A new study that came out recently says that taking a cup of beetroot juice can help to reduce blood pressure. Nitrate-rich vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, beetroot, etc have a relaxing effect on the blood vessels which might bring down the blood pressure slightly.
This brings us back to the basic nutritional guideline of eating more vegetables for blood pressure control and better health.
Before I write this piece, I’d like to welcome the new subscribers to my blog. Thank You for subscribing. If you have any suggestions for health topics, questions on nutrition, or comments on the posts, please feel free to write.
A friend of mine sent me an email about an article published by a US writer about how 4 foods accelerate aging. The 4 foods named in this article are wheat, corn, sugar and vegetable oils (like soybean, canola, etc). How factual is this information?
Wheat and corn do not accelerate aging, for sure. On the contrary, they provide us with nutrients that are essential for good health. Although gluten-free foods are becoming a rage in the West, the only persons who need to avoid wheat are those who are allergic or intolerant to wheat and its products. Perhaps gluten can be a topic for another discussion!
Sugar and oils accelerate aging only if taken in large quantities and / or replace healthy foods. Sugar consumption has gone up in urban India by large amounts. Sugar robs the body of some important nutrients which can be replaced only by eating healthy foods. In that sense, sugar can be a villain. Also, extra oil intake (especially the high PUFA ones) can tilt the fatty acid balance in the body and accelerate free radical damage. In that sense, some of the vegetable oils can be seen as villains.
The bottom line is reduce sugar and fat consumption, and there’s no need to avoid wheat and corn if you are not allergic to them.
Soon after I requested for healthy recipes, I received one from Chennai. Don’t throw away the watermelon seeds after you eat the fruit. Make chutney powder out of it – its nutritious and delicious, I’m sure.
Here’s the recipe contributed by Ms Smitha Suresh, Nutritionist, Chennai, India……
Watermelon Seed Chutney Pudi
Watermelon seeds – 100 g
Pepper corns – 1 tsp
Jeera (cumin seeds) – 1 tsp
Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Tamarind – 1 inch piece
Red Chillies – 2-3 nos.
Salt – to taste
Garlic – 3 cloves (optional)
Method of preparation –
Toast all the ingredients together for 2- 3 mins, cool for a while and then dry grind roughly. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of this powder on steaming red rice, mix and enjoy the warm, earthy flavour!
You can add other ingredients which give their unique flavour like curry leaves, dried basil (tulsi) or neem. Substitute with other nuts and seeds.
Yesterday during a group nutrition session, one of the participants requested me to put up some easy and healthy recipes on my blog. While I look for such recipes, if any of you have them already, do write to me and I’ll be happy to publish them here with your name.
A question that came from a vegetarian – “Is it ok to eat a cup of flaxseed daily? My gym instructor has asked me to take fish because its good for my heart, but I don’t want to start eating non-veg. So, he asked me to take 1 cup of flaxseed everyday.” If gym instructors were qualified in nutrition and dietetics, they would not dole out such advise!
Firstly, it’s not important for vegetarians to start eating fish or any form of meat for good health. Secondly, if meat eaters get their omega 3 fats from fish, the vegetarians can get it from flaxseed and walnut. However, it’s not necessary to eat a cup of flax everyday. 1 to 2 tablespoons is the suggested quantity as of now.
You can find whole flaxseed as well as the powdered form in many supermarkets. Powdered flax is easier to consume. Add it in your breakfast cereal or soup or sabji or dal or smoothie or pasta or any other dish.