Your healthy summer nutrition plan

Welcome summer with a change in your nutrition plan.  Believe it or not, but your summer nutrition plan needs to be different than your usual one. Sure, the basics stay the same – you need to eat a balanced diet, watch your calorie intake, etc. However, there are some extra things that you have to pay attention to when the temperatures outside start to rise.

Here are a few smart nutrition tips to remember this summer:

1.    Drink plenty of water. It is always important that you get enough water in your diet. Water helps to make all of your bodily functions work properly. It helps with the digestion of any of the other foods that you take in. Drinking water helps to keep your energy levels up. It’s particularly important in the summer since it’s so warm outside and it causes dehydration. Drink the minimum of eight glasses of water per day. Try to get in other forms of water as well.

2.    Cut back on the caffeine. Not only do you want to make sure that you are getting enough water in the summer but you also need to make sure that you’re not getting too much caffeine. Among other things, caffeine can dehydrate the body, which will negate the positive effects of all of that water that you’re drinking. You can’t afford to have that happening during the hot summer months so you should cut back on coffee and aerated drinks. If you can’t stand to only drink water then you can add unsweetened herbal iced tea and low-fat milk to your diet.

3.    Get in your proteins. Many people tend to reduce their protein intake during the warmer months of the year. Your body just doesn’t crave all of those meats in hot weather. However, you don’t want to neglect protein altogether. It’s an important part of your diet especially when you are very active outdoors and having to do with chlorinated swimming!

4.   Be smart about your salads. Many people start to eat a lot of fresh salads during the summer months. This is a great idea because salads are easy to prepare, don’t require cooking in a hot kitchen and are healthy for your body. However, you do have to make sure that you’re using smart nutrition when you eat a lot of salad. The main thing is to pay attention to how much dressing you put on your salads and what type of dressing you are using. A fresh dressing made from lemons and olive oil is going to be a lot healthier for you than a creamy packaged dressing.

5.    Get enough potassium. Many people tend to be more active in the summer months. There are more hours in the day so you have more time to get outside and horse around. Unfortunately, sweating during the summer months can cause muscle problems because it throws off your electrolytes. You can avoid this problem by making sure that you get enough potassium into your diet during the summer months. Good sources of potassium include bananas and several other fruits.

6.  Make sure you get loads of vitamin C. Dehydration during summer can drain essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Make sure that you get loads of vitamin C. In the summer months, you can have your dose of vitamin C from raw mangoes (Kairi Panhe) as well as several kokum and amla based juices.

7. Eat fruit smoothies instead of ice cream. It’s tempting to eat some foods during the summer that really don’t offer the best nutrition for you. Ice cream is a terrific example of a summer food like this. Learn to make substitutions so that you’re eating foods that are just as refreshing but a lot healthier for you. Substituting fruit smoothing (made from milk, yogurt and fresh fruit) for your ice cream is a great example of how to do this. Another easy alternative is to have Lassi or buttermilk (with asafoetida)

8. Make sure that your food is fresh. All of that great nutrition that you’re getting from following these other tips is going to go right out the window if you make yourself sick by eating foods that aren’t fresh. This is a particular concern in the summer because the temperatures get warmer and foods spoil more quickly and can lead to stomach problems like gastro.



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How to ensure healthy nutrition for your children

Your children are your life’s treasures. They need you to take good care of them. One way is to ensure that they are always healthy. However, there are some instances when feeding your children healthy nutrition in foods can be quite a challenge. It’s hard to encourage your kids to eat the right kind of food all the while, but to make it easier especially for them, if you can serve plenty of variety and colour.

As parents, you need to continuously come up with inventive healthy recipes that your kids will look forward to and are also very enjoyable. To help you with your dish choices you need to know what food groups to serve your children. The “food plate” will guide you as to what is a recommended serving, in what certain food group, and what combinations to serve your children. When picking out healthy recipes, it is important that you always remember that kids are generally very choosy, so consider what different foods they all like.

Because of their growing years, they need healthy nutrition including proteins and carbohydrates for energy. It is important that you do not stuff them with junk food. Also there are varied opinions about whether health drinks served with milk really provide the necessary nutrients. In fact milk is best and needed by children till they are 1 year old. After this, you should leave the choice to them. Include a lot of curds, flavored yoghurts, puddings, which are much more healthy and filling too.

For mid-evening snacks, avoid canned and packaged fried food which contains color and preservatives. Instead prefer fresh foods like different types of dosas (you can use different kinds of flour to ensure variety). You can incorporate brown bread sandwiches, include cheese, paneer, or salads. If you are non-veg, you can go ahead and consume egg, chicken in these sandwiches as well. You can have roasted nuts like chana, peanuts, cashews, almonds. You can also have jaggery based products like nougat, chikkis. you can also give parathas, milk shakes, fresh fruit shakes. steamed items like idli, dhoklas, which are much more healthier than packaged foods.

Do yourself and your child a big favour and help them to build up a habit of healthy nutrition. Believe me it is a big worry to see your child growing up to be unhealthy!



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Fitness at what cost? – What happens if you consume excess proteins

Gym is one of the most frequented fitness destination for many. However at several gyms, along with exercise, several trainers coax members into buying protein supplements or recommend protein supplements. Proteins help build muscle – but what happens if you get too much of it?. Also an important question to ask – What is the current level of proteins in your blood. Have you ever investigated?

Protein isn’t particularly dangerous, but an over-consumption of protein may be associated with:

  1. Weight gain. Excess calories from excess protein may be stored as body fat.
  2. Intestinal irritation. Too much protein has been linked to constipation, diarrhoea and/or excessive gas.
  3. Dehydration. Experts advise drinking a half gallon of water per 100 grams of protein.Non-consumption of the necessary amount of water can lead to internal dehydration.
  4. Seizures. Seizures have been linked to excess protein intake – but only if insufficient amounts of water are consumed.
  5. Nutritional deficiencies. Just focusing on protein intake causes some high-protein dieters to overlook other nutrients. Ensure that your diet is balanced and nutritious.
  6. Risk of heart disease. This is a bit misleading. A healthy high-protein diet is not associated with heart disease. But if you are getting all of your protein from unhealthy sources that are loaded in unhealthy fats, obviously the risk for heart disease will increase.
  7. Gout– High protein diets can lead to uric acid deposits at joints and can lead to joint aches and gout, which is very painful.
  8. Kidney problems. Some believe that high protein and low carbohydrate diets – when done long term – can possibly cause kidney issues, but more research needs to be done.

While this list may seem alarming, it’s important to remember that many of these side effects are only associated with highly excessive protein diets coupled with unbalanced nutrition and/or dehydration.

The average person needs about 1 gram of protein per kg of body weight. Active individuals may require 1.2 to 1.5 grams.  Are you consuming the right quantity of proteins along with a balanced nutrition plan?



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