Posted on Leave a comment

Find out about 9 foods that are best suited for your liver!

Globally, around 300 million people are unaware that they suffer from viral hepatitis. If they do not receive proper diagnosing and care, they are at the risk of continuing to suffer and may ultimately lose their lives. 

World Hepatitis Day, celebrated on the 28th of July, aims to bring about the much-needed awareness about this condition. It strives to convince the masses to take action and find the “missing” – essentially undiagnosed – cases. Thus, the theme for 2020 is – FIND THE MISSING MILLIONS

Hepatitis can be defined as the inflammation of hepatic cells- cells that the liver is composed of. This can occur due to various reasons, such as overconsumption of alcohol, an external or internal physical injury, an autoimmune response, or as a reaction to a particular pathogen such as bacteria or virus. There are five different types of hepatitis, namely A, B, C, D, and E. A & B are the most common types. 

The difference between Hepatitis A & Hepatitis B lies in their respective modes of transmission. 

Hepatitis A is transmitted through a faeco-oral route, i.e. due to the consumption of food or water that has accidentally come in contact with the contaminated faeces of an infected patient. 

Hepatitis B, on the other hand, can only be transmitted through blood or sexual (fluids) contact with an infected person. What one needs to remember is that the HBV (Hepatitis B Virus) cannot be spread through casual contacts, such as shaking hands or sharing a meal. This is the opposite in the case of Hepatitis A.

Often, those with Hepatitis B do not display any distinct symptoms. Those who have contracted Hep – A can experience nausea, vomiting, fever, or darker urine.

Here are some foods and drinks that you can incorporate into your diet to help promote liver health and prevent the contraction of unwanted conditions in the long term. 

Coffee

Coffee contains properties that help protect the liver against diseases such as fatty liver disease. Consuming coffee may also prevent liver cancer and can reduce the risk of chronic liver disease. 

These properties arise due to the fact that coffee interacts with the enzymes present in the liver and indirectly prevents the buildup of fat. It also increases the amount of antioxidants present in the liver.

Oatmeal

Packed with fiber, and incorporating oats into your diet is the easiest way to obtain its goodness. Although in general, fiber is good for the digestive system, certain fibers are also known to be helpful for the liver.

Beta-glucans in oats help reduce fat stored in the liver, which again contributes to the health of the liver.

Green Tea

Green Tea is known to be packed with antioxidants. It can also help reduce fat content in the liver and protect it from NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease). 

Garlic

The addition of garlic into your diet can help stimulate the liver. In a study published in Advanced Biomedical Research, 2016, garlic was proven to help reduce body weight as well as fat content. 

This is helpful as being obese/overweight is a contributing factor towards NAFLD

Berries

Apart from helping strengthen the immune system, dark berries such as blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries are also packed with antioxidants. This helps in protecting the liver from damage.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish contains healthy omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce the unwanted side effects of NAFLD. These acids help in the prevention of accumulation of fat in the liver and also reduce inflammation.

They are also known to maintain and regulate enzyme levels in the liver. If consuming fatty fish like salmon at least twice a week doesn’t seem possible, you may consider taking a fish oil supplement. 

Grapefruit

Grapefruit contains antioxidants that prevent inflammation of the liver and protect the hepatic cells. They may also help towards increasing the enzymes produces in the liver that helps burn fat.

Olive Oil

Olive oil contains antioxidants in unsaturated fatty acids (omega 3 fatty acids) that reduce oxidative stress and improve liver function. 

Nuts

Nuts are known to keep the liver healthy and protect it against NAFLD. They contain high amounts of healthy fat, vitamins, minerals as well as antioxidants. Consuming a handful of nuts every day can help in the maintenance of liver health.  

Bhookha Haathi’s offerings are 100% natural and preservative-free.  Its Health Booster and Mouth Refresher are packed with the goodness of nuts and dry fruits – that increase good cholesterol and contain high amounts of fiber!

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.

Posted on Leave a comment

Are you aware of the different sources that you can obtain protein from?

Protein is an essential component that acts as a building block in every cell of our body. Our body uses protein for the healing and repairing of tissues, provision of structure, and support, to manufacture enzymes and hormones, to balance bodily fluids as osmoregulators, and to promote growth.

It’s super important to know exactly which source you are obtaining your protein from and if it comes coupled with any additional harmful substances. This is key to extracting the benefits of proteins by adhering to a healthy diet in the long run.

There are several sources of protein like protein powders, capsules, tablets, and obviously, from natural sources.

Unlike vitamins and minerals, our body needs large amounts of proteins – which classifies it as a macronutrient. But it cannot be stored in our body like fat and carbohydrate, and thus it requires a constant supply. 

A high protein diet increases satisfaction and curbs hunger pangs that lead to snacking and ultimately, overeating. It can thus help better in the process of weight-loss compared to any other form of diet.

Here are the three most important categories of food that you can obtain protein from.

Meat

Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is a classic example of lean meat that you can incorporate into your daily diet without having the fear of gaining calories.  There are various ways you can have your chicken, like baked, grilled, lightly sauteed in some olive oil or tossed along with your favourite vegetables. 

Pork tenderloin

There are several claims in the market that label pork as a type of white meat – but don’t let this make you believe that it is anything other than red. You should keep in mind that pork is a great source of lean protein and the associations of red meat and mortality should not be paid much attention to. Pork tenderloins can be found pre-marinated in the market and they are ready to pop into the oven or grill. 

Lean Ground Turkey

When purchasing a ground turkey, make sure that the percentage of the leanness is mentioned – otherwise, you may end up with the fatty, grisly bits that will contribute to an unwanted portion of fat into your dish. The only disadvantage of buying very lean turkey is that when fried as a burger patty or meatballs, it can turn quite dry. Adding vegetables like bell peppers and onions can help add some moisture and flavour. 

Scallops

Scallops are a great choice of lean meat for seafood-lovers or pescatarians. Surprisingly, they do not end up on many protein-source lists. 

They have a unique, sort of mildly sweet flavour that doesn’t need more than a slight amount of seasoning. They can be consumed lightly seared with vegetables, by themselves, or in soups. 

Tuna Fish

Tuna fish can very well be placed on the same rank as chicken when it comes to bodybuilding protein sources. Tuna should be consumed with caution as too much of it can cause mercury build-up in our body. 

Dairy

Cottage Cheese

Apart from a host of vitamins and minerals, cottage cheese also contains high amounts of protein. Because of the fact that it is not as aged as other types of cheese, its flavour is a lot less sharp. It is known to contain few calories.

Swiss Cheese

Famous for the holes in it created due to the process of fermentation, Swiss cheese has a very mild and nutty taste. It contains a high amount of protein and lesser sodium and fat than most other proteins.

Milk 

Milk majorly contains two types of protein – casein and whey, and both types are highly essential for the production of amino acids in our body. Whey protein is a source of leucine which is used by our body to synthesize proteins for the muscles.

Yoghurt

Yoghurt also consists of whey protein and casein.

Plant-based sources

Soy-based products

Soy-based products such as tofu (soybean curds) and edamame (immature soybeans) contain nearly 9 grams of protein per ½ cup. Tofu is often used as a meat substitute in a variety of dishes due it its ability to take on the flavour of what it is being cooked with. The beans also contain a high amount of minerals like calcium and iron which makes them a great vegan addition to your diets.

Lentils

Apart from being packed with proteins, lentils contain fiber, iron, and potassium. They can be added to soups, rice dishes, salads, and wraps for an extra dash of proteins.

Spirulina 

Spirulina is blue-green algae that contain very high amounts of protein per serving –  around 8g for every two tablespoons! It is available online in the form of a powder that can be added to smoothies, shakes, or even just water.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a grain that has high protein content. A cup of cooked quinoa contains around 8 grams of protein. It is filled with vitamins and minerals, as well. Because of its high fiber content, it can help fill you up when added to pasta, salads, or soups.

Nuts & Seeds

Nuts like almond, peanuts contain high amounts of healthy fats, micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins. Additionally, they contain around 21.15g of protein per 100g. Pumpkin seeds are another good source of energy & protein and provide 32.14g of protein per 100g.

Bhookha Haathi’s 100% natural dry fruit health booster is a great source to obtain protein from. It is free of harmful additives, colourings, or preservatives and is also gluten-free and vegan. Dry fruits are a great source of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber and our popular range of dry fruit and nut-based health booster powders are a great alternative to unnatural protein powders commonly available in the market.

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.

Posted on 1 Comment

Did you know that 8 of these food items are great sources of natural digestive enzymes?

Enzymes are bio-catalysts that are produced by organisms to break down complex food substances into simple, absorbable ones. 

Various enzymes found in different organisms are responsible for the conversion of different food groups such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats into their constituents. 

Enzymes function optimally at a specific temperature and pH level; 32 degree celsius and a neutral medium of around 7 pH.

Variation from these conditions leads to the inactivation or denaturation of these enzymes. Some of the common enzymes found in foodstuff consumed by the Indian household are as follows :

  • Proteases break proteins into their building blocks – amino acids
  • Amylases break starch into simple sugars. 
  • Lactase, Sucrase & Maltase break lactose, sucrose and maltose into glucose and other simple sugars. 
  • Lipases break fats down into fatty acids and glycerol.

Some of the foods containing these bioactive catalysts which are essential to the process of digestion in the human body include: 

  1. Avocados

Avocados are a type of fruit that contain a high amount of healthy fats and low amounts of sugar. They contain an enzyme known as lipase which facilitates the breakdown of fats into fatty acids and glycerol, which are simple substances that can be easily absorbed and assimilated by our body. They also contain polyphenol oxidase.

  1. Kiwi

Did you know that kiwi is a type of berry? This berry contains a protease known as actinidin – it aids in the digestion of many proteins and can be commercially used to tenderize typically tough meats such as beef. It may also digest soy protein and wheat protein (gluten) in the human stomach. 

  1. Papaya

Papaya is a tropical fruit that is rich in a digestive enzyme known as papain. This enzyme is also commercially used as a meat tenderizer as well as a digestive supplement. If the enzyme is exposed to heat, it denatures and does not function as well as it would at the optimal temperature. 

  1. Ginger

Ginger is commonly used to flavor dishes in households across the globe. This root contains a protease known as zingibain which isn’t usually used to tenderize meats as it has a short shelf – life. Ginger is also known to stimulate the production of amylases and lipases in our own stomach, which is why it often cures digestive disorders. 

  1. Pineapple

Pineapple is yet another tropical fruit that contains several protein-digesting enzymes found as a combination known as bromelain. Consuming this fruit raw is the best way to derive the optimum benefits provided by the enzymes.

  1. Mango 

Mango is a favorite for many – we eagerly anticipate its arrival during the summer season. It contains amylases, which is responsible for the breakdown of carbohydrates. As the fruit ripens, the activity of the enzyme increases, this is why it becomes sweeter, too. The starch is broken down into sugars. 

  1.  Apricots

Apricot is a stone fruit that contains a digestive enzyme known as invertase, which is responsible for breaking down the fruit sugar into simple, absorbable substances that can be utilized by the body to quickly derive energy. Invertase is used by industries to hydrolyze sucralose and manufacture plasticizing agents that are used in the cosmetic and paper industries. 

  1. Honey

This precious nectar obtained from flowers by hardworking bees is filled with numerous compounds beneficial to the human gut. It contains enzymes such as diastases, amylases, invertases, and proteases. These enzymes are specific to and catalyze the reaction of breaking various substances such as sugars, carbohydrates and proteins down. Raw honey is the best source for all these enzymes.

Bhookha Haathi’s range of raw, organic and infused honey is a great source of natural digestive enzymes that you can get from natural sources. Choose from 34 different varieties of honey to suit your taste.

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.

Posted on 1 Comment

Discovering the secrets of vegan nutrition

There are several reasons why one can choose to convert to veganism. It could be biological, like having simply being intolerant to certain food groups, or maybe it runs deeper – and has to do with ethics, morals, and compassion for the environment. 

In a broader sense, veganism is a practice that attempts at doing away with all types of cruelty and exploitation of animals, including animal food products and clothing.

If executed well, a vegan diet has a host of benefits, such as a smaller waist, regulated blood sugar levels, improved bowel movements and kidney function, as well as relief from joint pain caused due to arthritis. 

Helps in weight loss, lowering blood sugar and type 2 diabetes

Vegans tend to have a lower BMI than people who follow non-restrictive diets. This can be associated with weight-loss and is a coercing factor for people to switch to a vegan diet. 

The fact that it focuses its nutrition on fresh fruits and vegetables that are packed with fiber (and impart a sense of fullness leading to lower consumption of calories) is also a factor.

Research shows that people who follow vegan diets have lower blood sugar levels and increased insulin sensitivity. Vegans are also reported to be at a lower risk of contracting type 2 diabetes.

Few more health benefits of following a vegan diet

  • Lowered risk of cancer

When researchers asked nearly 70,000 volunteers about their diets, then tracked them over time, they found lower cancer rates among people who didn’t eat meat at all. In fact, vegans — those who don’t eat any animal products including fish, dairy or eggs — appeared to have the lowest rates of cancer of any diet

  • Lowered risk of Arthritis

 A plant-based diet will give you plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Nutrients in these foods may help ease inflammation and fight RA pain. One small study found that 4 weeks on a low-fat vegan diet improved RA joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.

  • Improved kidney function

Vegetarian diets may help slow down the progression of kidney disease without compromising nutritional needs.

Types of vegan diets 

  1. Whole foods: this type of diet is based on the consumption of whole plant and plant parts, like fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, seeds, and nuts.
  1. Raw foods: those who follow this diet consume raw fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, or grains – these may be cooked at a temperature below 50 degrees celsius. 
  1. 80/10/10: this diet is also referred to as the low-fat or fruitarian vegan diet as it limits the consumption of fatty plant products such as nuts and avocados and relies instead on soft vegetable greens and fruits.
  1. Starch solution: this is similar to the 80/10/10 vegan diet, except that it focuses mainly on cooked starchy products like potatoes, rice, and cereal instead of fruit.
  1. Raw till 4: inspired by the 80/10/10 diet, raw foods such as fruits are consumed until 4 pm, after which there is an option to consume a plant-based dinner that can be cooked.
  1. Junk foods: this diet lacks in whole plant and plant-based products and instead, relies heavily on highly processed vegan foods such as mock meats, cheeses, and desserts.

Foods that you can eat as a vegan

There are many substitutes for an otherwise animal-based diet. Tofu is a great source of proteins and can act as an alternative to poultry, fish, and the various types of cheeses. 

Additionally, you can also include a generous serving of legumes in your meal for protein supplementation.

Nuts, nut butters, and seeds contain good amounts of healthy fats, minerals, and vitamins that are essential to bodily functions. 

There are several calcium-fortified foods such as kale, spinach, and certain store-bought plant milk that compensate for the elimination of dairy products in a vegan diet.

 Whole grains and cereals are a great source of many minerals and vitamins such as iron, B-vitamins, and also fiber.

Of course, fruits and vegetables are the quintessential components to a vegan diet – don’t forget to hydrate yourself, either!

Supplements that may be required 

A common concern for most of those who choose to adopt a vegan diet is if they are receiving an adequate amount of nutrition as many food groups are eliminated. To ease such concerns and to be on the safer side, here are a few supplements that you can consider taking to ensure your body does not miss out on any essential micronutrients.

  1. Vitamin B12
  2. Vitamin D
  3. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  4. Iron
  5. Iodine
  6. Calcium
  7. Zinc

Bhookha Haathi’s offerings are 100% natural and vegan compositions that do not contain any harmful additives or colourings. Based on dried fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, seeds and grains, among other whole and natural ingredients, they are packed with nutrients essential for all bodily functions.

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.

Posted on Leave a comment

Types of Supplements Recommended for Weight Loss

The method that most people swear by in order to lose weight often includes regulating their intake of food coupled with regular exercise. But due to many reasons such as metabolism, age, medical history, and some physiological processes, these methods might not always prove to be efficient. 

In such cases, people turn to supplements to further aid the process of weight loss. 

Supplements are available in many forms such as pills, powders, bars, syrups, capsules, or tablets contain a varied combination of ingredients like herbs, fiber, minerals, and other chemical compounds that have the potential to act in various ways to promote weight loss. 

Some of the ways are – reducing the absorption of fat or carbohydrates, curbing your appetite, or increasing the speed of your metabolism. 

But some of these ingredients in their isolated or combined forms may prove to have certain unwanted side effects, so it is best to consult with your dietary professional before making the choice to use supplements for weight loss.

Like all supplements, these, too, have the potential to react in an unwanted manner with over the counter prescription medicines.

Additionally, if you have some lifestyle diseases such as blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, or any heart/liver diseases, it is recommended to do proper research about these supplements. 

Here are a few of the commonly used ingredients in weight loss supplements

  1. Beta-Glucans

These are water-soluble fibers present in cereal crops such as oats and barley, and also in organisms such as yeast and bacteria. Their function is to add bulk to the food we consume, which makes it take more time to travel through our digestive systems. Thus, this produces a sensation of fullness and may curb those hunger pangs that result in overeating.

  1. Caffeine

Caffeine has been long known to burn calories, increase the activity of the gastric system and well as the colon, and break fat down in our bodies. It increases energy expenditure as well as the process of oxidation of fat. Due to these, when taken in judicious amounts, it results in a significant amount of body fat reduction. It can be found in tea, coffee, and in certain nuts and herbs. 

  1. Calcium

Calcium is known for a lot of purposes. Similar to caffeine, calcium helps in the break down of fat – the process is known as lipolysis. The mineral also decreases the absorption and assimilation of fat. It is also associated with lesser gain of weight over a period of time. In some cases, it may also produce some regulating effects on hormones that control our appetite. 

  1. Chromium

This mineral helps in regulating blood sugar levels, increases muscle mass and fat loss, and decreases appetite. It makes the hormone insulin activate faster and this is why the process of blood sugar assimilation becomes more efficient. It quickens the process of metabolization.

  1. Fucoxanthin

This is a kind of pigment commonly found in aquatic brown algae. It helps in the process of weight loss by suppressing the formation and differentiation of adipocytes – fat-containing cells – in our body. It also increases the breakdown and oxidation of fat and decreases the accumulation of lipids. 

  1. Probiotics

Probiotics comprise of all those microbes that reside in the human gut and have beneficial roles to play. They aid in the process of efficient energy expenditure and nutrient extraction from food. They also regulate the storage process of fats in the body.

  1. Pyruvates

Pyruvate is a three-carbon compound. This compound is well known as an ingredient in weight loss supplements that reduces body weight and body fat, possibly by increasing lipolysis and energy expenditure. 

  1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin present in many food items such as fatty fish, cheese, and egg yolks. Human beings also have the potential to synthesize it when their skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is often associated with lower levels of obesity. 

Bhookha Haathi provides subscription-based, personalized health solutions at an affordable cost to consumers who wish to substitute or replace their dependencies on expensive, strong, processed, and chemical-based products. 

Infused Honey is a great choice for weight-conscious customers who do not wish to compromise on flavour or sweetness. Home remedies and herbal infusions made using our naturally sourced, organic honey will not only make you feel more energetic but will boost your health and immunity.

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.

Posted on Leave a comment

Tribute to National Doctor’s Day – distinguishing between Naturopaths, Dieticians, and Nutritionists – learn who does what

This year, the first of July marks the occasion of National Doctor’s Day as an ode to all doctors for their tireless efforts and services to patients.

In 2020, Doctor’s Day is being celebrated in India as an acknowledgment of the services that doctors provide and also the enormous role they place towards the advancement in the field of medicine.

July 1st, 1882 is the birth date of one of India’s most successful physicians and also the second Chief Minister of West Bengal – Doctor B.C. Roy. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna on the 4th of February, 1961, a year before his passing. 

This day is celebrated as an effort to emphasize the essentiality and value of doctors in our lives and to respect their hard work by celebrating the life of one of the most remarkable physicians. 

We often seem to come across information regarding general physicians, gynaecologists, and surgeons on a daily basis. But did you know that there are a few other kinds of special doctors that we lack awareness about?

Let us find out a little more about certain types of doctors.

Dietician

In terms of education, Dieticians are required to study the subjects of biochemistry, physiology, nutrition, diet-related medical conditions, counselling, health promotion, research, and literature analysis. They study for a period of around 4 to 5 years at universities. 

A registered dietician usually understands the broader aspects of human anatomy and the role that different foods play. They continue to learn hands-on at their respective institutions while practising. 

They can work in clinics and prescribe nutrition-related medicine. They have scientific knowledge.

Nutritionist

In terms of education, nutritionists study for a shorter duration than dieticians – along with their university degree, a minimum period of work experience in the field of nutrition is also necessary. 

The information that nutritionists acquire is less standardized than that which dieticians receive. So, people tend to put more faith in a dietician than a nutritionist.

Instead of curing, nutritionists work towards the prevention of disease in either a private practice or in a community-based one.

Naturopath

Naturopaths require bachelor’s degrees, diplomas, or certificates.  

Naturopathic treatment involves more of diet, nutrition, botanical medicine, hormone therapy, and overall holistic treatment that can help the body achieve homeostasis, rather than a medication-based approach.

Naturopathy is based on the fact that the human body is inherently capable of healing itself. This is why strategies and approaches that are implemented often do not employ scientific evidence. 

Naturopaths are often seen practising in private or with a team that can consist of different disciplines.

Naturopathy professionals can be of two types.

Naturopathic Doctors – also known as naturopathic physicians, they often attend university for the same number of years as a medical doctor (MD). Apart from the same basic sciences, they study nutrition, psychology, homeopathy, and herbal/botanical medicine. They often need to pass an exam to acquire a license that lets them practice. 

Traditional Naturopaths – they are not required to attend a medical school or receive any license – their education can vary widely. 

In several cases, you may use both the regular and naturopathic medicine to help yourself overcome an illness or alleviate its symptoms. But it’s important to keep both the professionals that you are conversing with informed of the medicines that you take to prevent any unwanted side-effects. This helps them both collaborate and work towards the betterment of your health. 

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.

Posted on 1 Comment

3 Biggest reasons why sleep is crucial for our mind and body

There are several factors that are responsible for our bodies to fall asleep and wake up. We possess an internal clock – a 24-hour sleep cycle regulated by hormones. This is known as the circadian rhythm.  

This clock is essentially regulated by two separate processes. One is a sort of pressure that urges you to fall asleep every hour that you are awake, around the time of late evening – a compound known as adenosine is responsible for creating the urge. An increasing amount of this compound signals you to fall asleep, it then breaks down while you are asleep.

The second process is under the control of the aforementioned circadian rhythm – it becomes in sync with specific cues from the environment. These cues can include the amount of light, darkness, temperature, etc and all of these determine how sleepy you feel. 

There is another compound that is released which helps your body become drowsy and prepare for sleep – melatonin. A peak in this hormone is what researchers believe is crucial in preparing your body for sleep.

Some factors such as artificial light late in the night disrupt the production of such compounds and make it difficult to fall asleep.

Another compound, cortisol, is released towards the morning that signals all the other hormones in the body to help prepare you to wake up.

The natural schedule and rhythm of our internal clock can vary with age – it is noted that teens often go to sleep much later than children that are younger and adults that are older than them. This is due to the fact the release and thereby the attainment of the peak of melatonin in teenagers is later than that in adults and children. 

Sleep plays a very essential role when it comes to maintaining health and well-being in our lives. Receiving good amounts of sleep regularly benefits us in the long run by protecting our physical and mental health along with ensuring our safety and promoting our quality of life.

There are several detrimental effects linked with not receiving a good night’s sleep for a prolonged duration of time. 

Here are three of the most important reasons why sleep is required for the proper functioning of our mind and body.

Healthy Brain Function and Emotional Well-Being

Sleep enables the brain to function properly, prepare itself for the next day, and form pathways for absorbing, processing and retaining information. 

Cutting short on sleep often interferes with all aspects of daily life such as work, education, and social interactions. It hampers the processes of learning, focussing, and relating. It becomes hard to understand and empathize with those around us and we tend to feel cranky, upset, or anxious. Those who do not sleep well take longer to finish tasks, have a slower response time and tend to make more mistakes.

Research reveals that a good night’s sleep can boost many several functions of the brain and immensely aids in the process of learning. It helps you to enhance problem-solving skills, be creative, pay attention, and make well-informed decisions.

There are also some studies that suggest that the deficiency of sleep can cause trouble in controlling emotions and behaviourbehavior and the ability to cope with change. It is also linked with certain mental health issues such as anxiety, chronic stress, depression, and also indulging in addictive practices. Sleep deficiency may also lead to mood swings and kill initiative and motivation.

Physical Health

It is very likely for those who do not receive proper sleep to feel weary and tired all day. It negatively impacts alertness and hampers the ability to feel refreshed. 

Sleep is an important factor when it comes to our physical health. While we sleep, various processes are ongoing in our body such as hormone production, assimilation of food, healing and repairing damaged tissues, maintaining fertility, brings about puberty, etc. Not giving our body adequate rest can hamper such processes and lead to unwanted and detrimental effects in the long run.

Sleep deficiency is associated with an increased risk of chronic illnesses such as heart and kidney disease, elevated blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

It can also increase the risk of obesity – a small experiment conducted among teenagers revealed that the sacrifice of every hour of sleep increased the chances of them becoming obese by 2%. 

Some hormones produced during the while that we sleep include the ones that make us feel hungry and full. When this balance is not achieved, we often lose our appetite and that reduces our intake of nutrition or makes us excessively hungry and overeat.

Since insulin production and reactivity in our body is dependent on sleep, those who do not get adequate amounts of rest are more prone to suffer from diabetes.

The hormone that is responsible for growth is produced while we sleep. It helps in increasing bone and muscle mass and repairs cells and damaged tissues.

Sleep also supports healthy growth and development. Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults. Sleep also plays a role in puberty and fertility.

Additionally, our immune system is heavily reliant on good sleep to function properly. Sleep deficiency weakens our immune system and thereby hampers its ability to ward off infections caused by pathogens.

Daytime Performance and Safety

If you lose an hour or two’s worth of sleep every day for a while, it will accumulate to as if you have not slept at all for a whole day. This can be very dangerous. 

It may lead you to take several short naps throughout the day which can seriously hamper productivity. 

Or, it may lead you to microsleep – moments when your brain nearly dozes off and you are not aware of your sleep. It can affect how you absorb information.

There are many risks associated with the lack of sleep and there are several who do not even realize that they are suffering from it. 

It’s very common not to notice how adversely sleep deficiency can affect our daily routines – we go on leading our lives by believing the myth that we can function just as well by skimping on sleep.

Believing this is the most dangerous one of them all – it literally puts us at risk when it comes to performing daily tasks.

For instance, somebody who is low on sleep and feels drowsy may feel like he is able to drive – but the fact of the matter is that drowsiness has brought about many more accidents than drunkenness. 

It is not just drivers who are affected by the poor quality of sleep – professionals in all sorts of fields such as lawyers, healthcare workers, mechanics – can all be sufferers.

Sleep deficiency is known to cause large-scale damage by increasing the frequency of human error that can thereby lead to tragic accidents.

“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together” –  Thomas Dekker

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.

Posted on 1 Comment

Indians – here is the reason why you need to become aware of yoga and natural diets

Yoga is an ancient practice of physical and mental discipline that helps one reach the state of true self-realization where mind, body, and spirit work in perfect unison. Yoga has recently gained immense popularity all across the globe primarily as a widely accepted means of keeping body & mind fit and healthy. To many, these practices have proven life-transforming over the years.

Classical yoga includes a variety of elements, such as pranayama/breathwork, Asanas/postures, and Dhyana/meditation to mention a few. Yoga has been proven to yield a host of benefits, such as relieving stress, anxiety, physical body pain, improving overall physical fitness, organ functioning, and retaining hormonal balance resulting in a more holistic happy and healthy lifestyle.

The practise is known to cure problems of the root, be it any physical pain such as that of the neck and lower back or menopausal after-effects. Yoga has also been proven to reduce and manage weight-related disorders.

Yoga does way more than just burning calories and toning muscles; it works out your mind and body so that they can achieve a state of synchronicity. 

There are many forms of yoga – they can be fast-paced and intense, or gentle and relaxing.

1. Hatha

The syllable “ha” translates to the sun and “ta”, the moon. Combining those implies finding a balance between the sun, the moon, and your body. It understands the mechanics of the body and creates a certain environment so that there are no barriers to the flow of energies.

2. Vinyasa

This type of yoga often employs breathing techniques and is also known as “flow” yoga. It links together various physical postures through which you move seamlessly using your breath. This type of yoga prevents repetitive motion injuries and helps develop a more balanced body. Vinyasa yoga recognizes the temporariness of nature – and displays it through the fact that we enter a particular posture for a while and then leave it.

3. Power

Power yoga is the term used to describe a vigorous, fitness-based form of yoga that incorporates athleticism, flexibility, and strength. Experts say that this form of yoga enhances stamina and mental focus. It also helps relieve tension, burns calories, and releases toxins through sweat. It is associated with weight-loss, as well. 

4. Ashtanga

Ashtanga literally translates to “eight-limbed”. It aims to have better control over the mind and strengthening the internal organs. There is a lot of breathing incorporated with the movements, which in turn warms the blood and makes it circulate more freely. This helps release toxins and relieve joint pain – making the body healthier, lighter, and stronger.

5. Bikram

There is a dialogue between the instructor and the student, almost like a script, instead of the instructor demonstrating the moves. There is a precise 26-move sequence that is to be performed at a slightly higher temperature, undoubtedly making you sweat profusely. Apart from teaching discipline and tolerance, this form of yoga can potentially heal chronic pain like arthritis, back pains, knee injuries, etc.

6. Iyengar

Iyengar yoga pays close attention to the details of the anatomy and postural alignments, it helps practice precision. The poses in this form of yoga are held for a relatively longer duration, often with the help of certain props. It helps establish strength, flexibility, stability, and awareness. 

What are yogic/natural diets?

Early yogis would believe in consuming the most natural form of nourishment that would cleanse, enhance, and unify our physical, mental, and spiritual parts. 

It is Lacto-vegetarian, which means that it comprises mainly plant-based food products and dairy and honey. It adds to the thought of compassion for other living beings and reducing the dependency on animal-based foods. 

Plant-based food is said to be pure, or “Sattvic”. These foods are easily digested, keep your body nourished, and can help you attain a higher level of spirituality by generating positive energy.

It is believed to help achieve a similar energized and light feeling that practising yoga imparts. 

This kind of diet can help generate new energy and bring clarity and calmness to our minds. This enables us to fully use our mental, physical and spiritual abilities.

“Sattvic” foods include fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, cereals, whole grains, vegetables, rice, milk, butter, and honey. It is also of utmost importance to keep yourself hydrated. 

Yogic diets often avoid processed, pungent, spicy, or artificially sweetened foods.

Bhookha Haathi aims at doing away with harmful artificial additives that go on to create unwanted side effects later in life. It offers 100% natural compositions based on dried fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, seeds, grains, and honey, among other whole and natural ingredients. 

This makes them an appropriate example of Sattvic foods that can be added to a natural yogic diet.

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.

Posted on Leave a comment

Why cruciferous vegetables are important for your health?

Vegetables such as kale, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, and kohlrabi are all members of the cabbage family – otherwise known as Cruciferae. Interestingly enough, this word is a Latins derivative signifying how the leaves of the vegetable resemble a cross. Each of these vegetables contains phytochemicals, minerals, vitamins, and fiber in various amounts that help in keeping our body healthy. 

All health professionals strongly recommend a daily serving of cruciferous vegetables along with our diet to adequately supplement the nutrient requirements of our body.

Several studies suggest that components present in cruciferous vegetables have been proven to reduce the risk of different types of cancer. They can potentially reduce the growth of cancer-inducing cells in many parts of the body such as the tissue of the breast, the lining of the uterus, cervical canal, bladder, liver, and lungs. 

Additionally, some research reveals a significantly lower risk of prostate cancer in those who regularly incorporate cruciferous vegetables in their diet. 

This group of vegetables is also known as Brassicaceae, and they display anti-inflammatory properties due to certain chemicals present in them. They also serve to detoxify enzymes that show carcinogenic properties and eliminate cancer cells. Incorporating a serving of these vegetables around twice or thrice weekly into our diets substantially reduces the chances of the occurrence of any form of cancer in our bodies.

Several studies have shown that the optimum way to ward off cancer and its causative agents is through the modification of dietary habits. Incorporation of cruciferous vegetables which are enhanced with various nutrients work together to block off the different paths that cancer cells take to manifest. The consumption of such vegetables and the bioactive compounds that they contain points towards a significant decrease and prevention of the uncontrolled growth of cells which leads to cancerous tumors. 

The consumption of these vegetables is beneficial in the sense that they serve to not only prevent cancer but also many other detrimental biological processes.

These vegetables also benefit us by reducing oxidative stress – which is the accumulation of harmful free radicals that are generated by our body. Reducing oxidative stress ultimately leads to the lowering of the risk of many types of cancers. 

Cruciferous vegetables are growing more and more popular due to the fact that there is substantial evidence on how they help in the betterment of health and in the reduction of various chronic disorders

It is best to consume these vegetables uncooked or slightly steamed to retain the bioactive compounds that make cruciferous vegetables so beneficial in terms of health.

Diets rich in vegetables such as cruciferous and those which are colored dark-yellow also have been proven to help to protect against many types of cardiovascular disease. A recent study found that a diet supplemented with such vegetables was linked to lower levels of inflammation in the body. These markers, when present, often signal an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Among the cruciferous veggies, kale is known to have the highest content of vitamin A, broccoli of vitamin C and Brussel sprouts contain high amounts of folic acid and vitamin E. Broccoli and Brussel sprouts also have a significant amount of healthy omega 3 fatty acids – all of which fall into the category of the daily recommended nutrition value intake

Here are some tips to enjoy your cruciferous veggies and derive optimum amounts of nutrition!

  • Try not to overcook your cruciferous vegetables. They contain strong sulfur compounds that get broken down and produce an odour and that makes them unappealing.
  • You can find several types of cruciferous vegetables in almost every supermarket or grocery store – you can buy them fresh or frozen as you would like
  • No raw veggie platter is complete without dark green broccoli or snowy white cauliflower florets – the contrast in colours is not only a visually appealing factor but also a nutrient-lending one!
  • The addition of raw broccoli or cauliflower florets to your green salad gives it a big boost of nutrients
  • You can add these veggies to soups, salads, pasta, bakes, and casseroles
  • When you are buying fresh broccoli, look for firm florets with a purple, dark green, or bluish hue on the top. They’re likely to contain more of the bioactive compounds like beta-carotene and vitamin C than florets with tops that are a lighter shade of green. If it has yellow in it or is limp and bends easily, the broccoli is old and you should refrain from buying it. 

Bhookha Haathi’s popular range of dry fruit and nut-based mouth refreshers are a great alternative to tobacco & non-tobacco based harmful chewables. Apart from being vegan, 100% natural, enriched with many types of nutrients, lowering bad cholesterol, and being good for the heart, it also helps in the prevention of cancer.

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.

Posted on Leave a comment

Food-Based Supplements

People often rely on sources other than their daily intake of food to supplement themselves with some necessary micronutrients. These micronutrients often prevent the onset of diseases, curb deficiencies, and also build immunity. Usually, the food we consume does not contain an adequate amount of these nutrients, so we turn to supplements – which can be of two types; synthetic or food-based

Food-based supplements contain carefully measured amounts of food concentrates that provide regular levels of active nutrients to support good health. They contain bioactive ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, or probiotics. These supplements provide targeted nutrition – all the bioactive compounds work synergistically to provide optimum nutrition to the body. 

These supplements are shown to provide a higher bioavailability – which is the property of the required nutrient to get absorbed and travel through the bloodstream to have an active effect. 

Food-based supplements go through the process of removal of water from various food items such as nuts, seeds, grains, herbs, and fruit. They include some co-nutrients and enzymes that better facilitate the process of the taking up of the required supplements by the body. 

Research conducted shows that food-based supplements turn out to be healthier and more effective in the long run due to a property known as food synergy.  What this means is that the bioactive compounds (such as phytochemicals) of a particular food item combine and react with themselves and the micronutrients so that they can be obtained in their most enhanced and nutritious form. 

This is achieved due to a chemical property known as chelation – which is the process by which a mineral might combine with another molecule, such as an amino acid, to form a whole, more absorbable constituent. 

The synthetic versions of supplements often lack the enzymes and co-enzymes required for them to be fully absorbed by the body.

Some studies show that the consumption of avocados greatly improves the efficacy in absorption and assimilation of vitamin A from sources such as carrots. Another study proved that phytochemicals obtained from the consumption of apples greatly enhanced the availability of antioxidants in the fruit.

When trying to establish a comparison between the natural and synthetic forms of vitamins, a study took up two different forms of the same vitamin – K1 and MK7, which are the synthetic and naturally available versions of vitamin K. An experiment was conducted where participants were told to consume either of these vitamins with breakfast or dinner for four weeks – they also had to keep in mind to not consume any vitamin K rich foods. 

After the period of experimentation was over, close examination revealed that 20 microgram of the natural supplement – MK7 – was much more effective than a 100-microgram dose of the synthetic counterpart (K1).

Some foods that provide nutrition for the long run and can be consumed in the form of supplements include –

· Liver 

· Bee Pollen and Honey

· Fruits and nuts

· Seeds and grains

It is essential to consult with a dietary professional before making the choice to start a supplementary regimen. It helps to compare potencies of different combinations of ingredients and also of different brands. You can also try and look for certain patented ingredients – these ingredients have undergone research and have produced not only safe but also quantifiable results. 

It is also crucial to keep in mind to choose a brand that you trust. Bhookha Haathi provides a range of food-based, non-synthetic supplements that contain high amounts of bioactive ingredients. They are specially processed to satisfy particular dietary requirements and provide medical or health benefits. Its offerings are 100% natural compositions based on dried fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, seeds, grains, and honey, among other whole and natural ingredients.

Image by zuzyusa from Pixabay

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.