in the scalp. Yogurt can be applied by itself on the scalp or can be used with various other ingredients such as Curry leaves, Honey, Banana, Egg, Olive oil, Aloe Vera etc to make a hair mask.

Hot showers should be avoided as it dries the hair and makes it brittle. Hair should be regularly trimmed and checked for split ends. Wet hair should be avoided combing. Always use a wide toothed comb for de-tangling. These simple steps along with the above home remedies help in preventing hair fall.

Why Should We Eat Fruits Daily?

Fruits are the most underrated food items; where we don’t realize their benefits till we are forced by our doctors do so. Fruits are a rich source of vitamins, energy and minerals. They are low in calories unless taken in juice or canned / tinned form where most of its natural nutrients are lost. Fruits should be preferably consumed whole to derive the maximum benefit from them. Fruits help in reducing the risk of heart diseases, cancer, stroke etc.  We can have 1 or 2 different types of fruits throughout the day. Fruits are the healthiest snacks option available even for kids. There is a high incidence of diabetes and heart borne diseases due to increased intake of processed / packed food items. This puts the children at risk as they are mostly exposed to junk food culture. The habit of eating a fruit everyday helps in keeping ourselves and our children healthy and strong.

When’s the best time to eat fruits?

Fruit are ideally supposed to eaten first thing in the morning on an empty stomach preceded by a glass of water. Fruits throughout the day should also be taken on an empty stomach before your meals i.e. lunch/dinner. The reason being, they are not digested easily post a heavy meal and we fail to derive the benefits/nutrients from them. Ideally a meal should start with fruits or in case of mid meal hunger pangs they should be taken an hour or two before a heavy meal so as to derive maximum benefit from them. Fruits can be eaten for / with all the meals.

Benefits of Fruits in everyday life

  • Fruits are a rich source of fibre and help in reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes, strokes, heart attack and heart disease. Fruits help in preventing bloating, indigestion, constipation and heartburn due to the rich soluble fibre content.
  • Fruits contain fewer calories and ideal in losing weight the healthy way without any side effects due to the comparatively lower calories consumed ex. Fruits rich in water content like watermelon, sweet lime, oranges etc.
  • Fruits rich in potassium and iron such as watermelon, pomegranate, berries, prunes etc help in decreasing bone loss and also lowers blood pressure.
  • Fruits when included in our everyday diet help in prevention of Cancer cells as well.
  • Fruit is an instant source of energy due to its natural sugar content and is therefore recommended for people of all age groups and especially for expectant women.
  • Fruits rich in vitamin C such as oranges, sweet limes, melons etc help in keeping our teeth and gums strong.
  • Fruits such apples, banana, papaya, grapes etc bring a natural glow on our skin and helps repair skin damage from within.
  • Fruits have zero cholesterol and low in fats and calories.
  • Fruits help in boosting the brain power, leading to increased focus and retention in learning.
  • Fruits are easy to consume and can be carried for later use as well.
  • There are so many varieties of fruits available that we don’t get bored or tire of them as we can keep switching between seasonal fruits for a change of palate.
  • Fruits are easy on the eyes and make food look appealing and interesting for everyone with the wide variety of flavor, colours and textures.
  • Fruits are instant energy releaser, which help in instant overall well being and positivity.
  • For proper development of fetus in pregnant women, folic acid production is very important. Eating fruits rich in iron is much more beneficial and healthier than just consuming folic acid tablets.
  • Eating Acidic fruits like pineapples, lemons, sweet limes, oranges etc daily is more recommended than the sweets ones like grapes, figs, dates etc as they help you in maintain your weight.
  • For a diabetic person, checking portion size and sugar content of the fruit is a must. Fruits like apples, apricots, peaches, berries etc can be eaten in moderation.

Fruits and benefits on basis of color

Red: Red coloured fruits like apples, watermelons, litchis, strawberries etc help in keeping heart rate strong.

Orange: Orange coloured fruits like Oranges, peaches, melons help in protecting your teeth, gums and eyes.

Yellow:  Fruits such as bananas, lemons, jackfruits, pineapples helps in boosting the immune system.

Green: Green fruits such as pear, grapes, kiwi and avocado strengthen your bones and teeth.

Blue/Purple:  Blue berries, plums, purple grapes help in improving memory and mineral absorption.

Eating fruits daily should become a part of your healthy lifestyle as it’s the easiest way to manage health in the long run. Besides being cost effective, it also adds flavor and colour in our everyday meals making healthy eating fun and enjoyable. Their positives far exceed any negatives in including fruits in our daily diet.

Five Foods To Avoid To Stay Healthy

We all want to live long and enjoy health. Even so, we keep feeding our bodies with harmful foods because we cannot resist how tasty they are. These foods that we love so much are hurting our bodies, and we need to avoid them. Your top five foods to avoid are as follows.

White Bread

Wheat is a protein that is used to make bread. The wheat has gluten, and this substance is harmful to everyone who suffers from gluten sensitivity as well as those with celiac disease. Other than that, commercial bread is also made with wheat that has been processed. When the wheat is refined, it reduces the nutrients level. It can cause an increase in blood sugar levels. If you have to take bread, ensure that is made from whole grain.

Pastries, Cookies, And Cakes

It goes without saying that these foods are very unhealthy. Typically, bakers will always use sugar and wheat that has been refined. They also add fats that are very unhealthy for you. The calories in these foods are very high, and when you pair this up with refined products, you will be risking your health. While they are very tasty, it will be better to avoid them as much as you can. They will cause you to add weight yet they have very little nutrients to offer your body.

Fried And Greasy Foods

We know that it is difficult to avoid fried foods such as French fries, potato chips, fried chicken, and more. But learn to fight the urge to eat fried and greasy foods. They have a lot of calories and fats that will only cause you to gain weight and attract some diseases and conditions. Also, when potatoes are fried, they form carcinogenic substances because of high levels of acrylamides.

Processed Meat

Meat that is not processed is rich in proteins and other nutrients and minerals. But the same cannot be said about processed meats. Studies were conducted, and they showed that people who indulge in processed meats are exposed to greater risks of suffering from type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and colon cancer.

Processed Drinks And Soda

As tasty as they may seem, they do more harm than good. They are often high in calories and offer your body minimum nutrients and minerals. They also contain additives that are harmful to your body. If you need a drink, make some juice using some fresh fruits at home and indulge. It is always a healthier choice.

There is nothing as important as your health. Take care of yourself so that you can enjoy life and live longer. Avoid these foods.