Vegetarian Recipes

About Me

Santa Clara, California, United States

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

7 Myths about drinking water - busted!

Myth # 1: Drinking water between meals is bad for digestion.

This is one line which we keep on hearing from everyone, also passed down from generation to generation. However, there is no scientific proof to indicate that it will affect the digestive process. Probably it will just fill up your stomach and reduce your appetite for lunch or dinner. But besides that everyone should go ahead and enjoy a glass of water with every meal.

Myth # 2: Drinking 8 glasses of water in a day is good for health.

Drinking 8 glasses of water in a day is the most popular myth these days. Scientists say that there is no clear correlation between good health and sipping water all the day. Doctors also recommend drinking water when one feels thirsty. One should drink more water in summers because we all tend to sweat more in hot and humid weather. Common sense should prevail.

Myth # 3: Drink water, and you can never have too much of a good thing!

Recent studies says that drinking too much of water can in fact be harmful. Excessive water is dangerous in a way that it can lower the salt concentration in the body. Drinking more water than required can cause water intoxication, where dilution of blood sodium takes place because our kidneys are over worked. And unable to excrete the excess water as urine.

Myth # 4: Water cleans out the body's toxins.

Common myth says that drinking a lot of water will clear out toxins from our body, which is absolutely wrong! The truth is that the toxins in our body are filtered out by kidneys. Drinking more water than required will actually reduce the kidney's ability to function as a filter.

Myth # 5: Drink water for healthy skin.

It is a popular belief  that since our body's composition is 60%  water, drinking more water will give you a glowing skin. However, there is little evidence to support this saying.  Water does help keeping skin hydrated but healthy and glowing skin is result of many things which includes good diet, weather, pollution and genetic factors.

Myth # 6: Drinking water can help in weight loss.

I have heard many people saying that "drink more water and you'll shed those extra pounds like magic". This is not true, as we have already discussed earlier that drinking more water will at most fill in your stomach and reduce your food intake. But water is far from a miracle drug to lose weight.

Myth # 7: Drink as much water as you can during a workout.

It is commonly believed that during workouts there are more chances of dehydration, so common myth says that you need to drink more water during exercise. But dehydration sets in only when you lose 2% of body weight. Now you can calculate yourself and will know it is unlikely a normal workout requires increased water intake. Instead, ensure that you are well hydrated during the workouts and throughout the day, without over doing it. Drink water if you feel thirsty during workouts.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Essential Foods for Female Health

Milk - Nature's wellness drink - Milk provides a unique balance of  nutrients and is a great source of bone-boosting calcium, which is extremely beneficial to women's health. Milk has a unique proportion of carbs, protein, phosphorous and vitamin D. Consuming these nutrients is great for warding off osteoporosis and even prevent symptoms of PMS.

Tips for incorporating more milk into your day  
  • Start your day with Milk by adding it to your morning cereals, oatmeal or into smoothies.
  • Drink milk as an afternoon snack. Its great balance of quality protein and carbohydrate.
  • Before going to any party, just have a glass of fat free or low fat milk. It is easy, fast and filling. It takes the edge off hunger and helps you to make smarter choice on food and drink in the party.
  • Milk is an excellent post-exercise beverage as it can refuel the muscles after the workout as effectively as any other commercial exercise beverage can do.
  • Having a warm glass of milk at bedtime can really help you fall asleep and stay asleep better. Poor sleep may increase your risk of chronic diseases and can impair your metabolism.

TomatoesTomatoes are loaded with anti-oxidant "Lycopene" - another vibrant carotenoid beneficial  for women's health. Women who consume lycopene- rich diets can have as much as 50% lower risk of developing breast cancer and reduce risk of heart disease. Lycopene can also help lowering down your blood pressure, bad cholesterol levels and even reduce your risk of getting macular degeneration. Raw tomatoes are not the only option but cooked tomatoes in form of sauce in pasta or in other dishes are equally good.

Walnuts - We all know that nuts are great for our health, but walnuts have many great individual benefits for women. Walnuts are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, anti-oxidants and phytosterols, which may reduce women's risk of developing breast cancer and increase the good cholesterol levels in our body. This Omega-3 rich nut also helps bone health, arthritis pain and depression. Walnuts also contains many other nutrients essential for female health, such as calcium, folic acid and magnesium.

Cranberries - Cranberries are rich in anti-oxidant, they help fend off  stomach bugs, colds, and certain types of cancer. Cranberries also help to fight against nasty Urinary Tract Infections, just taking 10 oz. unsweetened juice a day is need to kick UTI infection out of your body. Drinking cranberry juice can also prevent plaque formation on your teeth.

Spinach - Leafy greens like Spinach is rich in many different vitamins and minerals, but the thing that makes it great for women health is high content of magnesium. Studies have shown that magnesium can be beneficial in reducing many of the physical symptoms of PMS, including reduction of  swelling, breast tenderness and bloating. Spinach is an excellent sources of lot of vitamins such vitamin K, A, C, B2, B6, magnesium, folate, iron, calcium  and potassium. Apart rich in lot of vitamins, spinach is also a good source of protein, phosphorous, zinc, dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Spinach is loaded with "flavonoids" which acts as anti-oxidants and protects our body from free radicals. Researchers have discovered at least 13 different flavonoid compounds that act as anti-cancer substance. Spinach is a versatile food - it can be eaten raw in a salad or cooked as rich gravy.

Oats -  Oats are packed with healthy boosting nutirents, many of which great impacts of female health. Oats are great source of soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamin E & B, iron, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper and zinc. Its benefits include the following:
  • Oats contain natural anti-oxidants that can lower risk of heart disease.
  • It is best cholesterol lowering foods
  • It has cancer fighting properties
  • It help relieve constipation
  • Increases energy levels
  • Good food for those who want to lose weight
  • Sooths bloating, indigestion and nervous stomach 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Refreshing Drinks for Summers !!

Minty Ambi Panna : This is a sweet and sour Indian cooler prepared from Raw Mangoes.

Ingredients Needed:
1/2 Kg- Raw green managoes (Kaccha aam)
A mint sprig (pudina) for granish

For Paste:
1/2 cup mint leaves (pudina leaves)
2 tsp roasted cumin (bhuna jeera) powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp of red chilli podwer (lal mirch) (this is optional)
2 tsp salt

Method: (serves 6-8)
  • Peel raw managoes and discard the skin.
  • Put peeled managoes in a pressure cooker and add 6 cups of water to it. Pressure cook to give 2-3 whistles and then remove it from the heat.
  • When cool , extract the pulp of the mangoes with the hands and discard the mangoe seeds. Mix the pulp and water in the pressure cooker well.
  • Grind all the ingredients of a paste ( as mentioned above) in a mixer by adding a little water to a smooth paste.
  • Add the prepared mint paste to the mangoe pulp and mix well till the sugar dissloves.
  • Take a muslin cloth or a very fine metal strainer and strain the mixture.
  • Check and adjust the seasonings as a lot depends on the sourness of the mangoes.
  • Pour the panna over ice put in the glasses and garnish with a mint sprig.

Sardai : This is healthy and refeshing milk drink.

Ingredients Needed:
250 ml (1 1/4 cups) Milk
250 ml (1 1/4 cups) Water
5 tsp sugar or according to taste

Grind together:
10-15 Almonds - Soaked and peeled (blanched)
1 1/2 tsp khus khus (poopey seeds)
2 tsp magaz (melon seeds)
10 saboot kali mirch (peppercorns)
Seeds of 2 choti illachi (green cardamoms)

Method: (serves 2-3)
  • Soak almonds separately in warm water for 30 minutes. Peel and keeps aside.
  • Soak together khus khus, magaz, kali mirch, and choti illaichi fro 30 minutes in little water.
  • Drain and grind the khus khus mixture along with the blanched almonds to a very fine paste, using little water.
  • Add 1/2 cup to the almond & khus khus paste. Mix. Strain and squeeze well through a muslin cloth.
  • Add remaining (3/4 cup) water and milk. Mix inthe sugar and serve chilled.

Lassi - Malai Maar Ke! : Lassi is a ver ypopular and traditional yogurt-based drink in India.

Ingredients Needed:
1 cup curd prepared from full cream milk
6-8 pudina (mint) leaves
1/2 cup water, salt and pepper to taste
1/2 bhuna jeera powder (roasted & ground cumin seeds)

Method: (Serves 1)
  • Beat or churn alongwith pudina very well, preferably in a mixer.
  • Add water, salt, and pepper. Add ice and blend till frothy. Pour in a tall glass.
  • Sprinkle bhuna jeera powder and serve garnished with mint leaves.
Note: To prepare sweet lassi , add 2 tsp of sugar to the churned curd instead of salt and pepper.

Punjabi Kanji : This is a Red purple drink .Also, known as the wine of Punjab!

Ingredients Needed:
1/2 kg fresh black carrots - peeled & cut into thin fingers.
3 fully heaped tsp of Rai powder.
3 tsp of salt.
3 pinches of red chilli powder.
1/2 tsp of kala namak (black salt)

Method:(Serves 12)
  • Boil about 2 liters (8 cups) water. When the water boils, remove pan from fire.
  • Add the carrots in the hot water and let them rest in water for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add 2 more liters of water and keep aside to cool. Let the water cool completely.
  • Add rai powder, salt, red chilli powder and kala namak and mix well.
  • Transfer it to an ceramic jar and keep in the sun for 2-3 days. make sure sure to stir it every day.
  • After 2-3 days when it turns sour, it can be kept in the refrigerator and used as required. It is served chilled.
Note: Rai powder should be added only after the water turns cold. If black carrots are not available, ordinary carrots aand 1 beetroot may be used.

Pudina Jeera Paani: A refreshing and cooling drink, the Pudina Jeera Pani looks delicious when served topped with boondi.

Ingredients Needed:
4 cups of water.
1 rounded tsp seedless tamarind (imli) or tamarind pulp
4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp of sugar
1/2 tsp kala namak (balck salt)
1 1/2 bhuna jeera (roasted cumin powder)
3/4 tsp normal salt (or according to the taste)
1 bunch of mint leave and 1" piece ginger - ground to paste
2 tsp besan ki pakories or boondi

Method:(Serves 4)
  • Soak tamarind in 1 cup of hot water. Extract pulp and strain the pulp.
  • Grind pudina and ginger with a little waterto a smooth paste.
  • Add pudina paste to tamarind water.
  • Add 3 more cups of water and all ingredients except boondi. Chill in the refrigerator.
  • To serve, pour in the glasses filled with a little ice and sprinkle some boondies on top.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Castor Oil Benefits

Castor oil is pale yellow thick oil, extracted from castor seeds. Castor oil is one of the most effective and widely used oil for health benefits. Because of its commercial importance it is cultivated around the world. India, China and Brazil being the major producer, are able to meet most of the global demand. Over 60% of the global production is contributed by India.

Castor oil is an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant oil which has been used for ages now for it's medicinal & health benefits. Castor oil contains unsaturated fatty acids, a strong smell and an unpleasant taste. Because of its medicinal & health benefits it's used in many products such massage oil, soaps, cosmetics, medicines, and hair oil.

Castor Oil Benefits
Because of its magical health benefits, castor oil can be used both internally and externally. It can be used for treating day to day minor problems such as Constipation, Fungus infection, Acne, Sunburns, Migraines, Menstrual disorder, hair loss, Ringworm and Inflammation. Castor Oil is also great for treating major illness such as Arthritis, Rheumatism, Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. 

Beauty Benefits and Remedies of Castor Oil

Acne: Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid which penetrates deep into the skin tissues that makes it an effective treatment for acne.
Method to treat Acne: In the night before you go to sleep, take a hot damp washed cloth and put it on your face for few minutes (cloth should be warm enough so that you can bear the heat ). The heat from the damp cloth will help to open pores on your face. Then take few drops of castor oil and massage it on your face gently in circular motion. Leave it overnight. Continue to do this for 1-2 weeks and see the result.
Wrinkles: Castor oil penetrates the skin deeply than any other essential oil and helps stimulate the production of collagen and elastin that helps to keep skin hydrated and smooth.
Method to treat Wrinkles: Before going to bed just rub few drops of castor oil all over the face and rinse it morning. Alternatively, you can wash it off in 2-3 hours of time also. Keep in mind that castor oil is very thick and just a few drops can go a long way. Regular use of castor oil for few months can help to fade pimple marks or spots. Castor oil restores and rejuvenates skin looking smooth, firm and wrinkle free.
Stye: Stye is a painful red bump that appears on the eyelash or under the eyelid. Castor oil contains anti-bacterial components that are effective against styes.
Method to treat Stye: Apply a tiny drop of castor oil directly on the stye. You can apply it 2-3 times per day.
Scars & Pigmentation: Number of studies have proved that regular use of Castor oil on the scars and pigmentation helps to fade marks, pimple spots and pigmentation. Castor oil mixed with Turmeric gives long lasting results.
Method to treat Scars & Pigmentation: Make a face mask by taking few drops of castor oil and little amount of turmeric (actually its depends on your own choice, you can make a thick paste = more turmeric & less oil or a thin paste = less turmeric & more oil ) . You can apply this mask on your face and leave it on your face mask as long as you are comfortable.
Note: All natural remedies require patience. Also, remember that the skin only renews itself every 30 days or so.
Eyelashes & Eyebrows: As we all know that Castor oil promotes hair growth. Apply little castor oil on the base of your eyelashes before you got to bed. This will thicken your eyelashes.
For Eye brows, take a little amount of castor oil and rub it on the brow line in the night before you go to sleep. This will promote hair growth and thicken your eyebrows.
 Hair Loss or How to get long & healthy hair: As stated earlier also, castor oil contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungicidal properties of ricinoleic acid. This acid helps our scalp and hair from infections that can cause hair loss. Castor oil is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that can nourish our hair and prevent the sclap from drying.
Method to treat hair loss: Rub castor oil on your scalp and on the roots of the hair regularly. This will help in regenerating new hair and will also thicken your hair. One can really get long, beautiful and strong hair with regular use of castor oil.
Stretch Marks: Rub few drops of castor oil on your stomach regularly to prevent stretch marks.
Health Benefits and Remedies of Castor Oil
Ringworm: Castor oil contains undecylenic acid which is very effective in treating fungal infection.
Method to treat Ringworm: Soak a piece of cloth in castor oil and tie it or keep it on the affected area. And, if a small area is to be treated then a band aid with a few drops of castor oil can be used.
Another method is to spray some hot water on castor leaves and crush them coarsely. Then take some pure coconut oil and soak the crushed castor oil in it. Heat these leave to a temperature that doesn't burn your skin. Apply these leaves on the affected area and leave it overnight. Continue this procedure until it is cured.
Note: Please discontinue this procedure if it causes some redness or discomforts you.
Constipation: It is proved that Castor oil is a very strong laxative and just works great to treat constipation.
Method to treat constipation: Because of it strong smell and unpleasant taste, many people cannot take it directly. Therefore, it can be mixed with some juice such as Orange juice, ginger juice, cranberry juice so that it tastes better and castor oil's laxative effect is also maintained.
Note: Castor oil should not be consumed continuously for more than three days.
Arthritis: Because of it's anti-inflammatory properties, castor oil makes a great massage oil for relieving joints pain and sore muscles.
Method to treat Arthritis: Take a medium piece of cotton cloth and fold it four times (make a cotton pad). Dip this pad into the castor oil and place it on the joint or muscle that is paining. To prevent the oil dripping down, cover it with a plastic wrap. After this take a hot water bottle to place it over the cotton pad. Leave the cotton pad on the affected area for an hour. This activity can be done once a day.
Keen Pain: Take clarified butter or ghee, add some wheat flour, small amount of turmeric and few drops of castor oil. Make a paste and apply on your keen. This will give you immediate relief from keen pain.
Moles & Warts: Regular use of castor oil on warts or moles helps to remove them permanently without leaving scars or marks on your body.
Method to treat Moles & Warts: Rub castor oil on warts or moles every night before you sleep. In couple of days warts or moles will start to shrink. Continue to use castor oil as explained. It is a slow healing process and complete removal will take atleast 2-3 months of time.
 Side effects of Castor Oil
- Please do not use a castor oil if you are breast feeding, pregnant, suspect to be pregnant or trying to conceive.
- People with appendicitis, acute inflammatory intestinal disease, intestinal blockage or abdominal pain should not consume castor oil with out doctor's approval.
- Precautions must be taken when consuming castor oil. Always consult your doctor first, follow the steps or instruction written on the castor oil pack. Overdosage of Castor Oil may result in different problems such as cramping, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain or vomiting.