Healthy Options for Unhealthy Cravings

Team HealthCult

How to Eat Healthy? We all end up consuming unhealthy food products due to our cravings and lack of planning of meals. Scientifically, all the cravings are triggered due to deficiency or lack of a certain micronutrient. Any craving therefore can be managed by consuming a healthy food rich in that particular micronutrient. Watch out a quick video below for healthy swaps for all unhealthy cravings :



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Multiple Healthy Meals from Rice

Team HealthCult

Rice is a very good source of prebiotic. It improves nervous system and enhances digestive health.  One can create huge varieties of healthy meals from rice. Here's how :

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Taking care of Parents' Health

Team HealthCult

If you  and/or your parents are over the age of 50, here are some tips from renowned nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar on how you can take care of health from head to toe. She also talks about some simple and time-tested principles about diet

Taking care of your parents health

What can you do to help them?

1. Physical examination head to toe
- Hair quality - look for unnatural greying or hairfall
- Eyesight - are they removing their glasses often?
- Shoulders - are they slouching from the shoulders?
- Stomach and arms - is the stomach getting bigger and arms thinner?
- Hip flexibility - can they sit down without any problem?
- Walking style - has their GAIT changed?
- Toes - are their toes curled up or open? 

2. Exercise interventions
- Yoga class once a week
- Strength training once a week
- Cycling
- Climbing stairs and take a break after every 30 minutes of sitting
- Regular massage

3. Diet tips
- Start morning with nuts, have tea/ coffee after that
- Have fresh breakfast, if not too hungry have a banana or cup of milk
- Mid morning have a seasonal sherbet
- Have a chutney or pickle with lunch daily
- 20-40 min nap in afternoon on aaraam kursi
- Curd/ chaas/ lassi after the nap
- Wholesome meal in evening, e.g. roti with ghee and jaggery
- Dinner latest by 8 pm. Ideally, a rice based dinner.
- Milk at bedtime

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Importance of first 1000 days in Health and Well-Being of a Child

Team HealthCult

The video by Government of India highlights the responsibilities of parents and all other family members for the overall development and well-being of a child in their first 1000 days. Source : Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

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Government Launches Aarogya Setu COVID-19 Tracker App on Android, iOS

Team HealthCult

Indian government has launched its COVID-19 tracking app, Aarogya Setu, for Android and iOS users. The app has been developed by NIC (National Informatics Centre) that comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

This app essentially helps users in identifying whether they are at risk of coronavirus infection, by checking if they have been in contact with a COVID-19 infected individual, even unknowingly. This app also helps to notify if someone is at risk based on their current location.

The Aarogya Setu app currently supports 11 languages, including Hindi and English and requires Bluetooth and Location access to function.

Aarogya Setu app can be located here :

Android :
iOS : itms-apps://


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Pickles - The Priceless Gift of Vitamins and Probiotics

Team HealthCult

The one thing that occupied a place of pride in our kitchens is - pickle. Yes, you heard that right! Pickle is traditional art and science of preserving vegetables and fruits so they could be used throughout the year.

Our dadis and nanis used everything naturally available around them - salt, spices and sunlight to ensure that not just the seasonal produce not go waste but also that their nutritional value is enhanced. So they used trial and error, patience and perseverance and gave us this priceless gift called pickle that are now valued by modern nutrition science as valuable sources of - Vit K (co factor in absorbing Vit D), Vit A (eyesight and immunity), probiotic bacteria (live organisms that confer health benefits to the host).

Well there are many more benefits too -

• They enhance the taste and flavour of food
• They help in digestive processes of the body
• They are a reliable source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
• They provide the body with healthy bacteria which makes it easy for the body to produce vitamins like B12
• They ensure that your gut is not colonised by pathogens or the bad bacteria

However, to make the most of pickle and its benefits, they should be homemade using the traditional recipes. Traditionally pickling will involve - picking the right fruit or vegetable, cutting it in a certain way, washing or blanching, addition of salt and oil (or salt, lime and water) as per the recipe and then sun drying it. The right time to start making pickles and even papads is post Shivratri as that’s the time that the sun light is optimal for these processes.

Important notes -

1. Remember without salt and oil in the right amount, the pickles are spoiled as the wrong kind of bacteria will grow. And if you are worried about BP - avoid biscuits & cookies, eating outside and not exercising, and not pickles. The healthy bacteria from pickle is especially useful in Diabetes and heart diseases too.

2. But you need to eat pickle like a pickle. Which you now know is as a small part of your meal, not the main thing. A little pickle with dal rice or dahi rice provides your body with the right combo of pre and pro-biotic and ensures that the live bacteria are not dead when they reach your gut.

So what are you waiting for? Practice and pass on the unbroken chain of pickle making to the next generation. Teach at least one millennial how it’s made and use it daily in at least one or maximum two of your meals to spice up your life - either at breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Here's a list of pickles from across all the states of India :

1. Amla pickle
Amla or Indian gooseberry pickle is a popular pickle in India and other parts of South Asia. This pickle is great a source of vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium and phosphorus

2. Garlic pickle

Garlic pickle is a popular pickle in Andhra Pradesh.Garlic is an excellent source of dietary manganese. The sweetness is provided by jaggery. 

3. Green chili pickle
Green chili pickle is mainly made in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and parts of western and northern India. Variation with red-chillies is also made in certain parts of India

4. Hibiscus leaves pickle
Hibiscus leaves pickle is a popular pickle in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, where it is known as Gongura pacchadi. It is also consumed in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and in some of India's North-Eastern states where the plant is known as aamelli or mwitha.

5. Lemon pickle
Lemon pickle is a very popular pickle in India. It is made with multiple variations of taste, flavor and texture

6. Beetroot Pickle
This Indian pickle can be a great side dish to your meal. This enhances rbc count and purifies it. It has a wonderful colour and one cannot miss on eating this one. Beetroot pickle is very famous in Kerala and it goes well with spicy biryani and raita

7. Mesu Pickle
Mesu is an integral part of Sikkimese cuisine that is made with fermented bamboo shoots and has a fantastic sour-acidic tang. Mesu is directly derived from the Limbu dialect in Sikkim, where ‘me’ means young bamboo shoot and ‘su’ means sour.

8. Gajar-Gobhi-Shalgam Achaar
A winter staple in the northern parts of the country, this pickle comprises carrot, cauliflower and turnip and is probably one of the most delicious and sadly, underrated pickles in the country. The tang of the turnip and the sweetness of the carrot, which are pickled along with cauliflower using vinegar, makes the pickle the best side dish for parathas and curd!

9. Banana Flower pickle
This pickle comes all the way from Assam and comprises banana flowers that are a rich source of iron, calcium and a whole host of other minerals. While some other parts of the country also consume the superfood, banana flower as a pickle is, without a doubt, one of Assam’s most unique creations.

10. Kamal Kakdi ka Achaar
This one is a rare and exotic pickle originating from Jammu and Kashmir 

11. Chintakaya Pachadi
While raw tamarind is a central ingredient to many dishes in Andhra and Telangana cuisine, one is completely caught off guard with chintakaya pachadi or raw tamarind pickle, as its raw, sharp and tangy flavour fires up your taste buds like nothing else!

12. Sundakkai Urugai
Interestingly, Sundakkai or pea aubergine isn’t transformed into a pickle directly but is first kept in brine until it matures. The pickling occurs only prior to consumption, where it is tempered and served. It is common knowledge that this speciality from Tamil Nadu is best paired with curd rice!


13. Tindora Achaar
The fantastic taste of kundru or tindora (Ivy Gourd) pickles. One of Gujarat’s most famous pickles, you need to set aside all doubts and give this delicious pickle a try!

14. Kair ke Achaar
Made from Kair (berries from Rajasthan that are dried and used) this pickle is unique to the state and is found abundantly during the winters. Sour and tangy, Kair ke achaar is incredibly delicious and can be relished with any Indian bread or rice.

15. Topa Kuler Achaar
A popular fixture in almost every Bengali household, this pickle is made of topa kuler, a berry which is native to West Bengal and is known for its tart flavour. The berries are infused with jaggery and spices, and the pickle is a great accompaniment to rice and curries.

16. Mahali Urugai
Made of Mahali or Sarasaparilla, this pickle from Tamil Nadu is unlike any other pickle mentioned above as it is made of roots and has a distinct flavour and aroma. People often mix it with curd or buttermilk to enhance its taste, and this mixture can easily survive for over two years!

17. Gandal ka Achaar
An age-old practice in Punjab, Gandal ka Achaar is made from the pickling of the long stalks of mustard greens (gandal), just before the harvesting of seeds for mustard oil in December every year. Besides the amazing taste, the mustard in the pickle doubles up as a warming agent, and keeps the folks warm during the bitter winter.

18. Karivepaku Urugai
Curry leaves are as essential to the Indian cuisine as is salt for taste. Karivepaku Urugai (Curry leaves pickle) is Tamil Nadu’s offering of the humble flavouring agent, in a spiced up avatar.

19. Brinjal Pickle
This gem from Goa, which is a delicious mix of sweet, spicy, and slightly tangy flavor

20. Chana Methi Achar
Relatively lesser known across the country, this unique pickle is rather popular in Gujarat and is made of chickpeas, and dry fenugreek seeds perked up with a large assortment of spices and preserved with mustard oil. One can even find variations of the same, with mango being the most popular addition.

credits and source: rujuta diwekar (benefits of traditional science of pickle) , varieties of pickle - Better India, curious halt and wikipedia


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How Holi Enhances Your Health || Dos and Don'ts for Holi

Team HealthCult

Holi, the festival of colors is celebrated across India on full moon day in the month of Phalgun, which is the month of March. The season marks end of winter and advent of summer.

Holi gives way to an emotional and mental catharsis where people let go all the negativity and immerse in a natural state of happiness. 

The tradition of burning Holika kills the bacteria in the atmosphere and cleanses the body.

Because of change in weather from cold to hot people get a feeling of laziness. The celebration of Holi and food associated with it counters this laziness. Foods traditionally associated with Holi like - Kanji, Thandai, Gujiya, Chaat, Dahi bhalla, Til Laddo are all natural sources of iron, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids and probiotics. The traditional food associated with Holi improve gut health and enhance immunity and strength.

The natural colors of Holi also have their own impact on the body and mind. Biologists believe that rubbing natural colors on the body as per our ancient tradition is a way of treating the body by color therapy.  

 Here are some natural sources of colors that can be used for playing Holi


Natural Sources

Green Mehendi and dried leaves of Gulmohur tree, leaves of spring crops and herbs, Spinach leaves, rhododendron leaves 
Yellow Turmeric (Haldi) powder, Bael fruit, amaltas, species of chrysanthemums, and species of marigold, dandelions, sunflowers, marigolds, daffodils and dahlias, gram flour
Red  Rose or the bark of crab apple trees, Red Sandal wood Powder, peels of Red Pomegranate, flowers of Tesu tree (Palash), dried hibiscus flowers, madder tree, radish and pomegranate
Saffron flowers of Tesu tree (Palash), Mixing lime with turmeric powder creates an alternate source of orange powder
Blue Indigo, Jamun, species of grapes, blue hibiscus and jacaranda flowers
Purple Beetroot
Brown Dried Tea leaves, red maple trees, Katha
Black Some species of grapes, fruit of Gooseberry (Amla)


If natural colours are not possible, then ensure a better quality of colours. Buy colours from a reputed shop or vendor. 

To make Holi an enjoyable experience it's always advised to follow some basic tips. We share here some easy to follow tips for Holi 

  1. Before playing Holi, apply a thick layer of moisturizer, petroleum jelly or coconut oil on your face and other exposed parts of the body to prevent colors from coming into direct contact with your skin.
  2. Oil your hair and scalp. Add a few drops of lemon juice to prevent dandruff and infection triggered by the chemical colors
  3. Wear dark colored full sleeves cotton clothes. Synthetic cloth would be sticky and denims would be heavy once you have a bucket full of colors/water splashed on you, therefore avoid these fabrics
  4. Don’t wear lenses. Mostly people are interested in applying surprise colors on your face and you may get your eyes hurt by the lenses. Instead you may use a sunglass to protect your eyes from a misfire of color-filled darts or water jets
  5. Apply a lip balm for your lips
  6. Drink water before you start playing Holi. This will prevent dehydration
  7. Avoid running on jumping on wet floors, so that you don't slip and injure yourself. Bones are specially vulnerable on this day.
  8. Avoid over indulgence in bhang, drinks or food, so that you don't repent later.
  9. Do not drive if you are high on alcohol or bhang

Tips After playing Holi

  1. Do not scrub the color off with soap. Soaps contain esters that erode the skin layers and often cause rashes. Use a cream-based cleanser or you can even use oil for removing the colors, and then go for a bath
  2. Apply a lot of moisturizing cream to keep the skin hydrated. If the colors are still left on your skin you can apply besan with milk/milk cream on your body for removing colors
  3. Don’t use excessive hot water, it will stick the color on your body. Use normal water instead
  4. Stay away from direct sun bathe till color is removed
  5. Minor itching in eye or redness may be normal but if it continues for more than few hours immediately contact with a doctor 

Stay safe and enjoy Holi

credits : 

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The Health Aspects of Lohri, Pongal, Makar Sankranti and Bihu

Team HealthCult

Lohri, Pongal, Makar Sankranti, Bihu - these harvest festivals from all corners of India strengthen your bodies and mind.

Here are some top things that you can indulge in during these festivals for a healthy body and mind:

1. Soak in the sunlight, practice surya namaskar: This gives your body the required vitamin D and strengthens your immunity

2. Have Chikki, Gajak, Laddo and Pongal - Bring on that chikki, gajak, ladoo, pongal and yes, have it exactly the way it is meant to be - with family, friends,laughter and in generous doses. They are good source of iron, calcium, omega3 fatty acids and basically all things good

3. Sarson ka Saag and Makki di Roti: This meal is rich in antioxidants. Helps in detoxification and has anti-Inflammatory property. The meal is heart-healthy, rich in dietary fiber, good for bone health and weight loss

4. Khichdi:  The ultimate Indian comfort food, khichdi, has many nourishing and healing powers. Don't forget to add a dollop of ghee to make it healthier

5. Peanuts: Peanuts are a good source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Make sure to relish peanuts. They also contain plenty of potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamin B.

6.  Lots of laughter, family/friends time : This increases the endorphin-levels and strengthens the mind and immune system

Have a healthy and happy Lohri, Pongal, Makar Sankranti and Bihu :-)



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Easy Weeknight Dinner Ideas

HealthCult Content Team

Easy weeknight dinner ideas. Check out this awesome video below.

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Why You Should Eat Sweets During Diwali and Festivals

Team HealthCult

The festive period is around the corner. Sweets are a part of all festivals. If you are the one who dreads sweets or the one who loves to gorge on it, watch out this video on why one should eat sweets during festivals and what kind of sweets should one eat.

credits: RujutaDiwekarofficial

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