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Daily must have foods

Daily must have foods
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Several everyday food items are often neglected as we do not realise their nutritional value. Knowing the benefits of specific food helps us to make...

Several everyday food items are often neglected as we do not realise their nutritional value. Knowing the benefits of specific food helps us to make the right dietary choices. Many of these act as the body’s little soldiers that help fight several ailments; thus these 10 items need to be included in one’s daily diet.

Water
It is the best pick-me-up and refresher. Helps maintain muscle tone and prevents muscle dehydration. Great detoxifier – flushes out all toxins. Also helps flush out excess salt, and is the best cure for water retention.

Fruits
They are excellent antioxidants – contain natural sugar instant energy full of fiber, vitamins and minerals. These are our body’s little soldiers that help fight against cholesterol and cancer and boost the health of our skin, hair and eyes.

Nuts
Nuts are good as they are cholesterol-free and contain healthy, unsaturated fats, which can help lower the risk of heart disease. Nuts also provide magnesium, which helps maintain bone structure; and chromium, which helps to ensure proper insulin function. They contain zinc for growth and wound healing. All nuts are a good source of vitamin E, an important antioxidant, which is also excellent for hair and skin.

Seeds
They are a rich source of minerals and good quality fat. Considered as good ‘brain food’, they lower cholesterol, strengthen bones, prevent joint pains and promote a healthy prostrate. Seeds include pumpkin seeds, sesame, flax, melon or poppy seeds. Sprinkle in salads, add in rotis, toss in vegetables or just roast them, add salt and lemon to make a snack.

Whole grains, brown rice
They contain fibers, which promote the slow release of sugars in the body. As a result, one also feels fuller for a longer time and more energetic than otherwise. They can lower cholesterol; whole grains also contain B-vitamins, which are energy giving vitamins.

Cow’s ghee/Extra virgin olive oil
Ghee protects against heart diseases, cancer, regulates thyroid, strengthens the immune system, and prevents premature aging of skin. Extra virgin olive oil regulates the cholesterol control mechanism, contains an abundance of natural antioxidants. Additionally, it is well tolerated by infants.

Coconut
Coconut too is an excellent nourishing food. It is great for brain power as well as absorbing many nutrients. Khopra or dry coconut is famously great for the hair, skin and eyes as it lowers cholesterol, balances thyroid, improves memory, prevents Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases. Make gravies, curries, chutney, add it to soups or better yet, use it as a garnish.

Vegetables and leafy greens
Known to contain fiber, they have the ability to cleanse the digestive system, prevent cancers, lower cholesterol and increase immunity. They are good for hair, skin and eyes as they have zero fat, thus making them a dieter’s delight! Always keep a lemon handy as it is rich in vitamin C, enhances flavour and helps absorb iron from food when squeezed on any food. Greens are indeed a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals.

Pulses/Sprouts
The nutritional benefits of seeds are increased in magnitude when they are sprouted. Sprouts nourish our glands. They are foods for the brain as well as the nerves; they are excellent sources of protein. They can be steamed, tossed in salads, curries, vegetables and can be added to chats to make a chatpata sprouts chats.

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