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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

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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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Diet, exercise and sunlight: Three factors women shouldn’t ignore for good bone health

Dr. Dharini Krishnan

Dr. Dharini Krishnan
11 January 2021

This article is authored by Dr. Dharini Krishnan, an award-winning Consultant Dietitian, she believes that for a healthy body and mind, we must combine modern medicine with native Indian practices which are proven to benefit us.

Barring a significant injury or fracture, we rarely tend to think about bone health. Yet, for women, particularly those who are middle-aged or older, this is a vital concern because of the risk of osteoporosis.

In 2013, it was estimated that there were 50 million Indians who were osteoporotic or having low bone mass. Some studies have found that the prevalence of osteoporosis could be as high as 42.5% in women over the age of 50.

Osteoporosis and health complications

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Osteoporosis comes from the Latin for “porous bone”, and is a condition where bone tissue loses its density, and becomes weaker and more fragile. Such bones are easily susceptible to breaks, resulting in pain, disability and loss of functionality in everyday life.

Bones, which form the primary supporting framework of the body, grow from birth till our early twenties, which is the period of peak bone mass. Bone is an active tissue that undergoes regular replacement in conditions of health.

In osteoporosis, however, bone formation is outpaced by bone loss, leading to porosity or thinness of bone tissue and brittle bones. Such bones could easily be fractured even in the absence of significant trauma. Such fractures tend to reduce mobility and lead to increased hospitalization and dependence on others.

Why osteoporosis affects women more

Women are particular at risk for osteoporosis because they have lesser bone mass to start with. The geometry and structure of bone have also been increasingly recognized as important risk factors for fracture.

The risk of osteoporosis significantly rises during menopause because of the hormonal changes women undergo at the time. This is because estrogen plays a significant role in maintaining bone health, and the secretion of this hormone falls drastically during menopause.

The importance of protein and calcium in the diet

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For some time now, awareness of the importance of calcium for bone health has been growing. Hence, women are advised to consume sufficient amounts of dairy, green leafy vegetables, soya products and nuts.

What many don’t realise is that sufficient levels of protein are just as important for strong bones. After all, protein makes up roughly 50% of bone volume and about one-third of its mass. Daily intake of protein is also necessary to provide the raw materials for bone formation. Unfortunately, research shows that the levels of dietary protein consumed by Indians are actually reducing.

For non-vegetarians chicken, fish and eggs are good sources of protein. For vegetarians, pulses are one of the primary sources of protein, along with dairy products. Daily intake of protein in at least two major meals of the day, particularly in healthy forms such as sambhar or dal is, therefore, vital.

The role of exercise and sunlight

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Bone health also requires good muscle health. This makes it necessary to undertake moderate exercise as often as possible. A 45-minute walk six days a week as well as resistance training using the body weight, such as surya namaskaras, can go a long way to building muscles. Importantly, the body also requires Vitamin D to mobilize calcium for bone health. Hence, exposure to peak sunlight between 11am and 3 pm at least twice a week is also vital for bone health.

Osteoporosis can be a serious health problem that disrupts life and limits mobility, particularly for women. However, a healthy diet, rich in calcium and protein, together with exercise, can go a long way in maintaining bone health.



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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