Food combinations bad for digestion

Five faulty food combinations – 

Animal protein and carbohydrates: Different enzymes are required to breakdown these very different foods. When eaten together, the foods do not get properly digested. That leads to indigestion, fermentation and putrefaction in the digestive tract.

Fruit with carbohydrates: Fruit digests much more quickly than any other food. Many people think that adding fruit to porridge is a healthy breakfast option. However, it will only hinder the digestive process. It’s better to always eat fruit on an empty stomach and ideally early in the morning.

Dairy with fruit: Smoothies are a breakfast favourite for many people. The problem is that yogurt is an animal protein and when mixed with fruit, it can cause inadequate digestion which leads to acidity, and fermentation in the GI tract.


Avoid drinking with meals: It’s best to avoid drinking large amounts of any fluid with meals, otherwise the digestive enzymes will become diluted and hinder the digestive process. It’s best to stop drinking 30 minutes before food intake and wait two hours after eating before drinking water, to ensure adequate digestion.


Melon after dinner for a healthy dessert: Melon is the one fruit that must be eaten alone, or left alone, as it takes slightly longer than other fruits to digest.

Five useful food combinations – 

* Carbohydrates and vegetables such as brown rice and vegetables.

* Animal protein and non-starchy vegetables make for easy digestion, which will enhance one’s ability to breakdown the nutrients and eliminate efficiently. Prawns on a bed of green leaves with cucumber and fennel or grilled fish with lightly steamed green beans.

* Bowl of seasonal fruit salad first thing in the morning. This is a gentle way to wake up the system.

* Avocados combine well with either vegetables or fruits. This semi tropical fruit also works well in green smoothies and makes a great dairy replacement.

* Aim to ingest denser proteins, especially animal-based ones earlier in the day to ensure adequate digestion. 


How to Improve Immunity Naturally?

Yes, it is that time of the year again – peak season for the common cold and the influenza virus.  More people contract the flu and other devastating colds between now and the end of the winter than any other time of the year.

Fortunately for you, there are ways you can fight back.  By modifying, adding, and subtracting from your diet, you can help boost your immune system and ability to resist infection.  Adequately feeding your immune system boosts its fighting power. Immune boosters work in many ways. They increase the number of white cells in the immune system army, train them to fight better, and help them form an overall better battle plan. Boosters also help to eliminate the deadwood in the army, substances that drag the body down. Here are the top eight nutrients to add to your family’s diet to cut down on days missed from work and school because of illness.

 1. Vitamin C. Vitamin C tops the list of immune boosters for many reasons. There has been more research about the immune-boosting effects of Vitamin C than perhaps any other nutrient. Vitamin C supplements are inexpensive to produce, and it’s available naturally in many fruits and vegetables (citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers and tomatoes to mention a few).

 Here’s what the research shows about how this mighty vitamin protects your body.

• Promotes wound healing.

• Commonly used for supporting immune function and protection from viral disease and cancer.

• It may also help in people with high cholesterol, cataracts, diabetes, allergies and asthma, and periodontal disease.

• As an antioxidant, it protects blood vessels and the lenses in your eyes, and helps keep body tissues strong.

• Popular for warding off and shortening the unpleasant effects of the common cold.


2. Vitamin E. This important antioxidant and immune booster doesn’t get as much press as vitamin C, yet it’s important to a healthy immune system. It’s not difficult to get 30 to 60 milligrams every day of Vitamin E from a diet rich in seeds, vegetable oils, and grains, but it’s difficult for most people to consume more than 60 milligrams a day consistently through diet alone. 

Supplements may be necessary to get enough vitamin E to boost your immune system.  People who don’t exercise, who smoke, and who consume high amounts of alcoholic beverages will need the higher dosage. Those with a more moderate lifestyle can get by with lower levels of supplementation.

 3. Carotenoids. Beta carotene increases the number of infection-fighting cells, natural killer cells, and helper T-cells, as well as being a powerful antioxidant that mops up excess free radicals that accelerate aging.

Like the other “big three” antioxidants, vitamins C and E, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by interfering with how the fats and cholesterol in the bloodstream oxidize to form arterial plaques. Carotenoids can be found in Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Carrots, Spinach, Collards, Lettuce, and Turnips.

4. Bioflavonoids. A group of phytonutrients called bioflavonoids aids the immune system by protecting the cells of the body against environmental pollutants. Bioflavonoids protect the cell membranes against the pollutants trying to attach to them.

Along the membrane of each cell there are microscopic parking spaces, called receptor sites. Pollutants, toxins, or germs can park here and gradually eat their way into the membrane of the cell, but when bioflavonoids fill up these parking spots there is no room for toxins to park. Good sources of bioflavonoids are Red Bell Peppers, Strawberries, Oranges, and Broccoli.

5. Zinc. This valuable mineral increases the production of white blood cells that fight infection and helps them fight more aggressively. It also increases killer cells that fight against cancer and helps white cells release more antibodies.

Zinc supplements have been shown to slow the growth of cancer.   Zinc increases the number of infection-fighting T-cells, especially in elderly people who are often deficient in zinc, and whose immune system often weakens with age. Eat some Oysters, fortified cereals, crab, beef, turkey or beans.


6. Garlic. This flavorful member of the onion family is a powerful immune booster that stimulates the multiplication of infection-fighting white cells, boosts natural killer cell activity, and increases the efficiency of antibody production.

The immune-boosting properties of garlic seem to be due to its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin and sulfides. Garlic can also act as an antioxidant that reduces the build-up of free radicals in the bloodstream.


7. Selenium. This mineral increases natural killer cells and mobilizes cancer-fighting cells.

Best food sources of selenium are tuna, red snapper, lobster, shrimp, whole grains, vegetables (depending on the selenium content of the soil they’re grown in), brown rice, egg yolks, cottage cheese, chicken (white meat), sunflower seeds, garlic, Brazil nuts, and lamb chops.

8. Omega-3 fatty acids. A study found that children taking a half teaspoon of flax oil a day experienced fewer and less severe respiratory infections and fewer days of being absent from school. The omega 3 fatty acids in flax oil and fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) act as immune boosters by increasing the activity of phagocytes, the white blood cells that eat up bacteria.

Remember before you take any supplements or vitamins please consult with your doctor for any possible side affects or issues with any prescription medications you may be taking currently.


Healthy Eating Strategies for New Year

Follow four smart eating strategies that celebrities follow and swear by. A former champion bodybuilder, Rich Barretta has helped sculpt the bodies of celebs like Naomi Watts, Pierce Brosnan and Naomi Campbell. At Rich Barretta Private Training New York City, he offers personalized programs, including target-training methods and nutritional guidance.

Barretta shares the four rules for healthy eating that his clients swear by, which you can easily adopt.

Healthy eating strategy # 1: Cut back on booze

If drinking is a big part of your social life, your waistline may suffer. Not only is alcohol loaded with carbs and empty calories, but people tend to make bad food choices when they’re buzzed. A couple sugary cocktails can easily add up to a thousand calories (half of the average person’s daily need), so Barretta advises avoiding alcohol altogether. If you are going to indulge, opt for a glass of wine or slim down your drink with smart swaps like trading tonic for club soda.

Healthy eating strategy # 2: Just say “no” to fried food

“Grill it, bake it, broil it, steam it, just don’t fry it,” says Barretta. Frying something perfectly healthy, such as chicken, takes away nutrients, while adding fat and calories. Plus, by eating fried foods at restaurants that still use trans fats, you run the risk of raising artery-clogging bad cholesterol and lowering fat-clearing good cholesterol.

Healthy eating strategy # 3: Avoid carbs at night

There’s no need to deprive yourself of carbohydrates, but you should be conscious of when you eat them. By consuming high-carb foods (potatoes, rice, pastas and breads) early in the day, you have more time to burn them off. At night, carbs are more likely to go unused and be stored as fat. Barretta’s smart eating rule of thumb: Stick to lean protein and veggies after 6pm.

Healthy eating strategy # 4: Choose unprocessed foods

We all know that fresh unprocessed foods are better for us, but often reach for processed products out of convenience. While it’s challenging to cut out processed foods entirely, there are certain ingredients Barretta suggests you steer clear of, including high-fructose corn syrup, MSG, white flour and processed sugar. Your best bet is to shop around the perimeter of the grocery store, where you’ll find fresh meats and produce.

Papaya – The World’s Healthiest Foods

पपीता एक ऐसा मधुर फल है जो सस्ता एवं सर्वत्र सुलभ है। यह फल प्राय: बारहों मास पाया जाता है। किन्तु फरवरी से मार्च तथा मई से अक्तूबर के बीच का समय पपीते की ऋतु मानी जाती है। कच्चे पपीते में विटामिन ‘ए’ तथा पके पपीते में विटामिन ‘सी’ की मात्रा भरपूर पायी जाती है।

आयुर्वेद में पपीता (पपाया) को अनेक असाध्य रोगों को दूर करने वाला बताया गया है। संग्रहणी, आमाजीर्ण, मन्दाग्नि, पाण्डुरोग (पीलिया), प्लीहा वृध्दि, बन्ध्यत्व को दूर करने वाला, हृदय के लिए उपयोगी, रक्त के जमाव में उपयोगी होने के कारण पपीते का महत्व हमारे जीवन के लिए बहुत अधिक हो जाता है।

 पपीते के सेवन से चेहरे पर झुर्रियां पड़ना, बालों का झड़ना, कब्ज, पेट के कीड़े, वीर्यक्षय, स्कर्वी रोग, बवासीर, चर्मरोग, उच्च रक्तचाप, अनियमित मासिक धर्म आदि अनेक बीमारियां दूर हो जाती है। पपीते में कैल्शियम, फास्फोरस, लौह तत्व, विटामिन- ए, बी, सी, डी प्रोटीन, कार्बोज, खनिज आदि अनेक तत्व एक साथ हो जाते हैं। पपीते का बीमारी के अनुसार प्रयोग निम्नानुसार किया जा सकता है।


१) पपीते में ‘कारपेन या कार्पेइन’ नामक एक क्षारीय तत्व होता है जो रक्त चाप को नियंत्रित करता है। इसी कारण उच्च रक्तचाप (हाई ब्लड प्रेशर) के रोगी को एक पपीता (कच्चा) नियमित रूप से खाते रहना चाहिए।
२) बवासीर एक अत्यंत ही कष्टदायक रोग है चाहे वह खूनी बवासीर हो या बादी (सूखा) बवासीर। बवासीर के रोगियों को प्रतिदिन एक पका पपीता खाते रहना चाहिए। बवासीर के मस्सों पर कच्चे पपीते के दूध को लगाते रहने से काफी फायदा होता है।
३) पपीता यकृत तथा लिवर को पुष्ट करके उसे बल प्रदान करता है। पीलिया रोग में जबकि यकृत अत्यन्त कमजोर हो जाता है, पपीते का सेवन बहुत लाभदायक होता है। पीलिया के रोगी को प्रतिदिन एक पका पपीता अवश्य खाना चाहिए। इससे तिल्ली को भी लाभ पहुंचाया है तथा पाचन शक्ति भी सुधरती है।
४) महिलाओं में अनियमित मासिक धर्म एक आम शिकायत होती है। समय से पहले या समय के बाद मासिक आना, अधिक या कम स्राव का आना, दर्द के साथ मासिक का आना आदि से पीड़ित महिलाओं को ढाई सौ ग्राम पका पपीता प्रतिदिन कम से कम एक माह तक अवश्य ही सेवन करना चाहिए। इससे मासिक धर्म से संबंधित सभी परेशानियां दूर हो जाती है।
५) जिन प्रसूता को दूध कम बनता हो, उन्हें प्रतिदिन कच्चे पपीते का सेवन करना चाहिए। सब्जी के रूप में भी इसका सेवन किया जा सकता है।
६) सौंदर्य वृध्दि के लिए भी पपीते का इस्तेमाल किया जाता है। पपीते को चेहरे पर रगड़ने से चेहरे पर व्याप्त कील मुंहासे, कालिमा व मैल दूर हो जाते हैं तथा एक नया निखार आ जाता है। इसके लगाने से त्वचा कोमल व लावण्ययुक्त हो जाती है। इसके लिए हमेशा पके पपीते का ही प्रयोग करना चाहिए।
७) कब्ज सौ रोगों की जड़ है। अधिकांश लोगों को कब्ज होने की शिकायत होती है। ऐसे लोगों को चाहिए कि वे रात्रि भोजन के बाद पपीते का सेवन नियमित रूप से करते रहें। इससे सुबह दस्त साफ होता है तथा कब्ज दूर हो जाता है।
८) समय से पूर्व चेहरे पर झुर्रियां आना बुढ़ापे की निशानी है। अच्छे पके हुए पपीते के गूदे को उबटन की तरह चेहरे पर लगायें। आधा घंटा लगा रहने दें। जब वह सूख जाये तो गुनगुने पानी से चेहरा धो लें तथा मूंगफली के तेल से हल्के हाथ से चेहरे पर मालिश करें। ऐसा कम से कम एक माह तक नियमित करें।
९) नए जूते-चप्पल पहनने पर उसकी रगड़ लगने से पैरों में छाले हो जाते हैं। यदि इन पर कच्चे पपीते का रस लगाया जाए तो वे शीघ्र ठीक हो जाते हैं।
१०) पपीता वीर्यवर्ध्दक भी है। जिन पुरुषों को वीर्य कम बनता है और वीर्य में शुक्राणु भी कम हों, उन्हें नियमित रूप से पपीते का सेवन करना चाहिए।
११) हृदय रोगियों के लिए भी पपीता काफी लाभदायक होता है। अगर वे पपीते के पत्तों का काढ़ा बनाकर नियमित रूप से एक कप की मात्रा में रोज पीते हैं तो अतिशय लाभ होता है।

FIBER: Importance & Benefits

For one to stay healthy, proper diet and regular exercise is very important. According to the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), as we grow older, it becomes necessary to consume a diet which is rich in fiber and low in carbohydrates, and this consists of about 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day.

What Is Fiber?

Fiber is also known as roughage. It is the indigestible part of plant foods that pushes through our digestive system, absorbing water along the way and easing bowel movements.

The word fiber (North American) can also be spelled fibre (British). It comes from the Latin word fibra, meaning fiber, thread, string, filament, entrails. Dietary fiber refers to nutrients in the diet that are not digested by gastrointestinal enzymes.

Fiber is found in all plant foods, like vegetables and fruits as well as in legumes and whole grains. This complex food element is not absorbed or digested completely like most other food, and passes through the digestive tract mostly as a whole. This way of digesting helps in the movement of stool and harmful carcinogens from the body.

Types of Fiber

A fiber-rich diet must include both types of fiber – soluble and insoluble.

Soluble Fiber – Soluble fiber dissolves in water. It changes as it goes through the digestive tract, where it is fermented by bacteria. As it absorbs water it becomes gelatinous. The food rich in soluble fiber are oats, oat bran, legumes, and fruits. These dissolve with water in the body and form a gel like substance that helps in lowering the cholesterol and glucose level.

Insoluble Fiber – Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. As it goes through the digestive tract it does not change its form. Food like whole wheat bran, wheat, rye, sprouts, and nuts are rich in insoluble fiber. Intake of these aid in moving waste from the body through the digestive tract as these fibers absorb water and form a bulk which moves quickly.


A high fiber diet has no calories and helps in weight loss (as it gives a feeling of fullness and helps in eating less), fights constipation, and regulates digestive disorders. Low fiber diet increases the risk of colon cancer and heart ailments.

Benefits of soluble fiber:

It reduces cholesterol, especially levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) It regulates sugar intake, this is especially useful for people with diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Food sources of soluble fiber include: kidney beans, pinto beans, brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, zucchini, apples, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, prunes, oatmeal, and whole-wheat bread.

Benefits of insoluble fiber:

Promotes regular bowel movements and prevents constipation Speeds up the elimination of toxic waste through the colon By keeping an optimal pH in the intestines, insoluble fiber helps prevent microbes from producing substances which can lead to colorectal cancer Food sources of insoluble fiber include: vegetables – especially dark green leafy ones, root vegetable skins, fruit skins, whole wheat products, wheat bran, corn bran, nuts, and seeds.

It is important to note that a balanced diet should consist of all food forms. One must not eliminate other food to consume high fiber diet. Just make sure that your diet has good fiber as it will reduce the risk of ailments like cancer, diabetes, and gastrointestinal problems, and also help in losing weight.

Immune System: Tips for Improvement

Immune health is the backbone of every human system. It is dependent on many factors namely the genetic background one is born with, age, medical history and chemicals the human body is exposed to. We humans have such hectic lifestyles that stress is part and parcel of our daily lives. All these factors affect your stamina.

 The human body is prone and susceptible to damage if proper steps are not taken in that direction. Regular exercise regime, proper diet, right nutrition and small lifestyle changes will make a lot of difference. We all have to take a closer look into enhancing our immunity towards diseases and learn about the top five tips that will help boost immunity from within.


 The immune system is a network of cells and body tissues that work in collaboration to protect human body from infections or viruses. White blood cells are good cells that protect the body and help fight diseases to maintain good health.

1. Include Protein in your Diet

Protein as we all know is a great building block for a healthy body and mind. It also helps to keep the immune system healthy. A protein rich diet is advised by nutritionists worldwide for a leaner and healthier shape. Low protein food has low fibre content and this stresses the immune system as it consists of carbohydrates. Hence, your first step should be to add protein to your everyday diet.

2. Limit or Minimize Sugar Intake

If you want to stay healthy and boost your immunity system then sugar in any form is a strict no-no. When people give into sugar craving or urge to binge in chocolates, then they are most likely to experience a sudden drop in energy levels. Dieticians suggest to avoid any form of carbonated drinks and starchy sugary stuff for a healthier life.

3. Early to Bed and Early to Rise

Adequate amount of sleep is quintessential when it comes to a better lifestyle. Your body gets tired after a hard day’s work, so it is important that you get eight to ten hours of sound sleep in a day. 

4. Eat Right Foods and Supplements

Read the nutritional content value on the labels of all the food you intake. Vegetables and fruits consumed in their natural and raw form have high fibre content. The enzymes help you and protect good cells in the body. Those following a hectic schedule often opt for supplements to keep their body healthy. These supplements are readily available and easily found in all health stores.

5. Follow Yoga or Exercise

Listen to your body’s needs, do whatever suits you and your lifestyle. Doing breathing exercises like Pranayama and Yoga will improve your body’s metabolism. These are also good for the digestive system, which in turn improves your immunity. Deep and slow breathing do wonders to one’s body and you will surely notice the change in your thinking and body mechanism if you do it regularly.

These lifestyle changes that you will follow will have you on the right track for a better tomorrow.