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Don’t let cold and cough dampen your holiday spirits this winter! Especially when your very own kitchen is loaded with some secret treasures!

Read below some homemade remedies for your winter cold!

1. Ginger lemon honey tea

– Acts as a decongestant.

How to make?

– Steep 1 tsp of grated ginger in hot water for 10-15 mins. Cover the cup with a lid or a saucer. Add a few drops of lemon juice and stir in a tsp of honey just before drinking.

2. Ginger turmeric balls

– Boosts immunity and helps clear sinuses

How to make?

– Make small bite sized balls of sonth (dry ginger powder) and jaggery in equal amounts
Add a pinch of haldi and using ghee roll them into small balls.

3. Steam inhalation

– The steam when infused with potent essential oils, has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties

How to have?

– 10-20 minutes of steam inhalation with fresh cut lemon grass and lemon zest.

4. Haldi milk at bedtime

– It helps flush out toxins and microbes from your respiratory tract.

Stay healthy, stay happy!

Keep yourself happy by keeping yourself healthy. Let well-known Mumbai dietitian and fitness expert Munmun Ganeriwal design a nutrition, exercise and lifestyle transformation program that elevates your overall sense of well-being. Contact us now for an in-depth consultation.

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Cold pressed juice is all the rage. From a yogi to a gym buff, everyone seems to be looking out for it either for a detox or for a juice cleanse or simply for antioxidants.

First things first – what is “cold-pressed” juice, anyway?

Unlike juices that are obtained from blenders & mixers using centrifugal force, cold pressed juices are made by pressing the fruits & vegetables using the force of compression.

What makes it healthier?

While the fast-spinning juicer generates heat, the crushing & pressing does not produce as much heat. Since nutrients and vitamins are heat sensitive, cold pressed juice retains most of the enzymes & nutrients which otherwise gets oxidised & destroyed in a conventional blender

Is it a new trend?

Cold pressed juices have always existed since centuries but it only gained popularity in the late 2000s after few celebrities endorsed it for “detox” and “juice cleanse” diets

Since old times, grand moms in different regions in India have been making a variety of these cold pressed sherbets & juices by squeezing & pressing it with their hands, sometimes also wrapping the fruit in a cloth.

India’s native cold pressed juices

Sugarcane juice is India’s native AND raw cold pressed juice. The cane stalks are pressed against each other using no heat to give a beautiful, green coloured juice that has “detox” properties and is rich in polyphenols & antioxidants.

Since the juice producer is extracting the juice and selling it directly to you, it is fresh containing live enzymes & nutrients that are easily absorbed by the body

But neither we think of sugarcane juice nor the Nimbu paani, Aamras, Phalsa sherbet or the Bael sherbet as cold pressed. Not only these are tasty, each of them also has its own unique therapeutic property.

The fancy juice bottles, on the other hand, that are flown from a far land with labels & health claims are put through a preservation process called the HIGH PRESSURE PRESERVATION (HPP) by the juice manufacturing companies to extend the shelf life of their product. These processes kill the live enzymes, probiotics, nutrients & minerals in the juice, and offers inferior quality for its heavy price range.

Take away points

The ‘real’ cold pressed juices with ‘real’ health benefits do not come in fancy bottles with exotic ingredients. They are made at home, consumed fresh, made with local & seasonal raw produce to equip you with seasonal changes and is the kind of juice that your great grandmother recognizes as food. It is the closest you can get to a cold pressed juice that is ‘fresh’, ‘real’, and ‘handcrafted’

Unsure about the right diet for you? Are you torn between what you’d love to eat and what you hear is unhealthy for you? Sign up for a one-on-one nutrition & diet consultation with leading Mumbai dietitian Munmun Ganeriwal

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Green tea has become synonymous to good health, diet, fitness and everything that comes under this huge umbrella of weight loss. First things first, both black and green tea come from the same plant. The difference is only in the way each is treated after being plucked, in terms of processing and oxidation.

THE HISTORY

India has always celebrated black tea for thousands of years. It has always been traditionally made with spices and herbs for centuries to cure illnesses of all kinds and degree. The first documented mention of tea consumption in India is in the Ramayana.

Green tea, on the other hand, is native to Japan and China.

IS GREEN TEA PRODUCED IN INDIA?

India has been commercially producing some of the worlds finest black teas since the 19th century. If the Darjeeling tea has been compared to the extraordinary wine from the champagne district of France, tea from Assam is known for its full bodied strength and that from Nilgiri for its fragrance.

Its only recently, may be ten years or so, that these popular growing regions have started processing green tea as well, more driven by its popularity and demand from the consumers.

The amount of green tea produced in India is only 10% of the black which is not a lot especially if you compare it with the Japanese and Chinese cultivation of green tea.

THE TEA ECONOMY

Since several years together, it was the Indian black tea that was considered the finest by the rest of the world for its great taste and flavour. Until a decade back, India was hence, the undisputed and largest exporter of tea in the world. The gradual growing belief that drinking green tea has detox and weight loss benefits has been mostly pushed by green tea companies in Japan and China to reap profits in foreign markets. Resulting which, from rank one, we now rank four as world tea exporters.

HOW TRUE ARE THESE HEALTH CLAIMS?

Let’s get to know the facts one by one

Myth 1 Only green tea has antioxidants with ‘detox’ properties

If green tea has antioxidants and flavonoids, so does black. In each case, oxidation or non oxidation gives the tea a different set of antioxidant compounds. Research says that if Catechin and Kaempferol are Antioxidants in green tea, then Quercetin and Theaflavins in black tea are equally effective antioxidants.

Catechin and Kaempferol – Antioxidants in green tea

Equally effective

Quercetin and Theaflavins- Antioxidants in black tea

Research by American Society for Nutrition & NCBI, U.S

Myth 2 The Low caffeine content in green tea makes it healthier

Well, the fact is that Tea, whether black or green, is naturally low in caffeine

Myth 3 They say that Green tea helps in Weight loss

“Seeing is believing” but not always. One such example is Green tea and it’s health claims.
As a matter of fact, Tea, whether green or black, is only 1 calorie per 100 ml of serving. Moreover, the USFDA has time and again rejected green tea health claims. This is what it says-

US FDA – “There is no credible scientific evidence to support qualified health claims about consumption of green tea or green tea extract”

Not long time ago, ads on TV talked about the colour, strength and fragrance to sell their tea and not promoted it as a “detox” or a “weight loss” agent. Instead of thin, skinny girls representing as brand ambassadors, tabla or sitar maestros having chai were seen, driving the point that the culture of having masala chai in India is as old and rich as ‘Sangeet’ itself.

Let’s get together and celebrate this age old culture instead of brushing it under the carpet in the name of weight loss. Chai anyone?

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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Post Diwali Detox

NOTE: The following article was written by me for Mumbai’s DNA and was published on 22nd Oct 2017

With the long Diwali week just over, most of us can be held guilty of overindulging in festive fried food and sweets. This, clubbed with late night parties, consumption of alcohol; and stress, wears down the body and mind. This calls for detoxing the system, but there’s no need to buy those expensive detox tea and herbs for it. Here are a few simple and cost-effective ideas:

Gulkand benefits for weight loss

Gulkand

If you are feeling acidic or bloated then start your day with a teaspoon of gulkand. Rich in probiotic bacteria, it is our traditional, therapeutic mixture that will help calm the overfed stomach that is affected due excessive eating. This mixture of rose petals, sugar and herbs is the tastiest therapy one can reach out to get out of those post-diwali binge blues.

Healty turmeric golden milk

Golden milk

The liver is our first line of defence against all sorts of toxins. Traditional Ayurveda has long used turmeric to improve and regulate liver function. Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, the good old ‘haldi doodh’ is the ultimate immunity booster, which the body needs to protect itself from any infections. A glass of it at bedtime, boosts immunity and helps recover from fatigue.

Buttermilk: Nutrition Facts and Benefits

Buttermilk

Excessive eating along with alcoholic drinks and sleep deprivation ends up in ruining your gut flora and the intestinal mucus. Chaas (buttermilk) made with probiotic rich curd, water and spices like rock salt (kaala namak), asafoetida (hing) and cumin (jeera) will help improve your digestion, keep dehydration away and relieve you of acidity and constipation. It will help your intestines repair and recover.

Health benefits of Sugarcane juice

Sugarcane

Alkaline in nature and loaded with soluble fibre, sugarcane juice is India’s native detox drink. It boosts metabolism, reduces cholesterol and aids in weight loss. Since it has low Glycemic Index, it is recommended for diabetics, and those with PCOD and insulin resistance too. Add some soaked sabja seeds to it, drink it up, preferably before 4pm.

Asana to the rescue

Try the Supta Baddha Konasana, which helps to turn up the parasympathetic nervous system, sometimes called the ‘rest and digest’ response. Here’s how to do it: Lay flat on your back with a blanket or towel rolled up, lengthwise under your spine. Bring the soles of the feet together as close to the hips as possible. Keeping the soles of the feet together, let the knees fall open to the side. Support the outer leg with blankets or pillows under the thighs. Let everything go as long as you feel supported and rested and try to stay in the pose for 10-20 minutes.

Image credit- Google images

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Several tips from this article were published by leading Indian Newspapers such as The Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Business Standard, Telangana Today, Millennium Post & many more on 26th-27th June, 2017. Read on…

These easy to make herbal drinks, using herbs & spices from your kitchen, will make sure you enjoy the monsoon rain while keeping infection & illness at bay!

1. GOLDEN MILK

Boil milk and water in 1:1 ratio. Add a pinch of turmeric, nutmeg, black pepper and ginger powder and few strands of saffron. Let it simmer till its reduces to half its quantity. Add jaggery to taste and sip on it hot or warm.

BENEFITS –

Along with the rains, monsoon brings along dengue, malaria and fever. This therapeutic drink is rich in antioxidants that will build up your immunity, bring down inflammation, reduce protein and fluid loss from the body & accelerate recovery.

2. KASHAYA

To make the Kashaya powder, dry roast coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in 4:2:1 ratio along with 1 tablespoon black peppercorn seeds. Next, grind these dry spices to a fine powder and store in an airtight jar. To make your brew, boil a glass of water and add 1 teaspoon Kashaya powder and 1 tsp grated jaggery to it. Strain and drink it hot.

BENEFITS –

Come monsoon and most of us are either down with throat infections or cough, cold and flu. Kashaya is an Ayurvedic drink that works as a decongestant and helps to clear the sinuses. It also has anti bacterial properties that boosts immunity.

3. FENNEL & CAROM POTION

Add one teaspoon each of fennel (saunf) and carom (ajwain) seeds to boiling water and let it simmer for some time. Remove from flame and add honey to it. Drink this hot after your meals.

BENEFITS –

According to Ayurveda, fennel seeds possess ‘Agnikrut’ qualities – that which improves digestive strength. Carom seeds are rich in essential oils, phytochemicals, minerals like copper that helps treat dysentery or diarrhoea, stomach infections, nausea that are typical of rainy season.

4. HIBISCUS TEA

Boil water and let the magenta coloured sepals of the Hibiscus flower infuse in it. Strain and add honey.

BENEFITS –

Hibiscus blooms generously in rainy season and is an easy plant to grow on your terrace or balcony. Rich in Vitamin C , anthocyanin and antioxidants, it will keep your skin and scalp healthy and prevent any infection or itchiness that comes along with the rains.

5. The quintessential KADHA

Boil water and add basil leaves (tulsi), ginger, cardamom and crushed pepper. Remove from flame and put ghee and honey. Drink it piping hot in a clay cup.

BENEFITS –

Kadha is an Ayurvedic medicine for sore throat, cough, nose congestion and flu. It has anti bacterial and anti viral properties. The SCFA (short chain fatty acids) in ghee strengthens the gut microbiota and promotes immunity of the body. The minerals in clay not only enhances the taste of the drink but also works as a natural ‘detox’ and will help fight infections.

Image Courtesy : Google Images

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Tadgolas for summer detox, anti-ageing & weight loss

TADGOLA- the neglected local fruit

While coming back from my workout today morning, saw these juicy and fleshy TADGOLAS. Carried on a cart by a farmer from Dahanu (Konkan coastal belt), these small ice apples wait to be noticed by people rushing into the gym but all in vain. The more popular red apples coming from distant land stay happily tucked in the gym bags vs these which are cultivated just few kms away from us.

Few reasons why you should be eating this local and NUS (neglected and underutilized species) fruit are-

1. Weight loss- Low in calories, rich in water content and almost no fat, Tadgola is a must if you are looking out to shed some weight

2. Summer detox – The abundant potassium it contains flushes out toxins from the liver making it the perfect summer detox for you

3. Anti ageing – Rich in antioxidants, it is the humblest ‘anti ageing’ treatment for your skin and body. Eating local can get glam too!!

 Other Indian summer foods & drinks that will benefit you-

  1. Sugarcane Juice- A Summer Drink To Relish
  2. 10 Reasons to Eat Mangoes in Summer
  3. Rice- To Beat the Heat
  4. Are Sabja Seeds part of your Summer Diet?
  5. Cool and Healthy Indian Summer Drink- Variyali Sherbet
  6. The ancient and exotic Neera!
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MYTH 3- They say that drinking green tea is a healthier choice

FACT 3- “Seeing is believing” but not always. One such example is Green tea and it’s health claims.

For we only see commercials on TV, tabloids, digital platforms screaming about the goodness of green tea over black, but the facts are often ‘boring’ and not get covered by media.

As a matter of fact, US FDA has time and again rejected green tea health claims. This is what it says-

“There is no credible scientific evidence to support qualified health claims about consumption of green tea or green tea extract”- US FDA

So the next time you are advised to eat any food with so called ‘health’ claims, take the advise with a grain of salt. Because the silent the food, the better it is 🙂

SEE MORE ON GREEN TEA MYTHS-

1. Green tea V/S Ginger Tea: Why “adrak chai” can accelerate weight loss

2. GREEN TEA V/S BLACK TEA: EFFECTIVE DETOX

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MYTH 2- Unlike the regular Black tea, Green tea has Antioxidants with ‘detox’ properties.

FACT 2- If Green tea has Antioxidants, so does Black.

In each case, oxidation or non oxidation gives the tea a different set of Antioxidant compounds.

Research says that if Catechin and Kaempferol are Antioxidants in Green tea then Quercetin and Theaflavins in Black tea are equally effective Antioxidants.

(Research by American Society for Nutrition, ASN & NCBI, U.S)

Just that we don’t have TV commercials with skinny models promoting our ‘chai‘ for ‘andar wala‘ cleanse/ detox etc.

 

SEE MORE ON GREEN TEA MYTHS

1. Green tea V/S Ginger Tea: Why “adrak chai” can accelerate weight loss

2. Green Tea Health Benefit Debunked

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VARIYALI SHERBET

Until detox drinks got glamourized by the ‘weight loss’ industry, almost all ‘Gujju’ households would be swearing by their Variyali sherbet for its great taste and heat reducing virtues.

Made from saunf or fennel seeds, Variyali sherbet is an instant summer cooler.

THE MANY BENEFITS OF SAUNF (OR FENNEL)-

WEIGHT LOSS & DETOXSaunf contains flavonoid called ‘Kaempferol’. This is the same compound that gives ‘antioxidant’, ‘detox’ and ‘weight loss’ properties to green tea. So if you are looking to get thinner, a glass of Variyali sherbet is all you need!

Have a glassful before you get into your favourite dress for a beach party this season

REMEDY FOR PMS & MENSTRUAL CRAMPS– A rich source of vital minerals like selenium and zinc, saunf helps maintain hormonal balance, regulate periods and reduces PMS. It also gives relief from menstrual cramps. This is because of its anti spasmodic properties, which is at work here

DIGESTIVE & ANTI-INFLAMMATION– According to Ayurveda, it has ‘Agnikrut’ qualities – that which improves digestive strength. The anti-inflammatory effects of saunf rids you of bloating and flatulence.

– When to have it? – Have a glass around 11am or 3pm, as your pre or post lunch snack

 Other Indian summer foods & drinks that will benefit you-

  1. Sugarcane Juice- A Summer Drink To Relish
  2. 10 Reasons to Eat Mangoes in Summer
  3. Rice- To Beat the Heat
  4. Are Sabja Seeds part of your Summer Diet?
  5. Enjoy local Tadgolas (Toddy palm) in Summer
  6. The ancient and exotic Neera!
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Sabja seed sherbet with mango

 

SABJA SEEDS: The Great Summer Superfood

“Ahem, excuse us chia, sabja seed is on its way!”

The seeds of tulsi: sabja/ takhmaria/ falooda seeds are soon to be hailed as the new superfood from the East

3 Main Benefits of Sabja Seeds

– A natural detox and body coolant, it comes to your rescue if you are experiencing acidity, bloating or a headache.

– Rich source of ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid). ALA is associated with accelerated fat burning and weight loss

– Its optimum fibre content makes you feel full and reduces food cravings

How to consume Sabja Seeds

– Soak it in water for about an hour and add the soaked sabja seeds to your dahi, chaas, buttermilk, sherbets, milkshakes etc

– Or simply add it to a glass of water with a pinch of salt and some sugar and drink it up!

 Other Indian summer foods & drinks that will benefit you-

  1. 10 Reasons to Eat Mangoes in Summer
  2.  Enjoy local Tadgolas (toddy palm) in Summer
  3. Rice- To Beat the Heat
  4. Sugarcane Juice- A Summer Drink To Relish
  5. Cool and Healthy Indian Summer Drink- Variyali Sherbet
  6. The ancient and exotic Neera!
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