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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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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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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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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.

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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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Indian Women’s Health Supplements – Everything you need to know about

Women go through constant changes in their bodies throughout their lifetime. Their physiology is under the influence of various hormones that control body processes such as menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. All of these stages necessitate different nutritional strategies.

Hormones regulate most of the processed in our body and are themselves are influenced by a variety of factors such as nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins.

Often, these nutrients that are essential to our body do not get adequately absorbed into our bodies or need to be increased in their amounts at times for specific reasons. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a daily recommended intake (DRI) – a stipulated amount of nutrients to be taken every day that meets the requirements of a healthy body.

During pregnancy, a mother requires some vitamins and minerals in increased amounts and these can be administered in the form of prenatal vitamins. She also requires 400 micrograms a day of folic acid from fortified foods or supplements.

Also, due to age and approaching menopause, a condition arises in females which is known as osteoporosis. This condition is of two types, women often suffer from the one that arises due to calcium dissolution from their bones as their estrogen levels drop. This causes the bones to lose mass and strength. 

Those who follow a strict vegetarian diet require additional Vitamin B12, and vegans or those who are lactose intolerant, who do not consume any dairy products might risk being deficient of Vitamin A, B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin). 

Older women who may avoid sunlight can be deficient in Vitamin D.

Some indicators of deficiencies include fatigue, muscle pains, spasms or cramps, weakness, dizziness, poor night vision, headaches, etc.

To combat such deficiencies and prevent the eventual onset of unwanted conditions that typically arise from them, women need to obtain these nutrients in the form of supplements. 

It is always recommended to confer with a professional before starting the consumption of any dietary supplements. It is also important to keep in mind that supplements are not intended to replace or substitute whole foods.

Be sure to ask about possible side effects and interactions with any such supplements. 

Sometimes, combining prescription pills and supplements may yield an undesirable outcome. 

Taking more than the DRI may cause toxicity and increase the risk of side effects. 

Those who consume foods through a well-balanced diet that comprises of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, and fish, nuts and seeds usually don’t require supplements. 

Calcium:
Calcium typically constitutes around 1% of a woman’s body weight. Calcium ions facilitate muscle contraction and are essential for regular cell functioning. The mineral can be found in dairy products and fortified foods. Women are four times more prone to osteoporosis than men, which is why premenopausal women must continue to obtain their required intake through supplements. 
Dosage: Can vary anywhere from between 500-1,000 milligrams, depending upon factors such as age.

Fish Oil:
Fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon, are a rich source of omega-3s, namely EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Due to reasons such as fear of heavy metal toxicity, a lot of women refrain from consuming seafood. This results in nutrient deficiency. Omega-3 fatty acids help in maintaining heart and blood vessel health along with the reduction of circulation of triglycerides which cause heart diseases. 
Dosage: One gram each of EPA and DHA daily is an adequate amount for women. Those who have elevated triglyceride levels can consider taking 2-3 grams, under a physician’s guidance. Pregnant women often take 1 gram of DHA for the development of their baby’s brain. 

B Vitamins:
Primary B Vitamins comprise B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), and B12 (cobalamin). These are water-soluble vitamins that get flushed out of the body with urine and thus need to be replaced daily. All adult women who exercise and burn calories have a higher requirement of these vitamins. Women older than 50 need these vitamins in the form of supplements as their bodies find it hard to directly absorb them from food.
Dosage: A multivitamin supplement, besides a well-balanced diet comprising of lean meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, should be enough to provide around 50 – 100% of the daily value of these B Vitamins. 

Vitamin D:
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, whose goodness is best derived when consumed with healthy fats. The vitamin helps us absorb calcium and plays a role in the development and maintenance of strong and healthy bones. A lot of women are not exposed adequately to sunlight for various reasons such as rashes, sunburn and skin tan. Vitamin D supplements containing calcitriol are recommended in such cases.
Dosage: Pre-menopausal women should take around 12.5 micrograms of this vitamin every day and post-menopausal and elderly women should increase their dosage to around 25 micrograms per day. 

Bhookha Haathi products are naturally fortified with many of these vitamins and minerals. Bhookha Haathi’s Natural Dry Fruit Booster contains many vitamins such as A, E, C and additionally, aids in the absorption of the vitamin B complex. It is rich in dietary fiber, gluten-free and lowers bad cholesterol. It provides high amounts of energy and can be substituted for regular store-bought protein powders. Moreover, all the ingredients are locally sourced, organic and contain no harmful additives, preservatives or artificial colouring. 

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.

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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.