Mosquito Mania
04 Oct 2016 , by BACFO

Mosquitoes are the most dangerous insects around the world spreading dengue, chikungunya, zika and malaria. There are about more than 39 crore people getting infected with dengue virus every year around the world, malaria causing more than 4 lakh deaths globally again every year rounding off the statistical analysis with the dreadful chikungunya outbreak this year causing deaths among the elderly.

It takes only one single malarial mosquito to infect more than hundred people. Aedes aegypti has a range of almost 100 meters which makes even one single entity a huge threat for the entire locality. Only the female mosquitoes suck blood while the harmless male mosquitoes thrive only on flowers nectar. Mosquitoes not only thrive on stagnant water but prefer to lay eggs on clean fresh water as well. The female mosquito lays eggs in clusters even on as little as an inch of standing water and can lay eggs up to three times before they die.

Prevention and control relies heavily on reducing the number of natural and artificial water-filled container habitats that support breeding of the mosquitoes. Spot it-clean it! Pour boiling water into the water containers and then rinse them thoroughly to kill larvae. You have a bamboo fence guarding your house? Level or fill it with cement to prevent the accumulation of water. Add larvivorous fish that feed on mosquito and dislodge larvae and pupae in the water storage tanks and in your landscaped water bodies. Clean up even the smallest flower vase and freshen up feng shui plants with clean water every day. Kill adult mosquitoes in the daytime by making use of commercially available safe aerosols. Spray bedrooms, underbeds, closets, bathrooms and kitchens. Burn dried neem leaves and camphor everyday in coconut husk to repel mosquitoes at the entry points in your house.


Dengue or chikungunya preventive diet should include protein-rich vegetarian and non vegetarian food sources such as egg, meat, poultry, soyabean, lentils, dairy etc which supply vital nourishment and maintain the integrity of our cells and “barrier” tissues. The virus must penetrate these physical barriers to affect the human system. Once it does break through into our system, an army of white blood cells stand up in defense to engulf these viral invaders.
2. Vitamin C with its anti-viral properties appears to be the next most important nutrient in playing a role in mobilizing the virus- eating macrophage cells. A glass of fresh lime everyday is good enough to supply this vitamin. A fresh fruit bowl everyday also furnishes the Vita-C demand. Remember to avoid oranges and mausambi in case of chikungunya
3. Minerals such as zinc and iron are crucial in the formation of antibodies, with even a mild deficiency being linked to a wide range of defects in immune system functions.
4. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric helps in case of chikungunya leading to arthritic joint inflammation. Add haldi to soups and khichri daliya for its anti inflammatory properties.
4. Water-stay hydrated to boost the immune system. Coconut water contains rich growth hormones and immunity building factor and should be given daily.
5. Exercise- Moderate regular exercise promotes greater release of 'macrophage cells' which attack the harmful bacteria.
To Your Health
Aditi Mehrotra


  The Calming Vitamins!
03 Aug 2016 , by BACFO

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can” Dalai Lama.
The world is still reeling under the shock of the gruesome attack by a psychologically impaired man who drove his truck through the busy street in France leaving behind mangled bodies in blood pools. Pick up the newspaper and you will find yourself plagued by conflicts of all sorts. Militant’s terror around the world, from quick attacks to ambushes and bombing to assassinations. Mindless men on a killing spree or humans in a road rage or fighting for a parking place on their street. Restlessness seems to be the order of our present existence. We are all there in one of such situations. Many a times as recipients of someone else’s behavior or the cause of that irrational behavior.
We need to constantly keep restoring our wired out brain chemistry to normal levels. Once this is out of balance is when we lose our head to stress, depression, anxiety, panic, obsessions, addictions, wrath or violence. Well, good news is there are brain foods and there are mood foods. The key players to our mood, behavior, and mental performance are the chemical messengers or the neurotransmitters in the brain. The cooling, calming and relaxing one is called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). Then there are Dopamine and norepinephrine which are the "feel-good" neurotransmitters, Acetylcholine helps with thinking, memory, and concentration and finally Serotonin the "happy," calming neurotransmitter that also enhances sleep.

These neurotransmitters are supplied by a diet rich in Protein, fats, and carbohydrates, as well as a myriad of micronutrients for optimal brain function. The important amino acids or the building blocks of protein are tryptophan, tyrosine, GABA, glutamine, and glycine. They are converted into neurotransmitters with the help of cofactors including B complex vitamins and folate, and minerals such as zinc, copper, and magnesium. This mineral is often given a miss but its deficiency can lead to anxiety. Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture melatonin. Potassium is an important mineral in the body that helps to relax muscles and nerves. Eating whole grains or brown rice boosts our brain’s production of serotonin, one of the “feel good” chemicals that squashes anxiety and helps you feel more in control. Sneak in a few more omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. Milk and other dairy products like cheese and yogurt contain a good amount of riboflavin, that can help settle your nerves. Now do you know the reason why you were made to drink a glass of milk at bedtime? Avoid foods containing caffeine, alcohol, sugars, and processed ingredients. Caffeine is a stimulant that can produce a jittery feeling that might amp up your anxiety. So is alcohol. Set peace of mind as your highest goal and organize your life around it.


To your health
Aditi A. Mehrotra


  Summer Skin Sorrows
05 Jul 2016 , by BACFO

Summer time compels us to get outdoors and hit the pool. Sun and summer also come at a price when the most sensitive part of our body that is the skin pays that price. Yes, it is the skin that protects and shields our body from Sun. Sun damage can lead to premature aging of the skin, wrinkles, blemishes, dry skin, and even skin cancer over time. So how does the skin impacts our skin? The Ultraviolet A are the longest wavelength of the sun that penetrates the dermis or the deepest layer of our skin. Sun damage can activate free radicals and promote skin aging. The Ultraviolet B penetrates the skin's upper layer or the epidermis. These rays cause sunburn, allergic reactions and skin cancers. Ultraviolet C rays are filtered by the ozone layer and they're the most damaging rays. Infra-red is the "heat" from the sun and too much can negatively impact collagen, elastic and your immune system.
A healthy diet will protect your skin from further damage. If you can follow a well defined disciplined pattern of eating you can protect your skin from premature aging. many of summer’s fruits and vegetables are brimming with secret health benefits. There is no question that sunscreen should be your first line of defence against the blazing summer sun. But eating tomatoes could give you a little extra protection: consuming more lycopene—the carotenoid that makes tomatoes red—may protect your skin from sunburn.
Water is your best buddy during summer as it helps in keeping the skin hydrated, supple and clear. Each time you drink glasses of water, remember that you are doing this for your skin, and you will automatically reach for your next glass. Cut down on sugar and refined processed foods which create unbalanced blood sugar levels and therefore contribute to premature aging. Eat plenty of fresh ingredients such as fruits and vegetables, in salads, steamed, raw, or as part of a recipe dish. A diet rich in flavonoids will help to ensure a healthy and glowing skin Yogurt is a healthy addition to your diet; just be sure it's sugar free and natural. No-fat or low-fat diets will cause your skin to dry, wrinkle and age. You need essential fats in your diet to keep your skin moist and supple. Nuts and seeds and fresh fish are excellent sources of good fats.


  Diet is Nourishment
05 Jul 2016 , by BACFO

This week’s column is for all those who instantly go on a low calorie diet close to starvation after a routine medical check up that accurately indicates their health level. A simple blood test that helps identify serious medical conditions comes to many as an annoying wake up call. It is only then that eating out takes a back seat, track suit and walking shoes come out of the closet, golf becomes more serious than ‘just loitering’ and muesli replaces the morning breakfast of stuffed paranthas tasting perfect with a blob of white butter.
I don’t blame them. After years of abuse, their bodies loaded with toxins start contributing to not only ill health, but also overweight. In a futile attempt to tackle the obesity problem, many individuals go on drastic fad diet, some even starve themselves to lose weight. Eating a little "less" may help with the weight loss, but eating "not enough" may have the opposite result, which is ultimate weight gain.
My only suggestion to these struggling heroes is that there cannot be just one diet program that fits all. For you to get started keep in mind these 5 golden rules-1. small frequent meals 2. High fiber cereal-dense breakfast 3. Liquid diet support with green tea, coconut water, Chaach, Fruity sliced water, milk etc 4. Good quality protein distributed through the day and 5. Stay active to enhance the digestive ‘agni’. Eat light and expend more calories to create a negative calorie balance. Give up on mindless binging and stock up healthy alternatives. Prepare yourself mentally by visualizing yourself as a stronger healthier person vis-à-vis an overweight person with a timeless collection of an assortment of twinges, aches and pains. By adding colours through a wide range of fruit and veggies on your food palette you will silently push in vitamins and anti-oxidants in your body.
Eat normally and naturally. Starvation is not the answer to obesity problems. If it has taken you days to put that weight on, you will need days to get it off as well. Why look for quick fixes? Think about it!


  SUPER SUMMER FOODS
05 May 2016 , by BACFO

Summer is back! Pitta composed of water and fire needs to be balanced during summer. Too much fire has a drying effect, Pitta imbalances our body composition. Every day our body loses water in normal processing, in chemical reactions, through excretion, sweating, and small amounts each time we exhale. Water helps in detoxification of the body, dissolving germs in the blood, removing diseased cells from the body, helping in the circulation of purified blood and strengthening a weakened constitution
Summer diet resultantly has to be cooling, moistening, nourishing and refreshing. Fresh juicy summer harvest fruit and veggies are excellent for pitta because of their natural astringency and protective effect against environmental toxins. We can also enjoy the generosity of nature’s harvest from the summery tropics like mangoes, sweet pineapple, papaya, avocado, coconut. Apricots, grapes,peaches, nectarines, plums also add up to the summer fruit expanse. Bowl full of summer berries are rich anti-cancer agents, anthocyanins and bioflavonoid compounds that fight the pain from arthritis, gout and migraines, ellagic acid another potent anti-cancer agent and melatonin which are sleep inducing. They also contain the soluble fiber pectin, vitamin C, beta-carotene and potassium.
What’s in vogue is the range of new Vitamin waters fortified with various vitamins and other additives, including a sweetener that adds calories to the drink. Carbonated water, also known as sparkling water is plain water into which carbon dioxide gas has been dissolved, and is the major and defining component of most soft drinks. Club soda may be identical to plain carbonated water or it may contain a small amount of table salt, sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate or disodium phosphate, depending on the bottler.
Water is important for temperature regulation, lubricating your joints, protecting our spinal cord and other sensitive tissue, and as I stated earlier, removing waste from the body. Fluids that contain caffeine can act as a diuretic and cause your body to lose water content instead of gain water, especially if you are drinking more than 40 ounces per day.
My advice is to opt for simple plain water or add a squirt or slice of fruit like lime, sweet lime, strawberry, pineapple, peach, mango etc to water for flavouring. The occasional consumption of vitamin waters that contain a lot less sugar than fruit juices make them a healthy alternative. Each flavor brings with it a different set of vitamins and nutrients. Why go for the artificial bubbles when you can squeeze out the real nutrient rich nector.

To your health!

Aditi A. Mehrotra


  “clean is the new organic”
17 Feb 2016 , by BACFO

For 2016, “clean is the new organic” shouts the medical and dietetics fraternity. A clean eating diet is one that excludes processed foods, artificial foods and added sugars. So what’s in? Grains have been in the diets from ancient times. Those that are gluten-free, such as amaranth, millet, sorghum, and teff are finding their way up on the consumption chart. These grains are wonderful in salads, soups, or as a simple side dish with dinner. Flours made from Lentil, black beans, garbanzo beans, and other legumes are being used as alternative to traditional whole wheat flour for baking.
Recommendations to lower meat consumption and maintain more plant-based or vegan diets are being followed by masses. We also will continue to see a rise in food products with added probiotics. This is a focused approach for bettering the gut health and healthier digestive systems. Suggestions to use Nutrient-rich algae are being made to replace dairy, fats, vegetable oils, animal protein, and eggs in many foods like breads, ice cream, crackers, milks, cakes, and even more. More plant-based options like quinoa, chia and buckwheat are being consumed as protein staples
Green tea Catechins in Tea help stop the growth of cancer cells and prevent cellular mutations that contribute to cancer development. Regular tea drinkers are at reduced risk for colon, breast, ovarian, prostate, and lung cancers as in the case of Japanese, green tea consumption has been linked to reduced risk of stomach cancer among women. In China, green tea drinkers were found to have a lower risk of developing rectal and pancreatic cancers compared with non-tea drinkers. All types of tea-green, black, white, oolong are considered as cancer preventive agents. Come spring and it’s time now to reverse the aging process and to steer clear of many lifestyle related dreaded diseases. One of the main functions of liver is to remove and breakdown toxins from the blood. Start with a liver cleanse every day. In other words filter clear your liver to help it function better. Consume fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Here’s to your abundant good health!!


  Winter Wellness!
23 Jan 2016 , by BACFO

Celebrating the first hindu festival of this New year, Makar Sankranti is the festival of harvest dedicated to the worship of Lord Surya. Earth, farthest from the sun at this point will finally start its journey towards the sun and take us into the auspicious period of Uttarayan. This phase represents growth of the body where the energy levels are high and stamina is at its peak.
Winter is incomplete without family reunions with unlimited rounds of adrak ki chai. Every household is seen devouring the til gajjak, peanut jaggery chikkies, Til laddoos, you name it and it's there. Just as our body craves fats and oils in winter for insulation, the winter dishes too, love to cook up in more and more fat. All that fat ends up as flab on our body which remains concealed under the winter wraps and jackets only to scream out in disgust in the warmer months. To skip the guilt trip, do not just throw away the peanuts and winter munchies yet. While peanuts are considered high in fat, they primarily contain unsaturated fats. If we were to do a reality check on peanuts; they are nutrient dense, providing over thirty essential nutrients and phytonutrients. Niacin, folate, fiber, magnesium, vitamin E, manganese and phosphorus and the antioxidant polyphenols are present in abundance in these nuts. Peanuts contribute to brain health, and are also associated with anti-aging effects.
The next on the scan list is Sesame, the tiny oval til seeds with a nutty taste are a good source of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. Copper is anti-inflammatory and is known for its use in reducing some of the pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain lignans known to have a cholesterol-lowering effect. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.
The early morning sun is considered beneficial for the skin and body. Sunshine boosts our levels of the body's natural happy hormone called serotonin. Sunlight encourages the production of white blood cells, which help to boost our immune system and fight infection. These are reasons enough for you to step out and greet the winter sun and not stay hurled up in bed with a comforter. Remember always to stay on the sunny side of life and let the shadows fall behind you!

To Your Health!

Aditi mehrotra


  Go Lean in Sixteen
17 Dec 2015 , by BACFO

We have reached the year end. This is an ideal time to do a mental recap of the time gone by. It is the time to once again assess yourself, health wise! Perhaps you were trying to lose weight or undergoing something as extreme as a chemotherapy in the year gone by. Few milestones were achieved, few could not be achieved. While recommitting to your health goals is important, whether it is eating better, getting fit, or losing forty pounds, consider these resolutions as high priority on your agenda. If you tend to ignore your health challenges and health needs, your body eventually will raise the alarm sooner or later. Be prepared.
The simplest task on your to-do get healthy list is and should be to do a reality check on your weight. If you are overweight that in itself is the starting point. The trick for sustained weight loss is to ditch the foods that are packed with calories and replace them with foods that fill you up without being loaded with calories. Such goals require patience and commitment. Extreme diets may promise rapid results but are temporary. The good news is that by making smarter choices every day, adopting healthy lifestyle changes, and developing new eating habits, will not only help you lose weight but will also have you feeling energized. All you need to do is to just reprogram your brain’s food cravings so that you hanker only for healthier foods rather than for quick sugar fixes. Your aim in the New Year should be to focus on holistic dimensions of health which includes mental, physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Make 2016 a power year of good health, peace and happiness.
Wishing you all a Happy and a Healthy 2016.

To your health!

Aditi A. Mehrotra


  Post Festivities Cleansing Diet
23 Nov 2015 , by BACFO

Deepawali, by far is the most glamorous and dazzling festival of our country. Today we will witness with childlike wonderment, the night sky turning into a kaleidoscope of colourful lights as we celebrate Deepawali. “Excess” is also synonymous with this festival which runs into a full five day affair of mindless feasting. All these days during such ‘feastivities’ if you have not been food wise or judicious, it is time to put your fork down and pamper your overburdened liver! You can cleanse the body and remove all the additional toxins stockpiled with my ‘3 G’ super food diet comprising of Greens, Garlic and Green tea.

Greens-Rich in chlorophylls, they neutralize the toxic load of preservatives, metals, trans fat and filter the bile flow. It makes sense to consume in bulk all the leafy greens such as turnip or raddish leaves, baby spinach, kale or lettuces in soups or salads.
Garlic-contains numerous sulfur compounds known to activate liver enzymes responsible for expelling toxins from the body. Garlic’s power comes from allicin and selenium, natural ingredients that keep the liver healthy.
Green tea- This detoxifying brew is loaded with helpful antioxidants called catechins, which support healthy liver function and flush out bad toxins accumulated during this festive season.
You may add to the 3 G’s few other power pcaked foods such as Haldi or turmeric which is said to be liver’s most favoured spice as it contains nutrients that help optimize liver function by cleansing the body off any toxins and carcinogens. Beat it with beets that are rich in iron, beta carotene and plant-flavonoids which help in naturally stimulating healthy liver functioning. It turns out that lemons are equally rich in antioxidants and vitamin C- known for their natural cleansing prowess. Try adding freshly squeezed lemon to water or tea to kick start healthy liver function each morning. Walnut among all healthy nuts is ideal for liver cleansing. This detoxifier is loaded with an amino acid called arginine, as well as glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, which make normal liver cleansing behavior more efficient and less taxing on the body. Lastly, switch to Olive oil for the next fortnight to aid healthier liver functioning.

Include these superfoods in your diet that act like an “intestinal broom” to help scrape away the toxins and leave you guilt free. Be Safe Eat Safe!


To your health!

Aditi A. Mehrotra


  October marks the Cancer Awareness month. Cancer is preventable and curable. The diet essentials for
08 Oct 2015 , by BACFO

Vitamin C in grapefruit and other citrus fruit is an antioxidant that helps to prevent the formation of cancer-causing nitrogen compounds. Diets high in vitamin C have been linked to a reduced risk of cancers of the stomach, colon, esophagus, bladder, breast, and cervix.

Vitamin D levels have been linked to several cancers, including colon and breast. Scientists theorize that vitamin D may help block the development of blood vessels that feed growing tumors and help stop the proliferation of cancerous and precancerous cells.

Vitamin E
Adding vitamin E–rich foods like peanuts, peanut butter, almonds, almond butter, and sunflower seeds to the diet helps to keep the cells defenses strong.

Catechins in Tea help stop the growth of cancer cells and prevent cellular mutations that contribute to cancer development. Regular tea drinkers are at reduced risk for colon, breast, ovarian, prostate, and lung cancers as in the case of Japanese, green tea consumption has been linked to reduced risk of stomach cancer among women. In China, green tea drinkers were found to have a lower risk of developing rectal and pancreatic cancers compared with non-tea drinkers. All types of tea-green, black, white, oolong are considered as cancer preventive agents.

Beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant present primarily in orange vegetables and leafy greens have a reduced risk of cancer, particularly of the lung, colon, and stomach. Among premenopausal women, one study found that eating a lot of vegetables that include beta-carotene, folate, vitamin C, and fiber such as sweet potatoes reduced the risk of breast cancer by about half.

Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent cancer by inhibiting cancer cell formation that lead to tumor growth. Omega-3 fatty acids also help reduce inflammation which indicates their ability to reduce the possibility of cellular mutations.

Berries of all the fruits and vegetables studied, top the list of having to reduce cancer risk. An antioxidant called pterostilbene, found in high quantities in blueberries, has cancer-fighting properties and cranberries contain a whole drugstore's worth of cancer-fighting natural chemicals.
Turmeric contains Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, functions as both an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, and it may help prevent cancer by interfering with aspects of cellular signaling.
All the evidence points to a low-fat, high-fiber diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans as being the best for cancer prevention.


To your health!

Aditi. A. Mehrotra


  Mosquito Matters
08 Sep 2015 , by BACFO

Just as we did our best to stay afloat in the turbulence caused by water borne diseases, we are now in the grip of vector borne diseases. The scary statistics is still not under control despite media playing a very important role in spreading awareness and timely updating us with information related to its prevention. The most deadly animal in the world is the mosquito. According to the World Health Organization, mosquito bites result in the deaths of more than 1 million people every year. A bite from a single mosquito can result in fever, headaches, and pain. Severe cases can experience a multitude of symptoms including bleeding, shock, organ failure and at times- death. Dengue also known as the 'break-bone fever' is spread by one of the toughest and most versatile mosquitoes.

The experts believe that it is a price we are paying for being a little acquiescent in following the guidelines of hygiene and basic sanitation. Is all this panic or hysteria justifiable? On the contrary, we should make efforts to limit the spread of infection as much and as soon as possible. It is likely that a weak immune system could make us more susceptible to a virus. Medical authorities and lifestyle experts are of the view that a nutritionally well balanced diet can give our body the best chance of fighting back. “A malnourished person is likely to be more susceptible to infections and for most people, a healthy and nutritionally balanced diet will be an important factor in helping to maintain a healthy immune system.” stresses Dr Nick Phin, head of pandemic flu planning at the Health Protection Agency, UK.
Protein-rich vegetarian and non vegetarian food sources that include meat, eggs and fish, milk, dairy foods, pulses and legumes, nuts, seeds and soya-based foods all supply vital nourishment for the epithelial cells in these membranes. Three average-sized servings a day of any of these are important to maintain the integrity of these “barrier” tissues. The virus must penetrate these physical barriers to affect the human system. Once it does break through into our system, an army of white blood cells stand up in defense to engulf these viral invaders. Vitamin C with its anti-viral properties appears to be especially important in playing a role in mobilizing the virus -eating macrophage cells.

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and cannot be stored in our bodies. We need to ensure its daily supply by the consumption of vitamin C-rich foods. Food sources for the same, range from spinach to citrus fruits. Minerals such as zinc and iron are crucial for the formation of these antibodies, with even a mild deficiency being linked to a wide range of defects in immune system functions. The same sources for protein and vitamin C will furnish the body with zinc and Vitamin C. Stay Hydrated. Hydration boosts the immune system. Drink plenty of water as flu viruses prefer dry environments. Water is also important in hydrating the mucus membranes which are a key component of the immune system. Give yourself an anti-oxidant protection with liberal servings of fruit and vegetables. Moderate regular exercise has been shown to support the immune system and reduce risk of viral infections such as flu. Exercise promotes greater release of macrophage cells, which attack bacteria. Act now. Do not panic.

To Your Health!
Aditi A. Mehrotra


  The Healing Herbs
10 Aug 2015 , by BACFO

The Upanishads-Hindu sacred treatises written in Sanskrit in 800–200 BC, instruct “From food are born all creatures, which live upon food and after death return to food. Food is the chief of all things. It is therefore said to be the medicine of all diseases of the body.” If we were still in the 18th century, following the science of traditional herbalism, we would have been sure of the fact that essential oils from herbs and plants for topical application or ingestion were non tampered and pure plant extracts.

Agreed that herbs are natural, but that definitely does not mean you take the herbs in their crude form. Many people resort to self imposed herbal therapies such as powdering tree barks of neem or consuming juice of karela for blood sugar control, eating scoops of aloe pulp and swallowing garlic pearls for lowering cholesterol etc. Such self prescribed therapies based on hearsay can be dangerous when followed unsupervised. However, not every herb or plant should be consumed every day. On the contrary, some herbs are so potent; they should only be used under the supervision of qualified professionals. Herbs need to be procured and prepared using scientific techniques in the right proportion using the correct formula. It is safer to consume such herbal drugs made by certified companies only to ensure safety.
Herb and plant extracts which are common and mild in their effect should also be taken in moderation. For example, a cup of lemongrass tea or cinnamon tea, or mint tea in the morning has a wonderful mood-lifting effect and should be taken on rotation. It is all about maintaining balance in the body.

Remember: The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison. –Ann Wigmore
To Your Health

Aditi A. Mehrotra


  PUNCH IN!
14 Jul 2015 , by BACFO

To add a noticeable kick to any dish, pungent or acidic ingredients are the best bet. They even reduce the need for having to add more salt. Acidic foods have bright and sharp flavours. The most common ones include lemons, limes and flavoured vinegars. They impart a refreshing taste without adding to the sodium content of foods. Vinegar made from a variety of fermented ingredients, gets its name from the old French word vin aigre, meaning "sour wine". Malt vinegar was once made from beer or ale but is now made by malting barley. The starch in the grain mostly barley is what turns into maltose and then allowed to turn into vinegar, which is then aged. It is light brown in color. For a darker colour, caramel is added. Balsamic vinegar , an expensive and a traditionally produced vinegar is most commonly made from Trebbiano grape juice. The finest of them are aged for years in a series of wooden casks that impart to the vinegar a smooth, mellow flavor and dark colour.
A cheaper version for commercial use is a very important ingredient for salad dressings, marinades, sauces and soups. Then there is champagne, sherry, red and white wine vinegar with an exhibit of a wide range of flavours ranging from absolutely colourless to pale colours with delicate or pronounced flavours. Apple cider vinegar, made from apple pulp is a brownish-yellow colored vinegar with a sharp and fruity flavor. It is very popular, partly due to beneficial health properties. Other fruit vinegars include black currant, raspberry, quince and tomato. Typically, the flavors of the original fruits remain in the final product. Rice vinegar is most popular in the cuisines of East and Southeast Asia. It is made from fermented rice and has a subtle, sweet flavor. Coconut vinegar is a cloudy white vinegar made from fermented coconut water. It has a peculiarly sharp, acidic taste with a slightly yeasty note.Palm vinegar, made from the fermented sap from flower clusters of the palm tree and cane vinegar made from sugar cane juice are also add to variety of vinegars available. Vinegars are the best alternative to greasy dressings and gravies.
To Your Health!
Aditi.A. Mehrotra


  Fast to Cook, Good to Eat??
08 Jun 2015 , by BACFO

The processed food industry won hands down in the global market with its 'Fast to Cook, Good to Eat' campaign topping the convenience food category. Such foods are highly popular and plentiful not because of ‘taste’ only but primarily due to the convenience factor. The manufacturing of processed foods works on a very unscientific principle. Foods are processed removing fiber and nutrients. Textures and flavours are lost leaving the processed mix - bland and completely uninteresting. Now to increase their acceptance, artificial flavours, taste enhancers, additives, preservatives and colours are added to increase eye appeal and to make the bland food palatable. There exist more than 3000 food additives, preservatives, flavorings, colors and other ingredients added to processed foods.
There are literally thousands of ‘red flags’ to watch out for in the foods you eat. Artificial Sweetenersadded to the processed foods on the contrary, enhance your appetite, and consuming artificial sweeteners are known to even greater weight gain than consuming sugar. Aspartame, is a sweet tasting neurotoxin containing amino acids which attack your brain cells creating a toxic cellular overstimulation similar to MSG. Sucralose another sweetener is known to destroy up to 50 percent of the beneficial gut flora. Synthetic Trans Fats are found in any fried foods, crackers, chips, most store-bought baked goods, known to promote inflammation, which is a hallmark of most chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart diseases. What is particularly alarming is the fact that labels carrying words like “artificial flavor” in the list of ingredients is that there is no way to know what it actually means. It could mean that one unnatural additive is included, or it could be a blend of hundreds of additives.
Preservatives that lengthen the shelf-life of foods are for the benefit of the manufacturers’ who increase their profits at the expense of your health. Still, swapping your processed food diet for one that focuses on fresh whole foods is a necessity if you value your health. Remember, people have thrived on vegetables, meats, eggs, fruits and other whole foods for centuries, while processed foods were only recently invented.Think about it!

To Your Health!
Aditi A. Mehrotra


  Summer Time -Dressing up light
12 May 2015 , by BACFO

Light , fresh, colourful, crunchy - such words conjure up sharp and vivid images of a refreshing salad in summer months. In our country, unfortunately, salad is considered to be merely a “side dish”. Nutrients are found in abundance in a salad bowl. To list a few, vitamin B complex, folate, biotin, Vitamin D, E, K are the vitamins this wonder bowl can offer along with minerals such as Potassium, magnesium, chromium, copper, selenium or zinc available in thoughtfully done salads.

Come summer and just as we impatiently don apparels in pastel hues made of light and soft fabrics, our taste buds too opt for light, crunchy and uncooked alternatives for lunch and dinner. Salads satiate our palates with their incredible taste of lightness. What you serve on your salad as dressing is the real challenge. Dressings are basically of two kinds: either the thin clear dressings- French or vinaigrette type or the thick creamy mayonnaise type. They could go in/on/over/with your salad as a ‘topper’ where you ‘pour’ your dressing; ‘mixer’ where you coat the salad with the dressing and the ‘dipper’ where the dressing remains ‘on the side’ and you dip each forkful into it.

Salads can be complete main nutritional meals. It can be a combination of a wide variety of vegetables including roots and tubers, green leafy vegetables, stalk stems; beans; fruits; seeds such as flax, pumpkin, sunflower; nuts such as walnuts, almonds, raisins.
Eat light and let your salad bowl colour up your summer.

To Your Health

Aditi A. Mehrotra


  "From Farm to Plate, Make Food Safe"
09 Apr 2015 , by BACFO

The challenges and opportunities associated with food handling are the highlight for this year's theme on World Health Day, observed each year round on the 7th of April. "From farm to plate, make food safe" is the slogan aimed to raise awareness towards unsafe food that can contain harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances and cause more than 200 diseases ranging from diarrhoea to cancers. Examples of unsafe food include undercooked foods of animal origin, fruits and vegetables contaminated with faeces, pesticidal residues in plant foods and shellfish containing marine bio toxins. Safe food handling practices need to be followed at every level of the food chain right from the farmers and manufacturers to the retailers as well as the consumers.
Addressing other health issues marking the World Health Day, the modern age diseases and disorders alphabetically spell out as A for aids and arthritis, B for breast cancer, C for cardiac disorders, D for diabetes and depression and so on. This gloomy scenario has provoked a timely awakening. There is a growing credibility and popularity of alternative therapies from all over the world, such as our own ayurveda, unani, homeopathy, acupressure and acupuncture. These have been joined by a number of recent additions ranging from music or magnet therapy to colour and aromatherapy.
They come from an understanding of the intimate link between body, mind and spirit or between man and environment. From this perspective, good health becomes an outcome of all these aspects. This new approach focuses on fostering good health.
Here's to your abundant good health!!

Aditi A. Mehrotra


  CAPTIVATING COLOURS
09 Mar 2015 , by BACFO

Just as we indulge in the unadulterated joy of getting drenched and smeared with a riot of colours while celebrating Holi, would it not be exciting to have such a rainbow on our plates too? Dark green broccoli or a luscious red tomato, strawberry pink, the ruby red cherries, you think of a colour and it is right there springing out of the mother earth for us.

Holi celebrates the arrival of spring. Spring brings along new fresh fruits and vegetables in a wide variety of colours. One of the best ways to spring clean your diet is to add spring colours to your meals. Choose from every colour of the rainbow in all its tints and hues. Add to cleanse your system, fresh berries, grapes, citrus and melons, leaves and stalks and roots to add to your meals. This will help you increase your intake of essential vitamins and antioxidants, prevent diseases, beautify your skin and will increase your energy just by adding in more colourful spring time foods.

Come spring and it’s time now to reverse the aging process and to steer clear of manylifestyle related dreaded diseases. One of the main functions of liver is to remove and breakdown toxins from the blood. Start with a liver cleanse every day. In other words filter clear your liver to help it function better. Consume fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Here’s to your abundant good health!!

Aditi A. Mehrotra


  NOT BEYOND US
12 Feb 2015 , by BACFO

Cancer is ‘not beyond us’! The theme of this year’s World Cancer Day celebrated across the world on February 4, is “Not Beyond Us,” meaning that solutions to cancer are within our reach. World Cancer Day is a unique opportunity to raise awareness that there is much that can be done to harness and mobilise these solutions. Attention must be paid to the four key areas of focus this year's cmpaign brings forth. These are choosing healthy lives, delivering early detection, achieving treatment for all and maximising quality of life.
Obesity is a major risk factor for cancer as well. Stay lean within a healthy weight range. A half hour of moderate exercise every day can cut risk of many cancers by 30 to 50 percent. Many substances are added to foods to prolong shelf and storage life and to enhance color, flavor, and texture. Other compounds find their way into the food supply through agricultural use, animal farming, or food processing. Such unintended contamination of food may also result in exposure to chemicals that are a cause of concern and may be related to cancer risk.
Food processing also alters foods in ways that might affect cancer risk. Refining of grains which lowers the amount of fiber may increase the risk of cancer. The processing of meat, by adding preservatives such as salt or sodium nitrite to prevent the growth of germs increases the potential risk of cancer. These cancer causing risk factors can be handled with just a simple formula. Fresh Vegetables, fruits, and un processed whole grains should form the central part of a person's diet, regardless of whether they are grown conventionally or organically. Any natural food close to its' original state will have high levels of cancer fighting nutrients and antioxidants. New age mantra is to eat plant food only and not the foods made in (industrial) plants.
To Your Health!
Aditi A. Mehrotra


  GO LEAN IN 2015!
03 Jan 2015 , by BACFO

A New Year. A fresh start. Make this the year to achieve your fitness goals. Beginning of each year, we all resolve to better ourselves in some way, be it in our fitness goals or in tracking our diet to achieve our ideal weight. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. A study in 2002 traced the success rate of resolutions to be about 75% of people stuck to their goals for precisely a week while less than half (46%) were still on target six months later. Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of our personality. It won’t happen overnight, so be persistent and patient! Keep track of each small success. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and each small accomplishment will help keep you motivated.

Achieving fitness does not necessarily mean going high on expensive diet foods or signing up in an expensive gym. You can bank on nature's bounty by bringing home fresh locally grown vegetables and fruit for healthier meals. For physical fitness opt for Body weight training instead. Body weight training includes anything that relies solely on your own weight using equipment such as resistance bands, suspended cables or resistance wands. Body weight training helps in establishing equilibrium between muscles and joints.

Do not run out of steam if you find yourself failing in keeping up with your resolutions. Start over again! Recommit yourself for 24 hours. Your one day's achievement will get you back on track. This year, stop the cycle of resolving to make change and then not following through. Get Healthy- Get Started Now! Wish you all a Healthy and Lean 2015!

To Your Health
Aditi A. Mehrotra


  Warm Winter Wonder!
08 Dec 2014 , by BACFO

Come winter when the temperatures plummet, you are faced with two obvious options. One is to feel under the weather and allow it to wear you down or the other option is to spring up, build and boost your health, vitality and enjoy the winter thrills. For countless centuries, Ayurveda’s dictats have helped cope with the impact and severity of seasonal changes on our body. Ayurveda suggests living in harmony with these natural cycles and adjusting to the changes in the environment by ingesting the right type of food, in correct proportions and combinations and so on. The change in climate places stress at varying levels depending on our “metabolic type”.
Winter is the season of ‘Kapha’ with cloudy grey sky and cold, damp heavy weather. When balanced, kapha dosha gives strength and stability to both mind and body. This subtle energy is responsible for lubricating the joints, moisturizing the skin, and maintaining immunity. In general, we should follow a kapha-pacifying regimen in the winter. Cold, dry windy weather can provoke vata that leads to arthritis, indigestion, and other problems.

Handle winter effectively. Starting the day with a cup of warm water stimulates bowel movement. Pranayama, and meditation open the chest, throat, and sinuses to remove congestion in the respiratory organs. Breathing practice builds heat and eliminates mucus from the respiratory tract.
Diet should feed your digestive fire in the morning or else it will dry up bodily tissues and provoke vata. Include Oatmeal, barley, cornmeal, rice flakes for breakfast. Bread, cheese, buttermilk, steamed vegetables, soups cooked with healthy herbs and spices warm the body. Satiate the digestive agni with healthy protein from low fat sources such as beans, nuts, tofu and eggs. Soak up the rays of the sun which relax the muscles, produce vitamin D, soothe Seasonal Affective Disorder, and help the body maintain healthy sleep rhythms. Drinking hot water several times a day removes toxins from the system. Stay hydrated as dehydration adds to an imbalance of vata and kapha leaving the mood cranky and irritated. Winter is the time to hunker near a fireplace with hot cocoa or a glass of nourishing toddy. Enjoy the wonders of winter.
Wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
To Your Health!
Aditi A. Mehrotra


  WINTER GLUTTONY !
07 Nov 2014 , by BACFO

Eating out is a more regular occurrence with many of us during winter. Our winter eating habits are more of holiday feasting and fewer opportunities for playing and exercising outside. We devour food with great delight to the point of stuffing our poor stomachs to bursting heights.
We spend an increasing amount in the fraction of our food budget away from home kitchens, be it an excuse to avoid cooking or to chase the depressive winter blues away. Dining out poses many challenges to a healthy lifestyle as portion sizes are often ignored, there is unrestricted consumption of sodium; the type of cooking medium is also unaccounted for. In winter we are able to accommodate a little of everything we taste or gobble down. This is due to the fact that the digestive fire in us increases which invites more food. Consequently, we feel hungrier, and start eating heavy and hard to digest food that weakens our immunity. The fact that we can actually digest food better in winter, we can nourish our bodies better but with nutritious food.

While eating out in winter choose the dishes wisely. From the Chinese cuisine, opt for vegetable dishes, steamed wontons, clear soups, steamed rice and dumplings and avoid the pan fried, crispy fried meats, spring rolls, deep fried rice. Teriyaki or sukiyaki preparations are lighter compared to the tempuras in Japanese cuisine. Sushi and sashimi are safer bets. The typically Indian dishes that are Mughlai, Shahi or hyderabadi in preparations should be swapped for the tandoori, grilled, steamed dishes. Mexican cuisine has a lot of healthier fare to offer. Fajitas, soft taco’s, salsa and gazpachos, pico de gallo and black beans have fewer calories than Nachos, hard sheel taco, chimichangas. Come winter and pizzerias are doing roaring business. Opt for veggie, hawaiin, tandoori toppings on whole wheat of thin crust pizzas and do away with extra molten cheese, pepperoni, sausage or bacon topped pizzas with cheese filled. Italian cuisine offer pastas made with high quality grains and not only with the standard refined flour. The best avoided dishes from this cuisine will be the parmiagianas, risotto or the alfredo cream or cheese sauce toppings. As a thumb rule, eat in small portions and eat light this winter. So, eat light, eat small and eat healthy. Beat the winter blues with winter greens.

To your health!

Aditi A. Mehrotra


  LIGHTEN UP!
06 Oct 2014 , by BACFO

October whizzes in with frenzied festive chaotic rush. The house walls are getting a new paint, the house members are working on their new wardrobe for the festival, the routine household chores seem less important than the new ones like that of planning a guest list for the festive dinner. Indians around the globe celebrate their most glamorous and popular festival of lights –the Deepawali. Sugary delights, savoury treats and dry fruits have long been central to this festival.
Diwali marks new beginnings. As the day after Diwali is New Year's Day according to the Hindu Vikram calendar. Debts are cleared, new account books started, new crops sown and new resolutions made. This festival is synonymous with long, sumptuous and elaborate feasts. During this festive month lot of dinner party invites are pencilled in on your calendar. Remember to eat before you leave. Arriving full is a great way to resist the wafting aromas and temptations laid down on the dinner table. Avoid the fried foes. They put the digestive system in an overhauling tizzy. Throughout the day sip steeping hot water with or without an infusion of green leaves or herbs. Keep the cow mowing and grazing the greens. With a fibre overload, you feel satiated and can get rid of the compulsive additional grease and fat from the festive food. Keep up the BMR- your metabolic rate can be raised by exercising, however hectic your festive schedule is. Try taking some time out for a 10 minutes jog or a sprint on the treadmill.
Enjoy guilt-free a festival full of hope, fulfilment, prosperity and abundance. We wish you a Happy Deepawali and a prosperous New Year.

To Your Health

Aditi A. Mehrotra


  NO NUTRITION NO LIFE! KNOW NUTRITION KNOW LIFE
06 Sep 2014 , by BACFO

Today, good nutrition is more important than ever before. We are at the receiving end of foods that are processed and are loaded with chemicals and additives, far from their natural state. Food selections happen with the selection of one combo meal at the nearest fast food joint. We ignore our unique genetics and experiences we were born with that dictate what the best foods are for us. While the wrong diet can be deadly, eating right is among the cornerstones of health. Hippocrates way back in 400 B.C. announced to the world "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food." At least 4 of the 10 leading causes of death today are heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes which are directly related to the way we eat.
Good Nutrition is one of the most cost-effective investments a country can make to advance health and development. Many of the developing countries have made infant and young child nutrition a top priority in national policies and programs. There is an urgent need to mobilize resources, increase investments and scale up efforts to improve nutrition. Along with good nutrition as part of the overall healthy lifestyle- regular exercise, not smoking or drinking alcohol excessively, stress management and limiting exposure to environmental hazards also contributes to healthy statistics of such countries. The keys to good nutrition are balance, variety and moderation. To stay healthy, your body needs the right balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein- the three main components of nutrition.
You also need vitamins, minerals and other substances from many different foods, and while some foods are better than others, no single food or food group has it all — so eating a variety of different foods is essential. The need of the hour is to go preventive. For example, atherosclerosis or the hardening of arteries can begin in early childhood, but the process can be halted or even reversed with a proper diet. Gradual bone thinning that result in osteoporosis may be slowed down if diet is made rich in calcium, adequate Vitamin D levels are enhanced in the body. Or you may be genetically predisposed to diabetes, but keeping your weight within a healthy range through diet and exercise and the disease may never strike you.
Nutrition is Life. Life is celebration. We celebrate the NATIONAL NUTRITION WEEK this month to celebrate a healthy nourishing life.

To Your Health!

Aditi A. Mehrotra


  Emotional Eater
05 Aug 2014 , by BACFO

In our frenetic fast paced world we are always faced with the challenge of coping or dealing with constant stress. With the dip in the economic markets, job retrenchment, and socio-political tension, degree of stress levels have gone up, resultantly putting our entire well-being at risk. Stress wreaks havoc on our emotional equilibrium, as well as our physical health. The goal of stress management is to bring your mind and body back into balance. By adopting a positive attitude, learning healthier ways to cope, and changing the way you deal with stress, you can reduce its hold on your life.
What is shocking is the fact that stress could harm your teeth and gums as well. New research reveals that along with affecting the nervous system, respiratory system and the reproductive system, stress can also be blamed for poor dental health. In case of gums, there will be ulcers in the mouth and gum disease. With respect to teeth, there may be subconscious grinding due to tension and anxiety. “When stress levels go up, an excess of the stress hormone, Cortisol is secreted, which in turn damages the supporting tissue of the teeth”, says Dr Shantanu Jaradi, an aesthetic dentist. If left unchecked, you may be in danger of losing your teeth and the bone of the jaw. The dental problems caused by stress can be treated. But that is only if they are detected early in the day.
There is growing recognition in the medical community that the right food choices can improve the mood. Often chosen as the first line of treatment, depression and stress control drugs should never be the option for controlling stress. Advocating the non-drug approach, a little dietary change might be all you need. They help in giving a boost to Endorphins or the feel good hormones secreted by the pituitary gland in our body. Another hormone known as Serotonin or a neurotransmitter that regulates mood is also elevated by certain foods. Salmon, turkey, black eyed beans, nuts and seeds, oats, eggs and soy milk are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and tryptophan which is a precursor of serotonin, the mood lifting hormone. Increase your intake of natural prebiotics, which help promote good bacteria. They are found in veg (particularly Jerusalem artichokes, chicory, bananas, garlic, onions and leeks) or use supplements. Cut down on sugars, alcohol and caffeine, which can reduce levels of beneficial bacteria and lead to gas, poor immunity and yeast overgrowth (candida). Eat slowly and chew thoroughly to give your digestion the best chance to work effectively.

Foods to avoid are the mouth watering calorie laden confectionery products we get so tempted to attack on at the time of extreme stress. Keep at bay alcohol, coffee, highly refined and sugary foods. Certain herbs work best in controlling stress naturally. All work and no play is a recipe for burnout. Exercise boosts the feel good hormones. Try to find balance between work and family life, social activities and solitary pursuits. Be good, do good!

To Your Health!

Aditi A. Mehrotra


  SALTED SAGA
07 Jul 2014 , by BACFO

Life loses some of its piquancy without a dash of salt in it. For reasons unclear, salt continues to suffer sensationalist treatment in the media. It is hard to find a nutritionist who has not counseled generations to decrease their intake of sodium. Doctors insist healthy people can reduce their risk of heart disease or stroke by eating less than 2,400 mg of sodium, quite a cut from the 4,000 to 6,000 mg we carelessly ingest on a daily basis.

The recommendation stemmed from studies showing that a reduction in sodium can lower the blood pressure in those who are sodium sensitive. The connection made sense from a chemistry standpoint.
Sodium is essential in maintaining the right balance of fluids in our body. And more so, it helps transmit nerve impulses that influence contraction and relaxation of our muscles. Our kidneys regulate the amount of sodium, when low they conserve and when high they excrete the excess amounts. Regular high levels of sodium intake start to accumulate in the blood and because sodium attracts and holds water, the blood volume increases. Our heart resultantly has to work harder, increasing pressure on our arteries.
To keep yourself away from this dreaded disorder, all you need to do is to get in the habit of label reading. Look out for sodium based food additives commonly added to food at the time of food processing. Monosodium Glutamate(MSG) – a.k.a ajinomoto that is a popular flavour enhancer in chinese cuisine, Sodium bi carbonate or the baking soda, baking powder for leavening breads, disodium phosphate which is present in some quick cooking cereals and processed cheese, sodium alginate used in ice creams, sodium benzoate used as a preservative, sodium nitrate used in curing meats and sausages, sodium sulfite used to bleach certain foods and in preservation of dried fruits such as raisins and prunes.
There are several ways to reduce sodium in your diet. Eat more fresh and fewer processed foods. Avoid placing salt and pepper cruets at the meal table. Limit the use of ketchups, relishes and pickles. Avoid canned foods or else rinse thoroughly canned vegetables and meats to remove extra sodium. Drink plenty of water even in winter.

To Your Health!
Aditi A. Mehrotra


  THE SIMMERING SUMMER
07 Jun 2014 , by BACFO

Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate! Drinking up gallons of water seems like a never ending task in heated summer months. Keep in mind that roughly 20% of our daily H2O intake comes from solid foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Some summer fruit are at least 90% water by weight. No other fruit says summer like the crunchy, thirst quenching melon of the Cucurbitaceae family. Although watermelons can now be found in the markets throughout the year, the season for watermelon is in the summer when they are sweet and of the best quality. Musk melon or the fleshy cantaloupe is diuretic, nutrient dense, laxative and antilithic. Seeds are used to dissolve excessive uric acid. Jamun or the black plum has its dark flesh which is beneficial in spleen enlargement while the seed of the fruit is used as a remedy in diabetes. Litchi or Chinese hazelnut is a summer coolant, a thirst quencher and is useful as a demulcent and an aphrodisiac. The divine fruit, mango is very rich in Vitamin C and A. Along with improving complexion and vision, mangoes stimulates appetite, cleanse liver and tone the heart.
As summer moves into its hottest weeks we see the ripe peaches, the sensual, soft juicy fruit brimming with nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, vitamins C and A. Cherries are stone fruits related to the plum, peach, apricot, and almond, all of which, interestingly are relatives of the rose. They are available in pale red to very dark red growing sweeter as they get darker. Cherries have many health benefits. They contain anti-ageing antioxidants and are full of fiber, vitamins A, B and C, and lots of minerals such as calcium, iron and potassium. Cherries have no fat. They are also good for purifying the blood and for boosting energy. Rich in anthocyanins and bioflavonoids, these compounds help to relieve and prevent arthritis and gout. They also reduce pain and inflammation as well as eliminate migraine. Summer fruit are best eaten uncooked, in their natural state. Juice them only to avoid reaching out for the colas and sodas. Cool it colourfully!
To Your Health!
Aditi A. Mehrotra


  COLOUR CODED!
02 May 2014 , by BACFO

All the groundbreaking new innovations and excavations in the food industry have begun to confuse many. It is true that people eat with their eyes, and their eyes trick their stomach. The more colors we see across the buffet table the more we eat. But to take this distinction seriously, of all the colours that we see, only a handful of dishes are with their natural food colours while a huge spread of dishes carry artificial food colorants. Even though, adverse reactions to food colours occur only in a small proportion of the population, yet possible risks to humans can be associated with the ingestion of food colours over a period of time. Symptoms include skin rashes, nasal congestion and hives, although the incidence as low as one or two persons in 10,000 have been estimated. However, if you are used to ignorantly eating synthetic colours filled diet for your whole life with little or no harm to your body, it’s because the human body is remarkably resilient. But with age comes reduced resistance, and these toxins start accumulating in the body after a certain point. The liver, our natural cleanser, is the first to suffer. Various food colorings may be mixed together in the same package. If you pick up any processed food and read its label carefully, a few may contain more than five different added colors in them.
Interestingly, food specialists are also specializing in printing edible pictures and selling edible printing systems. Thankfully, we did not start to eat prints but we definitely started to print our pictures on celebration cakes. Such colors make the food unnatural and spoil the original taste. There are two types of food dyes, natural and synthetic. The synthetic ones are mainly coal-tar derivatives made from chemical compounds which are made when coal is distilled. Dyes dissolve in water and are added to baked goods, beverages, dairy products, dry mixes etc. They are made as liquids and powders. The following dyes have been linked to allergic reactions, skin rashes, hyperactivity, asthma and even cancer and it may be a good idea to avoid them. These are Tartrazine, Sunset Yellow, Carmoisine, Amaranth, Ponceau, Allura Red, Brilliant Blue, Green S ,Caramel Brilliant Black, Brown HT and Aluminium.
Children end up consuming much more food coloring than adults. Natural dyes, on the other hand, can make food look wholesome and real, by restoring the ingredients to their natural state. Some natural red colors are derived from cherry and beet juices. The natural yellows and reds are obtained from annatto which is a wax of a seed of a shrub in Central America, carotenoids, cochineal, beetroot extract, grape skin extract, paprika, saffron, turmeric, caramel. Caramel and vegetable carbons give the browns and blacks. Saffron and turmeric have been used from times immemorial to make yellow and orange colors. Indigo is one of the best known natural colorings derived from the indigo plant and is in use for centuries.
Next time you buy candies, lollipops and jellies or flavoured ice cream tubs for children, offer them home baked cakes or ice creams or fudges and mousses made with natural ingredients instead.

To your Health!
Aditi A. Mehrotra


  WORLD HEALTH DAY
07 Apr 2014 , by BACFO

Just as we did our best to stay afloat in the turbulence caused by chicken flu, swine flu, we are still in the grip of seasonal vector borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, malaria, filaria and many more. The World Health Organization draws attention on World Health Day on April 7th each year to such public health problem of global proportions and what needs to be done to address it. The World Health Day 2014 campaign focuses on vectors, the diseases they cause and simple precautions we can all take to protect ourselves and our families.

The scary statistics is much under control with media playing a very important role in spreading awareness and timely updating us with information related to its prevention. Seasonal flu occurs every year and many of us escape scot-free as we have developed an immunity against it which protects us from catching the flu. Experts believe that it is a price we are paying for being a little acquiescent in following the guidelines of hygiene and basic sanitation. Is all this panic or hysteria justifiable? On the contrary, we should make efforts to limit the spread of infection as much and as soon as possible. The global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades. About half of the world's population is now at risk. There is no specific treatment for dengue/ severe dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates below 1%. Dengue prevention and control solely depends on effective vector control measures. It is likely that a weak immune system could make us more susceptible to a virus. Give yourself an anti-oxidant protection with liberal servings of fruit and vegetables. Moderate regular exercise has been shown to support the immune system and reduce risk of viral infections such as flu. Exercise promotes greater release of macrophage cells, which attack bacteria. A well balanced diet, hygienic practices and good sanitary conditions will steer us clear and leave us with a better ability to cope with such infections.

To your Health!
Aditi A. Mehrotra


  WOW WOMEN!
08 Mar 2014 , by BACFO

“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” - Diane Mariechild.
Today, we celebrate the power…. that is a woman! The celebration gives recognition, admiration, and gratitude to women's sacrifices, love for humanity and their social achievement. Women often take care of their families first and put off their own health care needs. The key is to get enough of the nutrients that support their good health. Dear Ladies, It is time to take charge of your health! You define your own health. You define your own health challenges. There is no one definition of what "good health" means. Your health is based on your own factors and lifestyle choices. As you find your own many ways of getting there…. in effectively addressing your nutritional needs and health challenges, the essence lies in staying healthy and to pick up early warning signs of disease or illness. Good nutrition and exercise do not just slow down muscle loss and aid with weight control, they also help a woman guard against heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer, even the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
Yes, your body will deteriorate with age. But while biological processes do play a role, our lifestyle and attitude can greatly impact on the extent of that wear and tear. Those risks increase with family history, inactive lifestyle, and eating a poor diet. But while healthy women may differ in the specifics of their approaches, they recognize the importance of cluing into how nutritional needs change over time. Just make sure you are eating the right foods so you are not running low and risking a deficiency of the macro nutrients as well as of the ones that are lesser known and not in the spotlight such as Vitamin K, selenium, choline, Vitamin B12 and the antioxidants that help in combating cell damage and infections.
Feeling empowered, educated and enlightened defines the woman who understands the importance of good health and a good mind!

To Your Health!
Aditi A. Mehrotra


  Sensor Cancer
07 Feb 2014 , by BACFO

Cancer seems to be tightening its grip on the planet. Statistics are stubbornly refusing to improve despite the availability of advanced cancer care units, medical attention and advocacy. 8.2 million people die from cancer each year around the world of which almost 1.2 million are in WHO’s South-East Asia Region, where an estimated 1.7 million new cancer cases are diagnosed each year. Women are afflicted with cancer of the breast and cervix while lung and oral cavity cancers are the most common for men. World Cancer Day was observed around the globe on February 4th to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment to significantly reduce illness and death caused due to cancer by 2020. The high rate of cancer deaths can be attributed mainly to ignorance and delay in seeking medical attention. Reports claim new cancer cases will skyrocket globally from an estimated 14 million in 2012 to 22 million new cases a year within the next two decades. Half of all cancers globally could be prevented if current knowledge was put into practice, the new report says. This would include reducing tobacco comsumptionh, tackling obesity, promoting physical activity, adopting screening programs and encouraging vaccines to reduce risk of certain cancers such as the liver and cervix. Oncologists repeatedly point out the causes of such a high incidence of cancer. Factors could be both internal such as genetic, hormonal and poor immune conditions and external or environmental like food habits, industrialization, over growth of population and lifestyle.
It is important to know that food plays a pivotal role in cancer prevention. Intake of antioxidant-rich foods, avoiding fat laden meat and dairy and adding dietary fiber can help protect against cancer. The good news is Cancer is not only treatable but can be prevented too. In fact, the prevalence of this dreaded disease can be dramatically reduced, if not reversed, or fully prevented by a physically active lifestyle and wholesome and balanced nutrition choices.
The choice of being disease free remains with us. What we choose is what we get!

To Your Health!
Aditi. A Mehrotra


  NEW YEAR NEW YOU
04 Jan 2014 , by BACFO

With the advent of New Year comes the opportunity for a fresh start. Success starts with this new belief that you shall succeed. Success comes from doing even the smallest change consistently. Small, sustainable changes, acquiring new habits, quitting the bad ones- takes time. We need to understand that the New Year resolutions are a process not a one-time effort to create new habits.
This New Year will witness new trends in diet and exercise. There will be more fad diets surprisingly endorsed by many anorexic celebrities. "Gluten-free" was the way to be in 2013 and that fad would continue even this year. A survey by Today's Dietician magazine of more than 500 dieticians predicts "gluten-free" will continue to be the top diet trend of 2014. The good news is that while gluten is out, ancient grains are definitely in. Quinoa, amaranth, freekeh and spelt are the new wonder cereals high in fiber and carry other health benefits too. Dark greens hogged the limelight and rose in popularity by 10 percent in 2013. A survey by the American Culinary Federation of chefs and industry professionals predicts collard greens, turnip greens and mustard greens as the key greens this New Year.
Patrick M. Markey of Villanova University published in The Journal of Health Psychology. “You can’t look at a diet as a temporary thing,” he said. “You have to look at it as something you do forever. Otherwise, you are just going to cycle forever.” It is best advised to keep a diary to document a weeks’ diet intake and assess the same to point one thing about the diet you could change. Follow it. By mastering that change, it becomes second nature and turns into a habit in just few weeks. No goal is achievable overnight. A regimented diet coupled with a good fitness program consisting of exercises that work out the whole body is all you need to stay fit or lose weight and keep it off. While cardio exercises improve the function and health of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels, the weight-bearing exercises enhance the function and health of the bones, muscles, joints, and connective tissues.
Take resolutions one by one, bit by bit. It is pretty much like ordering small portions even when the value size combo meals are far more tempting. The bottom line with all these changes is that you set small nutrition goals and think positive. As we get ready to start a New Year, we can do ourselves the most good by improving important health-related aspects of our lifestyles. By setting and meeting smaller goals, we see more immediate rewards that will lead to the ultimate objective of NEW YEAR NEW YOU. Wish you all a very healthy 2014.

To Your Health!

Aditi A.Mehrotra


  “THE YEAR END”
06 Dec 2013 , by BACFO

The year 2013 has been the year of this nutritious and biologically diverse wonder seed called QUINOA, a pseudo cereal native to the Andes. The main objective of designating 2013 as the Year of Quinoa was to raise awareness of how quinoa can provide nutrition, assist in weight loss, increase food security, and help eradicate poverty around the world. Nutritionists, Clinicians, healthcare facility leaders, public health professionals, leaders in agriculture and even the policymakers through their concerted effort and commitment have tried very hard to educate the global population about the ills of lifestyle related diseases. Despite such movements, health reviews for the year 2013 however would only reveal the increasingly unfit demography leading to ‘GLOBESITY’. This exemplifies obesity is a result of the human race getting lazier and eating too much junk food.
It is also time again for the caroling, jingling bells, the thud of sleigh on the roof, the gifts, the feastings on rich plum puddings and mince pies, mistletoes along the doorways to ward off evils and wishing of good cheer to all. Santa Claus, the rotund, cheerful man with a full, white beard, in his bright red suit holding a sack laden with toys is still believed by children with unshaken faith to have some supernatural ability to ascend a chimney with a mere nod of his head. In a light hearted Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal comments on Santa’s image that he ought to ditch his sleigh, get walking, and give up his pipe. Nathan Grills, the Public health researcher feels that Santa’s popularity can be put to best use to promote healthy living with a healthy makeover of a slimmed down version of Santa on a treadmill and Santa sharing carrots with his red-nosed reindeer Rudolph. In our country however, Santa’s popularity, scales high only in the month of December while Ronald Mcdonald grabs the limelight all year round for being the most lovable food fictional character. Christmas feasts end with voluminous helpings of sinful desserts and endless refills of alcohol- promoting ill health and depressing lifestyle diseases. Eat light as you plan your year end festivities for healthy new beginnings. We wish you all Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year!

To Your Health!

Aditi A. Mehrotra



  SO YOU HAVE DIABETES…WHAT NOW?
01 Nov 2013 , by BACFO

Diabetes is not a death sentence but a lifelong commitment to maintaining the blood sugar level close to normal and to prevent complications taking Insulin. If you do some learning and take action you can live a long healthy life even with diabetes. Diabetes without proper treatment can cause many complications even when all forms of Diabetes have been treatable since the discovery and availability of Insulin in 1921. Multiple factors are to blame. Stress, sugar, sedentary lifestyle spell trouble and the damage begins silently and stealthily.
Serious complications can be long term. Diabetes dramatically increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems including coronary artery diseases. Excess sugar damages or injures the walls of the tiny blood vessels that nourish the nerves in the legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tip of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upwards in a condition called neuropathy. Most people with diabetes get some form of retinopathy, a disorder of the retina. Other common vision problems are cataracts and glaucoma. Diabetes is the leading cause of nephropathy or severe kidney disease. Hearing impairments occur more often in people with uncontrolled diabetes.


Anti- diabetic drugs effectively control diabetes by various mechanisms. However, such chemical agents come with certain drawbacks such as developing resistance to long-term treatment, adverse effects and lack of action in large segment of diabetes patients. A study confirms approximately 44% of diabetics develop resistance to sulfonylureas treatment within six years. Additionally, some anti-diabetic agents can cause toxic effects; thiazolidinedione may cause liver toxicity, and sulfonylureas may worsen heart disease, cause hypoglycemia and increase the body weight gain.

Alternatively, several medicinal plants and herbs have been investigated for their hypoglycemic properties and have widely been used in traditional systems to prevent or treat diabetes. Gurmar, bilvapatra, shilajeet,Nyagrodha, Jamun Mingi are plants that may help delay diabetic complications and even correct the metabolic abnormalities. As per ancient literature, there are more than 800 plants having anti-diabetic properties. Herbal diabetes products have been popular all over the world. Certain herbs provide symptomatic relief and prevent diabetes complications, regenerate beta cells, exhibit antioxidant activity in addition to the blood-glucose level normalizing effect.
A diet rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates found in leafy green vegetables, legumes and whole grains can help prevent type 2 diabetes. We should never give up the fight in order to combat this dreaded disease and live well.

To Your Health
Aditi A. Mehrotra


  OLA! OCTOBER 2013
04 Oct 2013 , by BACFO

October can aptly be refered to as ‘The reverence for life’ month. This month brings in very important calendar markings. The World Vegetarian Day initiates on the very first day of the month. It is also the World Health Literacy month. You will also notice that October goes pink in support of Breast cancer awareness. World Vegetarian Day encourages families to go meatless and consume a vegetarian diet that will go a long way in protecting them against cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, colon cancers and many more of such life threatening diseases. The perception of the effects of a vegetarian diet on health has gone through a transformation in the last 20 years ranging from doubts regarding its nutritional adequacy to positioning it as the leading nutritionally sound diet. Being vegetarian certainly does not omit the ovo-lacto food groups nor does it encourage people to convert to Vegans or vegetarians who do not eat meat, fish, dairy or egg or Fruitarians who further restrict their food intake to fruits, nuts and seeds. If you’re eating a well-balanced vegetarian diet with plenty of unprocessed whole grains, fruits and vegetables, you are eating one of the healthiest diets on the planet.
October is also designated as the Health Literacy month. Health literacy is both a means and an outcome of actions aimed at promoting the empowerment and participation of people in getting clear facts about preventive health. Health information literacy is the ability to understand basic health information which resultantly has an important impact on health. October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month aims to inform everyone that early detection and diagnosis with timely treatment can ensure complete recovery and a long life afterwards. Take charge, implement real-life strategies to reduce health risks. Prevention is about the choices you make each day. It includes self-care, which is about paying attention to how you feel and taking action when you sense something is wrong. This means being tuned in to your body and mind and realizing when something is out of balance and seeking immediate cure. Stay Fit stay healthy.

To Your Health!

Aditi Mehrotra


  NUTRITION TRANSITION GLOBALLY!
06 Sep 2013 , by BACFO

Food habits have changed radically in the way the globe eats, drinks and moves. The diets are alarmingly becoming increasingly energy dense. At the same time, fibrous foods are continuously being replaced by processed versions. Who is to be blamed? Urbanization? Modern mass media? Better transportation systems? Fast food industry? Increases in per capita income? Shift in the ownership of food consumption decisions at home?
Diets have always been influenced by many factors and complex interactions. Family income, food prices, environmental and social factors, individual preferences, cultural traditions and beliefs. All such factors interact in a complex manner to shape dietary consumption patterns. Despite the major health challenges faced today, few countries are serious in addressing prevention of the dietary challenges faced. On looking back, while the dominant concerns were more on ways to combat global hunger and malnutrition, diluted attempts were being made to draw attention to the threat of obesity engulfing the planet. Overweight and obesity were estimated to afflict nearly 1.5 billion adults worldwide in 2008.
Preventive Nutrition was limited to a slice of the high class privileged population. What is heart wrenching is the fact that history records the existence of preventive nutritional therapies which included a simple balanced diet to promote health and longevity. The earliest recorded use of the term macrobiotics, a science aimed at prolonging and perfecting life is found in the writing of Hippocrates, the father of Western Medicine. A macrobiotic diet was considered a dietary regimen involving the consumption of grains as a staple food supplemented with local vegetables. It was devoid of highly processed or refined foods and most animal products. Macrobiotics preached against overeating and for chewing food thoroughly. Japanese macrobiotics emphasized locally grown cereals, pulses, vegetables, seaweed, fermented soy products and fruit, combined into meals according to the principle of yin and yang balance.
There were tools available with us for combating lifestyle diseases that currently afflict one in three individuals but lay ignored. Since we all crave a disease free life, it is only natural that the need to change and improve the food trends will eventually lead to significant changes, the first of which is a change in awareness. Self health and awareness check, food intake recap, diagnostic tests are steps that need to be taken to know your health score. National Nutrition week 2013 aims at encouraging all individuals to take charge and act accordingly for promoting and perfecting your life. What are you waiting for? Get started. NOW.
To your Health

Aditi Mehrotra


  Evolutionary Eating
02 Aug 2013 , by BACFO

We live in a digital age that is constantly being updated with newer versions. We tread through the day with confidence owing to the dependency we have on message alerts beeping incessantly and a zillion electronic notices at every step. With the proliferation of health tracking phone apps, this fast food frequenting community confidently weighs and measures its food intake and also the resultant calories burn out in a day. Is there ever a pause to speculate looking back on the lives of its ancestors who were hunter-gatherers from the Paleolithic Era that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture? Does this eat- on- the- run community- tracking its diet on smartphones, realize that even though their world may be evolving at a digital speed, their genes are still stuck at the hunter-gatherer dinner table. Or on the flipside, did their ancestors even foresee that food for generations to come will one day be sold frozen, packaged in plastic and metallic foils?
“Although evolution is an ongoing process, for all living people, their genome is a result of past events in the generations of humans who came before them,” says Loren Cordain, PhD, a professor and the author of ‘The Paleo Diet’. The arguments are rife with theories and hypothesis supporting facts that our genes simply have not caught up with this dietary divergence, the chief cause contributing to the epidemic levels of chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity that we see today.
The food supply chain has broadened its horizons altering the nutritional characteristics of the otherwise balanced unprocessed diet. This does not imply that we go back to the Caveman Diet but at least try and adhere to the tenets of healthy eating concept such as eat grains, fresh fruit and vegetables in their near natural unprocessed state that are in sync with the existing environment.
From food scavengers to internet food browsers we have come a long way. Chemicals, additives and preservatives are added to processed foods to lengthen their shelf life not yours. Think about it!

To Your Health!
Aditi Mehrotra


  CALORIE CONFUSION!
05 Jul 2013 , by BACFO

For those who cannot put together the weight loss jig saw puzzle right should try and connect two important links namely scientifically planned weight loss diet and regular exercising. Fad diets popularly claim to help you achieve weight loss quickly with minimal effort from your part. More than making such diets popular and tempting, the claims to quick weight loss is also what makes them suspicious.

The global weight loss market had an estimated worth of $265 billion in the year 2012. The global increase in obesity, increasing number of commercial weight loss centers creeping across cities, increasing personal disposable income, increasing awareness about health and fitness and technological advancements are the key factors driving the global obesity management market.

Despite the well-accepted prescription of a tailor made diet and
exercise routine for successful weight management, hundreds of home shopping channels are surfed in search for quick-fix chemical pills, patches, potions and programs for effortless weight loss. The Federal State Commission in the United States concludes “The use of false or misleading claims in weight-loss advertising is rampant. The most chronic dieters who succumb to such false claims end up feeling helpless, out of control, demoralized by their inability to keep weight off not to forget the detrimental effects such products pose on their health”.

Step aside and out of this frenzied diet craze. A deep understanding of your body and its composition, your family history, your genetic build up, the ill effects of gluttony it has accumulated are all important indicators to help you plan a nutritiously balanced diet regime with a diet coach. It is time to stop subjecting your body to dangerous fad diets or harmful prescription weight loss surgeries or in built patches, and safely steer yourself to a healthier ‘you’.

TO YOUR HEALTH!
Aditi A. Mehrotra


  SIMMERING SUMMER
08 Jun 2013 , by BACFO

Ayurveda describes summer as the ‘Pitta’ season predominated by fire and water. Hot, humid weather destroys the appetite and aggravates Pitta-Kapha rashes, irritability, and lethargy during this month. All digestive enzymes and bodily hormones are linked with Pitta dosha. Summer is fire season, and when you learn what to eat and how to act to balance this element, you will feel cooler and more comfortable all season long. Most people regardless of their Ayurvedic constitution will feel more comfortable during summer time by following a Pitta reducing diet.

Summer is typically a time when many of us attempt to purge ourselves of the internal contamination and external baggage stockpiled at the tail end of winter months. Water comes first to the mind when it comes to getting rid of the internal wastes. Thirst quenching, stimulant, anti pyretic, expectorant, anti spasmodic, anti-depressant, diuretic - the list seems endless for what a plain glass of water can offer. No other beverage or chilled drink can replace water when it comes to thirst busting. It acts as a catalyst for the innumerable metabolic processes that take place within our system. Water is present in our blood, body fliuds, muscles, bones and teeth.

During summer, Pitta heat within the body can be cooled down by eating a diet of cooling foods. The best foods to keep the body cool during summer are watermelon, cucumber, mint, coconut, summer squash, fennel, cilantro, and aloe vera. Grapefruit contains only 30 calories and is comprised of 90 percent water. Phytonutrients called limonoids found in grapefruits can be detoxifying. Coconut water comprised of 95 percent water is rich in electrolytes. Cantaloupe will add up only 29 calories and is 80 percent water. Celery is considered to be a powerful electrolyte food. As little as two to three mineral-rich stalks of celery can replenish the body with sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc levels. Cucumbers are 97 percent water, tomatoes, lettuce and zucchini are 95 percent water and eggplant is 92 percent water. High-water content in vegetables not only provides hydration, it also encourages feelings of fullness with fewer calories. Fruit that contains the greatest water content include watermelon at 92 percent, grapefruit 91 percent, peaches at 85 percent. It is best to avoid spicy, acidic and greasy foods during summer as they will increase the heat in your body and make you feel hotter.

So, this summer, ‘eat your fluids’ to rehydrate and replenish your body.

To Your Health!

Aditi A Mehrotra


  THE KITCHEN CHEMISTRY
03 May 2013 , by BACFO

Food we eat now has changed significantly over the past 100 years. There has been a notable decline in its nutrient density as well. According to a recent study at the University of Colorado, food today typically has 50% fewer nutrients compared to the food our grandparents ate. Synthetic chemical flavours or ‘artificial flavourings’ are commonly used in processed food by food manufactures to enhance their products taste. Food additives may seem like a small, insignificant exposure to a toxic substance, nonetheless, affect our health for worse. Preservatives and chemicals added to the food we eat is for the safe keep of the food vis-a-vis our health as these additives provide a consistent product, prevent foods from spoiling and improve their appearance and flavor. Color additives add a lot of appeal making food more interesting and salable, especially in products aimed at children. While there is much controversy over the safety of food dyes, there are studies indicating that artificial colors have many harmful side effects including hyperactivity, restlessness, breathing problems and attention problems in children.
Sweeteners mask bitterness or improve an otherwise bland product. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is an extremely common commercial sweetener that has demonstrated increase in the body fat and triglycerides of rats under study conducted by researchers at Princeton University. Flavour enhancers such as Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is commonly added to foods to make them more palatable it can produce adverse reactions in such as headaches, sweating, numbness and tingling, chest pain and nausea.
Emulsifying agents used in foods provide an even texture and keep ingredients from separating, such as with peanut butter. Dough strengtheners and leavening agents improve the quality of baked goods. Anticaking agents like silicon dioxide and stearic acid are used to keep ingredients from clumping together. Humectants attract moisture and prevent foods like breads and cakes from drying out. In our industrialized consumer world, we have now become used to the uniformity as well as appeal that comes in with the use of food colorings. With everything from hybridization to genetic engineering affecting our foods directly affect our health.
The detrimental effects with the inclusion of such artificial flavours and colours are far too many to be compressed and discussed in this column. We are literally eating ourselves to death as we fill ourselves with chemicals, preservatives and colors. The solution lies with us –read labels carefully, avoid stashing the cart with canned foods filled with chemicals. Eat five times more natural food in the form of fresh fruit and vegetables to neutralize the detrimental effects of the chemicals. Eat safe, eat natural.

To Your Health.
Aditi A. Mehrotra


  WORLD HEALTH DAY
05 Apr 2013 , by BACFO

“We are born ageing, as they say, and we all want to grow older with grace, dignity, and full social engagement. Good health makes this possible.” opines Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General, World Health Organization. The word ‘Health’ originates from the Old English word ‘hale’ meaning wholeness, being whole, sound or well. Are you in good health if you are not sick or diseased? Over the years of your existence have you collected an assortment of aches and pains, twinges and creakings like a rusty old machine? Is your body still very strong and supple or flexible at your command? The Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization rightly defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Dr. Chan feels that these days, people who got the right start in life, followed healthy lifestyles, and took good care of their health can expect to remain active during their eighth, ninth, even tenth decade of life. The theme this year for World Health Day observed on the 7th of April is 'Hypertension' which increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. There is glaring evidence of data that declares one in three adults worldwide having hypertension. Hypertension already affects one billion people globally, leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. Hypertension is a silent, invisible killer that rarely causes symptoms. The goal of the day is to raise awareness of hypertension and its risks and encourage healthy behaviors to prevent heart attacks.

Raised blood pressure is a serious warning sign that significant lifestyle changes are urgently needed. People need to know why raised blood pressure is
dangerous, and how to take steps to control it. The thumb rule is simple -support healthy lifestyles by eating a balanced diet, reducing salt intake, avoiding harmful use of alcohol, getting regular exercise. Fortunately, hypertension is curable, preventable and manageable. All you need is a simple yet regimented approach and a strong will to achieve complete physical, mental and emotional well being.

Aditi A. Mehrotra


  Generations of Examinations!
01 Mar 2013 , by BACFO

This time round bumping into every other nervous wrecked child is a common feature. Students are spotted staying up late nights on endless coffee and tea, chips and fried delights which are the popular stay-awake snacks. Healthy food isn’t the priority! Caffeine in tea, coffee and cola act as mild diuretics robbing the brain off electrolytes and proper hydration essential for concentration and mental alertness. Studies show that most students who end up permanently partially dehydrated during exam time have their brains working considerably below its capacity and potential. There is more evidence to suggest that what students eat have an impact on how well they perform. Children are often heard complaining to their parents that they had a sledgehammer pounding in their heads while writing their test papers. Few claim that they ‘blanked out’ with a stuffed cotton wool in head kind of feeling while attempting to write their tests.

What matters the most is the type of food we feed our young owls during their exams in helping boost their brain functioning. A well-balanced diet is ideal for the brain as it helps in improving concentration and helping brain grow useful cells. Some of the most useful foods and liquids are easily available without even having to prepare them. Water and fruit are what we probably consume daily yet may neglect during exam time. Fruit contain antioxidants that neutralize free radicals which can damage the brain cells. The best fruits to look out for are the ones high in vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin E. The more colourful the fruit the better it is for the brain. A lack of iron in the diet could also lead to difficulty in concentrating for long periods and lead to tiredness. Iron is important because it helps make red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. Herbs such as sage and rosemary help alleviate mental fatigue, nuts and seeds and eggs provide lasting energy and ample of nutrients. Fish rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids improves blood circulation and boosts brain power with better concentration, memory and alertness. Handful of nuts, sun-dried fruit and oilseeds are rich in DHA needed in high levels for better memory and a sharper brain.
The worst foods during this time are the processed, high carb foods including breads, cakes, pies and foods saturated with sugar, salt, chemical colourants and preservatives. They “fog” the thinking process by hampering the release of chemicals needed for an alert brain.

If you combine these "brain foods" with regular exercise, study breaks and a good night sleep, you will have boosted your brainpower in no time. Good luck for your exam!!

Aditi A. Mehrotra


  Hearty Hearts
01 Feb 2013 , by BACFO

This month rings in crimson colors and stuffed plush red hearts across the globe. February 14 marks the Valentine’s Day, a day expressing heartfelt feelings for one another. Sad but true, we have only one heart and we dedicate only one day to it and that too to symbolize our love one day in the entire year. The heart is not just the seat of love, heart signifies ‘life’. Even without breathing we have a chance to stay alive as long as our heart is beating. To push blood, an average heart beats a hundred thousand times in a day which adds up to more than two and a half billion times in a lifetime the average human heart will beat. Give your heart the true love and care it deserves. Our failure to protect the only part of our body that loves us-our heart has lead us to contribute to the rise in coronary heart diseases from 4 percent to an astounding 11 percent. By 2030, World Health Organization warns that almost 25 million people will die from CVDs, mainly from heart disease and stroke.
If those statistics sound frightening, take heart. Celebrate your Valentine’s Day with heart healthy pledges. Stop over-indulging in the gastronomical delights leaving your heart to take all the blows. Help your heart by maintaining a healthy weight as obesity predisposes you to increase the risk of heart attacks, heart failure and diabetes. A healthy diet and a well planned exercise regime is the best way to maintain a normal weight. Our heart muscle labors twice as hard as the leg muscles during a sprint. We need a good workout to work our heart out to keep it working. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise (think brisk walking or cycling) or 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise such as cardio plus strength training at least twice a week. But the most important aspect of exercise is making it a habit. It has more to do with frequency vis-a-vis time.
Play cupid to your own heart. Reduce saturated and trans fats in your diet. When you do use fats, choose monounsaturated fats, such as olive or canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats found in nuts and seeds also are good choices for a heart-healthy diet. When used in place of saturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may help lower your total blood cholesterol. But moderation is essential. Avoid salty, fatty, processed and packaged foods, especially ones high in fats, sodium and sugar. Vitamins B, C, E, folate, magnesium and potassium, soluble fiber, flavonoids in veggies and fruit help declog the arteries. Drink alcohol responsibly. Limit to just an occasional glass of red wine carrying antioxidants like resveratrol which prevent the built-up of plaque in the arteries. In a Heart care seminar held last year on February 14th, I heard a leading cardiologist address his audience with a light-hearted humor “Valentine’s day is a great day to begin looking after your heart as well as your sweet-heart”. Give your heart the true love and care it rightly deserves.

To your Health!

Aditi A. Mehrotra


  THE NEW YEAR IS HERE
04 Jan 2013 , by BACFO

We have embraced the New Year with renewed energy. It’s traditional to sit down with a slip pad and a pencil to make a list of New Year resolutions at either the tail end of the year fading by or in the first 48 hours of the New Year. After a festive month of many calorie laden treats and holiday parties, it is natural to vow to lose weight and get fit. Mark Murphy, author of ‘Hard Goals: The Secret to Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be’ suggests goal setting should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-limited).
This year let us follow the simple thumb rule of less is ‘enough’. Resolutions connote stating solutions every year. Let me help you make a list for a healthy and ‘lean’ 2013. Good health would mean fewer visits to the hospitals and higher work output. I will be more tasks specific and less result oriented as tasks will help achieve goals and results anyhow. Here is your list. Release, recognize, reality check, rev up, regularlize and record.
The first task is ‘Release’. Release the toxins from your body, the most common ones will be excess fat, cholesterol, sodium, pollutants, alcohol. Detoxify and super cleanse your system with super foods. The second task is to ‘recognize’ the negative barriers in your growth, be it anger, stress eating, greed, indulgence. Root them out from their source of origin. Channelize your negativity in a more constructive direction such as reading, tending to herb pots and kitchen gardening. Third is to do a thorough ‘Reality check’ of your current physical and mental health status. What needs to be fixed in body like bleeding gums, pains in joints must be top priority needing immediate attention. Fourth is to ‘rev up’ the fitness regime. Postponing or delaying renewing gym membership or signing up for golf lessons or an aerobics class must take top spot in the to-do list. If winter stops you from your daily walk routine, schedule half an hour walk through the sunny path during the day. The next task will be to bring ‘regularity’ in all your tasks at hand. Combine regularity with ‘recording’ of the tasks. Make a diet diary and record all that you eat. Record and enlist your activities of the day along with a column for the unaccomplished tasks in hand. Take them up comfortably the next day without fretting. Keep a cool mind and feel energized round the clock with small frequent energy meals.
Have a year of good health and more wealth this New Year!

Aditi A. Mehrotra


  Make Way for Santa!
11 Dec 2012 , by BACFO

December unfurled with the global observance of World AIDS Day on its very first day. Dedicated to raising awareness of AIDS pandemic, countries across the globe marked this day with red ribbon campaigns against AIDS. Colour red takes prominence this month. Bright red, the colour of Christmas evokes feelings of love and happiness and green symbolizes good life. With huge temptations all around, the party season is traditionally a mid-winter extravaganza that leaves us with our hands and mouth full. The delectable festive fare spread out at Christmas party is often far from fat-free or low sugar. The carefree atmosphere, wine and gingerale flowing it is certainly a time to really let loose after months of hard work. The temptation is just to jack in the regimented diet this party season and resolve to eventually set right the damage in the New Year.
I am not suggesting complete abstinence from the yummy plum pudding, mince pies, Christmas cookies. All we need are a few careful choices to make instead. Everyone probably has special recipes that reflect their heritage and ancestry. But a few substitutes here and some cutbacks there will go a long way in the calorie-curb. Try altering the cooking methods, grill, bake, broil and boil, poach, shallow fry, steam instead. Before you get ready for the big X’mas dinner, try to eat a healthy snack beforehand. Fit in a snack such as fruit, yoghurt, salad or crackers with low fat cheese. Being hungry means you will be more tempted to nibble your way through those calorie and fat laden finger foods. It is best to avoid vol-au-vents, quiches and other pastry-based foods that are high in fat, usually adding to around 50 percent fat.
May this Christmas be a delight! May joy and happiness snow on you, may the bells jingle good health for you.

Merry Christmas!


  DELIGHTFUL DEEPAVALI
02 Nov 2012 , by BACFO

Diwali being by far the most glamorous festival in India is making its presence felt in the festive atmosphere all around the place. Chocolate makers, sweet and gift shop vendors feel blessed around Diwali as their cash counters boom with heavy sales. As much as more than 30 percent of their annual sales are achieved within thethree pre-Diwali days. Sugary delights, savoury treats and dry fruit and nuts have long been central to this festival of lights. Traditional methods using unlimited quantities of ghee (clarified butter) and sugar are now being replaced with modest quantities of ghee or no ghee at all and sugar-free delights using artificial sweeteners. How sure are we of the authenticity and quality of the festive sweet used for mass production for Diwali? Should the celebrations affect our health and wellbeing? Even the slightest binge on the sweet treats would result in weight gain!

Since Diwali is at least a five-day long celebration, it is advised to eat, gift and serve healthy. Moderation is the key to enjoy festive food and still keep the weighing scales in balance. A body detoxification pre and post festivity helps a great deal. By going off cereals and legumes, meat and eggs and being high on fibre sourced from fruit and the abundant vegetables just for a day is all that one needs to remove toxins with. Increasing fluid intake on healthier beverage choices will also help in removing toxins from the body. Since food during festivals is very rich and plentiful, it is important to eat more protein than carbs to supplement energy scientifically. It is also recommended that people have more meals a day but less food at each.

Let the Season of Festivity Begin! Wishing all our readers a healthy and a prosperous Diwali.

To your health!

Aditi A. Mehrotra


  HELLO PINKTOBER!
05 Oct 2012 , by BACFO

October ushers in not only festivities and a fall in temperature, but 31 days spotlighting breast cancer prevention, education and finding its cure. Countries around the globe celebrate Breast cancer awareness month with walkathons, races, cancer walks and a dozens of charity event schedules. The Empire State Building in United States will be aglow in pink to mark this month for cancer awareness. October has aptly been renamed ‘Pinktober’ as countries go pink to spread awareness about this dreaded disease affecting more than 1 million women who are diagnosed worldwide each year. USA AND UK have one of the highest incidence rates worldwide. In India, breast cancer is the second most common cancer (after cervical cancer) with an estimated 115,251 new diagnoses each year. In the less developed countries, low survival rates can be attributed mainly to the lack of early detection programs and inadequate diagnosis and treatment facilities.

All efforts must be made to reduce the risk factors for breast cancer. There are no magic foods that will prevent breast cancer but facts and studies support that foods can definitely lower its risk and boost our immune system. Super foods for breast cancer protection include all cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower that are known to block tumors. Allyl sulfide compounds in garlic and onions, curcumin in turmeric, catechin in green or white tea, lignans in flaxseeds, carotenoids in all orange, yellow and dark green fruit and veggies lower the risk for breast cancer. Walnuts and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammations. Apple peels and pomegranates, berries and cherries also help fight cancer. Diet alone will not help unless your BMI is maintained at a steady less than 25 throughout your life. Elevated BMI has been conclusively shown to increase the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer. A healthy diet for both men and women comprising of all foods listed above teamed with a regimented exercise program will reduce the risk of being hit by any cancer.

SO GET IN SYNC WITH PINK!

TO YOUR HEALTH!
ADITI MEHRTORA


  PITTER PLATTER
07 Sep 2012 , by BACFO

Heavy clouds have finally shrouded the brilliance of the blue summer sky after four months of severe heat. Dull, dry and lifeless earth turned sprightly rich lush green. ‘Varsha Ritu’ marks the first season of the ‘Visarg Kaal’ meaning the Southern cycle of the Sun. The digestive fire ‘jatharagni’ is typically low in this season. There is aggravation in Pitta dosha which is primarily responsible for poor metabolism and digestion of food leading to hyperacidity, indigestion along with hair loss and skin disorders. Sudden changes in atmospheric temperature bring with it many air and water borne diseases, infections and health problems. Outbreaks of vector borne diseases are rampant coupled with sporadic cases of acute diarrhea.

Along with the plethora of flight or train delays and traffic snarls, rain dampens body’s immunity and invites bloat, belching and related gastro-intestinal diseases. We all need to follow a diet which increases and strengthens the digestive power. This can be done by eating in moderate helpings to avoid food hoarding on the already weakened digestive system. Best options are ‘sukha’ grains such as rice, wheat, barley oats; ‘shami’ grains including whole kidney beans, lentils, chick peas; ‘gorus’ which bring in fresh curd, buttermilk and kheer; ‘shakah’ like bottle gourd, tinda, tori; ‘harit’ or green leaves such as coriander leaves. Warm beverages such as herb tea with the inclusion of lemon, cinnamon, mint, root ginger aid better digestion and energize the body. Easily digestible foods need to be cooked using light cooking methods such as boiling, steaming, poaching, roasting, baking or braising. Stick to a low salt menu and omit hot, heavy acidic, sour foods such as pickles, chutneys, chilies, processed meat and curries. Bitter taste neutralizes Pitta. Add a lot of bitter vegetables like bitter gourd, turmeric, fenugreek leaves to the diet. Neem supplements should also be taken at least once during the day. Dash of garlic added to soups and curries helps in building body's immunity.

Rainy season is all about moving ahead. Just like rain washes away the old for new, gloom for joy and stale for fresh, we need to revitalize our diets and fine tune our lifestyle according to this season. For life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.

To your Health…..Aditi


  OLYMPICS GOLD MEDAL DIET
28 Aug 2012 , by BACFO

Olympics fever that started July end had gripped the globe till mid August with all eyes turning to London. It was real treat for the sport buffs to watch more than 10,000 athletes from 204 countries compete in 26 sport events. The Olympic Games motto "Citius, Altius, Fortius" inspired the Olympians to challenge their bodies into breaking their own mark for setting new ‘higher’ world records. Why don’t we all let the Olympic Motto (which is Latin for Swifter, Higher, Stronger ) help us set our goals in our pursuit for excellence, whether it means joining a new sport or setting new health and fitness regime.

To make it to the 2012 Olympics, athletes not only trained their bodies and their minds to perfection, they honed in on their nutrition. Chrissy Wellington, a former Division One athlete writes in her article about the athletes who “know that what they eat can make a difference in bagging the Olympic gold. Eating a healthy diet sufficient in nutrients and calories to fuel training is the key component and may just be the deciding factor in that tenth of a second that distinguishes a gold medal from silver.”

Food has always played an important role in the life of athletes. Early records to the Olympian diet indicate a cheese and fruit based diet for the athletes and later the emphasis shifted to meat. Food historian Francine Segan found documents of an ancient Olympic runner who won several competitions while following a meat-only diet that started a meat-only craze. Few early athletes avoided bread right before competition and ate dried figs instead which they believed built muscle and stamina. The diet of the athletes in the ancient Olympics differed radically from that of the modern day athletes. But not all athletes are the same, and their events impose different needs on their diets. The U.S. Olympic Committee dietician revealed that the wrestlers ate the lightest calorie diets of 1,200-1,500 calories a day while the highest caloric intake was found among endurance athletes like swimmers, rowers or marathon runners who needed anywhere from 3,000 to 8,000 calories to replenish their energy reserves.

Clean eater Gold medalist Ryan Lochte announced in sports channels that he "changed some things in his diet after Beijing Olympics and that he made a commitment to himself to eat healthier when he pledged “No more fast food every day because it was just the easy way out”. He decided to find "new ways to reinvent himself" and that is where his diet changes came into play. The legendary Gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps diet details revealed in 2008 became a diet craze amongst many swimmers and non swimmers alike. He got his 12,000-calories from three fried-egg sandwiches, a five-egg omelet, a bowl of grits, three slices of French toast, and three pancakes with chocolate chips. Both lunch and dinner required a pound of pasta along with ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch and a giant pizza for dinner. Phelps sports trainers and physicians comment about his metabolism being so fast that he burns calories much faster than the average man of his age. His extreme training has forced his metabolism to speed up so that he can accommodate these many calories without becoming overweight. Unbelievably, Phelps has only eight percent fat in his body considering his diet is very high in fat. His training and diet regime has gone a long way in helping him win 22 medals including 18 gold in three Olympic Games. Next time when you choose to dig into your calorie laden fare, think of whether you would prefer to ‘stock up’ those calories with no hardcore exercise regime or go for the ‘burn out’ effect- the Phelps’ way and find the Olympian in you? And that will be your very own gold medal moment!

To Your Health....Aditi


  GLOBESITY IT IS!!
01 Aug 2012 , by BACFO

If we go by Darwin’s theory that life evolved through the “struggle of existence”, the future of our planet however, would definitely depend on the “survival of the fittest”. Fittest hereconnotes good health. While our future depends on how we shape our today, our present is witnessing the strange stark reality of the extremes. On one hand, nations have joined hands to fight world hunger and on the other, there is a desperate fight against the obesity epidemic. Obesity and being overweight now kill more people than hunger does. The World Health Organizationstates, “At the other end of the malnutrition scale, obesity is one of today’s most blatantly visible yet most neglected – public health problems. Paradoxically coexisting with undernutrition, an escalating global epidemic of overweight and obesity is taking over many parts of the world. If immediate action is not taken, millions will suffer from an array of serious health disorders.”

“Globesity”a name aptly coined by WHO has increased to over 300 million adults the world over.We may toss around the idea of the role of genetics in obesity, yet genes cannot be solely responsible for this explosion. Researchers do agree that a person may have a genetic predisposition toward a certain body type, the fact that each succeeding generation is heavier than the last proves that changes in our environment are playing the key role.

Nutrition experts and the entire medical fraternity have been hammering home a very simple message thatproper diet and exercise are the mainstays for a healthy lifestyle. The basic tenets to gradual weight loss and good health include developing healthy eating habits and increasing daily physical activity.Downsize your dish portions, eat slowly and chew more, supersize your breakfast-eat cereal made out of whole grains, fuel your day’s energy with healthy in-between snacks, go green- include green leaves in your daily diet, switch to fat free dairy products, cut down on your meat intake, increase the fiber, add more colors to your diet for antioxidants, bioflavonoids and pigments. For your exercise regime, swap the steering wheel for bike pedals, walk brisk for atleast 15 minutes a day, take the stairs instead of the elevator, swim or sprint. For the unstructured ways to expend calories grow herbs and toil the earth, wash your own car, do away with house helps for two days, spring clean your house; jive, dance, tango to your favorite beat. This way not only will you glide your way through a fitter survival but go a long way in tipping the world scales to an equilibrium. Get up get started –NOW!


  EAT RIGHT TRAVEL LIGHT
21 Jul 2012 , by BACFO

Summer vacation time is upon us. It is time to escape the regular chores and structured schedules of work, home and family. Holidays mean a chance to break away from routine, new setting, a change of pace, different food, people and longer outdoors. This definitely does not mean you take a vacation from your healthy diet and fitness routine. Understandably, once you reach your destination, temptation rears its ugly head in the form of colorful sugary welcome drinks, rich dinners and days of relaxing by the pool. Head out for your much awaited vacation with an aim to come home feeling healthier than when you left.
Here’s how you sidestep diet pitfalls. Whatever your food plan be, ranging from self catering or an all inclusive ‘with three main meals’ package or choosing your place for meals, use your holiday to eat mindfully by choosing sensibly most of the time. If you’re planning a long, leisurely lunch, then aim to have a smaller dinner. Or if ‘all you can eat’ is the Mediterranean buffet for dinner, opt for a fruit only breakfast followed by a light lunch. Missing meals is not the answer. Avoiding fried food, filling up on fresh fruit and vegetables and keeping fat and sugar rich foods to a minimum is the key to fixing healthy platters. Steer clear of dishes that come in rich, creamy sauces or contain pastry. Any dish described as being pan-fried, deep-fried, sautéed or flambéed will have been cooked with lot of oil.
If you are holidaying near the coast, eat plenty of fish which is unarguably high on omega 3 and reasonably low in calories, provided it is not fried. Ask the waiter for dressing on the side when you order salads. You can also put together your own picnics using fresh fruit and raw salads from the local markets and freshly baked breads from the nearest bakery. To satiate the sweet craving pick up fresh fruit salads, sorbets, meringue based puddings.
Once your holidaying comes close to its end you realize your baggage weighs few more extra kilos with all the shopping and souvenirs you collected. The smartest thing to do will be to divvy your load between two people. However, when it comes to your own extra baggage in the form of excess body weight, there’s no way you can lighten your load. With this thought in mind eat right and travel light.


  Summer’s Bounty
12 Jun 2012 , by BACFO

Spring has progressed into a bright sunny summer with bright sun loving blooms. Even though this season sets you active, the rise in global warming however makes the temperatures in summer quite unbearable. Many of us follow the concept of eating according to Ritucharya or seasons to maintain good health. We invariably crave low-fat diet in spring, an energizing high-carb diet in summer, and a warming high-protein diet in fall and winter. Of the three elements in our body namely Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha, Pitta composed of water and fire needs to be balanced during summer. Too much fire has a drying effect, Pitta imbalances our body composition. Summer diet resultantly has to be cooling, moistening, nourishing and refreshing, with a balanced action.

Fresh juicy summer harvest fruit and veggies are excellent for pitta because of their natural astringency and protective effect against environmental toxins. We can also enjoy the generosity of nature’s harvest from the summery tropics like mangoes, sweet pineapple, papaya, avocado, coconut. Apricots, sweet grapes, peaches, nectarines, plums also add up to the summer fruit expanse. Bowl full of summer berries are rich in queritrin, a flavonoid that's a potent anti-cancer agent, anthocyanins and bioflavonoid compounds that fight the pain from arthritis, gout and migraines, ellagic acid another potent anti-cancer agent and melatonin which are sleep inducing. They also contain the soluble fiber pectin, vitamin C, beta-carotene and potassium.

The epitome of the summer harvest is the magnificent melon. Water melon, cantoloupe, honey dew are deliciously sweet, cooling and refreshing. In classic ayurveda the Indian gooseberry commonly known as amla or amalaki is considered one of the best rejuvenative for pitta, with protective and nourishing actions for the blood, liver, heart, eyes, skin and small intestine.

There is a Swedish saying “a life without love is like a year without summer.” Set outdoors in summer and enjoy its cool evenings.


  Eat Smart Eat Slim
01 Apr 2012 , by BACFO

Needless to say, a vast majority of people who embark on a weight control regimen- fail, be it with diet, exercise or a combination of both. And there is only one reason for this failure which is common to every single weight watcher and that is lack of patience. Excess weight is associated with significant lifestyle changes, increased availability of convenience foods and increase in disposable income.
Over night the most popular diets mindlessly chosen are stuck on to the refrigerator. Parks suddenly come alive with morning joggers. Treadmills are dusted out from the garage or the attic. Butter, oil and other cooking medium are stashed away. Boiled vegetables, reconstituted soups, salads and ‘diet foods’ make way to the dinner tables, no carbs, low carbs, high protein, no protein, fat free, sugar free are the buzz words. The question is how many manage to wade through this fast round of misery for temporary gains?
This weight crashing regimen becomes a sentence being served for sinful indulgences far from being a pleasant commitment. Gastronomic boredom sets in with ‘limited’ food intake. Dieters become wary of their unrealistic goals and learn it the hard way that there is no lasting glory in rapid weight loss. Resultantly, the body is in a state of extreme shock and enough damage has already been done by then.
The healthiest way to lose weight is neither crash diet nor bursts of exercise. Life is motion and the less we move more passive we become. Our musculoskeletal system craves movement. It is important to rhythmically step up the fitness routine gradually for those who have not exercised for years before pounding the treadmill at a frenzied speed. The same goes for the ‘dieters’ who unanticipatedly start starving themselves by severely restricting calories. To lose weight, the best diet food is ‘food’ itself. However, moderation is the key keeping in mind the quality, quantity and combination of foods.

To Your Health....Aditi


  SPRING UP! SPRING IN!!
01 Mar 2012 , by BACFO

Spring has sprung bringing along bloom banishing the winter gloom. Spring season, honored as the king of all seasons brings along renewal, re growth and rejuvenation. Nature is at its glory this time of the year offering us immense joy. It compels us to rejuvenate our mind and body and recommit ourselves to a healthy diet and lifestyle with new signs of life popping up in nature. ‘Rasayana’ or Rejuvenation in Ayurveda literally means ‘the path of Rasa’, rasa among other things comprise of both ‘taste’ and ‘emotion’. We need to purify and nourish our rasa which is the raw material from which the ‘dhatus’ or body tissues are formed. For nourishment, seasonal fresh food in spring is unbeatable in terms of taste, nutritional value and variety. It is best to avoid consuming the off season produce which has been grown in artificial conditions, picked prematurely and shipped unripe around the world.

Our country celebrates the arrival of spring with Holi, the most vibrant festival of colours. Rabi, the winter crop is ripe for harvest. Everyone indulges in the unadulterated joy of getting drenched and smeared with a riot of colours. If multitude of colour is the essence of spring would it not be exciting to have such a rainbow on our plates too? Dark green broccoli to a luscious red tomato, rich full bodied apples, pink strawberries, ruby red cherries, you think of a colour and it is there- springing out of the mother earth for us. Let us gain full spectrum nutrition by including a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables rich in phyto-nutrients and anti oxidants. It guards us against spring season’s fluctuating allergies common due to the pollen in air. It’s Spring time folks! Make new beginnings, embrace and adapt to change for better health and longevity.
To Your Health....Aditi


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