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India is one of the top producers of Turmeric within Asia. In ancient Indian tradition, turmeric or haldi is not only one of the essential spices, but also regarded therapeutic and medicinal. It has been used as a medicine for a very long time and it is still used for various health conditions. It is now being hailed as the superfood all across the globe for its antiseptic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and immunity enhancing properties.

A bioactive compound called curcumin present within it makes it potential to fight against the odds and also aids to keep you fit and healthy. It may well be the newfound trend for the rest of the world but India has been celebrating this ancient spice for centuries.

Let us walk through some of the best uses of turmeric aka haldi to make the most of your health

Turmeric Latte for Immunity

Turmeric Latte, a humble brew gets a trendy spin. Cafes from Sydney to San Francisco serve Turmeric latte, the Haldi doodh from India.  It is a perfect example of how when we ape any food trend superficially, we fail to adopt the collective food wisdom in its entirety – the ingredients come together like pieces of a puzzle but do not fit in to create a beautiful piece of art.

There’s more to India’s golden drink than just mixing haldi with milk. The specific proportion of haldi in milk, the presence of other active compounds and the timing at which you are having it, are all crucial for its therapeutic value.

 When your grandmom added a generous pinch of black pepper and a teaspoon of ghee while brewing a cuppa of haldi doodh for you, she probably knew that piperine (main active ingredient in black pepper) enhances absorption of curcumin and the good fat ghee improves its bioavailability in the body all at once. The reason why she insisted you have the Haldi doodh before hitting the bed, is because it helps in overnight recovery, either from illness, injury or post workout. A good post workout recovery is crucial for steady and sustainable weight loss.

Warm Water along with turmeric

You must be aware of the benefits of drinking warm water in the morning to keep yourself fit. As warm water helps to flush out all of the toxins within the body and also add’s in improving metabolism.

Did you know the fact that adding a bit of turmeric to that glass of warm water can simply sum up in boosting your health? Yes, this is true! Having warm water along with turmeric improves your digestion, improves your skin and its complexion, helps in keeping your heart healthy and the list of benefits goes on.

Turmeric soup

If you’re going through a sore throat condition, you can go for the turmeric soup, it is an effective herbal drink which soothes the throat with its antimicrobial properties, fighting the various throat infections. This soup is also a great source of strength for the immune system.

Have a cup of Turmeric Tea

When it comes to Turmeric tea, it has its own distinctive flavour and a bit of pepper powder (which enhances absorption of curcumin) is mostly used in it. It is said to be beneficial in easing arthritis symptoms, helps in cancer prevention and treating uveitis. This is surely for you if you are more of the experimental kinds and would like to get a little innovative with your tea, you can tweak it with a twist of haldi in it. Steep dried and grated turmeric in a pot of hot water, blended with crushed peppercorns, sip on it while it’s hot.

A Fusion of Turmeric and Honey

As you know turmeric is kind of bitter to taste, a teaspoon of honey can be added to half a spoon of haldi before consuming it. This is probably the best to get the most of turmeric while making it taste good. This paste made out of turmeric and honey is beneficial in treating cough. Also, it plays a vital role in relieving arthritic joint pain.

Turmeric Fumes: Inhalation

A small teaspoon of turmeric powder put on a hot pan and its fumes when inhaled helps provide relief from congestion caused due to cough and cold. After breathing the smoke in each of the nostrils, it releases all of the mucous from the sinus cavity. The anti-inflammatory properties of haldi relieves the sinusitis by reducing the swelling. These fumes are also helpful in suppressing hiccups.

Skin Treatment Using Haldi

If you get back into time, you may remember your mom or maybe grandma using a paste of ghee and haldi powder over the bruise which you probably got while playing, well, as said earlier, it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which ultimately boosts the healing process. Apart from healing wounds, it also looks after other skin issues like acne and scars by speeding up the healing process.

The next time you get a bruise or cut, fiker not (have no worries). Put a paste of ghee and haldi powder and you are ready to get, set, go.

Confused by the misinformation about potential health problems with traditional Indian foods? Get in touch with award-winning Mumbai dietitian and nutritionist, Munmun Ganeriwal, a strong advocate of the holistic, wellness benefits of fresh, local, and traditional Indian foods.

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WHAT WE HEAR OFTEN : Myth or Fact?

“Olive oil is great for the heart, it controls cholesterol levels and if getting on a healthy diet is what you are thinking about, you got to switch to extra virgin olive oil”.

I am sure you are told this often and though most of us can’t remember who told us or when, this is surely one health message that has got through. Unfortunately, when it comes to food, we easily get carried away by (mis) information which may not always be based on facts.

Here’s my top three facts about Olive oil vs Indian Traditional Oils that all should know-


Cold pressed or virgin oils have lately found a place in all health stores globally, where as we, in our country, have been consuming it for centuries. Just that we didn’t give a fancy name to it and market its benefits. We called it kacchi ghani oils’. Traditionally, communities of oil pressers or “telis” as they are called, crush oilseeds to make cold pressed or virgin oil under lower temperatures that will not degrade the oil. Its nutrients, flavor, aroma and color is hence retained. Unlike industrial refining, this process does not use any solvents or chemicals.


In 2010, the University of California reported that most imported extra virgin olive oils aren’t extra virgin.


Oils that are made and labelled as extra virgin in one continent or country, loses its freshness, nutrients and qualities by the time it is imported and sold in another country. It is plain foolish for us to simply pick up these labels off the shelves. The local small mill or ghani that makes filtered oil after simply crushing the local oilseeds you give them is the freshest and the most virgin heart healthy oil that you can get for yourself.


In India, since thousands of years, the oil our grandmoms have been using is largely dependent on where they came from. In Kerala, it’s coconut oil, in Andhra and Rajasthan, it’s the sesame oil, mustard oil is used in the east and north India and in Maharashtra, Gujarat and central India groundnut oil is used. Diverse cultures eat differently and the type of oil fitted beautifully into the food landscape of that region.

Then somewhere in the 1980s, we were told that our oilseeds are bad for our heart and we were quick in switching to refined vegetable oils and virgin olive oil. Now fats are making a comeback and coconut has already been hailed as the superfood in the west. Fat loss, heart health, immunity, glowing skin, strong bones, shining hair – coconut oil has been linked to everything good. But its just not coconut, all our indigenous oilseeds be it mustard, groundnut or sesame are rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, phenols, vitamins and minerals. Just that the West has not yet woken up to its heart health and weight loss benefits. Moreover, unlike olive oil and vegetable oils, these oils blend better with our Indian cuisine. They have high smoke points which means their nutrients and qualities are retained and not lost at a higher cooking temperature which is most typical of Indian cooking.

The only place where it then lags is probably marketing. Neither it gets support from the government, nor gets endorsed by celebrities or gets advertised in fancy packing with health claims.


Traditional oil press/ kachhi ghani run by motor or bullock to make locally produced cold pressed/ filtered/ virgin oils is a living legacy. Now in danger of shutting down, we can help support it by taking their highly skilled service.

Confused by the misinformation about potential health problems with traditional Indian foods? Get in touch with well-known Mumbai dietitian and nutritionist, Munmun Ganeriwal, a strong advocate for the holistic wellness benefits of fresh, local, and traditional Indian foods.

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It does not matter as much how hard you train, as it matters how well you “refuel” your body post-workout session. In order to get the desired results from your training- be it the sculpted, toned body you are looking for or getting fitter & stronger is your goal- what you eat following exercise is crucial and can have a major impact on your results.

Why is “Recovery Nutrition” important?

Post a workout, your body is in a catabolic state (process of breakdown) because of many biochemical, metabolic & hormonal changes that has taken place during the exercise. It has depleted its muscle glycogen reserves (body’s stored fuel), the catabolic hormone cortisol has been on a surge & then there are the free radicals (chemically unstable molecules) that have been generated during the exercise. The good news is that this presents an “anabolic window of opportunity” Anabolism refers to the process of building up. By consuming proper nutrients post-workout, you will be able to arrest further muscle breakdown, initiate the re-synthesis of fuel reserves, initiate the rebuilding of damaged tissue, bring down cortisol levels, accelerate removal of metabolic by products (lactic acid, CO2). Hence, having a post-workout fuelling strategy in place is extremely important for improvements in both body composition (fat loss) and exercise performance, faster recovery, preventing fatigue and resisting injury.

What is “Recovery Nutrition”?

Insulin sensitivity is heightened immediately after exercise, which means that ideally you should consume your post-workout meal as soon as you finish your workout. The quicker you feed your body, the better nutrient delivery to the muscles and more nutrient & glucose uptake by them to utilize for repair. Another physiological effect of exercise is the immediate increase in the blood flow to the muscles. Hence, the delivery of protein, carbs, vitamins, minerals, water etc. is also enhanced, resulting in greater muscle protein synthesis.

But since we live in a ‘real’ world v/s an ‘ideal’ one, it may be possible that at times, you are unable to consume your post-workout meal immediately after cooling down at the gym (for e.g. some day you may be rushed for office) Then know that, all is not lost. The “anabolic window of opportunity” lasts for at least a couple of hours following exercise so if not right after workout, do make sure you take in the nutrients as soon as you can!

The “Recovery Nutrition” comprises of the four F’s backed by exercise physiologists all over the world, which are-

1.Fluids It is crucial to make up for the loss of fluids and electrolytes as your body is in a dehydrated state post-workout. Among other health benefits, staying properly hydrated will help your body be better able to deliver the nutrients that your cells and muscles need in order to repair themselves.

The bottom line: Ensure you have water post exercise and also later through the day. The best way to check if you are having enough water is to look for your urine colour- should be crystal clear, not cloudy. Caffeine has shown to disrupt post-exercise insulin action, thereby impairing your body’s ability to replenish glycogen stores and utilize protein for muscular repair. Hence, if you do want to indulge in your cup of coffee or tea, wait for a couple of hours after your workout.

2.Food One of the primary goals post-exercise is to replenish glycogen reserves (stored carbohydrate in muscle & liver) that gets depleted during training.

Post-workout, you should consume carbohydrates that come from simple, high-glycemic sources so that they can quickly do its job. They will break down quickly in your gut, sending a surge of sugar into your bloodstream and raising your blood glucose which in turn, will spike insulin levels. Since insulin has both anabolic and anti-catabolic functions, it will accelerate protein synthesis, inhibit protein breakdown, and shuttle glycogen into cells. And this is one instance where elevated insulin won’t promote increases in body fat. Because your muscles & liver are literally starved, nutrients will tend to be used for muscle building & repair rather than fat storage.

Other than being high GI, carbs that you consume should be light and easy to digest so that it does not overload the gastro-intestinal system, disrupting the blood flow to the worked-out muscles.

Some research shows that carbohydrate-rich foods containing a combination of glucose and fructose is ideal, here. This is because glucose is converted to muscle glycogen, whereas fructose preferentially replenishes liver glycogen (glucose is of limited utility to the liver, a phenomenon called the “glucose paradox”). Thus, the two types of sugar work in synergy to replenish the glycogen stores of the body.

The bottom line: Include a variety of carbohydrates post-exercise. Few good choices are sugarcane juice, banana, boiled potato, potato sandwich.

3.Fast Acting Proteins The other main nutritional objective post-workout is to supply sufficient amino acids (protein) for muscle tissue repair. If protein intake is sub-optimal following training, recovery is hampered and results are compromised. When amino acids are consumed following training, protein synthesis increases, optimizing the development of lean muscle tissue. Increase in lean muscle tissue is important for fat loss, change in body composition and improved exercise performance.

Protein should preferably be in the form of a high-biological value (BV) protein powder, that which is easy to digest and readily available, absorbed & assimilated in the body. A fast-acting protein such as whey works best. Because it is rapidly assimilated, whey reaches your muscles quickly, thereby expediting repair. The BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) in whey protein keeps the insulin sensitive and boosts your immunity, amongst many other things.

The bottom line: Once you have had your carb-rich food, have a whey protein shake mixing whey protein powder in water.

4.Free Radical Management Make sure to incorporate key vitamins and minerals in your post-workout meal that will help to recover and repair faster. Antioxidants is of prime importance here as it will negate the free radical effect of exercise that interferes with body’s recovery mechanism. Important antioxidants are Vit C, Vit E, Vit A, and minerals Selenium, Zinc, Chromium. Apart from its antioxidant effect, these minerals also have an insulin-like effect thus accelerating the anabolism process post workout.

The bottom line: Take separate vitamin supplements (of A, C, E) along with a supplement of Zinc, Selenium, Chromium with your post work-out meal.

Plan your post-workout meals right and get incredible results from your workout! Stay fit, stay young!

NOTE: This article was written by me for MyBeautyGym.Com & was published on 18th August 2017.


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