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5 Must-have Dietary Essentials For A Woman

Kavita Devgan

Kavita Devgan
28 July 2020

This article is authored by Kavita Devgan. Kavita is an acclaimed nutritionist with 20 plus years of experience as a weight loss and holistic health consultant.

While the rules of healthy eating, universally, stay the same -- eat healthy, stay active, be happy and sleep better -- there are some specific foods that can give females a definite advantage in terms of health.

Let’s take a look at five usually-ignored constituents that are part of the Indian kitchen, and ought to make their way into every woman’s diet.

Turmeric

Eat Breakfast

Spices are rich in natural oils; these oils help fortify the immune system of the body, aids in digestion and bowel cleansing. Often, spices are extracted from these very natural oils and in-turn lose their health benefits. A sureshot way of figuring that your spices are healthy and loaded with natural oils, is to sniff it. The stronger the smell, the more it is abounding with natural oils, the healthier it is for the body constitution.

Researchers have been stated from their studies that the low incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in India and high consumption of turmeric and are becoming confident of a connection there.

Curcumin, an essential constituent of turmeric, is the protective agent here. It supports better memory, focus and cognition by boosting the growth of new neurons and combating degenerative processes in the brain. With women multi-tasking in their everyday life, it is important to make turmeric consumption, which has at least three percent curcumin, a must for a healthier mind and body.

How much: Just a pinch a day in your tadkas (tempering) or as turmeric latte every night.

Coriander powder

Coriander seeds aid in controlling blood sugar, cholesterol and free radical production. They also help reduce levels of bad cholesterol, while boosting levels of good cholesterol. More prominently, they are known to be anti-carcinogenic. Coriander is good for follicles and contains natural stimulants that fuel the endocrine glands to maintain proper hormonal balance in the body thus alleviating menstrual pain and irregularities.

How much: Add a pinch to all tadkas every day.

Iodised salt

Radish

Many females are unknowingly deficient in iodine especially if they obtain their nutrition from vegetarian sources as Iodine is found mostly in seaweed, dairy, tuna, shrimp and eggs. This deficiency affects thyroid hormones negatively and results in Intellectual disability. The common symptoms of iodine deficiency are fatigue and weakness, hair loss, feeling colder than usual and trouble learning and memory retention. To ensure that everyone has a sufficient intake of iodine, universal iodisation of salt have been recommended by WHO and UNICEF.

How much: About 5 gm of branded vacuum evaporated iodised salt per day

Besan

Besan (gram flour) is a good source of dietary fibre that helps ease bowel movements. A collagen formation booster, it has anti-inflammatory properties that helps prevent fatigue and iron deficiency in the body. Being a rich source of B vitamin thiamine, include besan in your diet to feel energetic and rejuvenated.

How much: Two to three times a week

Lentils

Well, the three solid pillars of good health are: stock up on essential nutrients - good quality protein, and fibre for gut health - and lentils (dals) deliver all three in abundance. Moreover, they are a very cost-effective source of good quality protein - a boon for vegetarians particularly as they often don’t score enough of this macronutrient. Lentils deliver the hard-to-find nutrient - folic acid that is essential for health. The right amount of folic acid helps keeps pregnant women from birth defects.

How much: Two servings of (any) dal every day

 

So ladies, be sure to incorporate these essential elements into your diet and lead a healthy, wholesome life! 



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

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Hypertension In Women

Karishma Chawla

Karishma Chawla
27 October 2020

This article is authored by Karishma Chawla. She is a practising nutritionist and a weight loss expert. She advises people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or to achieve a specific health-related goal.

Hypertension is quite often considered a men’s health problem, but that’s a myth. In fact, men and women have a similar risk of developing high blood pressure. But after the onset of menopause, women actually face higher risk than men of developing high blood pressure. Although prior to 45 years of age, men are slightly more likely to develop high blood pressure.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing inside the lining of arteries. High blood pressure or hypertension occurs when the force increases and stays higher than normal for a period of time.

Hypertension is often referred to as a silent killer. If untreated, it can lead to a major health set back and cause many complications. In most cases, there may not be any symptoms of high blood pressure. Sometimes, in case of sudden or severe increase in B.P., individuals may experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision or nosebleeds. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke and kidney failure. These problems worsen when high blood pressure is present along with diabetes. For women, high blood pressure during pregnancy can be dangerous for both mother and child.

What causes it? Reasons for high blood pressure

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• Genetic factors: Hereditary factors – one of the leading reasons for high blood pressure, which worsen when the environmental factors are not healthy.

• Body weight: Obesity and diabetes along with their associated disorders are often associated with hypertension.

• Age:Chances of a high blood pressure diagnosis increase steeply with age. But research now shows that high blood pressure can affect adolescents and the young as well.

• Gender: Risk is greater in men than women, but after menopause, the difference decreases.

• Dietary factors: Some dietary factors that can contribute to high blood pressure include excess calories coming saturated fats, diets that contain high sodium foods, and less calcium and magnesium in the diet

• Potassium: Decrease in potassium intake and low intake of high potassium foods like fruits and vegetables can also lead to increase in heart rate and high blood pressure.

• Contraceptives: Certain oral contraceptive pills may lead to high blood pressure

• Lifestyle: Sedentary lifestyle devoid of exercise can contribute to high blood pressure. Stress, smoking, tobacco intake, and alcohol intake also lead to increase in high blood pressure.

• Other medical conditions High blood pressure can also be a result of other medical conditions such as kidney problems, diabetes, and sleep apnea. Hormone issues such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome and Hyperaldosteronism (increase in aldosterone) and preeclampsia in pregnancy are responsible for high blood pressure diagnosis.

Measures to reduce high blood pressure

Reduce sodium intake
It is important to note that it’s not the consumption of salt but excessive consumption of sodium is a concern. Sodium is a compound found naturally in foods. One teaspoon of salt contains 2400 milligrams of sodium and the amount recommended for daily consumption is approximately the same. The amount of recommended sodium intake reduces further to approximately 1500 mg under conditions such as hypertension, kidney issues, water retention, and heart condition to name a few. But these problems are usually correlated with high consumption of sugar and fat. Hence it is beneficial to avoid foods such as processed foods, salted snacks, pickles, papad, sauces and instant soups. These are some known sources of excess sodium and not the usual home cooked foods.

It’s important to avoid sprinkling excess salt at the table. Rather use adequate salt during cooking and experiment with reduced sodium salt after conferring with your physician. Tata Salt Liteis a good option for those looking to reduce sodium intake. It provides 15% reduced sodium than regular salt. Inclusion of herbs and spices like like coriander, ginger, turmeric, mint, garlic or lemon juice can also help improves the taste and flavour of the food.

Improve intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium How to Increase Immune System
This can be done by inclusion of low-fat dairy products for calcium and green leafy vegetables for magnesium. Fruits and vegetables rich in potassium are bananas, watermelon, tomatoes, oranges, sweetlime, leafy vegetables, milk and almonds. Eating three to five servings of these foods daily would ensure sufficient potassium intake and regulate blood pressure.

Reduction in refined carbohydrates
Though this is not a direct connection, but the preparations and the nature of these foods usually contain excess sodium for taste and preservation purposes. Add omega 3 foods such as fatty fish, walnuts and flaxseeds to reduce blood pressure.

DASH DietDash Diet has been found to be a good approach for the treatment of hypertension. This diet emphasizes consumption of fruits, vegetables, low sodium, and low-fat dairy foods. It also includes low amounts of saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol to reduce blood pressure. This includes whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts and other foods rich in potassium, calcium, omega 3 and magnesium.

Lifestyle MeasuresLifestyle measures include regular exercise of 30 minutes daily, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga, avoidance of rage and anger, adequate sleep, low alcohol intake, no smoking and normal body weight with low body fat percentage.

High blood pressure can affect the physical, professional, personal and economical life of any individual. As women tend to juggle multiple priorities, managing their own health often takes a back seat. It is advisable to take some judicious measures such as dietary and lifestyle modifications in order to prevent the onset of hypertension, control it and minimize its risks.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 



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