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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Dietary Supplements for Exercise and Athletic Performance

Dietary supplements to enhance exercise and athletic performance are available in a variety of forms. They may be found in the form of pills, powders, or liquids. These products contain various ingredients in different combinations. Some common ingredients include protein, arginine, creatine, glutamine, and ribose.

These dietary supplements usually aim to aid in the process of building good health and physique for better performance and do not serve as a replacement to whole meals and a well-balanced diet. 

Some athletes perform in certain extreme conditions such as high altitudes or temperatures. High-temperature results in the rapid loss of electrolytes through fluid and high altitudes lead to lower haemoglobin-oxygen binding. These situations, among others, require the usage of dietary supplements. These supplements could provide carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, iron, and protein, among other nutrients. 

Despite the proper intake of nutritious meals and such dietary supplements, the result varies widely depending upon each individual’s specific metabolism, the nature, duration, and intensity of the training they undertake and environmental factors. 

Some surveys revealed the amount of dietary supplements taken up by bodybuilders and by athletes who want to perform better. Evidence suggested that elite athletes (e.g., professional athletes and those who compete on a national or international level) use dietary supplements more often than their non-elite counterparts.

Some surveys conducted internationally showed that around 75% of adult elite track and field athletes that participate in championships held globally took at least one dietary supplement containing aforementioned ingredients. The usage of supplements was seen to be in increased amounts with an increase in age as well as among participants that were women. 

The supplements used by male and female athletes are similar, except that a larger proportion of women use iron and a larger proportion of men take vitamin E, protein, and creatine

Here are some ingredients commonly found in supplements and their uses.

INGREDIENTUSE
AntioxidantsMinimizes free radical damage to skeletal muscle
CaffeineReduces perceived pain and exertion
IronIncreases oxygen uptake, reduces heart rate and decreases lactate concentrations during exercise
ProteinBuilds, maintains and repairs muscle
Soda BicarbonateEnhances disposal of hydrogen ions generated from intense muscle activity, thereby reducing metabolic acidosis and resulting fatigue

Similar to all kinds of supplements, those which enhance performance have the potential to create certain side effects. Some ingredients in these supplements may react with those present in over the counter or prescription medicines. 

For example, ginseng reduces the blood-thinning effects of warfarin. Cimetidine can cause a decrease in the speed of removal of caffeine from the body, thus resulting in its accumulation.

If you take dietary supplements and medications on a regular basis, make sure to consult with your healthcare provider.

The Food and Drug Administration marks some substances in certain supplements as inappropriate, unlabeled, or unlawful. They might be stimulants, steroids, hormone-like ingredients, controlled substances, prescription medications, or unapproved drugs. Using these tainted products can cause health problems and disqualify athletes from competitions.

If you are a competitive or recreational athlete, you will perform at your best and recover most quickly when you eat a nutritionally adequate and supplemented diet, drink enough fluids, are physically fit, and are properly trained. 

Dry fruits are a great source of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber and Bhookha Haathi’s proprietary range of dry fruit and nut-based health booster powders are a great alternative to unnatural protein powders commonly available in the market. Enriched with Vitamins, Minerals, Electrolytes, Anti-Oxidants & Phyto-Nutrients to boost energy, Bhookha Haathi’s Natural Dry Fruit Health Booster is ideal for sports, gym & fitness enthusiasts. 

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.

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Health & Dietary Supplements – Are They Good or Bad?

Health & dietary supplements are products intended to supplement the diet. It is an umbrella term that includes everything from Vitamins and minerals to botanicals and biosimilar products. They are not medicines and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate or cure diseases. The FDA is the federal agency that oversees both supplements and medicines, but the FDA regulations for dietary supplements are different from those for prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Medicines must be approved by the FDA before they can be sold or marketed. Supplements do not require this approval. Supplement companies are responsible for having evidence that their products are safe, and the label claims are truthful and not misleading.

Health supplements: A significant role in high-risk groups

Supplements can play an important role for some high-risk groups. For instance, adults diagnosed with osteoporosis may require extra Vitamin D and calcium beyond what they get from their regular diet. Supplements also can help people with Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, conditions that make it difficult to absorb certain nutrients. People with Vitamin B12 deficiency almost always need a supplement. Supplements prescribed by a doctor are helpful for people with certain medical conditions. Otherwise, it’s best to get your Vitamins and minerals from food and not a pill or any other chemical based supplement. A healthy body only absorbs the required amount of nutrients from natural food sources and rest is excreted, therefore, there is no risk of toxicity unless the food is contaminated.

Possible health risks of Vitamin supplements:

  • High doses of beta carotene have been linked to a greater risk of lung cancer in smokers.
  • Extra calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin C may increase the risk of kidney stones.
  • High doses of Vitamin E may lead to stroke caused by bleeding in the brain.
  • Vitamin K can interfere with the anti-clotting effects of blood thinners.
  • Taking high amounts of Vitamin B6 for a year or longer has been associated with nerve damage that can impair body movements and the symptoms often go away after the supplements are stopped.
  • High doses of any health supplement in pill/chemical form can also cause toxicity in the body and can lead to various side effects. They can also interfere with many other health conditions already present in the body and make them even worse. For example high doses of Vitamin A can lead to even lower bone density in osteoporosis patients.

Which Vitamin supplements are worth taking?

Vitamin D: We cannot get our daily requirement of Vitamin D from plant or food sources as they don’t contain enough amount for optimum health. There are only two ways to get the required amount: 1) From the Sun 2) from Supplements. If we get 15-30 minutes daily exposure to sun, then we may not need it from any other supplement. Vitamin D is essential for Calcium absorption in our body and deficiency can lead to weaker bones or a condition called osteoporosis.

Vitamin B12: The only other Vitamin that is not produced from plant sources is Vitamin B 12. In fact, it is not made by animal sources either. Vitamin B12 is made by microbes or bacteria that blanket the earth and these bacteria also grow in the guts of some of the animals people eat. Those eating plant-based diet, don’t get enough B 12 to fulfil their daily requirements, therefore, need to be supplemented with B12.  Vitamin B 12 deficiency can lead to cognitive decline or depression.

How good or bad are protein powders?

Protein powders are dietary supplements in powdered forms of protein that come from plants like soybeans, peas, rice, potatoes, hemp, eggs or milk (casein or whey protein). These powders may include other ingredients such as added sugars, artificial flavouring, thickeners, Vitamins and minerals.

We may think adding protein powder to a glass of milk or a smoothie is a simple way to boost our health, building & maintaining muscle, bone strength, and numerous body functions; but be aware of the health risks involved.

Milk based protein powders may cause digestive distress and gastrointestinal discomfort in people with dairy allergies. They may be high in added sugars and calories and wind up turning a glass of milk into a drink with more than 1,200 calories resulting in weight gain and an unhealthy spike in blood sugar.

According to a report released by a non-profit group called the Clean Label Project, about toxins in protein powders, researchers screened 134 products for 130 types of toxins and found that many protein powders contained heavy metals like lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury, bisphenol-A (BPA), pesticides or other contaminants with links to cancer and other health conditions. One protein powder contained 25 times the allowed limit of BPA which is quite alarming. The manufacturing processes and the presence of toxins in soil were found to be major causes of contamination.

How does Bhookha Haathi fit in?

Dry fruits are a great source of proteins, Vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber and our popular range of proprietary dry fruit and nut-based health boosters are a great alternative to unnatural protein, Vitamin and other supplements commonly available in the market. So, if you are looking to supplement your diet, you can go for Bhookha Haathi’s 100% Natural Dry-Fruit Health Booster- Starter Pack which is enriched with Vitamins, Minerals, Electrolytes and Phyto-Nutrients to boost energy. Alternatively, you can opt for a subscription-based personalised nutraceutical plan that is crafted specially for you to fulfil all your individual nutrition needs.