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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.

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.