Does vitamin-D supplement help you to lose weight?

Does vitamin-D supplement help you to lose weight?

Vitamin-D, or the sunshine vitamin, is known to be produced by our body with a mild exposure in the sun, or by consuming certain food or supplements. It is imperative to maintain adequate levels of the vitamin-D in your body, mainly because it helps your body to have a normal growth and better bones and teeth, as well as to facilitate a normal immune system function. But, the question is if vitamin-D foods or supplements help in losing weight?

As per the study, published in British Journal of Nutrition, people who are consuming a daily calcium and vitamin-D supplement were able to lose more weight much faster and in effective way than the ones who are not taking them. The experts concluded that an extra calcium and vitamin-D have an appetite-suppressing effect. Meaning, no more hunger hangs. Therefore, consider adding vitamin-D supplements to your diet, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. It is recommended to maintain a healthy food diet that is rich in vitamin-D. Here are some foods items that contain vitamin D:

  • Salmon: Salmon has high oil content, which is an excellent source of vitamin-D3.
  • Shrimp: Shrimp is the most popular type of shellfish, which is not only rich in vitamin-D, but are also very low in fat.
  • Mushroom: Mushroom is exposed to the sun while growing, meaning rich in vitamin-D value. However, pick white mushrooms, as they are an excellent source of vitamin-D than other mushrooms.
  • Egg Yolk: If you don’t fancy eating fish or seafood, then you can opt for egg yolk that are another good source of vitamin-D, as well as a delicious nutritious food.
  • Milk: Most of the packaged milk these days is fortified with vitamin-D. Daily intake of high amounts of fortified whole milk will help you to stay healthy and fit.


Vitamins for your hair, nails, and skin are everywhere on Instagram. Don’t fall for them.

Tati Westbrook, a.k.a. @glamlifeguru, has 1.2 million Instagram followers and 3.9 million YouTube subscribers. Her rabid fan base tunes in for her beauty product reviews, hauls, and tutorials. For weeks she’d been teasing the launch of her own product line, which most of her fans assumed would be skin care or makeup. Instead, at the end of February she unveiled a line of Barbie-pink supplement capsules called Halo Beauty, which claim to do everything from prevent premature hair graying to firming skin and reducing fine lines. Westbrook saidthat she sold more than 25,000 bottles, or about half her stock, the first day. They cost about $40 for a month’s worth.

Westbrook is not the first social media star to shill beauty supplements. You can’t open Instagram lately without seeing a celebrity or major beauty brand selling them. The Kardashian-Jenner clan and other celebrities have been promoting Sugarbear Hairgummies, which claim to “support hair growth,” for a few years via paid Instagram posts. The Tiffany-blue bears, which reportedly also taste like delicious candy, are the self-proclaimed “best-selling hair vitamin online since 2016.”

Even beauty mogul Bobbi Brown, who left her namesake beauty brand in 2016, has a new line of supplements and protein powders called Evolution 18. The brand’s newly minted Instagram page claims they will give you “gorgeous skin, strong bones, and overall glow.”

Beauty supplements aren’t a new concept either. We’ve been able to buy hair and nail formulas for decades at the drugstore. But this new iteration of shiny, celebrity-endorsed supplements is smack in the middle of the Venn diagram of three huge and utterly modern obsessions: wellness, skin care, and Instagram, helping to drive their popularity like never before.

Take away the shiny packaging and celebrity endorsers, though, and you’re left with products plagued by the same problems as dietary supplements: There’s no good evidence that they can deliver on the results they promise, and a lack of government oversight and clear standards puts consumers at risk.

The beauty supplement market is exploding

The supplements all boast different formulas, but the commonality is that they claim they will make your hair, skin, nails, or all of the above look better … somehow. You’ll find old-school vitamin ingredients like biotin, zinc, folic acid, and vitamin C in many formulas. Collagen, which was first popularized in Asia as an ingestible and comes with claims that it increases skin elasticity, is also popular. You’ll find botanicals that often pop up in the wellness space, like oils, saw palmetto, ashwagandha, green tea, and turmeric in these formulas. The supplement claims run the gamut from “shiny and fuller hair” to more nebulous descriptions like “healthy hair, strong nails, dewy skin.”

And they’re becoming more popular. The global beauty supplement market was worth about $3.5 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $6.8 billion by the end of 2024, according to a report by Goldstein Research, a consulting and marketing research firm. This is still a small portion of the overall global supplement market, which is projected to reach $220 billion by 2023.

But the increasing popularity is most obvious when supplements are broken out as a sector of the beauty industry, where they previously were barely a blip. Dr. Deirdre Hooper, a dermatologist in New Orleans, says she’s had more patients using and asking about supplements over the past few years. “It’s not only hope in a jar but now also hope in a bottle,”she says.

A beauty industry analyst told Business of Fashion last year that the category had doubled in the previous two years, with “strong growth” noted. According to a 2017 consumer study by the supplement trade group the Council for Responsible Nutrition, 31 percent of female respondents ages 18 to 34 cited taking supplements for “skin, hair, and nails.”

At the recent Indie Beauty Expo in LA, a survey of buyers revealed that the brands most likely to be picked up by retailers were not skin care or makeup brands — they were supplement brands. Hum Nutrition, which has multiple beauty-specific formulas, and Vital Proteins, which sells “beauty waters” and “collagen creamers,” garnered the most retailer interest at the expo.

Hair, nail, and skin vitamins are not new. The techniques used to market them are.

Companies have been selling “hope in a bottle” for decades. In the early ’90s, Time ran a cover stating that vitamins could, among other things, fight “the ravages of aging.” This lionization of vitamins was partially due to Linus Pauling, who became a zealot about the benefits of vitamin C and other supplements, even when research proved him wrong.

Dermatologist-founded skin care companies like Murad and Perricone have been offering supplements and touting “from the inside out” beauty for 20 years now. The hair growth supplement Viviscal, which contains a complex made up of shark cartilage and oyster extract powder, has been hyped by celebrity hairstylists for years. But until the recent wellness boom made supplements aspirational, they had a reputation as being something that maybe only older women bought at the crunchy health food store.

About five years ago, companies realized they could use social media to promote these supplements as youthful and fun. Hum Nutrition was one pioneer. It offers a range of brightly packaged supplements that are heavy on formulas for beauty-related concerns like acne, anti-aging, and hair growth. It launched in 2012, but the brand started its Instagram account in 2014, coinciding with the announcement that it would be carried in the beauty retailer Sephora. In the past year, Hum’s Instagram account has become more stylized, featuring a mesmerizing, undulating rainbow pattern when you scroll through it on mobile.

Facebook ads for the brand are now ubiquitous. When it landed a $5 million Series A investment at the end of last year, one if its investors noted that one of the attractive qualities of Hum was its “strong engagement on social media.”

Then there’s the Kardashian-Jenner industrial complex. Kim Kardashian started promotingHairfinity vitamins (almost 1 million Instagram followers) back in 2015. That hot pink bottle was then forsaken for the now ubiquitous Sugarbear Hair gummies, which have blanketed Instagram since early 2016. The Kardashians even came under fire by consumer watchdog groups and the Federal Trade Commission for not clearly disclosing that their images were paid for by the company. But that hasn’t stopped Sugarbear from hitting almost 2 million followers.

Further cementing the vitamin-social media connection is Ritual, a supplement subscription service for women that launched in 2016. While not explicitly a beauty supplement, it calls itself “age defying” and “skin perfecting,” among other claims. It also comes in a bright yellow box, and the clear capsules look like snow globes, with particles suspended in oil.

Forbes wrote of the brand last year: “Subscribers to the $30-per-month service post snapshots of Ritual’s sleek yellow and white delivery box on their own feeds. … Both the vitamin itself, which looks iridescent in the light, and its packaging were designed to be ‘super-shareable,’ says founder and CEO Katerina Schneider.”

The brands are using beauty personalities instead of doctors to sell their supplements

These supplement brands are doing what more traditional beauty brands have done for years — making their products look really attractive on social media and then tapping influencers to further spread the message. A slew of new beauty supplements launched, many from traditional beauty brands and beauty industry-adjacent personalities, who understand how to market to beauty customers.

Avon launched Espira, a line offering to “boost, glow, restore.” Ouai Haircare, founded by the Kardashians’ hairstylist Jen Atkin (who is now a social media celebrity in her own right with 2.2 million followers), launched hair supplements last year. Kora Organics, a beauty line founded by former Victoria’s Secret Angel Miranda Kerr, launched “skinfood” supplements. Model Giorgos Tsetis co-founded the thinning hair supplement company Nutrafol. Olly, sold at Target and drugstores, counts Mario Dedivanovic, Kim Kardashian’s longtime makeup artist (4.3 million followers), as a brand ambassador. He posts pictures of the colorful bottles on his Instagram and recommends it to mainstream fashion publications, which sometimes do not disclose his paid association.

Philip VanDusen, a consumer product design specialist, says that many of these brands have “adopted the higher-level aesthetic of beauty so they don’t stand out as being cheap or looking too mass.” The bright colors help grab attention both in stores and on Instagram. VanDusen compares the marketing to when Method, with its weirdly shaped clear bottles, took on the orange plastic laundry detergent aisle. (Olly was co-founded by Eric Ryan, the co-founder of Method.)

The natural progression is that stores that sell fashion and beauty, like Sephora, Barneys, Urban Outfitters, Free People, and Ulta have hopped on board. Prices range anywhere from $28 to $88 for a 30-day supply from these various brands. All of these are marketed on the brands’ Instagram feeds, often pictured nestled among offerings like moisturizers and hairspray.

The ultimate sign that they’ve found mainstream acceptance? They’re now common on Instagram shelfies, a popular type of aspirational image in the social media beauty realm wherein people post pictures of their carefully arranged, color-coordinated medicine cabinets.

But do beauty supplements do anything?

For all the modern, social media-savvy marketing, the claims these supplements are making are as dubious as ever. Companies will cite a study to validate one or several of their ingredients, but the truth is that very few supplement ingredients have been thoroughly studied in humans. Many products have no data at all to substantively support their claims.

If there are studies, they often involve only a small number of subjects, explains Boston dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch in an email. “It is always important to assess who is doing the study,” she continues, since some are done by the companies selling the supplements.

Biotin, a supplement ingredient long promoted as an aid in hair growth, probably won’t do anything unless you’re deficient in the nutrient, which is rare.

Collagen is the substance that keeps your skin looking springy and elastic, so it would seem to follow that taking a collagen supplement would keep your face looking youthful. But a supplement probably doesn’t do much, according to an analysis by the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.

Turmeric, which is present in a lot of these supplements and has been hyped as a food ingredient for its anti-inflammatory effect, was dismissed as “much ado about nothing,” according to a group of scientists who analyzed multiple studies involving curcumin, which is thought to be the beneficial compound in turmeric.

While ingredients like probiotics show some promise for atopic dermatitis and acne according to Hooper, the data for their use for things like preventing wrinkles is still far from conclusive.

A bigger issue is that these supplements often contain multiple ingredients, and while one or two may have small studies supporting a benefit, there are no large, well-designed studies to demonstrate how they all work in tandem.

Beauty supplement marketing copy also usually attempts to simplify issues such as thinning hair when, in reality, conditions like these are usually multifactorial and can reflect a combination of diet, medications, medical conditions, hormones, nutrient deficiency, age, gender, and a host of other factors that rarely lend themselves to a one-pill-fits-all fix. Indeed, a lot of the common ingredients in these products are only helpful if someone is actually deficient in them.

Dr. Pieter Cohen, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, has studied dietary supplements and is a noted critic of the industry. He pulled no punches when it came to his opinion on the efficacy of beauty supplements: “It’s just magical thinking. It’s taking advantage of people who will spend money.”

Safety is definitely a concern

As Vox’s health reporter Julia Belluz has written, the safety, efficacy, and even contents of supplements cannot be trusted. We’ve seen this play out in multiple categories across the supplement industry. It’s an issue in beauty too.

In 2016, BuzzFeed reported that an independent lab that analyzed Sugarbear Hair supplements found they contained small quantities of lead, a heavy metal that’s a neurotoxin for children and is linked to cardiovascular disease in adults. Plus, the ingredient amounts differed by 20 percent or more compared to what was on the label, including containing 70 percent more biotin than claimed. The recommended daily amount of biotin needed for adults is 30 to 100 micrograms, an amount that’s easy to get from diet. Sugarbear Hair contains 5,000 micrograms.

Additionally, biotin is not as harmless as has been presumed. In fall 2017, JAMA published a small study indicating that taking 10 milligrams (10,000 micrograms) of biotin daily was associated with false lab results. Two months later, the Food and Drug Administration posted a safety alert about the risk of high doses of biotin, which it designated as a dose over the recommended daily allowance. It noted that the ingredient can “significantly” interfere with some lab tests, producing both false negative and false positive results. The agency attributed one death to the phenomenon, in a patient who was tested for the blood marker that can indicate you’re having a heart attack. Lab results are obviously an important part of the data a health care provider collects to determine diagnosis and treatment, so the risk of inaccurate results is concerning.

The CRN, the supplement industry trade group, issued a press release that patients should stop biotin supplements temporarily before having lab tests. “It’s something we really don’t have good studies on, it’s probably not going to benefit you, and it has potential problems, so maybe we should get away from taking biotin,” says Hooper.

Cohen said that while he recommends single-ingredient vitamin or mineral supplements to patients with deficiencies, he is wary of anything that contains multiple ingredients, has proprietary blends without specific amounts of ingredients listed, or claims any sort of outcome — which is pretty much every single supplement discussed here. “These are more likely to act like drugs in the body and more likely to have side effects or have potential downsides,” he says.

Some of the downsides are scary. Saw palmetto, which is in both Tati Westbrook’s new supplement and Nutrafol, could possiblyaffect the efficacy of estrogen-containing birth control pills. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center warns that ashwagandha, an ayurvedic herb used in Moon Dusts and a Hum formula, has a variety of potential side effects, possibly including miscarriage. Too much vitamin A and E can actually cause hair loss. Hooper says anecdotally she sees liver function variations in her patients who take a lot of supplements. The bottom line is that we don’t really know conclusively what these supplements can do, in terms of risks or benefits.

But the FDA must be keeping tabs on these companies, right? Nope.

Unlike prescription drugs, which are heavily regulated by the FDA and whose claims and safety have to be proven before they can be sold, supplements are barely subjected to government scrutiny. Due to a law pushed through in the mid-1990s by Sen. Orrin Hatch, whose home state of Utah is home to a big chunk of the supplement industry, supplement manufacturers pretty much have free rein to say anything and do anything. (Read more in Belluz’s explainer.) The FDA can’t force companies to remove products or ingredients until it can prove that they are really harmful, resulting in potential injury and even deaths in the meantime.

This also explains the vague wording like “promotes,” “maintains,” and “supports” that you often see on these supplements. This is called a structure/function claim, and it’s perfectly legal, as long as manufacturers also attach a disclaimer that says: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

Supplement brands seem to expect consumers to just trust them. Rose-Marie Swift, the founder of RMS Beauty, told the fashion trade publication WWD at the time of her supplement launch, “But [probiotics] are exactly like the cocaine industry — there’s s–tty cocaine, s–tty acidophilus. And then there’s movie star cocaine, Hollywood movie star acidophilus.” She actually makes a good point that can be extrapolated to the whole supplement industry: There’s no way of knowing which is the shitty stuff.

Tati Westbrook, the beauty guru, faced backlash about her supplement line from skeptical fans who challenged her on pretty much every single claim and ingredient. At one point, she had to disable her comments because things got very heated. She eventually posted a 50-minute YouTube video to rebut the “haters” and explain the line, though she started out with the assertion, “This is not snake oil.” Her commenters pointed out that she really didn’t provide the proof of efficacy they were asking for.

While the popularity of these types of products is on the rise, aided and abetted by weak regulations and a beauty industry eager to make money, it is heartening to see that some target consumers are starting to become more educated, and to care enough to be loud about it. Cohen does think the regulations will change in the next decade or two, but consumers will ultimately need to be the catalyst.


A Complete Guide to Pre-Workout Supplements

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About 30 minutes before beginning one of his regular strength training workouts, Nick Dio takes a Go Pill. A pre-workout supplement packing ingredients that most people would need a pocket M.D. and a medical pronunciation guide to explain—pyruvic and succinic acid, creatine magnapower, and something called “cognizin,” among many others—he swears that he perceives a noticeable difference once it’s in his system. He likens the sensation to tossing back a triple shot of espresso, or maybe to what Bradley Cooper’s character felt in Limitless. Either way, Dio says, it helps set the tone. “I started taking pre-workout during my freshman year of high school,” he explains. “Once I take it, I know I’m going to focus my energy on the workout and nothing else.”

Dio isn’t the only one reaching for a boost before hitting the weights, as the market for pre-workout pills and powders that promise to boost performance has exploded in recent years. But could something that makes prominent use of, say, deer antler velvet—yes, deer antler velvet—really be what takes your brawniest efforts to the next level? And are these dubiously-flavored products worth their $30+ price tag? Here’s everything you need to know about the world of pre-workout supplements.

1. Most of them include the same four ingredients

Brands throw lots of things in their supplements, but most of them are formulated using one or more of the following: caffeine, amino acids, carbohydrates, and beetroot juice. Other exotic-sounding additions to the ingredients list typically turn out to be a derivative of one of those four things.


Good news, coffee heads: Research backs caffeine’s ability to boost energy levels, alertness, and arousal, and this remains true even if you are a heavy caffeine user outside the gym, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Amino acids and nitric oxide

Our bodies can’t produce “essential” branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), including leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which must be obtained via diet. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and help to increase energy levels. One 2016 study showcased their ability to dramatically enhance endurance performance over two consecutive days in college runners.

As for nitric oxide, you’ll typically see this displayed on labels as arginine, another amino acid. Essentially, nitric oxide is a gas that your body produces to help cells communicate better with one another. As a supplement, it is touted for its ability to dilate blood vessels, which increases protein synthesis. While research on its efficacy is mixed, one 2010 study found that male cyclists older than 50 who used a powdered arginine supplement exhibited a 16.7 percent increase in their anaerobic threshold—the point at which lactic acid starts to accumulate in the muscles—after three weeks. Men given a placebo didn’t see any increase.


Ah, who doesn’t love an excuse to down some of that thing that we all try to stay away from otherwise? Carbohydrates in pre-workout supplements help to fuel muscles with glycogen, which your body uses as an energy source while lifting.

Beetroot juice

Seriously. Whether it’s a component of your supplement or you’re sipping it straight, this nitrate-rich food has been proven to dilate blood vessels and increase blood plasma nitric oxide levels. One 2015 study found that men who drank the juice over a 15-day period were able to work out longer, and experienced greater muscle growth as a result.

Even though these four ingredients have had at least some proven success in the past, every athlete—or every guy who just wants to hit the bench press every now and then—will react to them differently. “Everyone’s body is unique,” says Dennis Cardone, DO, chief of primary care sports medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center. “Even caffeine, which is common in most pre-workout supplements, can cause an athlete to feel jittery, nervous, or nauseated, and can exacerbate underlying heart conditions.” Try different formulations and see which one makes you feel best without also making you feel worse, if that makes sense.

Like others supplement, pre-workout is not regulated for safety by the FDA, which means that these products can be sold until there is a reason for the FDA to pull them from stores. Translation: Too many guys experience wonkiness, and complaints are rampant.

“Regulation of pre-workout supplements is not the same as pharmaceutical medicines,” says Jessica Alvarez, RD, an assistant professor of medicine at Emory University. “That means that supplement companies don’t have to prove that their products are safe, or of high quality, or effective before they hit the shelves.” For better assurances that a supplement contains only what the label says, Dr. Alvarez suggests that you look for popular independent certifications, like those issued by NSF, Informed-Choice, and the Banned Substances Control Group.

3. …which means that some of that “oomph” could be the placebo effect at work

Even if you don’t feel the same ready-for-anything edge without pre-workout, Cardone is skeptical that the supplement’s ingredients are responsible. “I’d argue that pre-workout supplements mostly provide a psychological edge,” he says. “At best, in an elite athlete who is already training very hard, there may be a small, short burst at the extreme range of exertion.”

4. It’s possible to overdo “safe” ingredients

Just like that Friday evening stop at your nearest whiskey bar, too much of a good thing can be disastrous. “Excessive amounts of caffeine can cause nausea, restlessness, anxiety, and insomnia,” says Alvarez. “Nitrates can cause gastrointestinal discomfort. The list goes on.” She advises users to be careful of products that don’t list the amounts of each individual ingredient. Without that breakdown, she explains, there is no way to tell if there is enough of an ingredient to be effective—or, at the other end, if you are at risk of ingesting too much of it.

What are the right amounts? Experts suggest maxing out at 400 milligrams of caffeine daily, and limiting the pre-workout dose to about three milligrams per kilogram of body weight. (That’s 243 milligrams of caffeine for a 180-pound guy.) For carbohydrates, shoot for 30 or 40 grams between one and four hours before you set foot in the gym. For beetroot juice, 250 milliliters hits the sweet spot. Most popular amino acids supplements use a serving size between five and ten grams, which research suggests is just about right.

These are all rules of thumb, not medical advice. Be sure to consult your doctor—not a trainer at the gym who wants to instill his knowledge of bro-science in you—about what works best for your body.

5. Whole foods can give you some of the same benefits

If you’re not down to get down with a bunch of known and unknown ingredients, whole foods can deliver many of the same benefits. Bananas, reduced-sugar sports drinks, and coffee—extra points for cold brew or nitro varieties—are all great options that you can actually pronounce. Besides, incorporating more of those foods into your diet will help you fuel your body better at all hours, instead of just during the 90-minute period before you put on the compression shorts.


Diet changes and nutrition can make a big difference to diabetes management

A good healthy diet can make a lot of difference.

According to the study conducted by the researchers from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the weight, blood sugars, and cholesterol levels of diabetics can be reduced by educating them about vital nutrients.

Researchers conducted classes and taught the patients about different diets with less meat and less fat and cholesterol. “Doctors can turn their waiting rooms into classrooms. It’s simple and very effective. Patients learn about healthy food changes, and can share tips, swap recipe ideas, and work through challenges together,” stated author Neal Barnard.

Earlier, some studies stated that dietary interventions are effective for diabetes management because unlike medications, they typically improve several health markers simultaneously. Plant-based diets are especially beneficial because they treat the root cause of type 2 diabetes by reducing fat inside the cells, which improves insulin function. It also benefits the body weight, lipid control, glycemic control, and blood pressure.

Some medical centres also practice this by offering weekly nutrition education classes and support groups for patients.


Summer skin care: Try these 5 Ayurvedic remedies to protect your skin from the sun

Skin toners are very important for people with oily or acne-prone skin as they cleanse the skin and close the pores by tightening the cell gaps. Make one at home using aloe vera.

Summer can be fun despite the sweltering heat if one knows how to take good care of the skin and hair. Protect your skin from the harmful UV rays by putting together some simple natural ingredients that are available in every household.

Here are some Ayurvedic tips for tackling skin issues in summer.

*Skin hydration is the key: Ayurveda mentions that ‘Snigdhata’ (meaning internal hydration) of the body is the key to fight multiple skin-related issues. One should schedule water drinking reminders across the day. Carry a water bottle to avoid thirsty outings and travels. Replace aerated drinks, tea and coffee with coconut water, thandai, kokum sharbat, lemon juice, buttermilk, khas drink, sugarcane juice, etc.

*Mind the heat: According to Ayurveda, the basic reason behind blood impurification and skin disorders is sudden temperature changes. Avoid stepping out directly from AC rooms into the sun and vice-versa.

Carry a water bottle to avoid thirsty outings and travels. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

*Try Ayurvedic DIY (Do it Yourself) face mask: Use multani mitti face mask in combination with milk for dry skin, honey for oily skin and water for normal skin. This will improve the natural glow of the skin. One can also try a homemade face pack with smash boiled potatoes and 2 tbsp of lemon juice to bleach the skin.

*Spice up your life: Cinnamon has great anti-microbial properties. Powder it and mix with 1 tablespoon of honey and sugar granules. Use this mixture as a natural scrub to remove the dead skin from the face.

*Coat skin with layers of aloe vera and cucumber: Skin toners are very important for people with oily or acne-prone skin as they cleanse the skin and close the pores by tightening the cell gaps. Preparing a toner depending on your skin type will have a great effect. Mix apple cider, vinegar and water in 1:1 ratio and add half cup of green tea, cucumber juice and aloe vera gel. Shake it well and then apply it on the skin to soothe and repair it.


Weight loss trick for summer, go on a watermelon detox diet for 5 days

Watermelons are rich in Vitamin A, lycopene, iron and calcium.

It’s summer time and as the temperatures soar, you find yourselves craving for watermelons. But what if you could stick to a diet where you just eat watermelons for a few days? We are talking about the Watermelon Diet which involves a short period of 4-5 days during which people eat nothing but watermelons and then, post the cleanse and after losing some kilos, they can return to their original diet.

Could such a diet actually substitute for your meals, especially during the worst of summer when your appetite hits an all-time low? After all, watermelons are low in calories, can help fight dehydration (thanks to its 90% water content), is rich in fibre, and can detoxify your body. They are rich in Vitamin A, lycopene, iron and calcium and thus good for your skin and hair, can lower risk of heart disease, boost digestion and prevent inflammation. A previous study had also suggested that watermelon can boost your sex drive.

Eating too much of orange or just fruits leads to excess fibre which can also cause digestion problems. (Shutterstock)

Nutritionist Raheela Hasan says that such a diet can have short-term benefits but the weight lost will bounce back pretty fast. “Eating watermelons has its benefits but just going on a watermelon diet for 4-5 days is not recommended. It is, at best, a temporary diet. Detoxification of the body is a long-term process. After such a drastic diet, returning to a normal diet will have a yo-yo effect on your body,” she says.

Luke Coutinho, holistic nutritionist and founder,, seconds that. “I am not a big fan of the one-ingredient diet,” he says, adding, “Our bodies also need fats, proteins and plenty of other vitamins and minerals. How will the body get those in the entire cycle of 4 to 5 days? One cycle of such a diet may reset your eating habits, but repeatedly doing it might lead to deficiencies.”

Over a period of time, such a diet could lead to loss of nutrients , and reduced dietary source of protein , says Hasan. Instead, she recommends that people stick to having it as a mid-meal fruit (around 15 cubes daily) for optimal benefit

Watermelon is just one of many fruit diets; in the past there have been diets where people survived on just a slice of orange or drank juice through the day. “Avoid doing just fruits diets. Eating too much of orange or just fruits leads to excess fibre which can also cause digestion problems, abdominal cramps, and diarrhoea,” says Hasan.

“In my opinion, the body can be detoxified even while having a balanced nutritious meal. I do not recommend getting into the habit of relying on such diets,” says Coutinho.


Healthy Diet: 4 Broccoli Salad Recipes That You’ll Want To Make Tonight

Healthy Diet: 4 Broccoli Salad Recipes That You'll Want To Make Tonight

Broccoli is a deeply-divisive vegetable. George Bush Sr hated even the sight of it, banning it from being served even from Air Force One. “And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m president of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!” he is reputed to have grumbled. On the other hand is Barack Obama, who absolutely loves the stuff.

Broccoli may cleave the Presidents of the USA, but it is rather a delicious vegetable, and endlessly versatile – it easily takes to South East Asian flavours as well as European and Indian ones. You can barbecue it, roast it with cheese, layer it into a macaroni bake or even toss it into Thai curries. But although most people view broccoli as a sort of warming vegetable to be eaten in winters or monsoons, it is also excellent in salads, which makes it the perfect vegetable for our simmering, sultry summers. Broccoli and cheese are a match made in salad heaven, but it also works superbly in a garlic, chilli and soy sauce salad, or tumbled with pasta or even cooked with sausage or salami for a more hearty salad. Below, I’ve given you some of my absolute favourite broccoli salads, quick and easy to put together, with the minimum of fuss. Perfect for a summer’s day when you don’t want to spend hours broiling over the stove.

Broccoli Pasta Salad

You can use leftover pasta for this, or make fresh. Any small pasta like farfalle (bow tie shaped) or penne should do. I love adding fruit to my salads; in this case, the sweetness of the pear acts as a subtle foil to the earthy funkiness of broccoli.

broccoli salad pasta

Pasta – 150g
Broccoli – 100g
Pear – 1, chopped into little pieces
Cucumber – 1 small, diced
Red pepper – 1, chopped finely
Chilli flakes – 1 tsp
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Balsamic vinegar – 2 tsp
Orange juice – 1 tbsp
Pistachios to serve
Salt to taste


Bring a pot of heavily salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (around seven to ten minutes). Cut the broccoli into small florets, and toss it into the pot, after removing the pasta. Then dry the hot broccoli with a napkin, in order to prevent it from getting mushy. Add it with the pasta to the pepper, the pear and the cucumber.

Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, salt, and chilli together vigorously, then pour into salad. Sprinkle with pistachios before serving for a bit of crunch.

South East Asian Broccoli Salad

broccoli salad

Healthy diet: broccoli salad recipe

Ginger paste – 2 tsp
Garlic paste – 2 tsp
Sesame oil – 4 tbsp
Soy sauce – 2 tsbp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Broccoli – 200g
Corn – 50 g
Baby corn – 50g
Carrot – 1, chopped into matchsticks
Peanuts – 1/2 cup, roasted until crisp
Salt to taste


Stir fry the broccoli in 1 tbsp sesame oil and set aside. Vigorously mix the sesame oil, soy sauce and chilli powder together in a bowl. Smother the vegetables in it, then mix in the ginger, garlic and chilli powder. Add salt to taste, and serve with peanuts (and a wedge of lime if you like).

Hot Broccoli, Choriz and Prawn Salad

broccoli salad prawns

​Healthy diet: Broccoli salad recipes

Broccoli – 250g
Goa sausage – (choriz) 100g
Prawns – 200 g
Olive oil to fry
Garlic cloves – 8, chopped
Green peas – 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to serve
Honey – 2 tsp
Green chilli – 1, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil – 1/4 cup


Cube the sausage and fry in some olive oil in a saucepan, for about six minutes. Then add in the garlic, frying until pale gold in colour. Toss in the broccoli, stirring occasionally. Add the green peas and prawns once the broccoli is nearly tender, around five or six minutes.

Toss the honey, extra virgin olive oil and chilli in a bowl, and pour over the contents of the saucepan. Season and serve with coriander sprinkled on top.

Broccoli, Ricotta And Rice Salad

This broccoli salad is a great way to dispose off old, leftover rice-you can use any type of rice you like.

broccoli salad

Broccoli – 250g
Kashmiri chilli – 1, finely chopped
Ricotta – 100g
Leftover cooked rice – 100g, at room temperature
Baby spinach leaves – 200g
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Salt to taste


  1. Bring a pan of water to boil, and add salt. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli into little florets, and as soon as the water starts bubbling over, throw in the broccoli. The broccoli should take about five to six minutes to finish cooking. Take it all out and drain.
  2. Crumble the ricotta cheese into little pieces, and mix into the broccoli; the heat will help the ricotta to melt. Then toss in everything else, mix well, and serve.

Get The Most From Your Broccoli

  1. When looking to buy broccoli, look for bright green-coloured ones, with their heads compacted together, rather than loose florets. Avoid broccoli that has yellow flowers.
  2. It’s best not to overcook your broccoli, if you want to preserve its nutrition. A maximum of seven to ten minutes is ideal. This way, it won’t get soggy, and you’ll have the added advantage of leaving the broccoli crisp and bright green. You can even eat broccoli raw.
  3. If you want to keep your broccoli for a long time, try freezing it, rather than refrigerating it. Otherwise, keep it in the vegetable crisper in a bag with holes in it, so that it can breathe, and ideally, use it within three days.
  4. Cut your broccoli like you would cauliflower-the easiest way is by cutting off the canopy of florets, then cutting the more fibrous stalk. The very end of it is far too fibrous to eat though. Better to cut it off and discard it.

Put on the chef’s hat and experiment with the humble veggie.


6 hair and skincare tips to be summer ready

In summer, less is more should be your mantra.

With summer comes melting make-up, smeared eyeliner, and super-sticky hair. Hence, it is important to give proper care to your skin and hair. Sushma Khan, National Creative Director-Makeup, Lakmé Salon, and TIGI Educator Audrey D’Souza list tips to make your make-up last long:

For make-up

* Go light: In summer, less is more should be your mantra. The lesser the products you use, the lighter your skin will feel and make-up will not feel heavy. It is highly recommended to use products with anti-bacterial properties. Replace your foundation with a concealer to hide imperfections and feel light. Products with SPF of 30++ at least are a must. BB creams are also a great option as it is a combination of moisturiser and tinted foundation. Use light water-based products and cut down on make up products to less than half.

Invest in waterproof eyeliners, mascaras and eye pencils. (Shutterstock)

* Multitask with your makeup : Invest in a product that does it all — for the lips, lids, and cheeks. Simply choose from a range of summery bright or light lip and cheek tints as it will add a healthy glow with minimalistic colour.

* Switch to waterproof: Invest in waterproof eyeliners, mascaras and eye pencils. With the temperatures rising, one tends to wipe of the face regularly. This might, at times, end up in either smudging or fading make-up. Choose between a highly or lightly pigmented waterproof eye products.

Frizzy hair is a major problem in summer. (Shutterstock)

For hair:

* Cocktail of products: Prepare your hair using a cocktail of smoothening and anti-frizz serums to smoothen your hair and get rid of frizz at the same time.

* Shortcut to volume: Wash and condition your hair with a volumising shampoo and conditioner to combat limp and sticky hair. Prep your hair with volumising lotion before you blow-dry to give your hair volume.

* Beach waves for days: Boho-inspired beachy waves are the ultimate summer hair-do. Apply curling mousse on wet hair and scrunch it up in a bun. Use tongs to achieve the wavy look. You can also opt for dry shampoos to fight the stickiness on your hair.


For a healthy heart, add fatty fish, olive oil to your diet

Fatty fish increases the size and lipid composition of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles, also known as good cholesterol.

Good news if you love eating fish. According to a new study, consuming fatty fish up to four times a week may help increase the amount of good cholesterol and prevent risk of heart disease. To keep your heart healthy, you need to be very careful about your diet.

The findings showed that fatty fish increases the size and lipid composition of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles, also known as good cholesterol, in people with impaired glucose metabolism. Moreover, using daily 30 ml of camelina oil — rich in alpha-linolenic acid, which is an essential omega-3 fatty acid — was also found to decrease the number of harmful Intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL) particles.

The IDL lipoprotein is the precursor of (low-density lipoprotein) LDL, which is also known as bad cholesterol. Previous studies have shown that long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish have a beneficial effect on lipoprotein size and composition. Both of these changes can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, said researchers from the University of Eastern Finland.

For the study, published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, the team involved nearly 100 Finnish men and women aged between 40 and 72, with impaired glucose metabolism. Study participants were randomly divided into four groups for a 12-week intervention: the camelina oil group, the fatty fish group, the lean fish group, and the control group.

While people in the camelina oil group, fatty fish group, showed potentially higher HDL and lower IDL cholesterol level, eating lean fish, was not associated with changes in the number, size or composition of lipoprotein particles, the researchers said.

Some of the other healthy foods that increase good cholesterol include olive oil, whole grains, legumes, flaxseeds, nuts and avocado.


Here’s why yogurt should be part of your daily diet and skincare regime

Yogurt contains natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which are great for the body and skin.

Yogurt contains natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which are great for the body and skin.(Shutterstock)

Your grandmom was right. Yogurt, the versatile dairy product, is filled with nutrition and should be part of your daily diet. Moreover, it’s equally useful for the skin and hair. Treat sunburns, acne and improve your immunity with yogurt. Himanshu Chadha, Founder, APS Cosmetoofood, and Nmami Agarwal, Nutritionist and Dietician, tell you how:

* Treat sunburn: Spread yogurt on the affected area, leave it for 20-25 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Yogurt is rich in zinc and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains probiotics that will help restore your skin’s natural barrier.

Yogurt is full of nutrients that are good for your hair. (Images Bazaar)

* Treat acne with yogurt as it contains natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Rub a dab of the creamy yogurt onto acne-prone areas. Rinse it off after 30 minutes. A regular beauty regime with a yogurt facial mask will help keep skin cleansed, which will also reduce irritating breakouts.

* Yogurt is a great ingredient for a hair conditioner. It has moisturising properties which helps repair dry and damaged hair. Take a cup of yogurt and whip it. Apply it on your scalp, hair and hair ends by massaging it well. Cover your hair with a shower cap and let it rest for 20 minutes, then wash your hair with a mild shampoo.

* Yogurt is full of nutrients that are good for your hair, and so, can help in stopping hair fall. Due to the presence of vitamin B5 and D, yogurt helps nourish the hair follicles. A mixture of pepper and curd used daily for washing the hair helps in reducing hair fall. Curd and amla powder can be mixed together to make a paste that can be applied on the scalp and hair to reduce hair loss.

* Since it is a well-known probiotic food, it helps to flourish the healthy bacteria in your gut which can improve the gastro immune system. Along with this, it aids in digestion by reducing the side effects of the irritant stomach such as diarrhoea, bloating and irritable bowel syndrome.

* Strengthen your bones by adding yogurt to your everyday diet. It will add that daily dose of calcium which your body requires for stronger bones as well as for regulating the bone mineral density. By having a diet in a combination with calcium and vitamin D, it can work as a treatment for osteoporosis.

* Yogurt works perfectly for women. It is often advised for women to consume freshly prepared yogurt in their diet considering they are powerful for fighting against the yeast infections such as Candida which can be a cause of trouble to a lot of women. The bacterium, Lactobacillus acidophilus found in yogurt, kills the yeast infections and improves health in the longer run.

* Consuming probiotic yogurt helps reduce inflammation and improve the overall body immune response to counter with several viral or gut related infections and illness. Moreover, yogurt also helps in increasing the absorption of trace minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and selenium.