Include this Dairy-free Pumpkin Soup in your Diet to Lose Weight

Do You Know?
Pumpkins are 90% water.
There are more than 45 different varieties of pumpkin.
Every single part of a pumpkin is edible.
Pumpkins are fruits and not vegetables.
As a food, pumpkin can be baked, roasted, steamed or boiled.

Pumpkins and pumpkin soups are a powerhouse of vitamins A, B6, B12 and C which are needed for boosting overall health. It also has calcium important for bone health. It also has iron content.

Many people think of pumpkins as little more than a Halloween decoration or a pie filling, or something to make a face at when asked to eat.  However, it may be time to rethink this plump, nutritious orange vegetable from the squash family.

They are a powerhouse of all kinds of vitamins, minerals, proteins and various nutrients that promote weight loss, better gut health and a good boost of micro-nutrients.

Health benefits of eating pumpkin soup

Pumpkin soup is not only a wonderful option for anyone fighting indigestion and stomach infections, but also for those on a weight loss program.

This soup is soothing, gentle and easy to digest with soluble fibers that help keep you full. It is low in calories, high in energy and can also help balance your electrolytes after a hard day.

1. Improves eyesight

Pumpkin soup is a powerhouse of Vitamin A which helps improve your vision and provides you with protection for your eyes. The antioxidants in pumpkin could help prevent degenerative damage to the eyes.

2. Aids Weight loss

A small amount of pumpkin soup with light cheese is only 70-80 calories for a one-cup serving. It is extremely rich in fiber as well.

This is a soup that fills you up even with a small serving, helps you to digest and can help you to shed weight because you will be eating fewer calories each day.

3. Lowers risk of diseases

Pumpkins can play a big role in preventing cancer and other serious diseases. Pumpkins have also been shown to fight off certain types of cancers. This means you can not only prevent disease with pumpkin soup but fight off diseases as well.

4. Boosts energy

Even though this soup is low in calories, it is high in energy. A single cup of pumpkin added to your soup contains more potassium than a full banana.

This means your body can balance its electrolytes, recover from a hard work out and have a large amount of energy to get you through the day.

5. Improves bone health

The light cheese / non-dairy milk you add to the soup will help to improve your bone health with its high calcium nutrients. Depending on the variety of dairy alternative that you use it is also possible to enjoy this topping with very low calories.

Soups are a delicious, healthy way to satisfy your hunger with minimal fat and calories. And healthy pumpkin soup recipes made from either fresh or canned pumpkin are a great example.

My Dairy-free Pumpkin Soup is rich and creamy from substituting coconut milk for the more traditional dairy cream.  This recipe would look lovely on your dinner table, and leftovers would go great with sandwiches or salads the next day.

Recipe yields 4 bowls or 6 cups of soup.


• 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

• One 4-pound sugar pie pumpkin

• 1 large yellow onion, chopped

• 4 large or 6 medium garlic cloves, pressed or minced

• ½ teaspoon of sea salt

• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

• ⅛ teaspoon cloves

• A tiny dash of cayenne pepper (optional, if you like spice)

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth

• ½ cup full-fat coconut milk

• 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey or stevia

• ¼ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Carefully halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds.

2. Slice each pumpkin halve in half to make quarters. Brush or rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over the flesh of the pumpkin and place the quarters, cut sides down, onto the baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes or longer, until the orange flesh is easily pierced through with a fork. Set it aside to cool for a few minutes.

3. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add onion, garlic and salt to the skillet. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. In the meantime, peel the pumpkin skin off the pumpkins and discard the skin.

4. Add the pumpkin flesh, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cayenne pepper (if using), and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Use your stirring spoon to break up the pumpkin a bit. Pour in the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, to give the flavours time to meld

5. While the soup is cooking, toast the pepitas in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, golden and making little popping noises. You want them to be nice and toasty, but not burnt. Transfer pepitas to a bowl to cool.

6. Once the pumpkin mixture is done cooking, stir in the coconut milk and maple syrup. Remove the soup from heat and let it cool slightly. You can use a blender to blend this soup in the pot. Also, protect your hand from steam escaping from the top of the blender as you purée the mixture until smooth. Transfer the puréed soup to a serving bowl.

7. Taste and adjust if necessary (you might want to add more coconut milk for extra creaminess/milder flavour, or maple syrup to make it a little sweeter).

8. Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Sprinkle pepitas over the soup and serve.

Storage Tip :

Let leftover soup cool completely before transferring it to a proper storage container and refrigerating it for up to 4 days (leftovers taste even better the next day!). Or, freeze this soup for up to 3 months.


What Is the Keto Diet, How It Works and Why It May Not Be Safe?

Recently, many of my clients have been asking about a ketogenic diet. Is a ketogenic diet safe? Would you recommend it?
Is eating a lot of fat really the best way to lose weight?
Keto devotees believe that if you banish most carbs (including fruit!) and embrace fat, you can lose weight without feeling hungry.

What is a ketogenic (keto) diet?

The keto diet, short for “ketogenic,” involves eating a high amount of fat, a moderate amount of protein and very few carbs — even fruit is off the table. As with any fad diet, adherents tout weight loss increased energy and greater mental clarity among the benefits. But is the keto diet all it’s cracked up to be?

The keto diet was originally designed not for weight loss, but for epilepsy.

In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis).

Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones.

How the ketogenic diet works

The goal of the ketogenic diet is to enter a state of ketosis (meaning that the body’s cells depend largely on ketones for energy) through fat metabolism. In a ketogenic state, the body uses primarily fat for energy instead of carbohydrates; with low levels of carbohydrate, fats can be converted into ketones to fuel the body.

It’s not entirely clear why that leads to weight loss, but ketosis seems to blunt the appetite and may affect hormones like insulin that regulate hunger. Fats and proteins may also keep people fuller than carbohydrates, leading to lower calorie intake overall.

Different Types of Ketogenic Diets

A “typical” ketogenic diet consists of at least 70 per cent of calories derived from fat, less than 10 per cent from carbs and less than 20 per cent from protein. The ketogenic diet, long used to treat epilepsy in children, calls for 90 per cent of daily calories to come from fat, with the amount of protein or carbs varying as long as it’s 4 grams of fat for every combined 1 gram of carb and protein.

There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:

Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs.

Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.

Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.

High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.

However, only the standard and high-protein ketogenic diets have been studied extensively. Cyclical or targeted ketogenic diets are more advanced methods and primarily used by bodybuilders or athletes.

The information in this article mostly applies to the standard ketogenic diet (SKD), although many of the same principles also apply to the other versions.

Can I lose weight on the keto diet?

Yes. Certainly in the short-term, it appears that way. For the first two to six months, there’s evidence that a very low-carbohydrate diet can help you lose more weight than the standard high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.

The keto diet appears to deliver fast results: The first pounds may seem to slip off. That can be seductive but it’s likely water weight. It’s not like it is going to magically alter your metabolism to where calories don’t matter anymore. And when resuming the carbs, that water weight returns.

Are there side effects of the keto diet?

At first, some can experience some stomach issues and GI distress. Ninety per cent of calories from fat is probably going to be a shock to the system. Have cholesterol levels regularly checked, and replenish the fluids and sodium lost by increased urination and the severe restriction of carbohydrates. If not, within two to four days of beginning the diet, that depletion can bring on the “keto flu” — symptoms like dizziness, poor sleep and fatigue in some people.

On the diet, some people experience “keto breath,” halitosis likely caused by the production of acetone, which is one of the ketone bodies.

Possible side-effects for patients with epilepsy starting the diet include constipation from reduced fiber intake, vomiting, fatigue, hypoglycemia, worsening reflux and increased frequency of seizures. Patients with lipid disorders (like high cholesterol or triglycerides), heart failure and kidney and liver disease take caution if considering the diet. People on blood thinners should take extra care.

Patients with kidney disease need to be cautious because this diet could worsen their condition. Additionally, some patients may feel a little tired in the beginning, while some may have bad breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and sleep problems.


1. Start Simple

Keep it simple, especially when you are starting out. The best way to start keto for beginners is to use a simple framework for your meals:

Pick a protein – Chicken, beef, pork, turkey, fish, seafood, protein powder, eggs, etc.

Pick a (low carb) veggie – Cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, brussels sprouts, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc.

Add fat. Butter, oil, lard, ghee, cheese, bacon, avocado, mayonnaise, nuts, etc.

2.Examine Your Relationship With Fat

To prepare for a high-fat diet, which can be uncomfortable at first, start making small adjustments to what you eat every day, like ordering a burger on lettuce leaves and subbing green veggies for fries.

Instead of potatoes or rice with your meal, opt for a nonstarchy veggie. Start cooking with more oil, such as olive or avocado oil. Realize that old dieting habits — like making a plain skinless grilled chicken breast — just don’t make sense on a keto diet because you won’t get enough fat. Slowly start pushing out carbs and getting in fat. If you’re afraid of fat, a ketogenic diet won’t work for you.

3. Switch Up Your View of Protein

One of the most common misconceptions about the keto diet is that you can eat as much protein as you’d like. But this is not a diet where you watch carbs only — you also have to keep your protein intake moderate. Protein can be converted into glucose, and therefore overeating protein can take your body out of ketosis. Think of your ratios as a small portion of meat topped with a generous amount of fat, rather than the other way around.

4.Know What Side Effects to Expect (for Example, the ‘Keto Flu’)

For all the attributes of a ketogenic diet (like weight loss), there’s one big side effect you have to be prepared for: the keto flu, discussed before.

Along the same lines, you’ll want to be sure to take it easy with exercise for the first week or two as your body adjusts to burning more fat rather than carbs for fuel.

5.Acknowledge When Keto Might Not Be Right for You

Because you can’t eat beans or lentils on a ketogenic diet, and nuts and seeds are even limited due to their carbohydrate content, you’re really just left with some tofu and will need to rely on low-carb protein powder. There is a good possibility this won’t pan out. “I don’t see this as a sustainable diet due to the extreme restrictions”.

In addition, there are medical conditions that should make you think twice about starting keto — or at least talk to your doctor before trying it out. Those include people on insulin, as well as those on oral and noninsulin injectable medications for high blood sugar. Even struggling with GI issues may be a barrier to starting. Last consideration: If existing personal dietary restrictions require you to avoid foods like soy, eggs, nuts, dairy, or seafood, a ketogenic diet may be too limiting for you.

6.Have an After Plan, Because Keto Isn’t Meant to Be a Long-Term Weight Loss Solution

A keto diet is not a forever diet. It’s designed to be short-term. Some people go on a keto diet a few times per year, others will use it to lose weight and change their eating habits.

For some people, going on a keto diet is an effort to change those poor habits, but there’s the risk of falling back into your old ways once the diet is over.

Your ultimate goal should be “to shift your diet to a healthier pattern that involves eating less bread, less pasta, less flour, and less sugar,” as well as more nonstarchy veggies. Think about what that will look like for you once the keto diet is over.

How will you use this temporary diet as a springboard to bettering your long-term health?

Is a ketogenic diet healthy?

Not precisely! Low-carb diets like the keto do appear to lead to some short-term weight loss, but they’re not significantly more effective than any other commercial or self-help diet. And they don’t appear to improve athletic performance.

A ketogenic diet could be an interesting alternative to treat certain conditions and may accelerate weight loss. But it is hard to follow, and it can be heavy on red meat and other fatty, processed, and salty foods that are notoriously unhealthy.

Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet is rich in proteins and fats. It typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. Because it is so restrictive, it is really hard to follow over the long run. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% of the typical diet. One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and poor-quality fats from processed foods, with very few fruits and vegetables.

Instead of engaging in the next popular diet that would last only a few weeks to months (for most people that includes a ketogenic diet), try to embrace change that is sustainable over the long term. A balanced, unprocessed diet, rich in very colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and lots of water seems to have the best evidence for a long, healthier, vibrant life.

Advice we can all agree on: Eat healthily. There is no quick fix !

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

Why Curd Rice is considered as a Best Brain Food and Makes You Happier

Eating Curd Rice Makes You A Happy Person, Seriously!
Having curd rice gives you such a sense of satisfaction and contentment. It also makes one feel restful and sometimes sleepy too, especially if eaten in excess.

Let’s examine today why this dish is so sought after and gives us this immense feeling of satiation, contentment and happiness.

Curd Rice is the only Indian food which releases a Chemical called Tryptophan in Brain. Indians alone take Curd as Curd. But the western world takes it as Yogurt, which has got Sugar too, and sugar will not calm your Brain, but increase Glucose level and will put one to more restlessness.  Sugar is dangerous for the Balance of Neural activity. It triggers hyperactivity.

But Curd rice is the only food which can release Tryptophan in Brain, which calms down and brings cool thinking, and your neurons are recharged with a mild rest because of Tryptophan.

Tryptophan is essential to us, as it is used to synthesise various other crucial chemical compounds for the human body like serotonin and melatonin.

However, tryptophan needs to reach the brain in order to be completely utilised by it, and this can only happen when it crosses the blood-brain barrier. This is not easy for tryptophan as it has to compete with other amino acids to enter the organ.

This is where the rice of “curd rice” comes in. This awesome combination of tryptophan-rich curd with the carbohydrate-filled rice can increase brain activity because as we learned earlier, it can be used to produce serotonin.

What is Tryptophan?

Tryptophan is the building block of a chemical called Serotonin. Serotonin has a wide variety of functions in the body, from playing a role in learning and memory to digestion. Serotonin is also a neuro-chemical and a natural mood regulator, which makes us feel happy, emotionally stable, less anxious, more tranquil and even more focused and energetic. Low levels of Serotonin are also linked to mood disorders like Depression.

Some of the other benefits associated with the consumption of curd rice are:

1. Promotes Weight Loss

2. A Cool Treat For Summers

3. Helpful For Digestion

4. Provides Energy

5.Great Mood Enhancing Capabilities

6. Can Be Beneficial For Blood Pressure

7. Helps In Brain Development

8. Helpful Against Irritable Bowel Syndrome

9. Stronger immunity

10. Good for eyes

11. Nourished and healthy skin

Curd Rice Recipe

Curd rice, a dish that originated from the southernmost part of India is now widely considered to be a tasty treat during hot, sultry days. In addition to its taste and many health benefits, if there is one more thing that makes curd rice a popular dish, it is the fact that it is really quite easy to prepare.

The simplicity of the dish makes it a popular dish made routinely across thousands of South Indian homes every day. It is one of those dishes that pack in simplicity along with an adequate amount of nutritional content.

The basic ingredients that you’ll require in order to prepare curd rice are:

• 1 cup of rice

• 2 cups curd

• 1 tbsp cumin powder

• 3-4 green chillies

• 3-4 curry leaves

• ½ cup urad dal

Now that we have the complete list of ingredients required for the preparation of curd rice all that is left to do is to learn how to prepare it.

The steps for making it are:

1. Boil the rice and then let it cool down.

2. This boiled rice must be then stirred alongside curd and salt( can use any mineral salt ), and mixed well until you get the consistency as per your requirement.

3. Now the next step involves the cooking of the urad dal. In a pan, add a few tablespoons of oil, and carefully cook urad dal by adding cumin powder and curry leaves to the mix.

4. Wait until the dal turns brown, and then add it to the mixture of curd and rice. After mixing them well, top them off with some green chillies and ground black pepper powder and it is ready to be served.

Well, now you can say that eating curd rice actually boosts your brain activity and makes you happier!

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar


There are plenty of cosmetics that dub themselves as “skin food,” the truth is that the key to maintaining a healthy complexion doesn’t come from a bottle. While it’s true these cleansers and lotions offer a topical fix—a beauty band-aid, if you will—gorgeous, hydrated skin starts from within. And that all depends on whether our best foods for glowing skin are on your plate.

A clean diet means a radiant you!

Whether you need to treat acne, ward off premature ageing, reduce the appearance wrinkles, or fight back against another pesky skin condition, the right diet can be a valuable aid.

Researchers have found that fitting certain healthy foods into your daily routine can help fight back against your complexion woes by turning off inflammatory genes and providing your body with the proper tools to strengthen and build healthy tissues.

What to eat for glowing skin is a question you simply can’t ignore.

Just about every woman desires to have glowing, flawless skin and would go to any length to achieve a clear complexion.

However, there are a number of factors such as the scorching sun, stress (both emotional and physiological), your hormones and even everyday pollution that prevent your skin from achieving the desired levels of skin perfection. You could try a million different means and ways to get soft and supple skin, especially one with that naturally brilliant shine, but none of them is going to help unless and until you start eating healthy.

The way to glowing skin, quite like the way to a person’s heart, is truly through the stomach! Your dietary habits impact your overall health and your skin is equally affected, perhaps the most affected by what you eat. Having a healthy stomach, bowel movement, gut and liver are imperative to having clear, unblemished skin, amongst a host of other health benefits.

For which you need to include certain foods in your diet. Basically, you need to follow a diet for glowing skin. Here’s a list of some of the healthy foods that will nourish your skin and get that healthy glow you’re after, within a few days…

1.Cooked Tomatoes

Lycopene, the phytochemical that makes tomatoes red, helps boosts collagen strength—a protein that gives skin its taut, youthful structure—and fights off the oxidizing effect of UV rays by eliminating skin-ageing free radicals.

Why is tomato paste one of our best foods for skin? It’s because cooking tomatoes ups their lycopene levels, so tomato sauce, gazpacho, and even ketchup pack on the protection.


Think of carrots as your very own wonder wands—good for the eyes and good for clearing up breakouts. No magic here, though, just plenty of beta-carotene and vitamin A, an antioxidant which prevents overproduction of cells in the skin’s outer layer. That means fewer flaky dead cells that otherwise could combine with sebum to clog your pores. Plus, vitamin A plays an essential role in reducing the development of skin-cancer cells. It’s a win-win with this best food for the skin.


When the question—what to eat for glowing skin, arises turmeric is easily the most age-old answer. Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, ‘anti-all bad things’ superhero of an ingredient is one you can add to everything right from your soups to your smoothies. The curcumin present in turmeric helps fight any bacterial infection both inside and outside your body, whether the turmeric is ingested or applied externally.

Plus, this spice can also be used to lighten dark pigmentation blotches or scars caused by ageing, hormone imbalance, or sun exposure by inhibiting an enzyme in the skin that produces pigment—just combine with honey to create a healing facial mask!


Besides being one of the most potent sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3s, salmon also contains dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE). DMAE promotes healthy skin because it protects the integrity of cell membranes. Strengthening the cell membranes guards against their deterioration that causes premature ageing. This nutrient also helps to prevent the production of arachidonic acid (AA), an inflammation precursor that leads to wrinkle formation.

And that’s not all. DMAE works in conjunction with B vitamins to increases levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential for proper muscle functioning that can keep your face looking toned and firm.


This tropical fruit contains a plethora of active enzymes which pass on their health benefits. One enzyme, chymopapain, has been used to relieve inflammation—a common source of skin conditions. And another enzyme, papain, can help remove blemishes and even treat acne when applied topically as the enzyme dissolves pore-clogging fats and cleanses the skin.

Not to mention, just a single cup of fresh, ripe papaya packs a whopping 144 per cent of your DV of collagen-strengthening vitamin C.

6.Bell Peppers

Vitamin C is essential to the formation and growth of skin and muscle tissue as well as to building collagen—the protein which provides strength and structure to your skin, bones, muscles, and tendons. But instead of grabbing an orange to get your dose, much on some vitamin C-rich yellow bell peppers instead.


Here’s another reason you should eat the whole egg. The yolk is rich in vitamins that are essential for proper cell function, as well as contain the “beauty vitamin,” biotin. This B vitamin is more commonly known to help hair grow and strengthen fingernails, but research has shown it also helps protect skin from acne, rashes, and even dryness.

In addition to giving your body a dose of healthy protein that it needs, egg whites are high in both the lysine and proline (amino acids), as well as collagen itself. So adding an egg to your diet could help support your body’s natural production of collagen to help fight fine lines.

8.Detox Water

Be honest. How many products and concealers have you purchased to cover those pesky, puffy, dark circles under your the eyes? They may be a sign of lack of sleep, but it can also indicate another more common issue: dehydration. Salty foods, alcohol, exercise, hot weather and just plain not drinking enough water can create inflammation, which results in those raccoon eyes.

Start replenishing your body with these detox waters. Cut up some citrus fruits (rind included), soak in a pitcher of ice water, and drink up. The vitamin C in the citrus will help balance levels of electrolytes and expel excess water weight while the d-limonene in the rinds acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory compound which helps the liver flush toxins from the body.


Avocado dip

Instead of investing in a slew of questionable anti-ageing products, head to the store and grab an avocado. The fruit is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been proven to hydrate and shield the skin by lowering the risk of premature ageing caused by ultraviolet radiation. Avocados’ potent source of fats also helps you absorb many of the fat-soluble vitamins that also help protect your skin from sun damage.

10.Green Leafy Vegetables

Popeye’s favourite veggie triumphs again. People who ate the leafiest greens had prevented squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. Researcher speculates that the high levels of folate, an essential B vitamin which helps maintain and repair DNA, in these veggies may reduce the likelihood of cancer-cell growth. Just a single cup of spinach contains 65 per cent of your DV of folate.

Similarly, kale has proven that it earned its spot as a superfood. This cruciferous veggie is loaded with the skin’s favourite anti-ageing vitamins A, C, E, and, uniquely, vitamin K. Leafy greens are one of the most potent sources of vitamin K, a vitamin which helps with blood clotting and faster healing when ingested. And when applied topically, it can minimize the visibility of bruises, scars, stretch marks, and spider veins.

11.Green Tea

Pour yourself a cup of this green elixir and watch your skin glow! Green tea contains catechins, an antioxidant with proven anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.

This food (especially of the Matcha kind), being full of natural antioxidants, is rich in the phytonutrient known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and is extremely efficient in protecting your skin from the harmful free radicals that are majorly responsible for skin problems such as dark spots, premature ageing and even spots.

Since green tea also helps lower levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone responsible for your acne issues, it is also extremely efficient in keeping your skin clear and free from any blemishes. Just be careful to not overdo it. Too much caffeine can lead to dehydration, which may have the opposite effects on skin health.


Blueberries are one of nature’s finest superfoods. Brimming with antioxidants, blueberries help your body quash cell-damaging, skin-ageing free radicals. These berries also help boost the strength of collagen fibers thanks to their high concentration of anthocyanins: phytonutrients that give these berries their bright blue hue. Not to mention, this fruit is also a great source of prebiotics —fiber-rich foods that your gut bugs ferment into anti-inflammatory fatty acids—which can help heal your immune system and alleviate inflammation-induced skin conditions.



A nutrient-dense whole foods diet won’t just help you lose weight—it’ll also brighten up your skin. That’s because introducing high fiber foods like oats will feed your inflammation-reducing gut bacteria, minimize spikes in blood sugar that can contribute to skin problems, and strengthen and firm up your body tissues. That last benefit is because of oats’ high source of silicon, a trace mineral that also helps skin retain elasticity, slowing the signs of ageing.


Over time, skin loses collagen and thins, which makes the veins beneath the eyes more visible. Luckily, all you have to do is grab Brazil nuts. That’s because one brazil nut has over 135 per cent of your DV of selenium, a nutrient that can boost the production of collagen. This mineral helps preserve elastin, a protein that keeps your skin smooth and tight and acts as an antioxidant, stopping free radicals created by UV exposure from damaging cells. They’re also full of vitamin E to keep your skin moisturized and copper to support the production of melanin, a compound that also protects your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays.

Almonds are full of one of the most oft-associated vitamins with skincare, vitamin E. That’s because this vitamin helps repair scarred cells and defends against sun damage. And because vitamin E also acts as an antioxidant, it also works to keep your body free of dangerous free radicals. Almonds are also one of the best sources of dairy-free calcium.

Walnuts? Didn’t come to mind. Omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent skin cancer by inhibiting the formation of the chemical COX-2. Walnuts are a prime source of healthy fat.

15. Honey

Speaking of honey, this is another ingredient that does wonders for your skin. The best snack to eat is raw honey, and the best part is that you can top it on almost any fruit. Raw honey contains five enzymes, six different vitamins, eight distinctive lipids, 12 minerals, 17 trace elements, 18 amino acids (proteins), 18 bioflavonoids (also known as antioxidants), and 26 aroma compounds, making it a special healing ingredient that works its magic inside and out.

15.Dark Chocolate

Forget the sunscreen—pack a bar of chocolate in your beach bag. That’s because the antioxidants in dark chocolate known as flavanols reduce roughness in the skin and provide sun protection. According to a study in nutrients, cocoa’s antioxidants can protect the skin from oxidative stress, which can lead to premature skin ageing. Chocolate is also a great source of pre and probiotics to help heal your gut and reduce inflammation.


Yoghurt is easily the best food for glowing skin. Most of the skin ailments that we have are caused on account of having an unhealthy stomach, bowels and gut. Yoghurt is known to contain probiotics that aid in the process of digestion, thereby ensuring that problems such as breakouts and skin dryness, do not bother your radiant flawless complexion. Consume as much yoghurt as you like, after every meal and with smoothies and fruits salads. As the Turks would say, yoghurt is the cure for absolutely everything!

It’s not an instant fix but an investment that will benefit you long—term...

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

11 Instant Savory Crepe – Chilla, To kickstart your day the Healthy Way

Savoury Crepe aka Chilla is one of the healthy options to include in your daily diet. It offers numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of obesity, health diseases and more. Try these recipes to reap all the benefits.

1.Sattu Chilla

Healthy and instant sattu chilla are made from chana dal, sattu is a rich source of protein and is often referred to as poor man’s protein. Improves bowel movement. Flushes out toxins. Increases appetite. Helps in weight loss. Increases energy. Acts as a coolant. Good for people with diabetes and high bp.


• Sattu Flour – 1 cup

• Gram Flour / Besan / Kadalai Mavu – ½ cup

• Sooji. Rava – ½ cup

• Curd – 1 cup

• Water as needed

• Onion – 1 chopped finely

• Green Chillies – 2 chopped finely

• Coriander leaves – 3 tbsp chopped finely

• Salt to taste

• Ajwain / Carom Seeds / Omam – ½ tsp

• Oil for making chilla


1. Mix all ingredients to a smooth batter.

2. Make dosa. Drizzle oil around the sides.

3. Cook till golden on both sides.

4. Serve.

2.Oats Chilla

Oats are actually one of the healthiest grains on the earth and are gluten-free. They are packed with vitamins, fiber, minerals, and anti-oxidants. Oats flour has some unique fatty acids together with vitamin E slow cell damage & have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer.


• 1 Cups Instant Oats Flour

• 1/2 Cup Chickpea Flour (Besan)

• 1/4 Cup Rice Flour – optional

• 1 Cup Plain Yogurt – use vegan yoghurt if need be

• 1 Tsp Grated Ginger

• 2 Tbsp Grated Carrot

• 2 Tbsp Thinly Chopped Cabbage

• 1 Tbsp Thinly Chopped Onion

• 1 Tbsp Thinly Chopped Red Cabbage

• 2 Large Green Chilies – thinly chopped – optional

• ½ Tsp Cumin Powder

• 1 Tsp Salt (As per your taste)

• ½ Cup Water

• ¼ Cup Olive Oil (U can use any other oil) – For making crepe/chilla


• In a large bowl, add all 3 flour, salt, cumin and whisk everything once.

• Now add water and whisk to form a lump-free batter (resembling pancake batter).

• Add all the chopped veggies, ginger and stir everything.

• Heat a nonstick pan over a high flame and apply 1 tsp of oil.

• Pour 1 heaping ladle of the batter over the pan, swirl it using the ladle to form a round shape.

• Reduce flame, cook the chilla/crepe for 1-2min, the flip side.

• Pour ¼ tsp oil and cook the other side for 1-2min. (Depending on how brown/crisp you? want – For more crisper or brown look, cook an extra minute)

• Increase the flame to high and cook for 1min.

• Follow the steps above to make all the remaining crepes/chilla.

• Serve Hot or Cold as per preference.

3.Bajra & lentil Chilla

Bajra is rich in magnesium which keeps the heart healthy while moong dal is rich in antioxidants. combining both these ingredients to make a super nutritious chilla which is a perfect option for snack or breakfast.


• For Chilla

• 1 cup Green Gram -1 cup

• 1 cup Soaked Bajra

• 1 cup Finely Chopped Onions

• 2 Chopped Green Chillies

• 1 tbsp Grated Ginger

• 1 cup Chopped Coriander Leaves

• Salt and Water

• For chutney

• 1 cup Curd

• 1/2 cup Roasted and Roughly Chopped Ground Nuts

• 1 tbsp Cumin Seeds

• 1 tbsp Chopped Green Chillies

• 1 tbsp Grated Ginger

• Ghee for greasing

• Pinch of Red Chilli Powder

• Coriander sprig for garnish


1. Soak bajra and whole green gram overnight.

2. Grind into a paste and transfer in a bowl.

3. Add onions, green chillies, ginger and salt and give a good mix.

4. The batter should have thick consistency for dosa.

5. Add coriander leaves.

6. The batter should have thick consistency for dosa.

7. Add coriander leaves.

8. Prepare the chilla.

4.Whole Wheat Vegetable Chilla

Whole wheat flour or atta is easily available in every kitchen. It is an instant and easy recipe. Atta contains some healthy fats and proteins and lots of fibre.


• 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour

• 2 tbsp onion finely chopped

• 2 tbsp capsicum finely chopped

• 2 tbsp tomato finely chopped

• 2 tbsp carrot grated

• 4 green chilli finely chopped

• 3 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped

• 1/2 tsp ginger paste

• 1 cup water or as required

• 1/2 tsp chat masala

• 1/2 tsp red chilli powder

• A pinch of turmeric powder

• Salt to taste

• Oil as required for cooking


• Collect all the required ingredients.

• Take whole wheat flour in a bowl.

• Then add salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, chat masala, and ginger paste.

• Mix it well.

• Add water as required and make a lump-free batter.

• The paste should be thicker than dosa batter.

• After making a batter, mix the vegetables like chopped onion, tomato, capsicum, and grated carrot.

• Also, add chopped green chilli and coriander leaves.

• Mix well using a spoon. The batter is ready to make chilla.

5.Besan Chilla

Besan Chilla, a protein-rich nutritious pancake made from the gram flour(besan) is a popular snack from North Indian cuisine, which is also called pudla in Gujarat. This is a gluten-free snack because gram flour (chickpea flour) is gluten-free flour and it’s the only flour used in this recipe.


• 1 Cup Gram Flour

• 1/4 Cup Rice flour

• 1/4 Cup Wheat flour

• 1/4 Cup Curd whisked

• Oil for roasting chilli

• 1/2 Cup Spring Onion Finely chopped

• 1/4 tsp Asafetida

• 1/4 Tsp Turmeric powder

• 1/4 Tsp Carom seeds

• 1/2 Tsp green chilli Finely chopped

• 1/2 tsp Chaat masala

• 1/2 Tsp Red chilli powder

• 3 Tbsp coriander finely chopped

• 1/2 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste

• Salt to Taste


• In a mixing bowl add besan, wheat flour and rice flour.

• Next add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, gently crush ajwain in your palm and add to the mixture then add asafetida, chat masala and salt to taste. Mix all the dry ingredients.

• Now add ginger garlic paste, chopped green chillies, whisked curd and make it to a semi-thick pouring consistency, adding the water a little at a time.

• Add chopped coriander leaves & green onion and mix them well.

• Heat a non-stick frying pan or griddle, and then pour the batter with help of a spoon and spread it out evenly with the back of the spoon.

• Lower the heat and let cook till the edges brown a little and can be lifted easily.

• Dribble a little oil around it, turning the pan so the oil goes under the Cheela.

• Flip it over to cook slightly on the other side.

• Similarly, make the other Cheela.

6.Rice Chilla Recipe

The health benefits of rice include supplying energy, fighting inflammation, reducing cancer risk, supporting nervous system health, promoting heart, preventing constipation, controlling blood sugar levels, supporting immune system health, a great source of selenium and a natural diuretic.


• Rice Flour – Half Cup

• Semolina – Half Cup

• Cumin seed powder (jeera powder) – ½ teaspoon

• Black pepper powder (Kali Mirch Powder) – ½ teaspoon

• Red Chilli Powder (Lal Mirch powder) – ½ teaspoon

• Few Curry Leaves & Green chillies

• Tomato-1

• Salt to taste

• Refined oil

• Water required to make the rice batter of thin consistency, but not watery


1. Mix rice flour & semolina in a bowl.

2. Add water to form a lump-free pourable batter.

3. To this batter, add salt, cumin seeds powder, black pepper powder and red chilli powder. Mix well.

4. Add chopped green chilli, curry leaves and finely chopped tomato OR Any other vegetable (grated) of your choice.

5. Heat a non-stick pan or tawa, and grease it with oil.

6. Pour one ladle full batter onto the heated pan and spread it uniformly in round shape with the backside of the round ladle. Let it cook over high flame till the moisture evaporates.

7. Do not add oil till it looks dry. Cover it with the lid to speed up the cooking process.

8. Once it looks little cooked & dry, pour some oil on the sides & cook and flip the chilla.

9. Pour some oil on this side too and cook till it turns brown and crispy. Cook it on medium flame only.

10. Now, serve it with chutney or tomato ketchup or sambar.

7.Corn (Makai) Chilla

Corn is rich is in Vitamin B12, folic acid and iron which helps in the production of red blood cells in the body. It helps in reducing the risk of Anaemia, by supplying enough of the nutrients required to produce fresh Red blood cells.


• Makka Flour – 1 Cup

• Gram flour (besan) – 1 Spoon

• Chopped onion – 1 Tbsp

• Chopped Ginger & Chillies- Optional

• Oil

• Water

• Salt & Chilli Powder – To taste


1. Dry Ingredients – Pour makka flour, besan flour, chopped onion, ginger, chillies in a bowl.

2. Mix everything adding little water at a time – the consistency of the chilla batter should be a little thick. Now add salt & spice accordingly

3. Now heat a tava on low to medium flame, grease it with oil, pour a ladleful of the batter. Keep it a little thick compare to besan chilla.

4. Pour few drops of oil around it after a minute. Cover it with lid & cook on low flame. Makka takes time to get to cook properly.

5. Once the bottom of the chilla turns a little brown & upper layer looks settled, flip over and cook the other side in the same way.

6. Serve chilla with chutney of your choice.

8.Multigrain Chilla

Multigrain Chilla made from a powder of multiple grains which taste so delicious and is very nutritious!

The healthy multigrain powder is as follows:

• 100 gm ragi (finger millet)

• 100 gm wheat

• 100 gm bajra (pearl millet)

• 100 gm jawar

• 100 gm corn

• 100 gm green moong dal

• 100 gm black gram

• handful of almonds

• handful of cashew

Wash all the grains and soak them overnight for slight sprouting. Dry roast them on a low flame and then grind them to a powder.


• 1 cup Multigrain powder Recipe in the post

• 1 cup of water

• 1 onion finely chopped

• 1/4 cup capsicum finely chopped (I used yellow and red ones)

• 2 green chillies finely chopped

• to taste salt and chilli powder


• Mix the powder with water to get a batter of smooth consistency.

• Add salt, chilli powder and rest of the ingredients.

• Heat a Tawa and spread the mixture on the hot Tawa.

• Roast on the side and then turn and roast the other.

• Enjoy with ketchup or green chutney.

9.Sprouts Chilla

This is a healthy recipe and you wouldn’t believe how light these Moong daal sprouts are. And besan is such a good source of protein.


Besan – 60 gms

Moong Dal Sprouts – 100 gms

Carrot – 150 gms

Ghee – 10 gms

Spices: Hing (Asafoetida), Ajwain (Carom seeds), Red Chilli Powder, Coriander Powder, Salt, Ginger Garlic paste


Sprout the moong daal by soaking overnight (one night before you want to make the chillas)

Take Moong dal sprouts in a mixer and put a little water, enough to let it get grind. Grind it into a thick paste. Do not let this mixture get very thin/watery

Take besan in a bowl and add little water and keep mixing with a spoon. Keep adding water little by little to ensure you make a paste-like mixture of besan (not too thin/watery)

Add Moong dal mixture to it. Add little water and mix if feels too thick to make chilla

Grate the carrot and put the grated carrot in the besan and moon daal mixture. Add little water if feels too thick to make chilla

Add all spices (Hing only half a pinch, rest normal quantities). Add little water till you feel you get food consistency of mixture (not too thick to make chilla and not too thin to allow the mixture to run away on the pan)

Take a pan and apply 2 gm ghee. Spread evenly on high flame. Put some batter/mixture on the pan and spread evenly with a spoon. Make gas medium flame and cover the pan with lid. Let it cool for 2 mins. Once the chilla feels solidifying, you will be able to take it off without sticking.

Then cook the other side also in a similar way for a couple of minutes. Enjoy with coriander chutney or tomato sauce

10.Rava (Semolina) Cheela

Semolina flour has several health benefits, such as healthy muscles, improves heart health, prevents anaemia, controls overeating, early bowel movement, improves immunity. Suji Ka Cheela if prepared with curd, vegetables and semolina taste more tempting then those prepared with gram flour, flour or dal.


• 1 cup suji/Rava

• 1/2 cup curd

• 1/4 cup onion finely chopped

• 2 tbsp capsicum finely chopped

• 2 tbsp carrot grated

• 2 green chillies finely chopped

• 3 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped

• 1 tsp ginger paste

• Salt to taste

• A pinch of turmeric powder

• 1/4 tsp red chilli powder

• Oil as required for roasting cheela

• 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp water or as required


preparing batter for suji cheela:

• Collect all the required ingredients.

• Take fine suji or rava in a bowl.

• Add curd and mix well.

• Then add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and ginger paste.

• Also, add 1/4 cup water.

• Mix very well.

• Cover it and allow the batter to rest for 20 minutes or till suji swells completely.

• After 20 minutes, suji will absorb much of the water and will become very soft.

• Now add chopped onion, capsicum, green chillies, coriander leaves, and grated carrot.

• Mix very well and add the remaining 1/4 cup water.

• Next, add 2 tbsp water again and mix very well.

• Mix well and add water if required to get slightly medium-thick flowing consistency batter.

• The batter for making cheelas is now ready.

11.Ragi/ Finger millet chilla

Ragi (Finger Millet/ nachni) is a nutritious grain which is the staple food in most of the South Indian states. It is generally milled into flour and then used to make ragi balls, ragi dosa, ragi roti, and so on and it is preferred food for diabetic patients and kids.


• Finger millet (ragi / nachni) flour 3/4 cup

• Semolina (suji) 1/2 cup

• Yogurt 1 cup

• Onion finely chopped 1 medium

• Green capsicum finely chopped 1/2 medium

• Ginger finely chopped 1 inch

• Green chillies finely chopped 1-2

• Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon

• Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon

• Curry leaves 10-12

• Baking soda 1 teaspoon

• Salt to taste

• Oil as required


Combine semolina and ¾ cup yoghurt in a bowl and mix. Add finger millet flour, onion, capsicum, ginger, green chillies, cumin seeds and mustard seeds and mix well.

Add remaining yoghurt and mix. Add some water, mix well and set aside for 5 minutes.

Heat a non-stick Tawa.

Add curry leaves, baking soda and salt to prepared flour mixture and mix well.

Put some oil on hot Tawa and wipe with a tissue. Pour a ladleful of the prepared flour mixture, spread into a shape of uttapam and roast till the underside turn slightly golden. Make incisions on each cooked uttapam and roast from the other side till golden and crisp.

Cut into 4 equal pieces and serve hot.

Want to make it more nutritious? You can add grated seasonal vegetables and paneer, soya, tofu, eggs…. to the chilla batter. At my house, it’s always served with nut chutney or dip.

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar 

The Truth About Stevia—And Is It Helpful For People With Diabetes

In this article, we talk about The So-called “Healthy” natural substitute for sugar:

What is Stevia?

Stevia, commonly known as sweet leaf or sugar leaf, stevia rebaudiana .

Stevia is a natural plant-based sweetener that can be traced back to South America and has been used for several hundred years. The plant is known as Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni and is a part of the sunflower family. The plant, which is native to Paraguay and Brazil, features many anti-diabetic and anti-oxidant properties.

Stevia is a sugar substitute that has almost no calories. Stevia sweeteners are based upon extracts from the leaves of the stevia rebaudiana plant, that the FDA considers being generally safe.

Stevia contains 8 glycosides that are isolated and purified to get the sweetener in its rawest form.

They are:


rebaudiosides A, C, D, E, and F


dulcoside A


Stevia contains compounds called Steviol glycosides, the compounds which give stevia its sweet taste, have a level of sweetness graded at 250-300 times sweeter than sugar (sucrose), this property is due to the presence of two compounds: stevioside and rebaudioside. However, stevia is so low in calories that it is technically a “zero-calorie” product.


Using pure stevia preparations in relatively small amounts should have no significant effect on blood glucose levels.

Stevia based sweeteners that are blended with other sweetening ingredients may have blood glucose-raising properties, depending on what they are blended with and in what proportion.

Refer to the packaging or contact the manufacturer if you have questions about how the product may affect your blood glucose levels.


Stevia is recognised as having properties which may result in the following health benefits:

• Blood glucose lowering

• Anti-inflammatory

• Anti-tumour

• Blood pressure lowering

• Anti-diarrheal

• Antioxidant properties to fight disease

• blood sugar control, both when fasting and after meals

• improved satiety and reduced hunger

• regulate your appetite, thus reducing your calorie intake

• protection against liver and kidney damage

• reduced triglyceride and cholesterol levels

• reduces insulin sensitivity and increases the insulin effect on the body’s cell membranes

• does not alter the composition of food or their nutrients, meaning that minerals and vitamins remain at the same level

How to use stevia?

Several brands of stevia tablets and powder are commercially available. Stevia is now present in a number of foods and beverages, including Gatorade’s G2, VitaminWater Zero, SoBe Lifewater Zero, Crystal Light and Sprite Green. Around the world, it has been used in soft drinks, chewing gums, wines, yoghurts, candies and many other products. Stevia powder can also be used for cooking and baking (in markedly decreased amounts compared to table sugar due to its high sweetness potency).

Stevia as a sweetener in products such as milk-based desserts, yoghurts, carbonated water, flavoured drinks, jams and ready-to-eat cereals. Ever since manufacturers such as Amul and Mother Dairy have shown an interest in developing products with stevia instead of sugar or artificial sugar substitutes.

You can:

• add stevia instead of sugar to your tea or coffee – since stevia is much sweeter, you may need to experiment a little to find the quantity that best suits your taste buds. Generally, a pinch of stevia gives you the same sweetness as one teaspoon of sugar.

• sprinkle stevia powder onto your breakfast cereals or on yoghurt. Here are some easy, delicious guilt-free snack ideas for diabetes people.

• try using stevia instead of sugar in preparing ice cream or fruit-based desserts.

How Stevia works

Stevia drops: for people who find plain water boring, you can drop a few drops of this extract in water. Your water will taste much better and you do not have to worry about the sweetener’s impact on your blood sugar.

Stevia powder: this is the most common form of stevia purchased from the market today. It is mixed with other ingredients to allow it to behave like sugar. It has less than 0.5 g of sugar per serving, an amount that is classified by the FDA as having zero calories.

It is important to know the additives that have been added to this stevia before consumption to avoid complications and to get the RIGHT PRODUCT for your required sweetening needs.

Does Stevia taste similar to sugar? 

Stevia has its own distinct sweet taste just like any other natural sweetener like Honey, Agave Nectar or Maple Syrup. Unfortunately, because Sugar is so pervasive in our foods our taste buds take some time to acclimatise and appreciate any new sweet flavour.

Cut the Calories keep the Taste: Magicleaf Stevia

Magicleaf Stevia is a product of 5 years of intensive R&D to simulate a Sugar like taste profile and create an extraordinary all-purpose sweetener that is all taste but no calories. Like many foods you love like tea/coffee/honey, it can be a bit of an acquired taste and can take a week or so to get used to it. But once you do, there will no be going back!

In fact, they are so confident of the quality of their product that if you try Magicleaf for 7 days and are not satisfied with the taste, they will happily return the product and give your money back.

Are Magicleaf Stevia and Stevia leaf extract the same thing?

No. Magicleaf Stevia is a proprietary sweetener blend consisting of 5 natural ingredients:

Stevia leaf extract (sweetener), dietary fibre (prebiotic), crystalline fructose (bulking agent), silica (anti-caking agent) and natural flavours.

Stevia leaf extract is the common or usual ingredient name for the extract derived from the leaf of the stevia plant. Stevia leaf extract is the primary sweetening ingredient in both Magicleaf Stevia and Magicleaf Keto blends.

What is Crystalline Fructose and why does Magicleaf Stevia contain Crystalline Fructose?

With Stevia extracts, the addition of a bulking agent is by and large a necessity. Magicleaf Stevia uses Crystalline Fructose as the bulking agent. Crystalline Fructose is made from non-GMO rice and occurs naturally in all fruits and many other foods. Fructose doesn’t get absorbed in our bloodstream and hence doesn’t impacts blood sugar level. The advantage of using Crystalline Fructose as a carrier for stevia leaf extracts is that it has an extremely low glycaemic index (20) and is an extremely safe ingredient. Apart from providing bulk, it also lends Magicleaf Stevia Sugar like crystalline appearance, texture and caramelisation when used for cooking or baking.

Is Magicleaf Stevia safe for Diabetics?

Yes! Magicleaf Stevia is a zero-calorie sweetener that doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels and is safe for one and all – including diabetics and weight watchers.

Is Magicleaf Stevia safe for Children? How about Pregnant Women?

When it comes to Stevia’s safety there are no ifs and buts. Unlike many other “Sugarfree” brands Magicleaf Stevia does not contain any ingredients that are unsafe for Children or Pregnant Women. Magicleaf can be enjoyed by one and all!

Can Magicleaf Stevia help me lose weight?

Yes! An average consumer intakes 1.5-2 kgs of Sugar on a monthly basis. If you replace your entire Sugar consumption with Magicleaf Stevia, you should save on 6000 – 8000 kcal every month which equals roughly 1 Kg of body fat. Combined with a healthy diet the results can be even more effective.

What are you waiting for? Make the switch today!