Nutrition

THE GOOD HAIR DIET

Shampoos. Conditioners. Serums. No blow-drying. Tonnes of creams. Brushing your hair thrice a day. What are the other tips you have got to keep your hair healthy?

While it is good to do these things to keep your hair healthy, the problem largely is that these are mostly superficial!

By eating nutrient rich foods that are good for you, you are feeding your hair and giving it a chance to grow healthy and fixing the problem at its roots. Here are 8 foods that are excellent for healthy hair.

1. Amla Berries

Indian gooseberry or Amla which is famous for its sour taste is very high in antioxidants and is extremely good for healthy hair. They can be cut into pieces and eaten as is but the only catch is that you need to develop a liking for this extreme sour taste.

 

2.Green Leafy Vegetables

Not just for healthy hair but green leafy vegetables are a must have in your diet and give you a host of health benefits. Greens like spinach must be a definite addition to your diet to help your hair grow healthy and thick!

 

3.Oats

Rich in various nutrients that range from omega 3 to iron and zinc, oats are a great choice for healthy hair. Make a breakfast out of oatmeal or have them for your mid-evening break and enjoy lustrous hair.

4.Guava

They are not just tasty but they are also great for your hair! Rich in vitamin C, guavas are the best bet for anyone who has thin hair woes.

 

5.Eggs

They don’t just make you healthier and stronger but are also packed with vitamin B. Vitamin B prevents your hair from being brittle and unhealthy and instead adds the much need lustre and strength to your hair!

 

6.Sweet Potatoes

Not just sweet potatoes but almost every orange coloured vegetable and fruit ( like carrots, pumpkins and mangoes) is so good for your hair that they are called elixir of the locks.

 

7.Nuts and Seeds

Whether it is walnuts, pistachios or cashews, nuts have a lot of nutrients that help keep your hair supple and prevent breakage.

 

8.Barley

Barley contains vitamin E that helps repair sun damage on the scalp which helps prevent hair thinning. Vitamin E supplements have been proven to improve hair growth and since barley is very rich in this, it is important to include it in your diet!

 

References

http://www.eatthis.com/foods-for-healthy-hair

Your Guide To A Vegetarian Pregnancy

guide to a vegetarian pregnancy!

Pregnancy is that time of your life where you should be extra careful about all the things that you do on a normal basis. While being pregnant is not a “condition” that you need to be wary of, it is imperative that you take good care of your health so that you and your baby are healthy.

The most important part of this has to be what you eat and how much you exercise. One question that most people seem to have when they are pregnant is what is okay and what is not okay to eat.

A lot of people worry if eating meat is okay. Others worry if they are getting enough protein and nutrients from their plant based diet!

In case you are a vegetarian and solely depend on plant-based foods for your nutrients, here are some foods you can include to eat healthy and stay fit throughout your pregnancy.

 

High protein vegetarian options

While staying vegetarian during your pregnancy can offer a host of benefits, the most important question you need to ask yourself is if you are getting enough protein. And proteins being the building blocks of life are a non-negotiable addition to a pregnant woman’s diet! If you are Eggetarian, make sure you eat eggs to get protein. Otherwise, some protein-rich vegetarian options for you are lentils, paneer, beans and nuts. Make sure you judiciously include these in your diet.

 

Iron

During pregnancy, the body produces more blood to help your body carry nutrients and it is vital that your iron intake is optimum. Green vegetables, wholemeal bread, a glass of orange juice or some dried fruits are a great way to ensure your iron intake is taken care of.

Calcium

Why is calcium so important for a pregnant woman? Because these ensure the development of your baby’s bones and cells! So make sure your diet is rich in calcium. If you naturally eat a lot of dairy products like milk, cheese, yoghurt, you do not have to worry too much about calcium. However, if you are not big on dairy, consciously make sure that you either take tablets to improve calcium levels or eat a lot of pulses, oats and dried fruit.

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D by itself is very important but it is also vital because it helps in the absorption of calcium. Irrespective of what your diet preferences are, a vitamin D supplement will go a long way in ensuring good health during your pregnancy.

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Reference

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-have- healthy-vegetarian- pregnancy

5 Inflammation Fighting Foods

mid-year workout motivation!

Inflammation is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong – in fact, it is a cry for help from your immunity system. While inflammation cannot be treated as the end problem because it is mostly a symptom or an indicator of something, it can sometimes be a condition by itself. It is important to understand how to reduce inflammation.

Medicines are definitely a treatment option but there are also some excellent foods that help fight inflammation.

Before you read these, remember that just like how some foods help reduce inflammation, some aggravate it and this typically includes foods high in sugar and saturated fat and it would do you good to stay away from them.

1.Fish Rich In Fats

Eating oily fish that are rich in omega-3 is a great idea to reduce inflammation. Dislike seafood or are a vegetarian? Then consuming omega 3 capsules is a good idea to give your body the much-needed chance to fight against inflammation.

2.Whole Grains

The biggest problem with our diets these days is that our food is extra processed, refined and completely lacking in fiber.  It helps fight inflammation and by including foods that are rich in fiber, you reduce the risk of inflammation and control it.

3.Green Vegetables

Green vegetables contain vitamin E which is one of the essential vitamins to fight against inflammation. In case you are someone who stays away from green vegetables, it might be a good time to change that.

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4.Low-Fat Dairy

Are you someone who apart from multiple cups of coffee a day, also rely on eggs and paneer and curd later in the day? Dairy products which are rich in fat tend to cause inflammatory diseases! You should either try to cut down on dairy or switch to low-fat dairy to avoid inflammation.

5.Onions and Garlic

Considered most effective for their anti-inflammatory properties, onions and garlic work effectively in reducing the presence of substances in the blood that cause inflammation. It is best if eaten raw but considering that is a very difficult task, you can cook them for about ten minutes before consuming.

 

Reference

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation

Butter vs. Margarine: Is one better than the other?

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They both look the same, so the competition comes in for either taste and nutrition or both – so let’s get down to the details to understand the difference.

  Butter Margarine
Origin Cow’s Milk Plant oils
Production process Churning Hydrogenation or Refining
Colour Yellow due to carotene or annatto Added artificial colour
Flavor High Negligible
Fat type Saturated Trans-fat
Cholesterol High Low
Protein (per 100g) 1g 0

 

Now how did Margarine even come into being?

Butter has always popular and by 1860 it had become so prevalent that Emperor Napoleon III of France offered prize money to anybody who could find a cheaper substitute. That is when French chemist HippolyteMège-Mouriés invented margarine.

Since then it has been adopted by many a family as a cheaper version of butter to use their daily foods as well as baking. It is only later in time, after much research, did studies show the level of unhealthy fats or trans-fats that were present in it. Other scientists pointed out the high levels of saturated fat in butter which could lead to heart disease; while some others pointed out that it was rich in Vitamins A, D, E, K and Selenium while margarine had zero nutrition value.

The argument however continues!

There is no real winner in this battle – it is all about striking the right balance. If you opt for margarine, read the label carefully and make sure that there are minimal/no trans-fats. If you prefer butter, remember to eat in sensible quantities.

Still confused? Go to a nutritionist to help you understand your metabolism, nutrition requirements and risks better.

References

https://www.slideshare.net/pptsaresilly/butter-margarine-and-lard-comparison

http://www.diffen.com/difference/Butter_vs_Margarine

http://naturoveda.com/butter-vs-margarine-one-healthier/

The Anatomy of a Fad diet

Fad diet

A low-carb diet is the best.

No, a no-carb diet is better.

The Paleo diet is the way to go.  Or better, go vegan!

High-protein diets are the most effective.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

What are all of the above? Short-lived fad diets that are recommended to people to lose weight.

Do they work? Maybe.

Should you try? No!

And here’s why:

  1. Fad diets can cause dehydration: The first 2-6 kilos you lose on a diet is because you are losing water weight and not fat like you are often made to believe. Your body actually needs much of that water, as a reserve, to prevent dehydration.
  2. Your body can become fatigued easily: Most fad/short-term diets simply don’t give your body what it needs in terms of nutrients and fuel, which can cause extreme fatigue, hunger and loss of motivation.
  3. You don’t get enough of the necessary stuff: Fad diets usually cut off one food group or the other from your meal. The problem is our body needs something from every food group to be fit and you are end up denying yourself good health.
  4. You lose muscle: Most of these diets end up focusing on the food part and miss out on telling you that you need to get the right amount of exercise. Deprived of exercise, your body does not build muscle, and without enough muscle tissue, your body will not burn calories to its maximum potential.
  5. You put your heart at risk: Most people who go on fad dieters quickly put their weight back on once they stop the diet as the latter are never long term. Unfortunately, quick weight loss and gain can be worse that having a few extra kilos as it is a strain on the heart putting you at a higher health risk.

These are just a few reasons to stay away from a fad diet, but they are reason enough. What you need to do instead is:

  • Analyze your meals and your energy requirements
  • Weed out the unnecessary junk elements
  • Maintain the right proportion of carbs, proteins and veggies based on your energy analysis and activity levels
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Exercise consistently

And all of this on a everyday basis and not as a short-term plan!

Reference:

http://www.rd.com/health/diet-weight-loss/fad-diets/

https://draxe.com/fad-diets/

Egg on the Nutrition!

Eggs

Whole eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet, containing a little bit of almost every nutrient we need. Apart from being loaded with amino acids, antioxidants and iron, each 85-calorie egg—which somehow delivers 7 grams of protein—is a solid investment in your health.

Eggs are pretty much the gold standard against which all other proteins are judged.  And because protein is the most important nutrient for cell growth and to repair wear and tear of damage cells, it’s high time they are included as a solid diet staple.

Here are 5 ways in which eggs can do magic to your health:

1. Provides High Protein to build muscle

Eggs are champions at providing high quality protein for tissue re-generation and muscle growth.  Amino acids are the building blocks of protein; nine amino acids that the body needs must be derived from one’s diet. Eggs supply all nine and other essential nutrients to nurture muscles and tissues in our body.

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2. Ideal for weight loss

Pie chart

All this packaged in just 66 calories! Eggs are ideal sources to rapidly increase energy levels in our body while keeping the fat content at a bare minimum. This helps in stimulating fat loss and therefore, eggs are almost the first thing that a personal trainer or dietitian will recommend, when you sign up.

 

3. Eggs can help ‘ iron’ out problems

Many people with mild iron deficiency experience vague symptoms of tiredness, headaches and irritability. Iron is the carrier of oxygen in the blood and plays an important role in immunity, energy metabolism and many other functions in the body. The iron in egg yolk is in the form of heme/ iron, the most readily absorbable and usable form of iron in food and more absorbable than the form of iron in most supplements.

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4. Eggs help to prevent cataracts and to protect eye sight

A good dietary intake of eggs is associated with a significant decrease in cataracts and age-related lens issues, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. Eggs are a good source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthine, which play an important role in keeping the eyes healthy. It accumulates in the eye where these nutrients protect against some types of harmful, high-energy wavelengths of light.

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5. Proper Bone Development

Eggs are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D, our sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and for maintaining optimum bone health. Eggs therefore play a supporting role in the prevention of osteoporosis together with dairy products, our main source of calcium.

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References:

http://www.muscleandfitness.com/nutrition/gain-mass/4-more-reasons-load-eggs

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-health-benefits-of-eggs/

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/nutrition/5-reasons-to-eat-more-eggs/

5 low-carb comfort foods!

5 low-carb versions of comfort food SOH

Comfort food is meant to be just that – comforting. It is the elixir that makes you feel better almost instantly; like ice cream after a break up or popcorn on horror movie nights! But we all know that the Indian comfort food scene is inextricably linked to a mother’s heart. And mothers love adding dollops of cream, ghee or just about anything that makes our thighs, tummy or back bigger! Indian comfort foods are fattening and carb-filled and completely unhealthy in every manner, yet we love it. Count the calories in some of these dishes and suddenly they aren’t as comforting.

Here are a bunch of ways to keep the ‘comfort’ factor in Indian comfort foods!

Healthy Rotis –
Nothing beats a cup of daal and some rotis to go with it! Keep it light and low carb by opting for ragi rotis or jowar rotis, and keep your dal fat free with a tadka, instead of a makhani!

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Millet Curd Rice
Curd rice is a no-brainer comfort fix down south. No meal really ends without a cup. Nothing beats the delight that this dish packs! To go low-carb, opt for millet instead of rice and curd from skim milk!

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Quinoa Khichdi –
Piping hot khichdi can lift your spirits very easily. Served with dollops of ghee and lentils, khichdi, is a ubiquitous favourite. A low-carb version of khichdi can be made with quinoa, and the taste packs a perfect punch that even rice cannot achieve.

Quinoa_Vegetable_Kichadi

 

Bulghur Poha –
Poha, in all its light and savory delight is a brilliant comfort food: instead of using rice-based flakes, use bulghur wheat flakes and cook up a storm that is low-carb and high taste.

poha

 

Moong Dosa –
If biting into the crisp goodness of a dosa gives you the warmth that a hug does, your best option to go low-carb with a dosa would be to indulge in moong dal dosas. Crafted out of moong dal instead of rice, this variant is filled with proteins. Soak moong overnight, grind to a fine paste and add salt. Make thin dosas and enjoy!

moong-dal-dosa-pesarattu-recipe

 

References:

https://www.dietburrp.com/indian-low-carb-diet-for-weight-loss/

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/low-carb-comfort-food-favorites/

10 foods for great summer nutrition

10 summer foods

Come summer and it is not all always happiness and sunshine – at least not when the sun is scorching and all you want to do is stay indoors! However, we definitely do not have the luxury to stay indoors even if we want to because rain or shine, our routines need to go on.

Between home, work and your social life – how do you manage your summer nutrition? This is more critical if you are someone who works out or goes out in the sun a lot.

Here are 10 foods that make for excellent summer nutrition.

1. Tender Coconut

The best way to stay hydrated in summer is to grab a tender coconut for a mid-morning snack. Super light and filled with nutrients, it keeps you hydrated and fresh!

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2. Butter Milk

Drinking lots of fluids is the key to staying fit in summer – make sure you drink some cool butter-milk in this weather – add salt or sugar or even some flavours as per your taste!

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3. Cucumbers

High in fiber and low in calories – cucumbers are a must have delicious summer snack! You can even simply add them to your water to give you that nutrition spike on a summer day.

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4. Green Tea

You are better off staying away from sugar filled drinks – instead, sip on a fresh cup of green tea. Packed with anti-oxidants, it is one of the healthiest beverages to have during summer!

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5. Fresh Green Vegetables

Not only are they loaded with nutrients – they are also loaded with water which is why you need to ensure that a green salad or a smoothie is part of your summer diet!

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6. Mangoes

Sunshine and mangoes are almost synonymous – loaded with Vitamin A and high fiber, these summer fresh fruits are a definite addition to your diet.

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7. Water

This one is a no-brainer! Ensure that you drink lots and lots of water to stay hydrated in the hot summer.

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8. Watermelon

Found on every street during summer, this cheap, easily available fruit can be your go-to during the season! Stock up on enough watermelon and if possible, eat them fresh.

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9. Lime Water

The inexpensive and humble nimboo pani is refreshing and good for you this summer – sweet, salted or however you like it, this drink will go a long way in keeping you cool.

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10.  Ice-creams

Yes, we understand the sugar and the calories, but a little summer fun hurt no one. Enjoy that occasional ice cream in this weather to beat the heat!

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References:

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/facts/10-foods-for-summer-nutrition.htm

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/10-best-cooling-foods-for-the-indian-summer/articleshow/19946397.cms

Are you in a food rut?

Are you in a food rut SO

Are you bored of eating the same food due to lack of time, in order to maintain a healthy diet or to stay in shape? Then you are probably in a food rut!
A food rut is an unexciting feeling of eating the same food over and over.
For instance, you hate a restaurant because it was your go-to place to escape cooking or you’ve heard a friend whining about how dinner at home is always roti with different subzis. Then you and your friend are both facing a food rut!
While this is not necessarily unhealthy, it is always more interesting and probably healthier to have variations. Here are 4 simple yet do-able tips that you can try to escape this dullness.
1. Come up with a game plan!

This is the most important tip! Because without a plan, you will end up using the left over ingredients from the last dish. So invest 20-30 minutes in coming up with a menu for 2 weeks. You can either plan the menu with your own knowledge or get inspirations from others.

Meal-Plan-12.81

2. Choose real food over processed food.

Real food is certainly healthier, gluten-free if required, and always available; most of all – they come with no label! You can buy them in bulk, try out a million dishes and freeze the remaining for future. It is a win-win right?

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3. Pep it up with the web!

The internet has an answer/ suggestion to all your queries. From recreating an old dish to preparing an interesting dish with the most common ingredients, the web has it all! You can find them in the forms of blogs & video-logs from experts from all over the world. Use them to prepare the yummiest, easiest & quickest dishes.

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4. Try the new buzz!

We are talking about an individual or a group of food enthusiasts with great culinary skills door -delivering homemade, delicious and customizable meals! They have many subscription plans with enticing menus. Don’t like an ingredient from the menu? Ring them up and notify them about it. You might wonder how this will work out, cost wise but unlike other ordered meals these are less expensive. You can look them up on the internet or in your local magazines. Pretty cool, right?

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We know this is easier said than done but trust us; this is worth giving a shot to break out from the monotony 🙂
References:
https://celiaccentral.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/5-tips-to-get-out-of-a-food-rut/
http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1759

HAVE OODLES OF ZOODLES!

Zoodles

If you have been trying to eat cut those carbs but you succumb to the temptation of pasta, you must be wanting that perfect dish which brings together health and taste… Get ready to welcome Zoodles into your life!

 

What is it?

Zucchini Noodles, is essentially spiralized summer squash, which is made to look like ribbons of pasta.

 

What are the benefits?

The dish is healthy, gluten-free, grain-free, low carb, and totally unprocessed. It’s a great way to increase the intake of vegetables in your diet, as well as other vitamins and nutrients which processed pasta cannot give you. And if you’re feeding this to kids who are picky about vegetables – nothing like it!

 

How is it a good replacement to pasta?

Well, consider this.

1 cup of cooked pasta = 221 calories = 43g Carbs.

1 cup of Zoodles = 25 calories = 4.6g carbs & ton of additional nutrients!

Need we say more?

 

How do you make Zoodles?

Wash and trim the ends of the zucchini. Place the zucchini between the spiked handle end and the blade, then turn the handle and voila! You now have beautiful ribbons of zoodles.

 

How do you serve the Zoodles?

Zoodles can be eaten raw, they can be lightly steamed, they can be seasoned with olive oil or they can be added to a sauce with vegetables… The possibilities are endless (and delicious!) You can also add some extra protein by topping it with eggs or chicken, making it all the more beneficial.

And while it might taste different from pasta, just remember – we can also eat with our eyes! 😉

Avocado-Zoodle-Recipe-with-an-Egg-on-Top

 

Reference:

http://www.ditchthecarbs.com/2015/09/21/what-are-zoodles/

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