THE MYTHS AND FACTS OF POTATOES

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For years potatoes have been living a love hate relationship with health and diet.
This root vegetable has always in controversy for its so satisfying taste and its connection with obesity. Let us know about its factual detail.

Potatoes are high in starch. The myth that soaking or rinsing them removes their starch is not true.  A typical potato is 20 % starch and the remaining part is water with some minerals, protein, vitamins, some amino acids and organic acids which give potato its typical flavor.

Potatoes are high in potassium and vitamin C. The skin adds to the fiber. Not all potatoes are same, white potatoes are highest in starch. In fact they have a very smooth texture and are highly used for baking dishes. Yellow and red potatoes have little less starch comparatively.

Potatoes are carb rich, energy providing and have little fat. It is low in protein, high in vitamin C and rich in several B vitamins. Calorie in boiled potato is 80 to 90. Being high in potassium they help in lowering the blood pressure. They also benefit in muscle and nerve function.

Sweet potatoes have a lot of benefit. They are high in vitamin B6, C and E, keeps the heart healthy, high in fiber so regulates blood sugar, has antioxidant and is good for hair and skin, helps in weight loss and boosts immunity.

Skin, Food and Antioxidant Relation

As the saying, reap what you sow; means you get as much, as much you put in.  Same theory goes on the skin too. The skin will exactly show what you have eaten. A healthy pink looking skin indicates good health surely followed by good diet.

Let us understand the theory of antioxidants and free radicals and how they correlate with the condition of the skin. Our body, by the result of metabolism and continuous working produces free radical in a limited number constantly. Atom or molecules always have a paired set of electrons. Free radicals are the atoms or molecules having impaired electrons. That particular electron always looks for another electron to be paired with. It can go to the neighbouring molecule to snatch an electron to be paired for itself, leaving that molecule to become a free radical now and this chain process goes on. A series of the molecules involved in this process are affected to make that particular section of that body unhealthy. It can be skin or any another of them.

So now the chain reaction of borrowing an electron, creates havoc in the living organism. It is estimated that such a chain reaction can trigger 10 Billion molecules per second. 

Free radicals are a result of:
·      Diet
·      Smoking
·      Stress
·      Alcohol
·      Drugs
·      Sunlight
·      Air pollution
·      Inflammation

With such factors, free radicals form spontaneously.

Whenever the body’s immunity is low, it is prone to the attack of virus and bacteria very often. These organisms live in the human body on oxygen. The more oxygen they use to survive, the more free radicals are produced as a result of their metabolism.
Till a limited number free radicals are good for the body, as they help the immune system to eliminate the unwanted virus, which produce illnesses. But if they are too much in their number, then the problem arises affecting the skin and other organs.
Free radicals destroy the cells of the affected organ by damaging their cell membrane, as a result taking away the nutrients and leaving the cell weak. They also weld molecules together like putting handcuffs on then, so they don’t perform to their maximum capacity.

Now comes the role of antioxidants. They enter the body, lend the extra electron to the free radical and thereafter in return become a weak free radical itself, which cannot harm the body. So now the original free radical has become an antioxidant, as it has got that extra electron, ready to favour the body with good health. Free radicals are available to the body in two ways, i.e., by diet and by supplements. The body cannot produce antioxidants, so they must come from the outer source. The major antioxidants are Vitamin A, C & E.  

Foods containing Vitamin A are:
·      Asparagus
·      Broccoli
·      Beets
·      Carrots
·      Bell Pepper
·      Kale
·      Mangoes
·      Peaches
·      Pumpkin
·      Spinach
·      Sweet Potatoes
·      Watermelon
·      Tomatoes

Foods containing Vitamin C are:
·      All Berries
·      Broccoli
·      Sprouts
·      Kiwi
·      Mango
·      Orange
·      Papaya
·      Tomatoes
·      Red, Yellow, Green peppers
·      Vitamin E
·      All nuts
·      Sunflower seeds
·      Flax seeds
·      All Fishes

Other antioxidants are Zinc, which is found in beans, nuts, red meat, fortified cereals and whole grains. Selenium, is found in, tuna, poultry and fortified grains. Quercetin is a phytochemical found in onions, teas and apples. Other antioxidants are Flavonoids found in chocolates. Resveratrol in wine. And, Lycopene in tomatoes. Eat foods rich in all the above. Yoghurt prevents wrinkles.

Natural bleaching agents for application on the skin are:
·      Lemon juice
·      Potato juice
·      Tomato juice
·      Curd

You can apply the on the affected dark spots.

 

FRUITS FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND BEAUTY

Fruits are extremely beneficial for good health. Few body conditions allows one to eat them in less quantity, otherwise fruits never overload the body with extra digestion work, keeping the body less stressed.

Fruits are packed with nutrients, antioxidants, fibre and potassium and all these are very useful to the body compared to many foods overloaded with calories. Fruits are low in calories, help in weight-loss and at the same time filling. But at the same time it wont be correct to live only on fruits and miss out other important foods to give our body the right balance.

Let's discuss few fruits and their benefits.

Banana

BANANAS

There is a myth pertaining to this fruit that it is fattening. Infact bananas are full of vitamin B6, Potassium and Fibre thus help in reducing the risk of heart disease. If we consume one banana a day, we need not worry about weight gain.

POMEGRANATE

POMEGRANATE

Its red juice is full of polyphenol antioxidant. It reduces the LDL in the blood thus is heart healthy. It removes toxins from the body and improves the blood flow.


PAPAYA

This is one fruit which is full of health benefits. It has an enzyme called papain which helps in digestion. It has fibre, vitamin C and carotenes.

BLUEBERRIES N STRAWBERRIES

BLUEBERRIES & STRAWBERRIES

High in antioxidant, consuming blueberries keeps the fat cells from accumulating in the body thus aiding weight loss. 

Eating strawberries produces a hormone known as adiponectin and leptin which increase metabolic rate helping in fat burning property. They are also anti inflammatory healing internal injuries.


GRAPEFRUITS

GRAPEFRUITS

This highly fibreous fruit is helpful in fat burning. Consume it during breakfast for full benefits.

KIWI

KIWI

This fruit with sweet and sour flavour is full of vitamin C and antioxidants. The black seeds within are insoluble fibres aiding to no constipation.


APPLE

APPLE

This fruit is low in calorie and high in fibre. It contains vitamin, minerals and iron, also helps in slimming down the body.

PEAR

PEAR

It is one of the most fibre rich food. It lowers cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, is an energy booster, prevents aging, boosts immunity, balances hormones, improves bone health, regulates bowel movement and reduces constipation.


So if you want to look healthier, lose weight, feel fresh then incorporate fruits in our daily diet.

Protein Content of Chicken versus Egg

This has been a common question to body builders and health freaks as to eat what between the two. As both these options are popular for high protein content. Well the fact is that both are health friendly, also they are low in calorie and high in protein contents compared to other common foods eaten on a daily basis. Protein, is known as the building block for the body is used in cells, organs and skin. So for a healthy body the requirement of protein is ample. From 0.8 grams/ per kg body weightto 1.8 gram/ per kg body weight for body builders. For vegetarians the protein rich foods are soya, legumes, milk and milk products, different nuts. For non vegetarians the options other than the above options are all meats and eggs. Let us compare the two most common foods , which is eggs andchicken.

100 grams of egg contains 14 grams of protein, 10 grams of fats, 120 milligrams of sodium, 369 milligrams of cholesterol, where as 100grams of chicken contains 26 grams of protein, 4 grams of fats, 50 milligrams of sodium, 73 milligrams of cholesterol. Doubtless chicken is a healthier option compared to egg, but we cannot ignore the health benefits of an egg which contains vitamin B2, B6, B12, and vitamin D. Egg also contains minerals like zinc, iron and copper which are important for good body functions. 100 grams of chicken contains 153 where as 100grams of eggs contains 155 calories.

Both are almost equally healthy, still the key to good health is eat everything moderately.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance means the body cannot easily digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products. This is not the same thing as food allergy to milk. Ideally when the natural sugar of milk moves through the intestine not getting digested then it creates discomfort like pain, gas and bloating. All this is due to the lack of enzyme called lactase, which digests the milk sugar lactose. The above symptoms can be mild or severe depends on how much lactase the body is making. If it makes little lactase then one can ingest some milk or its products.

This condition can be by birth or developed later in life, and every lactose intolerant person is different from the other. One may digest a little milk and the other may not at all digest. Some people can digest some milk with out any symptoms and other might develop symptoms like throwing up, flatulence, and uneasiness. Some people tolerate curd and cheese though they have same amount of lactose as milk. One can keep trying eating some milk products in small amount to check if it is getting digested. One special care has to be taken in lactose intolerant people and that is that should be able to get enough calcium and vitamin D from other food products. The foods they should eat are soya and its products, spinach, different fishes, broccoli, oranges, lettuce, dark green vegetables, calcium fortified breakfast cereals, fruit juices, chicken eggs and liver.

Remember lactose can be in small portions in commercial food products. So recognize them to avoid them. For example they are breads, bakery product, pancakes, biscuits, salad dressings, protein powder and bars, doughnuts, instant foods and soups, powdered coffee creamers.

So be aware and enjoy life as much. Be it lactose intolerant


Healthy Winter

As winters approach, the seasonal change brings in breathing difficulty, cold, coughs, sore throat, sinusitis, specially when the body's immunity is not high, all of these keep bothering through out the winter season. Some diet changes really help increasing the immunity. Like  a high intake of vitamin C really helps. So, do not forget to take Amla in this season. A mixture of honey and ginger helps the respiratory disorders to be at bay.

Another problem commonly seen is blocked nose . Take steam regularly, add eucalyptus oil and mint leaves in the water used for steam. Make a habit of gargling regularly with warm salty water to keep the throat clean.

Take warm lemon water once a day as it is high in vitamin C which again increases immunity. Use black pepper in foods and seasonings. Usage of cloves , cumin seeds, kesar/ saffron, cardamom is also beneficial in this season.

Some weight gain is expected in this season. Since our aim is to increase the immunity, it is fine as we want a healthy body which does not fall sick again and again