The swim-suit season is here, and of the many things that we look forward to during this time of the year, litchi fruit is on the top of the list. Litchi is a bright-colored fruit with a whitish-grey pulp which available for a very limited period during the summer season. Considering the flavor of this fruit, it is absolutely delicious. It may take a couple of seconds to come out of that tingling sensation on your tongue. Once you’re done drooling over a bowl of litchi, you may wish to take a look at the health benefits of this super fruit. Yes, besides being delicious, litchis are extremely healthy. From boosting your immune system to aiding weight loss, litchis can do it all. These benefits of litchis are attributed to their nutritional value. This fruit contains a very high dose of vitamin C, vitamin D, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, riboflavin, protein and water. This way it keeps your skin glowing and healthy. Besides this, litchi provides you with the hydration you need on hot summer days.
Before the word litchi leaves you in a mouth-watering condition, let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of this super-fruit.
1. Boosts immunity
The high vitamin C content in this super-fruit gives your immune system the fuel it needs. In a single serving, this fruit makes up for more than 100% of your daily requirements. This strengthens the white blood cells of your body, thereby protecting it against foreign materials.
2. Aids digestion
For those who deal with digestive distress more than often, one serving of litchi can be helpful for treating the discomfort. Dietary fiber in litchi adds to the bulk in your stools. This way, it allows bowel to pass through the digestive tract easily and faster than usual, thereby preventing constipation. It also induces the release of digestive enzymes in the body so that nutrients are absorbed more efficiently than usual.
3. Control blood pressure
For those dealing with hypertension, litchi is one of the best fruits ever. It is a rich source of potassium and low in terms of sodium, this helps in maintaining fluid balance in the body. Fluid balance is important for your metabolic functions and hypertension as well. Potassium in litchis eases blood flow through the arteries, thereby reducing stress on your cardiovascular system.
4. Boosts blood circulation
Litchis are rich in copper; copper is just as important as iron in your body. It boosts the production of red blood cells in your body. More RBCs in the body means improved blood circulation and better oxygenation of cells and organs.
5. Benefits the skin
One of the most important causes of ageing is oxidative stress taking place due to free radicals. This results in the appearance of blemishes, fine lines and wrinkles. High vitamin C content in litchis can be helpful in reducing the negative effects of free radicals, thereby slowing down ageing.
6. Aids weight loss
Litchi is a good source of dietary fibers. Dietary fibers play an important role in inducing weight loss. Litchi also has high water content with negligible fat and is extremely low in calories as well. This makes it the perfect fruit for weight loss.
7. Strengthens bones
Nutrients like magnesium, copper, phosphorus, iron and manganese play an important role in calcium absorption. When your body will be able to absorb calcium in a more efficient way, it will add to the strength and health of your bones.
A word of caution…
Litchi is a healthy fruit undoubtedly. However, it has high sugar content. So it may not be the perfect fruit for diabetics. It is also taken under the hot-foods group which is why you need to be careful about your portions. It may result in a fever, bleeding nose, sore throat and irritated membranes.
These Nutritious Breakfasts Can Give A Kick Start To Your Day: Do Try Them!
Breakfast is undoubtedly the most important meal of the day. It is the meal which kick-starts your metabolism and helps you burn calories throughout the day. Not only is it important for people who are trying to lose weight, it is simply important for a person to stay fit and healthy. Breakfast is the one meal which can give you the energy to do things and focus at your work and school. WebMD says that including breakfast in your diet can have positive effects on your memory and concentration.
Following are some breakfast options suggested by Delhi-based nutritionist Pooja Malhotra, which can give a boost your energy and also keep you warm during the chilly winter months.
Try these healthy breakfast options right now!
1. Stuffed rotis
Winter is the time when a variety of vegetables are in season. Stuffed rotis or paranthas made from methi (fenugreek), mooli (radish), gobi (cauliflower), matar (peas) or gajar (carrots) can all make for a delicious and wholesome winter breakfast. You can cook them with ghee (make sure you use it in the right quantity) and eat them with pickle and curd. Stuffed rotis are essentially the traditional Indian breakfast which people have been having for years. Prepare them as your grandmother used to prepare and enjoy them throughout winter.
2. Palak or beetroot roti with mint raita
Palak or spinach is a leafy geen veggie with more health benefits than you can count in your fingers. Similar is the case with beetroot, which is a root vegetable which is incredibly low in calories and is a great source of essential nutrients like fibre, folate and Vitamin C. Beetroot also contains nitrates and pigments which can help in controlling your blood pressure and may improve your overall athletic performance.
3. Egg parantha or scrambled eggs with chapati
Now that is a protein-rich breakfast which can help you keep full for longer. Prepare egg paranthas or eat scrambled eggs with roti for the perfect blend of protein, fat and carbs in your breakfast. Also, do not separate the yolk from egg white. A whole egg will provide you with all essential nutrients.
4. Bajra roti with beetroot raita/bajra khichdi
Bajra is a healthy grain which can be included a weight loss diet as well. You can either make a dough of bajra flour or prepare bajra khichdi as a healthy breakfast option. Bajra or millets has properties that can help in stabilising cholesterol levels in the body. Being rich in fibre, the grain is great for digestion and makes for a healthy breakfast option during winter.
(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)
5 Super Healthy And Warm Drinks To Keep You Hydrated During Winter
Are the teas and coffees failing to keep you warm during the chilly winter? Then need not worry as we are right here with multiple options for warm and comforting drinks during winter. Warm drinking options are important to keep you hydrated during winter. Staying hydrated during summer seems to be way easier as cold and healthy drinks are aplenty. The easiest way to stay hydrated during summer is to simply gulp down a bottle of water. But in winter, the body is usually in need of something which keeps us warm and on-the-go. Keep reading if you want some alternative warm drinks instead of sipping on a third our fourth cup of coffee.
Drinks to keep you warm and hydrated during winter
Well, this is nothing but our very own haldi doodh. It is the traditional drink which is taken when a person is suffering from cold or fever. It is a healing drink which can naturally detox your body and even strengthen your bones.
Ginger, honey, lemon tea:
Yes, this is another traditional drink which can be taken in warm form as well. You can create a tea concoction by adding ginger, honey and lemon to water and bring to a boil. It can make for a refreshing and warming drink during the chilly winter months.
Hot mulled cider:
All you need to do is add cardamom, peppercorns, star anise, ginger, lemon and cloves to apple cider vinegar. Add a tinge of all these ingredients in a cup of ACV and heat it in low flame. The drink is going to make for a flavourful companion to you and your favourite book by the fireplace.
Vegetable/chicken/bone broth or soup:
Soups or broths are filling and extremely warming during the cold winter months. You can either prepare steaming hot vegetable soup or broth or chicken soup or bone breath. Broths and soups are fluids which can help you hydrated during winter while also boosting your immunity and protecting your from catching a cold or infection. Just make sure that their preparation is light and healthy.
Now this is a toasty treat you all have been craving! All you need is some warm milk, cinnamon, vanilla and some almonds. This velvety winter drink is going to be your all time favourite! What’s more is that you can prepare it beforehand and have it when you’re ready for a warm treat for yourself.
Fasting can improve overall health, study suggests
Fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation.
Fasting can lead to improved health and provide protection against ageing-associated diseases, a recent study suggests.
According to the research, fasting affects circadian clocks in the liver and skeletal muscle, causing them to rewire their metabolism, which can ultimately lead to improved health and protection against ageing-associated diseases. The study was published recently in Cell Reports.
The circadian clock operates within the body and its organs as intrinsic time-keeping machinery to preserve homeostasis in response to the changing environment. And, 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 lead author Paolo Sassone-Corsi.
“Skeletal muscle, for example, appears to be twice as responsive to fasting as the liver,” Paolo asserted.
According to the researchers, 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.