Monday, March 9, 2009
Basketfull of good health
Want to stay healthy, but tired of those tasteless diets? Then go the fruity way. Include fruits in your diet in the right combinations and stay fit and keep ailments at a bay.
Fruits are a delicious way to get dietary fibre and are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. People who include fruits in their diet are less likely to develop diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s.
Nutritionist and founder of Health Total, Dr Anjali Mukerjee says, “Deep coloured fruits such as pomegranates, strawberries, cherries, black grapes are recommended. They are rich in anti-oxidants, they detoxify, combat stress and prevent free radical formation.”
Some people feel that going on an all-fruit diet will help lose weight. But nutritionists feel that going on an all-fruit diet is not advisable. “Our body needs a balance, so we can’t completely depend on a fruit diet,” informs Kavita Mukhi, eco-nutritionist. Dr Mukerjee advises against going on an unmonitored mono diet. She says that the nutritionists decide the diet format after inspecting a person’s age, gender, dietary patterns and work type. “The diet depends on whether the person is sitting in one place while working or whether his work requires a lot of physical movement,” says Mukhi.
Fruits are used as a de-toxicant in an individual who is over-nourished and over-indulgent and who often has late and greasy meals and suffers from constipation and indigestion. If the person is weak with low haemoglobin, calories and proteins then the fruit diet is not recommended to such a person. “It may further decrease his/her stamina and protein content,” says Dr Mukerjee.
Fruits contain minerals, vitamins, enzymes, anti-oxidants and are easily digested. They also have medicinal properties. “It is better to eat fresh fruits rather than consuming juice. Raw fruits contain more fibre and low sodium,” advises Hira Mahajan, Consulting dietician and nutritionist. Mukhi says the wild fruits found in India are very good for health. These fruits are not laden with pesticides. “Fruits such as bers, amla, jamun, berries should be consumed daily,” recommends Mukhi.
Fruits such as apricots and raisins are rich in calcium and iron. Custard apple is a good calcium source. Guavas, lemon, oranges are a source of vitamin C which is necessary for healthy gums. Papaya has Vitamin C and Beta carotene which converts to vitamin A and is needed for healthy eyes and skin. Intake of fruits such as apples, lemon, orange, pomegranate aid in the functioning of heart. “Apples, dates, mangoes sharpen memory, reduce exhaustion, hysteria, insomnia and ease mental tension,” informs Mahajan.
Fruits act as a cleanser. They give instant energy and are loaded with vitamins, minerals. “They cleanse the body, detoxify it and also don’t tax your digestive system,” says Mukhi. There are some things that should be considered when having fruits in one’s diet. Avoid cooking of fruits. If one is undergoing a weight loss programme, one must reduce the intake of mangoes, chikoos and bananas. One can have fruits for breakfast or as a snack meal. Fruits should be eaten on a relatively empty stomach. The reason behind this is that fruits are easily digested and need to be digested first. Combining fruits and vegetables when cooking is not advised. Fruits improve immune system and defense mechanism of the body. So if you want to remain healthy, go grab a fruit. The age old phrase can now be modified to ‘a fruit a day keeps the doctor away.’
What nutritionists recommend:
Deep coloured fruits such as pomegranates, strawberries, cherries, black grapes are recommended. They are rich in anti-oxidants; they detoxify, combat stress and prevent free radical formation. Eat fruits for breakfast or as a snack meal. Fruits should be eaten on a relatively empty stomach.
Fruits such as bers, amla, jamun, berries should be consumed. There should be a balance of salts and sugars. Always have fruits on an empty stomach and not after meals. Fruits are easily digested and need to be digested first.
Avoid cooking of fruits. To reduce weight eat grapes, chikoo, custard apple, mango and bananas in a small quantity.
Fruits are a substitute for a sugary snack.
Fruits with medicinal properties:
Lemon helps in curing liver ailments, indigestion and rheumatism. Watermelon is a kidney cleanser. Pineapple and pomegranate help in curing inflammation of nose, throat, hay fever, bronchial ailments. Grapefruit is effective in case of a common cold.
(This article was published in DNA dated March 7, 2009- http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1237066)