Monday 27 May 2013



1.      Defend against diabetes – the fat & nutrients in nuts may improve glucose & insulin stability in people with Type 2 diabetes.
Studies show
·         Eating nuts has been linked to a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes in women. Those who ate nuts at least five times a week cut their risk of Type 2 diabetes by nearly 30 percent. Women who regularly ate peanut butter lowered their risk by nearly 20 percent.

2.      Help heart by reducing LDL cholesterol, which eventually leads to antherosclerotic plaque formation and hardening of the arteries.
Studies show
·         Men who ate nuts at least twice a week had a 47 percent lower risk of sudden cardiac death and a 30 percent lower risk of dying from all types of coronary – artery disease than those who didn’t eat nuts.
·         Women who ate at least 140gms of nuts a week were 35 percent less likely to suffer heart attacks than women who ate less than 28gms a month.
·         Healthy adults who consumed nuts five or more times a week were 50percent less likely to die of a heart attack than those who hardly ever ate nuts.

Help keeping trim as nuts have fibre and other nutrients that interfere with the absorption of fat, and are satisfying, so people feel fuller longer.
 Studies show
·         People who frequently eat nuts are thinner than those who don’t.
·         Eating walnuts decreases hunger and causes people to eat less at meals.
·         Macadamia nuts and Brazil nuts have the highest fat and calorie content among nuts.

Helps in lowering the cholesterol as polyunsaturated fat in nuts lowers LDL, or bad, cholesterol levels, and their monounsaturated fat raises good HDL cholesterol levels.
Studies show
·         The more almonds people ate, the lower their levels of LDL cholesterol and the higher their levels of HDL were. Eating 37 grams of almonds a day lowered LDL cholesterol by 4.4 percent; eating 73grams a day reduced it by 9.4 percent.
·         Eating pistachios nuts as a snack can decrease your bad cholesterol levels.

Helps countering cancer by slowing the progression of some cancer cells, and help destroy free radicals that can cause cancer.
Studies show
·         A form of vitamin E present in walnuts and pecans appear to slow the growth of lung and prostate cancer cells. Gamma-tocopherol attacked the cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone.
·         Walnuts also contain melatonin, a hormone that destroys free radicals. Free radicals are unstable compounds that are a byproduct of cellular metabolism in our bodies; if they aren’t neutralized, they can cause cardiovascular disease and cancer.

·         Brazil nuts contain selenium, an oxidant that helps neutralize free radicals.

Thursday 23 May 2013



A sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity, obesity, stress and consumption of diets rich in fat, sugar and calories are what has led to this high incidence of diabetes especially among Indians. The damage that diabetes does to the body pales in comparison to the damage it can inflict on the mind.


There are general dietary guidelines that diabetes sufferers can follow to help to keep their blood sugar levels under control:
ü  Avoid being overweight and if you need to lose weight, see the doctor or dietician to formulate a diet tailored to your needs.

ü  Eat regular meals; exactly how many and how often can be decided by what suits you personally.

ü  Eat more starchy, high-fibre foods with a low glycemic index, such as beans, peas and lentils. These foods cause only gradual rise in blood glucose levels because their starch is digested slowly. Trace elements, B vitamins and magnesium are also provided by whole grains.

ü  Cut down on foods with a high glycemic index: sugar, sweetened soft drinks, cakes, potatoes and potato products. Avoid snacking on confectionery and chocolate between meals. Their sugar is absorbed quickly and causes rapid increases in blood glucose levels.

ü  Eat at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables for their soluble fibre, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals. Fruit makes an ideal snack or pudding. If you eat canned fruit, choose those in natural juice rather than syrup. Dried fruits, especially dates, are a concentrated form of sugar and so should only be eaten in small quantities.

ü  Cut down on saturated fats, which can increase risk of coronary heart disease in diabetes.

ü  Eat one or two portions of oily fish a week for omega-3 fatty acid to normalize blood pressure and blood fat levels.

ü  Limit salt and salty foods, which increase susceptibility to high blood pressure. Beware of hidden salt in canned, smoked and processed foods; in chips and other snacks.

ü  Keep alcohol consumption at moderate levels. Remember that low-sugar diet beers and lagers tend to have high alcohol content.

ü  Although artificial sweeteners may be useful, special diabetic products are usually unnecessary.

ü  Drink water, or sugar-free drinks.

Tuesday 21 May 2013



This delicious summer fruit has more to it than mere something good to eat. The tall trees mean a lot; its twigs are considered auspicious for pooja (hawan), leaves for pooja room décor, raw mangoes are used to make tongue-tickling chutneys and pickles. During summer vacations, kids spend all day knocking down its fruits, swings are tied from one of its branches. Last but not least the tree shades comfort the travelers or the passersby. Maharashtra, famous for Alphonsos, amba in Marathi means mango. It also has villages named after aam: Ambevalli, Ambevadi and Ambenalli.

HEALTHFUL - Ripe mangoes are a good source of potassium and Vitamin A (good for eyes). Vitamins B1, B2, and C are in abundance, in unripe mangoes. Raw ones have great amount of protein & iron. Mangoes have no fat and are low in carbohydrates. But overindulgence can cause colic and dysentery.  


Magnifera indica about 4000 year old fruit is believed to have originated in the Himalayan foothills of eastern India. It went to eastern Asia in ancient times, Portuguese colonizers took it to Africa & Brazil in the 16th century & since then it’s been cultivated in nearly every tropical and sub –tropical region. Popular varieties grown overseas include Australia’s bright orange yellow Kensington, Thailand’s dark green Tongdum (“Black Gold”), the oval, slightly beaked sensation seen in Florida, USA, the rosy Rommy Atkins of South Africa & Mexico. India tops in annual production with 52% of the world’s mangoes, followed by Mexico & Pakistan.
In the country’s biggest mango malls, Alphonsos might be sold for Rs600 a dozen, while unassuming Badami (larger, fleshier lemon-yellow mango with its distinctive relish) can be had for a tenth of the price.
Many northerners prefer the green – skinned Langra or golden Dusheri. In western region, of course the Alphonso, but Goans prefer Mankurad. According to horticulture scientist from Ratnagiri, Alphonsos may be popular, but the fruit often have inedible spongy tissue and some host insect pests. As Neelam mangoes, a southern variety, don’t have these problems, the scientist painstakingly transferred its pollen grains on to Alphonso flowers using a thin brush. The resulting hybrid was large like the Neelam and blushed like the Alphonsos when ripe, with no pests and hardly any spongy tissue. It was named Ratna, after Ratnagiri (name of that place). But Ratna mangoes were too sweet but deprived of the Alphonso’s uniquely piquant tang. Like an artist mixing colours the horticulturist now had to achieve the right blend of genes to reduce the sugars and restore the tang. Only after he incestuously “back crossed “ flowers from the parent alphonso tree with Ratna pollen grains did he get mangoes with no problems that looked and tasted like the best Alphonsos. But the new mango was almost all flesh with just a wafer-thin stone inside. A seedless Alphonso! It was the kind of serendipity horticulturists only dream about. It was named Sindhu, after neighbouring Sindhudurg district (its research station). It took nearly 13 years of trial and error and of waiting for mango saplings to grow up, bloom and bear fruit. But it’s paying off. Sindhu saplings have already been sold tens of thousands. So it may upstage Alphonso some day!! Until then the old, seeded Alphonso will lead the list of the finest mangoes. It owes its Latin name probably to a colonial Portuguese official who was passionate about it. Indeed, the portuguese were the first t try vegetative propagation or grafting of the fruit. The English word mango itself derives from manga, borrowed by the Portuguese from the Tamil mankai.
A mango recipe:

Wednesday 8 May 2013



Fish fillet 250gms
Salted butter 50gms
Lime juice 20ml
Almonds 50gms


Oil 30ml
Mustard paste 5gms
Salt to taste
Grounded black pepper 6nos
Dill leaves a sprig
Lime juice 15ml
White wine 20ml


Lemon star


Wash fish. Cut into neat supremes. Marinate in the prepared marinade for 10 minutes. Blanch almonds. Deskin. Cut into half lengthwise. Toast under salamander until nicely browned. Keep aside. Cook fish in the meuniere style. Arrange in a serving dish / plate. Heat butter until browned. Garnish with lemon star & remaining almonds.