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10 calcium-rich foods that will make your bones stronger, heart healthy

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Among all the minerals your body requires, calcium is one of the most critical. Primarily found in our bones and teeth, calcium plays a major role in maintaining the bone mass required to support the skeleton. Our body also uses it for its muscle and nerve functions, besides those of the heart. It is therefore imperative that your diet includes the right food that gives your body enough calcium.

Calcium is primarily lost through general bodily processes in the kidneys and colon, and small amounts through sweat. If an individual does not consume the required amount of calcium, the body extracts it from the bones – leading to weakening and an increased risk of fracture.

In order to have strong bones, you need to include these calcium-rich foods in your diet:

 

Bok Choy: “This is a leafy vegetable that contains 74 mg of calcium (one cup). Also referred to as Chinese cabbage, it contains vitamins A and C, and is low in calories,” says Ramesh Gajria, founder of TrainMe. Have two cups of Bok Choy a day, which amounts to just 18 calories.

Figs: These are smooth, sweet and crunchy fruits that are loaded with 240 mg of calcium per cup, besides being rich in fibre, vitamin K and potassium. Gajria says that as figs are available through the year, it is best to have 3-4 of them every morning, soaked in water on an empty stomach. Being a natural laxative, figs are good for treating constipation and digestive problems too.

Yoghurt: Every 100 grams of yoghurt contain about 85-100 mg of calcium. Yoghurt scores over milk as it is good for those who are lactose intolerant, easy to digest, and cleansing for the digestive tract (as it has good bacteria). This helps keep your stomach in a good condition too.

Cheese: Every 100 gm of cheese contains 721 mg of calcium, besides essential nutrients such as protein, magnesium and vitamin A. As it is both calcium-dense and calorie-rich, it is good to have on occasion to fulfil your daily calcium needs.

Spinach: Gajria believes that spinach should be a big part of one’s lunch or dinner to increase daily calcium intake. Every 100 grams of spinach contain 99 mg of calcium.

Orange: Each orange contains 60 mg of calcium, besides vitamin D that improves calcium absorption into our bones.
Soy milk: “This is good for lactose-intolerant individuals, and can be had every day as a healthy low-fat option during breakfast. Opt for sugar-free soy milk if you want to go low on calories,” says Dr Manoj Kutteri, wellness director at Atmantan. Hundred grams of soy milk contain about 25 mg of calcium.

Milk: “Milk also has a high bioavailability of calcium, which means that calcium through milk is easily absorbed and utilised by your body. One cup of milk (100 grams) contains 125 mg calcium. You have the option of adding yoghurt as well as fruits like kale and almonds for a sweetened, crunchy taste,” says Dr Kutteri.

Almonds: One serving of almonds contains about 75 mg of calcium, besides healthy fats and protein. A 100-calorie serving (amounting to about 19 almonds) provides 75 mg calcium to your body. You can choose dry, roasted almonds for taste.

Sardines: This variety of edible fish offers 383 mg of calories in a 100-gram serving. Dr Kutteri says that canned sardines are safe and healthy to eat as they contain only 200 calories and 400 mg of sodium.


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Health

5 Foods That Will Detoxify Your Lungs And Heal Them Naturally

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Are you a chain smoker? Do you live in a polluted area? Our lungs are a vital organ and the most ignored organ of our body. It is through them that we breathe.

Consequently our lungs are also sucking in harmful elements from the air around us. They are exposed to harmful pollutants and microbes that get deposited from the air we inhale. For people who smoke, their healthy lungs turn black with the deposition of tar in their lungs. Regular detoxification of lungs will help in smooth functioning and help in expulsion of toxins. Thus it is important that we choose healthy foods to cleanse our lungs, so as to reduce common lung diseases and respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and cystic fibrosis.

Some foods which are great for good lung health are listed below:

 

1. Garlic: The anti-inflammatory properties along with a high level of allicin helps to fight infections and reduces inflammation. Garlic has also been considered by many as being an effective remedy in improving asthma and can help to reduce the risk of lung cancer.

2. Apples: An apple is healthy, loaded with nutrients, high energy, high fiber, low calorie food. Its flavonoids and the wide variety of vitamins, and antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, helps us to maintain a strong immune system and a healthy respiratory system. When we have healthy respiratory functions, we can fight off lung diseases and prevent them naturally.

3. Ginger: Due to its anti-inflammatory properties ginger will help to clear your lungs naturally. You can add ginger to various dishes as it is a widely used herb. Also you can add it in your morning tea.You can also use it to prepare ginger tea blended with some lemon in it. This is beneficial to remove toxins from the respiratory tract.

4. Green tea: Drink a cup of your favourite herbal green tea before going to bed to release toxins in the intestine that can lead to constipation or other stomach ailments. You should refrain from overloading your lungs with tedious work during this purification process.

5. Lentils: In order to optimize the oxygen transportation faculties of the lungs, healthy hemoglobin levels are absolutely critical. Hemoglobin is a protein molecule that is found in red blood cells and aids in transporting oxygen from the lungs to body tissue. As an added benefit, hemoglobin stimulates the internal processes that returns carbon dioxide back to the lungs to be expelled from the body. Black beans, cow peas, dried peas, lentils, red kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and soybeans are some foods containing properties that raise hemoglobin levels. Additionally, supplement beans and lentils with vitamin-C rich foods to maximize iron absorption.

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Fasting may help keep age-related diseases at bay: Study

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Fasting can boost the body’s metabolism and help protect against age-related diseases, a study has found. The circadian clock operates within the body and its organs as intrinsic time-keeping machinery to preserve homeostasis in response to the changing environment. While food is known to influence clocks in peripheral tissues, it was unclear, until now, how the lack of food influences clock function and ultimately affects the body.

“We discovered fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation,” said Paolo Sassone-Corsi, a professor at the University of California, Irvine in the US. “Skeletal muscle, for example, appears to be twice as responsive to fasting as the liver,” said Sassone-Corsi.

The research, published in the journal Cell Reports, was conducted using mice, which were subjected to 24-hour periods of fasting. While fasting, researchers noted the mice exhibited a reduction in oxygen consumption (VO2), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and energy expenditure, all of which were completely abolished by refeeding, which parallels results observed in humans.

 

“The reorganisation of gene regulation by fasting could prime the genome to a more permissive state to anticipate upcoming food intake and thereby drive a new rhythmic cycle of gene expression,” he said. “In other words, fasting is able to essentially reprogram a variety of cellular responses. Therefore, optimal fasting in a timed manner would be strategic to positively affect cellular functions and ultimately benefiting health and protecting against ageing-associated diseases,” said Sassone-Corsi.

The study opens new avenues of investigation that could ultimately lead to the development of nutritional strategies to improve health in humans.

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High-fibre diet lowers risk of death, non-communicable diseases: Lancet

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Eating up to 30 grams of naturally-occurring dietary fibre — such as whole grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits — daily may prevent the risks of developing non-communicable diseases, finds a review of studies published in the journal The Lancet.

The results suggest a 15-30 per cent decrease in all-cause and cardiovascular related mortality; and reduced incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, Type-2 diabetes and colorectal cancer by 16-24 per cent.

Increasing fibre intake is associated with lower bodyweight and cholesterol, compared with lower intake or synthetic and extracted fibre.

 

“Our findings provide convincing evidence for nutrition guidelines to focus on increasing dietary fibre and on replacing refined grains with whole grains. This reduces incidence risk and mortality from a broad range of important diseases,” said Professor Jim Mann, from the University of Otago, New Zealand.

“Fibre-rich whole foods that require chewing and retain much of their structure in the gut increase satiety and help weight control and can favourably influence lipid and glucose levels.

“The breakdown of fibre in the large bowel by the resident bacteria has additional wide-ranging effects including protection from colorectal cancer,” Mann said.

Protection against stroke, and breast cancer also increased. Consuming 25-29 grams each day was adequate but the data suggest that higher intakes of dietary fibre could provide even greater protection.

The researchers included 185 observational studies and 58 clinical trials involving 4,635 adult participants.

The study also found that diets with a low glycaemic index and low glycaemic load provided limited support for protection against Type 2 diabetes and stroke only.

Foods with a low glycaemic index or low glycaemic load may also contain added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.

However, high intakes might have ill-effects for people with low iron or mineral levels for whom high levels of whole grains can further reduce iron levels, the researchers noted.

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