diet plan

Bitter Gourd Juice Benefits that Make it a Perfect Drink to Start the Day

Nutritional Value of Bitter Gourd
Ayurveda on Bitter Gourd Juice Benefits
How to Make Bitter Gourd Juice
When to Drink Bitter Gourd Juice
Can We Drink Bitter Gourd Juice Daily
Bitter Gourd Juice Benefits for Your Overall Health
Conclusion

Bitter gourd or Karela, no matter how bad it tastes, is loaded with countless health benefits. It is, therefore, no wonder that this vegetable has been an integral part of Indian cusine for generations now. A lot of us have seen our grandparents gulping down bitter gourd juice in the morning. There are various bitter gourd juice benefits that will give you a big enough reason to add this nutritious drink to your diet. 

Well, there is no particular age to really start focusing on health, is there? The sooner you start the better it is. And if you need some reasons to push yourself towards making this bitter juice a part of your diet, this article is the perfect read for you. 

From answering questions like can we drink bitter gourd juice daily to how to make bitter gourd juice perfectly, we have covered it all. So, go ahead and take a look at what makes bitter gourd juice a must-have

Nutritional Value of Bitter Gourd

Known to be a powerhouse of several essential nutrients, bitter gourd offers a rich intake of several vitamins and minerals.

In addition to dietary fibre, Karela is rich in iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. In fact, did you know that bitter gourd offers double the amount of calcium one gets from broccoli or spinach and double the potassium one gets from one banana? It is also loaded with vitamins like Vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3, B6 and B9.

Ayurveda on Bitter Gourd Juice Benefits

Ayurveda and even Chinese medicine assert the healing and medicinal properties of Bitter Gourd. Here are some of them: 

  1. Bitter Gourd is used as a stomachic in Ayurveda. This means it aids digestion and improves appetite. It is used to clear stomach infections, is antiparasitic in nature, and is a great laxative. 
  2. Bitter gourd is added to several Ayurvedic medicines for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
  3. It helps treat cough, cold, and breathing ailments since bitter gourd is extremely rich in vitamin C.
  4. Several Ayurvedic remedies for skin use Karela as an application for skin infections, itching, and even wound healing.
  5. Ayurveda categorizes bitter gourd as a Tridoshic — something that helps manage the body’s imbalances related to three doshas — Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

It is for all these reasons that Ayurveda strongly recommends consuming Karela juice for maximum health benefits. 

How to Make Bitter Gourd Juice?

Here is a simple and easy bitter gourd juice recipe that you can use:

Ingredients:

  • Bitter gourds – 2, medium-sized, tender
  • Apple juice – from ½ cup fruit
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp 
  • Honey/Jaggery – 1 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste
  • Ginger – ¼ cube

Method:

  • Scoop out the seeds and cut the bitter gourds into tiny pieces.
  • Put the pieces in a blender along with all the other ingredients.
  • Blend well and add a little water if the consistency is too thick.
  • Your juice is ready.

When to Drink Bitter Gourd Juice?

The best time to drink this juice is early morning. Ayurveda recommends consuming it before breakfast to derive all the bitter gourd juice benefits.

This juice, when taken on an empty stomach, acts as a blood purifier and offers the best results in removing toxins from the body, improving liver function, and aiding digestion. When taken as the first thing in the morning, bitter gourd juice also helps to control blood sugar levels. 

If you are having bitter gourd juice for weight loss, it is best to consume it post workouts. Since this juice is an emetic, it is best avoided at night, as it may leave you feeling nauseous.  

Can We Drink Bitter Gourd Juice Daily?

If you are consuming the juice as a remedy to fight any ailment, it is best to consume it twice a week for maximum bitter gourd juice benefits. Diabetics are suggested to have at least 30-50ml bitter gourd juice on a daily basis for the best management of the disease. However, if you want to consume it just to boost your immune system and overall health, simply having it once a week will also serve the purpose. 

Bitter Gourd Juice Benefits for Your Overall Health

Listed below are some of the best benefits of drinking bitter gourd juice: 

1. Aids Heart Health and Reduces LDL Cholesterol

Bitter Gourd juice is anti-inflammatory in nature and helps to lower LDL cholesterol. As a result, it is great for your heart because it prevents plaque buildup and prevents heart attacks in the long run. As bitter gourd juice is rich in potassium, calcium and iron, it also strengthens the heart and immunity over time. 

2. Fights Infections and Boosts Immunity

Having a glass of bitter gourd juice during winters is a great way to keep cough, cold, and flu at bay. Being a rich source of antioxidants, karela juice fights the effect of free radicals on the body and boosts the overall immunity. This is also the reason why bitter gourd juice is considered effective against tumours and malignant growths.

3. Manages Blood Sugar Levels

This is one of the most helpful among the many bitter gourd juice benefits, especially for diabetics. A rich source of Polypeptide-P, bitter gourd juice prevents the sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. If you are aiming to bring down your sugar levels, Ayurveda advocates taking at least 2 ml of the thick bitter gourd juice. You can add some water if you want. Also, consuming this juice regularly helps to improve your glycemic control. 

4. Enhances Liver Function

If you cannot drink karela juice, just add this vegetable to your weekly diet chart as a dish and gain from its liver detoxifying benefits. It helps cleansing the liver and detoxifies the body in addition to aiding digestion to stimulate metabolism and fat loss. 

5. Fights Hangovers

It helps to recover from the effects of hangovers, including nausea and intoxication. It cleanses your gut from within and detoxifies your liver, thus overcoming the effects of excessive alcohol consumption. Simply have it on an empty stomach for immediate relief. 

6. Great for Your Eyesight

Bitter gourd juice is abundant in Vitamin A and its consistent intake helps improve your eyesight. It also delays eye diseases like cataract or macular degeneration in the elderly. The juice helps prevent further decline of weak eyesight in kids as well. 

Other Bitter Gourd Juice Benefits to Remember

  • Bitter gourd juice helps relieve constipation.
  • It helps you get rid of intestinal worms.
  • If you are prone to get frequent stomach ailments, bitter gourd juice is a great drink for you.
  • This juice instantly helps purify the blood and enhances blood circulation in the body.
  • It offers relief to people suffering from gout, joint inflammation, and excessive uric acid buildup.
  • A rich source of Vitamin C, karela juice enhances immunity, is great for your skin, and even works as a mood uplifter. 
  • Bitter gourd juice is also good for your hair. If rubbed on the scalp regularly, it helps treat dandruff, prevents premature greying, and reduces oiliness of the scalp. 

Bitter Gourd Juice Side-Effects

Just like everything else, it is vital to consume bitter gourd juice in moderation only for the best results. Also, bitter gourd is known to induce vomiting in pregnant women, therefore, it is best avoided in such a scenario. People with low blood sugar levels must also avoid eating bitter gourd. 

Conclusion

A staple in most Indian homes, bitter gourd is one vegetable that is full of countless health benefits. From a simple dish to an easy-to-make juice, this versatile veggie has a lot to offer if taken in moderation. Now that you know how to make bitter gourd juice, go ahead and give it a try and enjoy the various bitter gourd juice benefits.

Athlete Diet for Your Teenager

Whether you are a young or an adult athlete, a nutritious diet is pivotal for a stellar performance in the arena. While there are new fads emerging every other day, a few food items have continued to remain a staple part of a healthy athlete diet. If your kid is in his teens and is passionate about his athletic performance, it is important to ensure that his dietary requirements are taken care of. For this reason, you need to have an effective teenage athlete meal plan.

The Best Athlete Diet

When it comes to the best foods for an athlete’s performance, one needs to dismiss the belief, “one size fits all”. The nutritional requirements of a teenager might differ depending on the body type, age, height, and allergies(if any). However, there are 7 components overall that can be easily considered as a part of the best diet for athletic performance to make sure that she/he stays at the top of the game. These components are:

  1. Water and other fluids, including coconut water or fresh fruit juices 
  2. Protein for faster muscle repair and growth
  3. Carbohydrates for energy 
  4. Vitamins and essential minerals for the development of the 3 Bs – brain, body, and bones
  5. Fibre for healthy bowel movement 
  6. Healthy fats for growth and development 
  7. Probiotics for a healthy gut 

Is There a Specific Best Diet Plan for Athletes?

There is no magic diet plan for athletes. The carbohydrate and calorie requirements will be directly proportional to the intensity and duration of the teenager’s training. Sometimes, it is impossible to measure out the daily calorie needs and therefore it is advisable to approach a nutritionist who will chart out a comprehensive meal plan.

Food Groups for the Best Athlete Diet Plan 

Out of the 7 groups mentioned above, athletes must focus on the three that are vital for their superior performance. These include:

1. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, over the years, have been given a bad name. But most people don’t realise that complex carbohydrates in multigrain bread, brown rice, wholewheat pasta, and even fruits and vegetables are crucial for an energetic day. This holds true for all, whether one is an athlete or not. One must strictly steer clear of refined carbs such as white bread and white rice, as those are unhealthy, filled with empty calories and make you gain weight. 

If you cut out carbohydrates completely from your system, then not only will you find it difficult to complete your exercise or training due to low fuel but you will also feel an intense surge of withdrawal symptoms from time to time. 

2. Protein

The importance of protein in your daily diet cannot be stressed enough. It proves to be helpful in repairing tissues and growth of muscles. Moreover, it serves as a backup for energy usage by the body in the event all your carbohydrate-induced energy has been exhausted.

For vegetarians, good sources of protein include pulses, legumes, and Indian cottage cheese. Whereas non-vegetarians can satisfy their protein intake from these sources in addition to lean meat such as chicken (devoid of the fatty skin) and seafood like salmon, rohu, tuna, cod, trout, and even prawns. 

3. Water 

Water, amongst all kinds of fluids, is the most vital and a readily available nutrient for athletes as well as fitness enthusiasts. Hydration is of utmost importance, as people engaged in physically exerting activities tend to lose buckets of sweat.

As sweating makes one lose many essential nutrients from the body, having a glass of tender coconut water once a day can compensate for the loss of electrolytes (potassium and magnesium). Additionally, you can give your child water with a squeeze of lemon or orange juice and a sprinkle of sea salt for extra hydration. 

Bottom Line 

A healthy meal plan for a teenage male athlete as well as a female athlete is essential for high performance on the field. Strength training, regular exercise, 8-9 hours of sleep, and eating meals at regular intervals are other minor but equally crucial factors, determining how your child puts his/her best foot forward.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Aarti Nehra

Easy Post Diwali Detox Tips

Festive season is going on and in no time weddings and New Year celebrations will take over. It is obvious to get excited about eating those heavenly rich festive foods. And this delicious experience can lead to bloating, puffiness, heaviness, and other digestive issues. However, the damage is not permanent and it can be reversed – so, take a sigh of relief. All you need is a perfect post Diwali detox or detoxifying regimen after all the festivities to flush the toxins out from your body and give good rest to your liver and kidney. Here are some of the simple and easy detox tips to clean the toxins from your body. 

Detox Tips To Cleanse Your Body

1. Stay Hydrated 

Water is necessary for proper organ functioning, regulates body temperature, promotes metabolism, and flushes waste and toxins from the body, carrying the nutrients to where they are required. Since you must have consumed too much junk, fried food, and alcohol this festive season, your body may get dehydrated. 

Consuming a good amount of water will prevent constipation by softening stool and promoting bowel evacuation. Water is also important for kidney function, as it filters them. 

2. Stick to Your Workout Routine 

With so many festivities, it is easy to lose track of your fitness goals. Once the festivities are over, instead of feeling discouraged or procrastinating, you should get back to your exercise routine and burn those calories. 

Don’t just completely rely on a post Diwali detox diet or any other diet, do some exercise too. But make sure to start with an extensive workout routine – just begin with mild exercises and be consistent. Some of the best yet easiest exercise routines are cycling and jogging. Later, you can switch to something challenging like pilates, etc. to get back in shape. 

3. Include Probiotics & Antioxidants

Include probiotic-rich foods such as kefir, kimchi, yogurt, dhokla, dosa, etc. to your diet. As they contain good bacteria and are good for gut health, which can help you get back in shape in no time. Besides this, consuming a cup of green tea or any antioxidant rich food such as tomatoes will help in cleansing toxins and impurities from your body and will keep you hydrated as well. 

4. Consume Metabolism Boosting Drinks 

There are so many metabolism boosting drinks that you can try such as green tea, ginger tea, acv drink, fennel tea, ajwain water, cumin cinnamon drink, etc. For instance, consuming honey and lemon water in the morning stimulates the digestive system, improves digestion, and boosts metabolism. Honey soothes the digestive tract and fights the stomach infections. Ginger tea also improves your digestive health. 

5. Have Digestible Food 

After having all that processed and fried food, give some rest to your digestive system by not eating the foods that are hard to digest. Consume foods that are low on fat and high on protein like dal, vegetable khichdi, dhokla, upma, soups, dalia (without milk). All these dishes are nutritious and digestible. You can also avoid dairy foods for a few days to make your detox after Diwali and other festivities successful. 

6. Go Green 

Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage, kale, etc. are rich in antioxidants and other essential nutrients, helping fight inflammation in the body. These vegetables are also effective in preventing acidity and cleansing the gastrointestinal tract. Make sure not to eat these veggies raw; cook them properly before consuming. 

Conclusion

Do you have your own know-how to cleanse the body with food for the perfect detox after Diwali? What is your preferred post festival detox food? Feel free to share with us in the comments section below.

Ranveer Singh’s Workout & Diet Plan

For all your Ranveer Singh fans who wonder what does the superstar eat, what does his diet look like, and what are his favorite dishes, we got you all the answers today. 
 

For Ranveer, it isn’t about being slim; the mantra is to stay healthy. He likes to work hard and doesn’t skip workouts. Following him on social media will tell you how much time he spends in the gym and the amount of hard work he puts in to be in best of shape.

Ranveer’s Inspiration 
In an interview that Ranveer gave to a leading newspaper, he mentioned that actor Hrithik Roshan is his inspiration when it comes to fitness. It was seeing Hrithik’s chiseled body that inspired Ranveer to follow his footsteps and work out to get a body like him. 
 

That’s rule #1 – Having an inspiration. When you have a role model to look up to, you know what your goal is and strive hard to reach that level. For a lot of youngsters Ranveer Singh is that inspiration, so take notes on his diet and workout tips and follow them!

Ranveer Singh’s Diet 
The biggest secret of Ranveer Singh’s diet is healthy home cooked meals. He tries to avoid junk food as much as possible. He has always focused on a high protein low-fat diet and that’s one of his biggest secrets. The protein-rich diet helps him maintain the muscles and gives him the desired energy and strength for intensive workouts. Lamb, chicken, and salmon are his favorite, and they provide the required protein as well. To compensate for the high protein requirement, he drinks protein shakes as mid-meal snacks that help in the repair of muscles. His day starts with a healthy dose of carbs that decrease through the day. 
 

This is what he usually eats on a regular basis –

Breakfast – A banana and an egg white omelette 
Lunch/ Dinner – Chicken/ Fish with some veggies 
Snacks – Dry fruits (walnuts/ almonds) and protein shake 

He also stays away from alcohol. Ranveer believes that a lot of credit for his physique goes to his not drinking. Alcohol tends to weaken your immune system which isn’t what you want when training hard for obtaining those rock solid 6 pack abs. It also cuts down the effects on the workout that you’ve done before drinking, thus he tries to cut down alcohol from his diet as much as possible. 
 

Tip – Another tip that he shares is a low oil and low salt diet.

Image Source – Scroll.in
 

Eats every 3 hours 

Ranveer Singh believes that in order to stay fit and keep up your diet, one must eat something every 3 hours. He usually snacks on fruits and nuts and ensures that he never skips a meal or goes without eating something for more than 3 hours. 
 

Some of the highlights of Ranveer’s diet include –

  • Roasted chicken with thyme, sweet potato, asparagus, and baby carrots – 40 protein, 40 carbohydrates, and 5g fat 
  • Garlic scented slow roast lamb with whole wheat fusilli pasta in pesto sauce – 40g protein, 40g carbohydrates, and 5g fat 
  • Stir-fried lamb tenderloin with peppers and okra beans – 40g protein and 5g fat 
  • Salmon with honey dressing, olives, microgreens, and capers – 40g protein and 10g fat 

Just like us, Ranveer Singh also gives into cravings. And for him, Nutella is his weakness. He can have a spoonful any time. But as per his dietician, a healthy substitute is organic hazelnut butter. 

Training for Padmavat 

For his role in Padmavat, Ranveer trained really hard and we all could see the marvelous results on screen. He worked out twice a day for 6 days in a week. 
Mornings were for a cardio session which was followed by a 25 minutes mobility drill. The morning workout would be of usually 40 – 45 minutes. The evening training session was more intense. It includes an hour or an hour and a half of heavy weight training and lifting. 
 

He also focuses a lot on movement patterns that involved conditioning workouts like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with burpees, push-ups, and power moves like squats and deadlifts, and mobility training. This high-intensity workout not just helped him get that muscular shape, but it also helped in his flexibility.

Image Source – indiatimes.com

Apart from spending time in the gym, Ranveer also likes to swim, go for running, and cycling. He also emphasizes the importance of warm-ups. Something as simple as 10 minute warm-up is a must, said Ranveer in one of the interview. It prepares your body for the upcoming training which is crucial! 

Ranveer Singh Fitness Tips 

  • He believes that your state of mind makes a huge difference in your overall health. A happy state of mind will only add to the benefits of working out, adds Ranveer. 
  • He believes in eating high protein home cooked meals as much as possible. 
  • His workout also includes functional training like free hand exercises, swimming, and running to strengthen the core. 
  • He says you can divide your workout into two parts if you don’t have time. Just like him, you can do one-hour cardio in the morning to burn fat. The evening training session are more intense. It includes an hour or an hour and a half of heavy weight training and lifting. 
  • He keeps his diet super strict and believes in the 80:20 formula. 80% is done by your diet and 20% is done by the training. 

Hope these tips inspire you to hit the gym or go out running and be in shape like your favorite superstar. Remember nothing comes easy, you need to work hard and invest time and passion. Follow your fitness journey wholeheartedly and take inspiration from the Simmba of Bollywood!