Papayas are a healthy, delicious summer fruit

Papayas are a healthy, delicious summer fruit

  • June 23, 2020

Papaya is important in the kitchen, as well, with its tenderizing enzyme known as “papain,” which softens protein fibers and acts a meat tenderizer. This vibrantly colorful fruit can also be used medicinally as a supplement to help with digestion, as well as used topically for cuts, burns, rashes and stings. Its versatility doesn’t end there — it’s also packed with beta-carotene, which is important for vision health.

Selection, storage and use of papaya can be simple. Select a papaya that’s yellow and soft to the touch for ripeness. If you choose a papaya that’s green, let it sit on your countertop for a few days at room temperature, and it will ripen and be ready to use. Papayas make a great addition to fruit smoothies, green salads, pasta salads, baked in desserts, or eaten raw. Enjoy this recipe for a light summer salad packed with nutritious ingredients.

Arugula Salad with Grapefruit and Papaya

3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ small shallot, minced

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

6 cups arugula

2 pink grapefruit, peeled and cut into segments

½ papaya, peeled, seeded and diced

1 small leek, cleaned and very thinly sliced

Whisk together vinegar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, shallot, mustard, coriander, salt and pepper in small bowl.

Divide arugula evenly among 4 plates. Top with grapefruit, papaya and leek. Drizzle evenly with vinaigrette.

Emily McMillan is a registered dietitian for Hy-Vee stores in Rochester. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

How yoga can keep us healthy during the pandemic

How yoga can keep us healthy during the pandemic

  • June 21, 2020
As the country battles the Covid-19 pandemic on a war-footing, India’s traditional system of Yoga has been established as a means to boost immunity, improve overall health and well being. Lack of proper sleep, poor nutrition, and leading a stressful life, all lead to a weakened immune system and vulnerability to sickness.

A consistent yoga practice – along with certain poses in particular – can even boost the beauty and glow on our face

You do not have to be born beautiful. You can acquire a beautiful, supple, glowing and flawless skin by treating yourself from inside through a selection of yoga postures and exercises rather than relying on expensive cosmetics.

In this fast-moving world where one hardly gets any time to take care of oneself. Here I suggest a couple of yoga routines and food regimen that you can follow to maintain your immunity.

Pranayam :

You can enhance your beauty with yoga by incorporating strict guidelines in your daily life. Pranayam aids you in reversing the signs of ageing including wrinkles, saggy skin, crow’s feet and fine lines amongst others. Pranayam also helps to purify the blood because of the increased intake of oxygen, which is very crucial for improving immunity

Mindful meditation :

Mindful meditation is the psychological process of purposely bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment, which one develops through the practise of meditation

Mindful meditation can have immense health benefits including improved immune function, reduced blood pressure and enhanced cognitive function. Those who regularly practise mindful meditation have a certain glow about them that comes from within and radiates outward. It helps lower stress hormones that compromise the immune system, while also conditioning the lungs and respiratory tract, stimulating the lymphatic system to oust toxins from the body, and bringing oxygenated blood to the various organs to ensure their optimal function which helps us to remain healthy and attain inner beauty

Unprocessed and protein-rich diet:

You should eat a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods every day to get the vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, protein and antioxidants your body needs. Drink enough water. Eat fruits, vegetables, legumes (e.g. lentils, beans), nuts and whole grains like unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat, brown rice or starchy tubers or roots such as potato, yam, taro or cassava, and foods from animal sources (e.g. meat, fish, eggs and milk). For snacks, choose raw vegetables and fresh fruit rather than foods that are high in sugar, fat or salt.

I have always said that a strong immune system, good health and beauty are complimentary to each other. Unless you are healthy from the inside, you cannot reflect true beauty. For a flawless skin, shiny hair and a slim figure, good health must be on top of the list. In fact, I am a big believer in the Ayurvedic principles of holistic health, with yoga as an integral part of the program. This concept of holistic beauty care is unique and is practised worldwide.

Yoga is very relevant in today’s day and age, especially in the context of our fast-paced modern lifestyle, for both health and beauty. Personally, it has been a part of my life and I have experienced its numerous benefits.

The article has been authored by wellness guru, Shehnaz Husain.

Fueling a Healthy Immune System in the Era of COVID-19

Fueling a Healthy Immune System in the Era of COVID-19

  • June 18, 2020

The other day I had the privilege of interviewing Pamela Riggs, MS, RDN, CSOWM at MarinHealth about foods people should be eating in an effort to boost their immune systems.

Rick: We all know that our immune system helps to fight off viruses, but can people actually eat their way to better immunity?

Pamela: Our immune system is a complex team of various organs, tissues and immune cells constantly working to protect us from infection, injury and disease. And during the era of COVID-19 our “team” is working harder than ever to keep us healthy and safe. In fact, as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at MarinHealth, I’m frequently asked if eating a healthier diet matters and, if so, what should we be eating to boost our intake of immune supporting nutrients.

The short answer is, yes, a healthier diet does matter! To start, certain nutrients can protect our immune cells from the burst of free radicals (unstable molecules that come from the fight against a virus or bacteria). Although these free radicals damage and kill invaders, prolonged exposure to them can damage our healthy cells too. Consuming a diet rich in antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, zinc, copper and selenium protect immune cells by keeping free radical damage in check.

Rick: Are there other ways a nutrient rich diet helps protect us?

Pamela: A healthy diet also provides our immune system with the energy, building blocks and cofactors (assistants) it needs when it senses a foreign invader and needs to ramp up production of cells, chemicals and proteins to carry out its functions. Lean sources of dietary protein, vitamins A, D, folate, B12, B6 and minerals iron and zinc provide those building blocks and cofactors needed to mount an effective immune response.

What we eat can also influence inflammation, another way our immune system responds to a foreign invader threat. It isolates the injury and infected area and delivers immune cells, chemical messengers and antibodies to sites of injury and infection. But inappropriate activation, prolonged inflammation or the inability to turn off inflammation can lead to tissue damage and chronic disease. Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) found in fish and fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties that can help keep inflammation in check.

Rick: So, to get the immune supporting nutrients we need, what kinds of foods should we be eating?

Pamela: To make sure you’re fueling your immune system with the nutrients it needs most, choose foods from this list:

Immune Supporting Nutrients Good Food Sources

Protein: Seafood, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts, soy, seeds

Vitamin A: Eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, spinach

Vitamin C: Sweet red bell pepper, kiwi, strawberries, oranges

Vitamin D: Pink salmon, sardines, fortified milk, supplements

Vitamin E: Almonds, sunflower seeds or oil, peanut butter

Folate: Lentils, spinach, enriched whole grain bread

B 12: Clams, mackerel, beef

B 6: Salmon, turkey, potato with skin

Zinc: Oysters, beef, yogurt, beans, nuts

Iron: Beef, tuna, lentils, iron fortified cereal

Copper: Oysters, cashew nuts, lentils

Selenium: Brazil nuts, tuna, pork, whole wheat bread

EPA/DHA: Wild salmon, sardines, herring, supplements

Rick: Great suggestions. Is there anything we shouldn’t be eating?

Pamela: Rick, you’ve asked a good question. As much as I like to keep focused on the positive things we can do, it’s probably a good time for a little reminder about what foods to avoid or at least limit. Foods high in saturated fat (e.g. full fat milk dairy, bacon, sausage, butter, pastries, fatty cuts of meat) and refined carbohydrates and simple sugars (e.g. soda, cookies, cake, candy, white bread) tend to promote inflammation in the body. As mentioned earlier, prolonged inflammation or the inability to turn off inflammation can lead to tissue damage and chronic disease. Foods high in sugar also raise our insulin levels, promoting body fat storage and weight gain. Obesity and being overweight don’t help if you’re worried about COVID-19. Studies have found an increased risk of serious illness among those infected with COVID-19. In a recent study published in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, researchers found that obese patients affected by COVID-19 had longer hospital stays, required more intensive and prolonged oxygen treatment and had higher markers of inflammation than non-obese patients.

Rick: Any final thoughts or advice?

Pamela: Let’s do all we can do to be well and stay well. Wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, get regular exercise, watch your portions, and fuel your body with a diet rich in immune supporting nutrients.

Where to buy vitamin D supplements: stay healthy in lockdown

Where to buy vitamin D supplements: stay healthy in lockdown

  • June 18, 2020

New evidence is emerging that vitamin D could help reduce your risk of getting coronavirus. Vitamin D is key in keeping your bones healthy, and is also understood to help your immune system, but new research suggests it could also be key in fighting Covid-19. 

Most vitamin D in humans comes from exposure to direct sunlight. Usually, most people get enough sunlight in our daily routines to keep our vitamin D levels healthy. As many of us are staying in more than usual, many health organisations have been recommending people take a vitamin D supplement during lockdown (read on for the best places to buy).

Here are some foods that are absolutely refreshing to consume during the summer heat, and they come with the added benefit of being healthy for your body.

Healthy summer foods to beat the heat and boost health – fitness

  • June 17, 2020

Come summer and most places in India turn into a working oven for most part of the day. People are constantly hydrating, washing their faces or eating cold treats and snacks in order to beat the painful heat. However, in summer, one also gets to enjoy the abundance of nature, with access to several seasonal fruits and vegetables including mangoes, melons, and berries being very easy. The produce section in super markets overflows with all sorts of fresh produce. And if you opt for organic choices, especially since the produce is mainly seasonal, one may also be lucky to find produce with no additives or chemicals. So every time you crave for something cool, go for a glass of juice instead of that ice lolly, you won’t only be making a healthier choice but also cutting down a lot of empty calories from your daily quota. Here are some foods that are absolutely refreshing to consume during the summer heat, and they come with the added benefit of being healthy for your body.

Iced Coffee and Tea –


There is nothing as refreshing as sitting by the water on a sunny day, sipping on ice cold beverages. A simple cup of coffee with heaps of ice can go a long way in kick-starting your morning. A recent study shows a cup of caffeinated coffee a day helps to reduce the risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer by about 10%. Home made iced tea can also help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes as it is rich in a class of antioxidants called flavonoids. A squirt of lemon juice in the tea helps preserve the antioxidants and makes for a perfect summer drink.

Melons –


We know for sure that we cannot go without that watermelon sugar high. Dehydration can lead to several additional problems, especially during summer. Watermelons and muskmelons are so high in water content that it helps regulate body temperatures. Staying properly hydrated helps in keeping your memory sharp and having a clear skin. Melons also help with weight loss when coupled with exercise as the high-water content keeps you satisfied on very few calories.

Mangoes –


If you don’t believe in counting calories, mangoes are the perfect summer treat. The high iron content in mangoes can help people increase the calcium content in their bodies. As a summer fruit, it is very refreshing and can help prevent heat strokes. It is also high on vitamins A and C which help build the immune system. Mango ice cream made with almond milk also provides for a delicious summer treat without the worry of extra sugar calories, and is totally vegan friendly.

Salads –


The health benefits of replacing a normal mean with a salad are immeasurable. From kale and lettuce to sprouts – leafy greens are rich in carotenoids which the body converts into vitamin A. This helps in protecting the skin from the harmful UV rays. It also helps in mending dry skin by strengthening the skins defences against the Sun. The best part about salads is that they can be mixed with almost anything from fruits to fish and still taste delicious.

Berries –


Summer is the juicy season of all sorts of berries that are filled with flavonoids which help the body fight many serious illnesses. Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are also known to increase the blood flow throughout the body, regenerating skin and decreasing sensitivity to light, making the skin look brighter and improving texture. This can be critical during the harsh summer months. Berries are also high on fibre, approximately 8 gram per cup.

Corn –


There is nothing like the taste of fresh corn on the cob on a peaceful summer evening. This handy snack is not just delicious but also rich on starch. It helps in providing the body with lutein and zeaxanthin which are helpful for eye health and the antioxidants present also help in lowering the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration which causes blindness in older people.

Fresh Juice –


Freshly squeezed juice is characteristic of a well-rounded summer breakfast. Most fruits available during the summer season work brilliantly as juice. Whether it is the citrus taste from oranges and sweet limes or the sugary taste of watermelons, there is nothing more tropical than a chilled glass of freshly squeezed juice.

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10 powerful foods and nutrients to boost your immunity 

  • June 17, 2020

Find out everything about these super healthy foods. Photo credit: Brooke Lark/ Unsplash

During this Coronavirus pandemic, it’s imperative have a healthy and strong immune system. One way to do that is to have a diet that’s high in foods that naturally give your immune system a boost.

Here are 10 particularly powerful foods to help you stay strong.


Wonder food and one of Ayurveda’s most treasured items, ghee has incredible healing properties. “Ghee contains monounsaturated Omega-3s, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, large quantities of butyrate, a fatty acid that has been linked to an immune system response for inflammation management. Ghee also improves gut health, which is directly linked to building immunity. It has anti-viral properties too, which can help guard against any micro pathogen,” explains Dr. D. Vadivel, Chief Naturopathy Consultant—Naad Wellness. Apart from pouring a spoonful on steaming hot dal, rice and rotis, ghee can also be added to warm water or milk and consumed on an empty stomach in the morning.

This superfood contains monounsaturated Omega-3s, and, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, Photo credit: Mmegumi Nachev/ Unsplash


This fantastic nut is “packed with Vitamin E; it is also a rich source of iron that helps in the maturation of immune cells. Additionally, the presence of zinc in almonds helps fight infection and reduce the severity of a cold,” says Anushka Baindur, Senior Dietician, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore. Use the nut as an evening or mid morning snack, in your milkshakes or to top your cereals. Almond chikkis too taste terrific.

Since almonds are rich in zinc, they help fight off cold and other infections. Photo credit: Tetiana Bykovets/ Unsplash


This kitchen staple does more than punch up the flavour of food. “Pepper contains a chemical compound called piperine that has potent antioxidant properties which help prevent or delay the damaging effects of free radicals, further speeding-up the healing of a damaged tissue. Pepper is great for both detoxification and for boosting immunity, and can be included in soups, herbal teas and chutneys,” says Dr Vadivel.

Pepper helps heal damaged tissues. Photo credit: Sonja Punz/ Unsplash

Raw Mango

“Apart from being a rich source of Vitamin A which enhances immunity, it has twice the amount of Vitamin C compared to an orange, and since Vitamin C is known to boost the function of phagocytes (cells that destroy harmful bacteria), it is advisable to consume this fruit,” says Baindur. Just smother it with some chili powder and salt and enjoy it as it is or make a delicious aam ka panna (a refreshing summer drink). If you love a tangy twist to your salad then grate some in it or add them to your dal for a sour punch.

Believe it or not, mangoes have twice the amount of Vitamin C as compared to oranges. Photo credit: Asif Akbar/ FreeImages

Fermented Foods (think dahi/papad/pickle)

Did you know that the pickles and papads we’ve been having since childhood contain nutrients and live bacteria that can build a strong gut? And that is the secret to better immunity! “Most Indian homes make pickles, curd, papad and also idli and dosa from fermented lentil and grains. These go through a process called lactofermentation which improves the quality of the food and ultimately promotes the growth of good gut bacteria that is valuable to boost immunity. Including one of these foods, especially during this pandemic is very important. They help us build back all the necessary (good) bacteria that we are losing (while we try getting rid of bad bacteria) during extensive sterilisation and sanitisation (which is necessary to prevent coronavirus),” says nutritionist Raksha Lulla. So don’t forget to dig into the pickle jar and eat a bowl of homemade curd with your meals.

Curd promotes the growth of good bacteria in the body. Photo credit: Micheile Henderson/ Unsplash

Virgin Coconut Oil

While the craze for superfoods has evolved rather recently, virgin coconut oil is the oldest superfood that is trusted by every Indian. “The important Medium Chain Fatty Acid (MCFA’s) present in coconut oil enhances metabolism, aids digestion and helps improve the body’s immune system. The best way to derive all the goodness of this oil is to have two spoons of it everyday. If you don’t like the raw taste you could also cook, sauté or bake with it. It can also be drizzled over a simple salad or blended with your morning smoothie,” says nutritionist Sheryl Salis.

Coconut oil increases metabolism. Photo credit: Deanna Alys/ Unsplash


Maybe you love ginger for the spicy kick it gives to dishes. Or because when you drink it in tea, it can ease nausea and vomiting. But wait, there’s more. This knobby root is also a powerhouse of goodness. “Ginger acts as a detoxifying agent which builds immunity in the long run. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to heal any inflammation. For the best medicinal benefits consume raw ginger between morning and lunch time (before afternoon) and dry ginger between afternoon and evening,” explains Dr Vadivel. Add ginger to stir fries, soups, chutneys or steep it in hot water to make a refreshing tea.

Ginger is a great detoxification agent. Photo credit: Naad Wellness

Aliv Seeds

These deep red seeds also called garden cress or halim seeds have built a reputation as a superfood and for a good reason. They swell when soaked in water and contain a good amount of iron, fibre and phytochemicals. “The presence of vitamin A, C, E, antioxidants, fatty acids and amino acids aid recovery and immunity,” explains Lulla. Add these super healthy desi seeds to your haldi doodh (turmeric milk) or salads. They make delicious laddos when paired with coconut and jaggery.

Aliv seeds contain iron, fibre and phytochemicals. Photo credit: Jo Morales/ Unsplash


Whether you love it or hate it, this bright green powder is big on health benefits. Packed with vitamin C, minerals and antioxidant properties, it helps boost immunity and strength. “It helps maintain bone and joint health, regulate metabolism and aid in weight management thus bringing you much closer to your desired body weight and health,” says Salis. The easiest way to get all these health benefits from Moringa is to add it to a soup, vegetable or just sip as a cup of moringa tea in the morning.

Moringa aids in weight management. Photo credit: Petako/ Wikicommons

Bhaasi Bhaat (stale rice)

Of course, food should never be wasted, right? Especially leftover rice which can be beneficial to your health thanks to the chemical reactions that take place when food is left overnight! According to Lulla, “A day old, refrigerated rice should be re-heated and eaten with a simple tempering. The preservation and re-heating improves the resistant starch in the rice making it a beautiful pre-biotic. Apart from being an immunity booster leftover rice makes for a perfect quick lunch with curd and pickle.”

Stale rice is a great pre-biotic. Photo credit: Louis Hansel/ Unsplash


5 quick recipes using curd, for better immunity and health


6 easy-to-make soup recipes to help boost your immunity

  • June 15, 2020

With the Coronavirus pandemic upon us and the impending rains, there’s more you can do than just staying home and washing your hands frequently. Adding more soups to your diet is a natural and smart way to strengthen your immune system. These warm bowls pack oodles of health.

Broccoli, Cilantro and Shallot Soup by Reetu Uday Kugaji, Hospitality and Food Consultant

This rich and power packed soup makes for a delicious and satisfying lunch when served along with toasted bread. The high in fibre broccoli keeps the digestive system in good working order, boosts immunity and packs almost as much vitamin C as an orange. A hint of coconut milk keeps it creamy while the crispy shallot rings gives the soup a smoky finish.

550 gm broccoli, roughly chopped (excluding the stems)
¼ bunch fresh cilantro, fresh
25 gm shallots chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black peppercorns to taste
2 cups vegetable stock

For the Garnish:
1 ½ fresh coconut milk, reduced
1 tsp black sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 tbsp spring onion greens
¾ shallot rings, sautéed in olive oil, till light golden brown

1. In a non-stick pan heat olive oil for a few seconds and add the garlic. Sauté till light brown. Now add the shallots and sauté for 1 minute. Tip on the chopped broccoli sauté for 2 minutes, and add the roughly chopped cilantro. Cook for few seconds.
2. Add stock, salt, pepper and bring it to a boil. Lower the flame and cook till the broccoli is bright green in colour.
3. Strain through a soup strainer—do not discard the water.
4. Cool the mixture and then puree it by adding the remaining stock.
5. Simmer the soup for 2 minutes.
6. Serve hot in a soup bowl or mug garnished with lightly toasted black sesame seeds, coconut milk, spring onion greens and crunchy shallot rings.

Chef Tips:
1. You may add more vegetable stock, to adjust the consistency.
2. Do not cover the soup during preparation as it will turn pale green instead of a beautiful bright green.

Broccoli, Cilantro and Shallot Soup

Spicy Thai Soup with Veggies, Herbs and Coconut Cream by Ritesh Tulsian, Consulting Chef, Yazu

This delicious broth based soup is fantastic for nourishing and healing the gut. As the fragrant kaffir lime leaves and pungent galangal roots simmer in broth, they release their nutrients and phytochemicals, and oils, aromas and wonderful flavours. Coconut milk provides essential fats while the veggies provide antioxidants that protect from infections.

2 nos. baby corn
3-4 florets broccoli
1 carrot
1 tablespoon Thai red chili paste
200 ml coconut milk
1-2 kaffir lime leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
2-3 bird’s eye chili
20-30 gms galangal
4-5 cloves garlic
Salt, pepper to taste
Water as required
Veg stock seasoning: to taste

1. Add red chili paste, lemongrass, galangal, garlic, bird’s eye chili, lime leaf to add and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil vigorously, simmer and keep cooking until the desired flavour is achieved.
2. Add broccoli, carrots and baby corn cut into dices and simmer till veggies are cooked.
3.  Add coconut milk and simmer over low heat. Season with salt, pepper & seasoning powder. Serve hot.

Spicy Thai Soup. Photo credit: Nick Karvounis/ Unsplash. Photo is representational

Slow-Cooked Tomato Soup with Avocado by Shubhendu Kadam, Executive Chef, Dharana at Shillim

This comforting, peppery soup has so much to offer nutritionally thanks in part to its many vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. The lycopene in ripe red tomatoes offers powerful antioxidant protection and the pepper helps to balance vata and kapha doshas. It also aids in digestion and is helpful in combating cold, cough and other respiratory problems.

10 medium sized ripe red tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
6-8 cloves garlic
6 capers
2 medium sized avocado—pulp
10 olives
6 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 black peppercorn (freshly ground)
Rock salt or regular salt to taste


1. Blanch and skin the tomatoes and, cook on a very slow fire for 45 minutes.
2. Sautés garlic and capers in olive oil, and add to the cooked tomatoes.
3. Blend hot cooked tomatoes with fresh avocados pulp, green olives and extra virgin olive oil to a creamy texture.
4. Add fresh crushed black peppercorns and add salt to taste.
5. Serve hot.

Tomato Soup. Photo credit: Brooke Lark/ Unsplash. Photo is representational

Healthy, Hearty Minestrone Soup by Juliano Rodrigues Executive Chef, Out Of The Blue and Deli By The Blue

This thick, hearty soup with vegetables, pasta and cheese can be a great meal or even a starter.  Simply add some crusty whole-grain bread and a fresh green side salad and you’re good to go. This versatile “plant-based” soup is low in fat, high in fibre and packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped leek & celery
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup fresh tomato puree
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
A few fresh basil leaves cut into ribbons
Salt & pepper to taste
20 gm each of blanched broccoli, baby corn, carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers
1 tbsp boiled pasta for garnish

1. In a thick bottom pan heat olive oil and add all ingredients except for tomato puree, basil ribbons, blanched vegetables, cheese and pasta.
2. Sauté the ingredients well. Once translucent add the tomato puree and cook for 15 min till the base gets thick.
3. Adjust the seasoning and add half of ribbon basil and retain the other half for garnish. Give it a stir and add vegetable stock and let it simmer
4. Then add the veggies and let it simmer for 10 min more till the soup reaches a semi thick consistency
5. Pour the hot soup in a serving bowl and garnish with boiled pasta, parmesan cheese and basil ribbons
6. Serve hot accompanied with garlic bread

Minestrone Soup

Herby Vegetable Soup by Tarun Sibal, Culinary Director and Co-Founder, One Fine Meal

This creamy and nutrient-dense soup is ideal for the monsoon months. Packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric along with the pain relieving goodness of ginger and vitamins of onions, this soup is both delicious and healing.

1 tsp fresh ginger
2 tsp fresh raw turmeric
50 gms onions chopped
1 orange
2 tsp olive oil
150 gm tomatoes
2 tsp garlic
2 tsp jaggery
60 ml coconut milk
A ragi chips and radish roundels
A few sprigs of cilantro
Salt and crushed pepper to taste


1. Heat olive oil in a pan and add onion and garlic, and saute a little.
2. Add ginger and turmeric.
3. Squeeze orange to deglaze the pan and add tomatoes.
4. Add salt, pepper and jaggery and, cook for 10 mins till the tomatoes are cooked. Add a little water and cover the pan.
5. Cool the mix and blitz in a mixer.
6. Back to the pan, check for consistency and seasoning.
7. Add coconut milk and finish.
8. Transfer it to a bowl and garnish with radish roundels, ragi chips and coriander leaves. Also, drizzle some more coconut milk.

Herby Vegetable Soup

Carrot & Ginger Soup by Rachel Goenka, CEO & Founder of The Chocolate Spoon Company

This healthy, easy soup gets its flavour from a mixture of aromatics and the goodness of carrots. A splash of orange juice brightens the palate and a drizzle of olive oil gives this comforting soup a rich finish.

½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ onion (chopped roughly)
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 tsp ginger (minced)
4 large carrots—diced
1½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 small oranges—juiced
A pinch of black pepper
3 cups vegetable stock
Salt to taste

1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir until the onion is soft and translucent.
2. Add the carrots, turmeric powder and ginger and mix well.
3. Add 1/4 cup of vegetable stock, orange juice and lower the heat.
4. Cover and simmer for approximately 10 mins.
5. Add black pepper and salt to taste. Purée the soup in a blender until the mixture is smooth.
6. Add the extra vegetable stock as per your preference to reach the desired consistency
7. Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil.

Lean carrot soup with ginger
Carrot and Ginger Soup


5 quick recipes using curd, for better immunity and health

Healthy route to immunity

Healthy route to immunity : The Tribune India

  • June 14, 2020


Though the statistics are alarming, fear is slowly being replaced by acceptance that one has to learn how to live with Covid-19. However, there is much pressure on the immune system, which is a complex network made up of specialised cells, proteins, tissues and organs located throughout the body, although the bulk of it resides in the gastrointestinal track.

“An important factor to remember is that immunity doesn’t develop in a day. One needs to have nutritious food consistently,” says Sunita Malhotra, Chief Dietician & Head, Department of Dietetics, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER). With over-the-counter ‘immunity boosters’ being the latest rage, Malhotra suggests, “Basically it boils down to as simple as a traditional meal.”

Stimulate the system

“The nutrients which support and stimulate immune system are called immune-nutritional elements,” says Madhu Arora, Chief Dietician, Department of Dietetics, Government Medical College and Hospital-32.

  • Carbohydrates are fuel for the immune system. These are found in cereals, pulses, potatoes, sugar and jaggery. Ensure that you have complex carbohydrates – whole grains, cereals.
  • Fats play an active role in the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K. Conjugated linoleic acid present in meat and meat products stimulates the immune system. Balanced supply of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is important too; corn, flax seeds, walnuts, fish oil and nuts are a healthy source.
  • Protein plays an important role in the formation of natural and acquired immunity. Good quality protein can be obtained from egg, cheese, milk, skimmed milk powder, soya-bean, watermelon seeds, groundnuts et al.

Boost it up

  • For good immunity, proper sleep of seven-eight hours is a pre-requisite.
  • In this sweltering heat, consume a minimum of eight-ten glasses of water. Opt for lemon, coconut water, lassi, sattu ka pani, ice tea etc.
  • Low levels of vitamin D are found in different age-groups, so take the prescribed dosage.
  • Avoid foods that have high quantities of sugar or maida.
  • Salmon, salads, smoothies, antioxidants, spices, and supplements such as zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, are a must. Colourful foods, such as tomatoes, blueberries and beetroot are all high in antioxidants, which strengthens the immune system.
  • Include raw garlic in your diet, as it stimulates the multiplication of white cells and increases the efficiency of antibody production.

Remember the basics

Deep breathing, light food and a cool mind are important for good health.

  • “To ensure that you are eating healthy is simple – as long as you have all the colours in Indian flag as part of your diet, you are good,” says Dr Arun K Aggarwal, Professor, Community Medicine & School of Public Health, PGIMER.
  • Those into regular exercise should continue. However, those who do not do exercise even for a single minute, take baby steps. Learn the five-minute quick yoga that includes stretching of various parts of body, along with some breathing exercises. Gradually increase the time. “Breathing exercises are very important for not only a healthy respiratory system, but for overall immunity,” says Dr Aggarwal.
  • “Optimal functioning of the immune system is dependent on feeling good,” writes Marcey Shapiro in Freedom From Anxiety. Sleep enough, exercise the body as well as the mind; remain positive.

Plan the meals

  • Breakfast: Kefir smoothie made with fruits such as papaya, pineapple and berries.
  • Lunch: Mixed leafy green salad served with salmon, turkey, chicken, simple sauerkraut or Miso soup with tofu.
  • Snack: Sprouted tortilla chips with spinach hummus.
  • Dinner: Choice of fish, chicken, beef; garnish with pickled garlic, rosemary and lemon.

(Madhu Arora, Chief Dietician, Department of Dietetics, GMCH-32)

How to promote healthy living and better immunity in young adults

How to promote healthy living and better immunity in young adults

  • June 13, 2020
By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |

Published: June 13, 2020 7:30:06 pm

yoga, stress, anxiety Doing yoga enhances mood and overall wellbeing. (Source: Getty Images)

A healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Disturbed sleep often hampers not only a person’s mental but physical well-being as well. Begin by ensuring you sleep on time and wake up before sunrise, which gives you more time in the day for your tasks and is also a step towards a healthy lifestyle. Similarly, young adults need to focus on building a strong immune system that will defend the body against viruses and infections keeping in mind the current healthcare scenario as well as the onset of monsoon.

Here are some natural ways to stay healthy 

* The practice of oil-pulling which is an ancient Ayurvedic technique is recognised as a self-care, immune-boosting measure. It involves swishing cold-pressed virgin oil in the mouth for about five minutes just like using a mouthwash. Cold-pressed virgin coconut oil helps get rid of the million bacteria in the mouth through swishing in-between teeth and then discarding the oil from the mouth. Rinse your mouth with warm water after discarding the oil. This should be done on an empty stomach every morning, even before you drink water.

away from family, lockdown, alone in lockdown, things to do, indian express, indian express news The purpose of self-isolation is so we can all keep healthy, and avoid the transmission of the virus. It is, therefore, essential to be more mindful of our health. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

* Yoga and meditation bring peace to the mind and body. It is recommended to perform these activities between 6 am to 10 am in the morning on an empty stomach as the body is in Kapha state. The Kapha dosha helps overcome the states of dullness and lethargy and therefore yoga asanas and poses in the Kapha state removes sluggishness as the body is the strongest physically in this state and benefits from flexibility.

* Apart from physical activities, one must regulate their eating habits and consume a balanced diet overall. Including protein-rich foods and superfoods that are nutritionally dense and provide the body with the essential nutrients and vitamins. One such age-old superfood found as a kitchen staple in most Indian homes is coconut oil. Cold-pressed virgin coconut oil is obtained from the fresh matured kernel of the coconut by natural means and is known for its myriad health benefits such as:

− Boosting energy
− Improving immunity
− Weight management

hair mask, DIY hair mask, anshuka parwani remedy, how to have shiny hair, egg for hair, coconut oil, honey for hair,, indianexpress, Lastly, eat a wholesome nutritious breakfast and lunch; dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

* It is recommended to consume two spoons of virgin coconut oil every day for a healthy start to the day; it can also be used in everyday cooking, baking vegan desserts at home or as a simple salad dressing.

* Lastly, eat a wholesome nutritious breakfast and lunch; have dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime. Ensure you eat clean and healthy throughout the day even if you are snacking in-between meals, opt for healthy snack options like green tea, roasted makhana, salad bowls, smoothies or simply a bowl of fresh fruits.

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Hamdard Laboratories urges boosting immunity to stay healthy, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

Hamdard Laboratories urges boosting immunity to stay healthy, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

  • June 10, 2020
'Aapka Hamdard' program, on Radio Mirchi, will be focused on addressing the importance of strong immunity.
‘Aapka Hamdard’ program, on Radio Mirchi, will be focused on addressing the importance of strong immunity.

Hamdard Laboratories (Medicine Division), has launched #StrongWithHamdard its new integrated marketing campaign emphasising boosting the immune system to stay healthy amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

As part of the campaign, the brand leverages print, television, social media, and radio platform to spread the message of a stronger immune system and awareness around Unani Medicine products offered by Hamdard Laboratories.

‘Aapka Hamdard’ program, on Radio Mirchi, will be focused on addressing the importance of strong immunity.

Suman Varma, chief marketing officer, Hamdard Laboratories (Medicine Division), said, “One of the key measures to stay safe amid the Covid-19 outbreak has been a strong immune system that safeguards us from various infections and the same has been emphasised by the Government and Ministry of AYUSH. As India enters the unlock phase, it becomes even more vital to have a strong immunity that will prevent us against the viral infection. Our new campaign #StrongWithHamdard focuses on adopting an alternate medicine system to boost immunity and promote the uses of Unani medicine products to have a strong immunity system.”

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