Nutritionist and author KAVITA DEVGAN tells Wedding Asia about all the foods that will keep us Shining and Super Healthy.
What foods will keep us upbeat in these stressful times?
To cut stress, keep these four things in mind:
Eat a balanced diet. This is not the time to try our fad diets or starvation regimes.
Eat enough protein. Proteins contain tryptophan, an amino acid that converts to serotonin in the brain.
And don’t depend just on protein, carbs are important too. Tryptophan from protein works best when consumed in conjunction with a small bit of carbohydrate. In fact, if you cut off carbohydrates completely you are likely to get more depressed.
Similarly, we need some good fats like nuts seeds, ghee, coconut oil etc to keep our mood stable too.
Coming to specific foods this is my list of Top Five foods to include in your diet proactively – haldi, chickpeas, banana, dairy and figs. Include 2-3 every day.
Some easy recipes for foods that will help us beat the blues?
Want a healthy perk-up dessert?
Try Banana ice cream
It’s amazingly easy to make:
Chop ripe banana into small pieces, freeze in a ziplock overnight, add a little sugar or honey (optional) and any flavour (cinnamon, cocoa, coffee), and churn in a grinder till smooth… then freeze for an hour and it’s ready to eat.
Want to stay alert?
Then first stop drinking those never-ending cups of coffee and tea. They only give a temporary lift and then lead to a crash of energy and mood both. Trust me you don’t want that.
Instead, have fennel infused water. Soak 1 tbsp saunf in 1 litre of water for a few hours. Give it a quick boil and sip through the day.
It works as a mild stimulant and will keep you alert and awake, minus the need for any caffeine.
Immunity boosting food tips?
All the basic rules apply – like watching your weight, getting enough sun, sleeping well, and exercising – to keep the immunity up. But there is no bypassing the importance of eating right. So today I am going to talk about a few foods that can help big. These are all simple foods, all easily available even in these tough to source times.
The first nutrient that can boost immunity is water! If the percentage of fluid in the body drops by more than a few percentage points, immunity gets impaired.
How to get it? Aim for 8 glasses of water every day!
Is there anything this turmeric cannot do? Seems not. Turmeric is a strong flu-fighter, has both antiviral and antioxidant properties, so can help the body ward off viral infections.
Just warm up some milk, add some pure powdered haldi to it and a pinch of pepper.
Or just boil some milk with shavings of raw haldi root, sprinkle some pepper and drink at night before going to sleep. Your body will restore and cleanse as you sleep.
If milk does not work for you, add some raw haldi to your morning cup of tea with ginger and pepper (both are potent infection busters). This way you can begin your day fighting fit.
Galar Ka Halwa is a brilliant idea as carrots contain loads of beta carotene, which gets converted into vitamin A in the body, a powerful phytonutrient that boosts production of infection-fighting natural killer cells and T cells.
Amla is one of the richest natural source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against various infections and keeps the immune system buzzing.
Drink your lemons!
It is the ideal food for restoring acid alkali balance in the gut and helps maintain the body’s internal “climate” at a pH which supports healthy bacteria instead of the viruses and harmful bacteria that thrive in more acidic environment.
So, drink freshly squeezed lemon juice in warm water, or add a squeeze to your tea cuppa. Remember how your grandpa used to begin his day with this simple but wondrous drink… now you know why!
Foods that will keep our skin and hair healthy.
10 WOW skin foods
Lemons, Wheatgrass, Coconut water, Amla, Wheat germ, Eggs, Apples, Yoghurt, Orange, Walnuts
10 healthy hair foods
Go nuts (Brazil nuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, and almonds), Beetroot, Garlic, Eggs, Fish, Whole grains, Greens, Low-fat dairy products
(Kavita Devgan is the author of Fix It With Foods, and inputs here have been excerpted from the book.)