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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.

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Fad Diets vs Healthy Eating

Fad diets are non-standard diets that promise dramatic weight loss. These highly restrictive and nutritionally unbalanced food choices promise short-term changes with little effort. They gain extreme popularity for a certain period of time.

Often, they are not recommended by health professionals and usually have not undergone any clinical trials or research. They have varied advantages and disadvantages and eventually go on to disappear, much like fad trends in fashion.

Those which persist usually have a devout fan following base, who swear by the specific diet and have results as proof. But the matter of concern regarding these diets lies in the fact that they have the potential to deplete our bodies of many essential nutrients without our knowledge.

The restrictive approach, regardless of whether the diet prescribes eating large amounts of high-fiber vegetables,
no grains, or no solid foods, tend to be nutritionally unsound and can cause serious health problems if followed for prolonged periods. Additionally, the weight which is “lost” is rapidly regained.

At best, fad diets may offer novel and engaging ways to reduce calorie intake, but at worst they may be medically unsuitable to the individual, unsustainable, or even dangerous.

Although fad diets may have a negative connotation for health professionals, some have scientific evidence and therapeutic applications, such as the ketogenic diet for epilepsy or caloric restriction and the Mediterranean diet for obesity and diabetes, and several producing similar benefits to commercial diets or standard care when undertaken with professional guidance.

Fad diets are often ever-changing. Some notable ones include very-low-calorie diets:

  • Food-specific diets, which encourage eating large amounts of a single food, such as the cabbage soup diet
  • High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets, such as the Atkins diet, which first became popular in the 1970s
  • High-fiber, low-calorie diets, which often prescribe double the normal amount of dietary fiber
  • Liquid diets, such as meal replacement drinks.
  • Fasting

“Juice cleanses” had gained a huge amount of recognition thanks to the fact that each one those who tried it out reported immense success when it came to weight loss. Most juice cleanses cut out fat and protein completely and permit for fewer than 1,000 calories each day, making weight loss inevitable. However, that weight loss will be in the form of water, muscle, and only a small amount of fat – which is what makes it so dangerous.

If you’re truly striving to do right by your body, the best thing you can do is eat a balanced diet of unprocessed, wholesome foods along with a tall glass of fresh fruit juice. Easier said than done, right? Wanting a short cut is ok, but a juice cleanse isn’t the way to achieve that.

Some red flags of such “fad” diets include various far fetched promises like weight loss such as more than 1 kg/week. They might be nutritionally imbalanced, or highly restrictive, forbidding entire food groups or even only allowing one food or food type.

Fad diets usually provide no health warning for those with pre-existing medical illnesses and instead focus on appearance enhancement rather than health benefits.

They could promise a one-size-fits-all ‘magic bullet’ with little to no effort, without including or encouraging physical exercise / long-term whole dietary changes tailored to the specific needs of the individual.

Improving dietary habits is a societal issue that should be considered when preparing national policies, according to the World Health Organization. They propose a set of recommendations for a healthy diet:

  • Achieve an energy balance and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Promote the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and nuts.
  • Limit sweets and sugar.
  • Limit salt from all sources and ensure that it is iodized.
  • Limit total fat consumption and in particular replace saturated fats by unsaturated fats as much as possible
  • Eliminate trans-fatty acids.

To be fit, one needs to keep in mind to follow a lifelong healthy eating pattern and shift the focus to variety, nutrient density and quality. Making healthier food and beverage choices offers a more holistic approach to keeping oneself in a better condition overall.

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. Its offerings are 100% natural compositions based on dried fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, seeds, grains, and honey, among other whole and natural ingredients.

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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12 Indian foods that Boost the Immune System

immunity booster food in india

India is well known for its preparations made with natural, nutrient-rich and immunity-boosting substances. 

Our grandmothers and even their grandmothers have passed down the value and importance of the food we consume to all the generations after them.

To boost our immunity, we need to look no further than our own kitchen – in a battle where disease wages its war upon us, we only need strong immunity as our ammunition! 

Here are a few of the many foods that we can consume to boost our health as a precaution to combat such adverse conditions.

  1. Haldi (Turmeric) 

Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory and immunity-enhancing properties. It contains an aromatic compound called curcumin, which imparts said properties to it. Turmeric is often used as a colouring agent in many Indian dishes such as curries and daal. It is also believed to prevent the flu and some diseases of the heart. 

The best way to consume it is by combining some ground turmeric, pepper, and honey into some warm water and drinking it all at once. Apart from soothing the throat, this also acts as a “flu shot” of sorts.

  1. Tulsi (Holy Basil)

Considered as nature’s best antibiotic by Ayurveda, the tulsi plant has an added benefit of being able to easily grow in household pots. Its antiviral and antibiotic properties provide relief to cold, cough, headaches and fevers. You can chew down on these leaves (after washing them, of course) or soak them in some warm water and sip that.

  1. Amla (Indian Gooseberry)

Amla contains large amounts of Vitamin C and helps increase the body’s natural foreign substance fighting agents – white blood cells. It also helps prevent viral infections like the flu and increases the amount of Calcium in our bodies, eases the throat from cough and balances the secretions of acid in the stomach. Have this fruit dried, powdered, and sprinkled into your morning smoothies or just chopped up with some salt.

  1. Dalcheeni (Cinnamon)

An important component of the widely used garam masala, cinnamon is filled with antioxidants and possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It is a strong immunity booster due to the antifungal and antibacterial substances it contains. Thus, consuming it regularly reduces the risk of infections and diseases. Cinnamon can be added to enhance the flavour of many sweet dishes, into your bowl of oats or cup of tea.

  1. Neem (Azadirachta Indica)

Neem has been continually used by our ancestors for the many properties it possesses – antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, immune upregulation, and anti-snake venom activities. Apart from keeping infections at bay, it also purifies the blood and rids it of all its toxins.

It can be consumed crushed in a glass of water.

  1. Jamun (Black Plum)

Although this fruit has an unexpectedly bold flavour that is not appreciated by many, it contains blood pressure and blood sugar regulators. It also reduces the occurrence of cough, cold and fever. Combine the pulp of this fruit with some honey, and stir this mixture into a glass full of water.

  1. Citrus fruits 

Many different varieties of citrus fruits such as Nagpur oranges, Mausambi, Kinnow, etc. are available during different times of the year throughout India. These citrus fruits are a stronghold of Vitamin C, which increases the white blood cell count in our body, thereby strengthening the immunity. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is not stored in our body, but instead, gets washed out with urine. To keep the Vitamin C levels in our body constant, we should incorporate a little bit of these citrus fruits into our diets regularly.

  1. Lehsun (Garlic)

Garlic is an important aromatic component added to dishes of almost every cuisine worldwide. Its immunity-boosting properties come from “allicin”, which is a sulfur-containing compound. Other than commonly being found in its cooked form, the benefits of garlic can also be derived from garlic capsules or pills.

  1. Palak (Spinach)

Apart from Vitamin C, spinach leaves are considered a superfood because they also contain antioxidants and beta-carotene. All of these substances increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. It is healthiest when eaten raw (to preserve all its components from breaking down) or lightly tossed in some olive oil.

  1. Dahi (Yoghurt)

Most variants of yoghurt contain live and active bacterial cultures that help improve the immune system’s ability to fight diseases. Some yoghurts can also be fortified with Vitamin D, which also boosts the body’s natural defence mechanism. When opting to buy yoghurt, look for plain ones and avoid those loaded with artificial sweeteners.

  1. Adrak (Ginger)

A lot of people turn to ginger to relieve the unwanted symptoms of cold, such as a sore throat. Apart from boosting our immunity, it also contains properties to decrease inflammation in our bodies. Grate it, combine the juice with some honey and take a spoonful of it to relieve congestion and irritation from cough and cold.

  1. Badam (Almonds)

       Almonds contain Vitamin E, which is a fat-soluble vitamin, it is also the key to a strong immune system. They are packed with antioxidants and healthy fats. Almonds   

can be had soaked in some water, peeled or with some honey                         

Bhookha Haathi’s 100% natural products based on dried fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, seeds, grains & honey are a great source of immunity-boosting substances that our regular diets otherwise are deficient of. Sourced directly from farmers & producers Bhookha Haathi Replace range of proprietary health food products celebrate pure, powerful, healing and health-promoting ingredients that are without any preservatives, added colours or artificial flavours. 

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.