Nutrition

Do Potatoes Deserve their Bad Rap?

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What do the following delicious foods have in common?:

  • French fries
  • Hash browns
  • Au Gratin

 

Yes, that’s right—they’re all made out of potatoes, the world’s favourite food!

Unfortunately, potatoes don’t have the best reputation for being that healthy, and with all that starch content, you can’t help but wonder how many calories you’re consuming. Well, let us put your mind at ease: Potatoes aren’t all that bad.

 

A potato’s calorie count depends on the variety and size of the potato. To get an idea, here’s what you get in a medium potato:

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Calories: 168

Fat: 0.2 g (0 g sat fat)

Carbohydrates: 38 g

Sodium: 11 mg

Sugar: 1 g

Fiber: 3 g

Protein: 5 g

 

So, do potatoes deserve their bad rap?

 

The short version? No. “Potatoes are a rich source of many important nutrients. Potatoes contain high amounts of keto-acids, which once digested are converted into amino acids (the breakdown product of protein). They are a great form of energy for the heart and brain when they are in form of keto acids. Potatoes and milk have a similar protein content making them a great source of extra protein, especially for those on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

 

One medium potato contains 70% of your daily recommended vitamin C, 30% of your daily recommended Vitamin B-6, and 25 percent of your daily recommended potassium.

 

Also: Potatoes are one of the most affordable vegetables!

 

How can I cook potatoes healthier?

Baking a potato with the skin adds no extra fat or calories. Serve baked or boiled potatoes with plain, non-fat flavoured yogurt, salsa dip or fresh herbs, instead of cheese, sour cream and chilli. If you enjoy french fries or potato wedges, baking is  another healthy alternative. Bake it at 450-degree for 15-20 minutes, turning it once to ensure browning on all sides.

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The takeaway

So, invite the humble potato to your dining table on a regular basis and help regulate your digestion, contribute to feelings of satisfaction and potentially lower your cholesterol.

References:
http://www.seven-health.com/2013/10/an-ode-to-the-potato/
https://www.livestrong.com/article/428223-how-to-cook-raw-carrots-in-the-microwave/

How Long Does It Take to Digest Food? All About Digestion

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A good meal that looks delightful and tastes amazing  is worth indulging in. But we have a tendency to consume more than what our body can digest easily.

 

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Have you ever thought how long the digestion process can take?

 

In general, food takes twenty four to seventy two hours to move through your gastrointestinal tract. The precise time depends on the amount and kinds of foods you’ve eaten . The digestion speed additionally depends on factors like your gender, metabolism, and whether or not you have got any digestive problems that might  slow down or speed up the method.

 

What happens throughout digestion?

 

As you chew, glands in your mouth secrete saliva. When you swallow, the food moves down your food pipe- oesophagus that connects your mouth to your stomach. When acids in your stomach break down the food even more, then the mixture moves to your small intestine. In your small intestine, your pancreas and liver help break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
The undigested part that remains moves on to your large intestine.

The large intestine absorbs any leftover nutrients from the food. The rest becomes solid waste.

 

Tips for better digestion

 

  • Eat a lot of greens, fruit, and whole grains
  • Limit meat and processed foods
  • Exercise daily
  • Manage stress
  • Get lots of sleep

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The takeaway

 

You might not think much about your digestive system on a daily basis nonetheless you’ll understand once it’s not working optimally if  uncomfortable symptoms like gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea occur.

Watch what you eat and keep active to keep  your digestion smooth and feel your best.

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/digestive-system/expert-answers/faq-20058340https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-does-it-take-to-digest-food

Super Healthy Seeds You Should Eat Daily!

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Seeds are packed with nutrients and have a myriad list of health benefits to offer. They also hold healthy monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and other essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. You can incorporate small amounts of seeds in your diet to enjoy their health benefits by adding it to your daily food consumption.

 

Chia seeds-

These are best known as a super food, and with good reason. Just 2 tablespoons have nearly 10 grams of fiber.

How to serve-
Grind them in a blender and use the crunchy chia seeds as a topping for yogurt or vegetables. To get them to soften, soak them in a liquid, such as juice or almond milk and use them as a smart topping for your pudding.

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Pomegranate seeds-

Also known as arils, these are the red ,sweet, jewel-like beads you strip from the inside of the fruit. They contain vitamin C and antioxidants. They will make a good light snack as a full cup of pomegranate seeds has fewer than 150 calories.

How to serve-
Toss it in a salad or a whole-grain dish, they add a juicy pop of flavor and color to your dinner plate.

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Quinoa-

Quinoa has got you covered if you’re looking for healthy sources of protein. It cooks like rice and can fill in for pasta and other grains in many of your favorite dishes.

How to serve-
You can also use it as a gluten-free breading for dishes like chicken fingers. Instead of oatmeal for a breakfast porridge, make a batch of quinoa and kick start your day with more protein, fiber, and iron.
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Flax seeds-

We have been consuming these for good health since as far back as 9,000 B.C. If you don’t consume fish, adding flax to your diet can compensate and help you get omega-3 fatty acids – the healthy fats that are good for your heart. When the seeds are ground into flax meal, they may help lower blood pressure and they also give a good dose of fibre.

How to serve-
Flax has a nice, nutty flavor. You can add a scoop to your oatmeal,  pancake batter, or salads.
flax-seed-in-wooden-spoon_25381-623The Bottom Line


Seeds are a great source of healthy fats, vegetarian protein, fibre and antioxidant polyphenols. They are extremely easy to add to salads, yoghurt, oatmeal and smoothies, and can be an easy way to add healthy nutrients to your diet.

References:
https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-seeds-healthy-diet

 

 

3 Drinks to Lower your Blood Pressure Naturally

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Cutting salt and calories from your meal is a very one-dimensional way of looking at controlling your blood pressure. It isn’t just about reducing and cutting out unhealthy items; adding healthier foods is more effective in the long run for overall health.

 

This can be made easy by just adding any of these drinks to your diet:

 

#1 Hibiscus Tea

 

Anthocyanins and other antioxidants in hibiscus tea make it a perfect drink to lower your blood pressure! These work together to resist damage caused by the narrowing of the vessels. A whole range of herbal teas have Hibiscus in them; these brew to a light shade of cherry red. Make sure you soak the tea for at least 6 minutes. You can enjoy this tea hot or cold!

hibiscus-tea

 

#2 Cranberry Juice

 

Cranberry is a superfruit! Its high anti-oxidant properties go a long way in reducing blood vessel damage. Apart from this, cranberry juice has also been known to reduce blood pressure by dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow. With its abundance of vitamin C, cranberries are a super friend in the fight to lower blood pressure. You can drink the stuff until your heart’s content because there is no set standard or recommendation for the amount of cranberry juice necessary as part of a daily regimen. However, because many varieties of cranberry juice can have high sugar and calorie content, it is best to opt for an unsweetened version of the juice. Also, adding sparkling water to a cup of cranberry juice is another way to make it a lighter, refreshing drink!

cranberryjuice

 

#3 Milk

 

Low-fat/Skimmed milk contains potassium and calcium, two nutrients that are associated with healthy blood pressure, and are fortified with vitamin D—a vitamin that new research suggests promotes healthy blood pressure. Experts  have found that high blood pressure is linked to calcium deficiency. So, the more calcium you consume, the more you decrease your risk for developing hypertension

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Outlook

 

A healthy diet and lifestyle can help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Include foods like fruits, vegetables, oats, nuts, lentils, herbs, and spices. Including these into a balanced diet and engaging in physical activities can treat hypertension and improve overall health and wellbeing.

References:

http://www.eatingwell.com/article/15805/three-drinks-to-lower-blood-pressure/

Mindful Eating : 3 Steps to Achieving Zen!

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Running out of the house with a sandwich in hand; Sipping on a cup of soup while making those last minute edits to the presentation; A wrap in one hand, the steering wheel in the other, rushing to pick your kids up from school.

 

These scenarios are all too common today. Our lives are moving faster than the train that you just missed. Our schedules rule us; our meals have become just another box that gets checked at the end of the day. A busy schedule negatively impacts us in many ways – the most common among these is the way we consume our food. Savouring a meal is a rarity, a thing saved for that special occasion.

 

Here is a list that can help you become a more mindful eater. Because eating full and healthy meals should be at the top of your priority list.

 

#1 Slow and Steady Wins (It’s never a race)

 

10 mins into your meal, do you look down and wonder where the food went? Do you inhale your food?

 

Eating slowly and consciously is the first and easiest step to a healthier body. It helps your brain sync up with your stomach; telling you when you are full and when you are hungry. This doesn’t just help your body digest the meal better, but also helps you take a much needed breather from a crazy day.

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#2 Food Wanderlust is Bad

 

Do you find yourself rummaging through cabinets? Do you open the fridge everytime you walk past it? How often do you sit down and have a meal and not just a snack?

 

Eating at consistent times and places doesn’t just create a healthy habit, it also creates cues for your body, elevates your mood and makes sleep cycles better! So make a habit of always putting your food on a plate, sitting down and eating comfortably. Eating at specific times also helps you eat with people, which gives you not just conversation, but also helps you slow down and savour your meal.

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#3 Rekindle your Relationship with Food

 

Getting to know your food; where it comes from? What nutrients it has? What are the ways it can be cooked?

 

These are essential to achieving mindfulness. Connecting with your meal on this level ensures that you are aware of what you are eating and why. It helps you plan your meals better, and appreciate your meal.

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Mindfulness is not a tough nut to crack. All it takes is patience and the willingness to put an effort into your own self-care.

 

So, will you?

 

4 Nutrition Facts that you Need to Know!

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Every morsel of food that we eat is carefully and laboriously broken down by our digestive tract and juices to extract the gold – NUTRIENTS – hidden in them. As we become more health conscious as a society, to combat the negative effects of excessive snacking, here are a few essential facts you should know about the little globules of gold that run through your body!

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Sunbathe for that essential Vitamin D  

 

Vitamin D not only helps promote bone strength (owing to the role it plays in Calcium uptake in our bones), but also plays a crucial role in regulating our immune and neuromuscular systems. The largest source of this vitamin comes from the UV rays of the sun. Our body produces this vitamin when exposed to sufficient sunlight. So, remember to soak in some sunshine – it’ll also make you happier!

 

Our body was not designed to digest Trans Fats

 

Also known as hydrogenated oils, Trans Fats are one of the worst things you can subject your digestive tract to. The process for making it involves a metal catalyst, a highly pressurized chamber, hydrogen gas and extremely high temperatures. That process ends with the birth of a sludgy oil that is toxic and solid at room temperature. Studies have shown that Trans Fat is the key culprit in a host of diseases including heart disease, depression and Alzheimer’s.

 

Raw and Unprocessed Foods are Nutrition Powerhouses

 

Salads are not just a dieting fad. Unprocessed foods like raw fruits and vegetables are the best and most natural source of nutrients for your body. They are easily broken down by the body and don’t overload your digestive tract. Make them a regular part of your meals, even if it just starts with a couple of slices of cucumber or a fresh juice with every meal.

 

Small and frequent meals are not a one-way ticket to weight-loss

 

Making healthy and nutritious food choices are the key, along with eating when you are hungry. Nibbling at mini meals are not as effective as you may think in the long run. Several studies have found no relationship between the two, and for cases where there has been a change, it has usually been the inverse; weight gain and feeling heavy.

 

Carbs don’t make you fat, nor does fat

 

Context is everything when it comes to a balanced and nutritious life. Even though fat-rich foods have a higher calorie count per gram, when balanced with a protein and vitamin-rich diet, these calories energize your body as opposed to becoming deposits of fat. The same goes for carbs. It is essential to try and understand the food that you are consuming, not in isolation, but as a mix.

 

Ultimately, the best way to support long-term and overall wellness is to make informed and healthy choices about the nutrients that you consume.

5 Brain-Foods for Kids – Nutrition to help kids stay sharp!

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We’ve all seen kids whiz from the classroom to the playground and back again with ease. It’s quite obvious that their brains are sharp and growing.

 

Experts believe that the foods children eat are important for brain development. What children eat can have a major impact on their cognitive skills.

 

When the kids are given the right nourishment with the right foods, it can improve their brain function, memory, and concentration. Just like the body, the brain too absorbs nutrients from the foods we eat. Let’s look at 5 great brain-foods for kids:

Eggs

 

Eggs are a very good source of protein and nutrients and can help children in improving their concentration skills.

How to serve it: Serve scrambled eggs,  egg salad or egg sandwiches can be served for breakfast or late afternoon snacks.

bread-toast-with-fried-egg-and-vegetable_1339-12821

Greens

 

Loaded with vitamins and folate, they are packed with antioxidants that help brain cells grow.

How to serve it: Add spinach or kale in smoothies or add them to an omelette or lasagne.

fresh-smoothie-with-apples-and-ginger_23-2147684380

Fish

 

Fish is a good source of vitamins and omega-3s, which improve mental skills and memory.

How to serve it: Grill it and offer your kid his or her favourite dip. Add fish to tacos, or make tuna sandwiches.

tuna-sandwich-on-wood_1339-7586

Nuts and seeds

 

Packed with vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals, they boost your mood and keep your nervous system in check.

How to serve it: Can be added to milkshakes or can be added to pesto whole grain pasta.

guacamole-home-in-a-bowl_1220-262

Oatmeal

 

Protein-rich oatmeal can keep brain arteries clear and boost memory.

How to serve it: Sprinkle cinnamon or add fruits and nuts to your child’s oatmeal.

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A growing child needs many kinds of nutrients in the right amounts. If you want to boost your child’s brain growth, these foods will help them get the most from school and other activities.

 

Reference:

https://www.medicinenet.com/top_10_brain_foods_for_children_pictures_slideshow/article.htm

Healthy Eating in Modern Society

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‘Health is wealth’, goes the saying! In our busy, modern day lives, health is frequently overlooked.

 

Our health affects every part of our life, so why aren’t we making it our #1 priority?

 

Most often we find  ‘C.R.A.P’ (Carbonated, Refined, Artificial and Processed) foods convenient for our fast-paced lives. However, these foods leave us overfed, starved of natural nourishment and in less than optimum health.

 

What influences our eating choices?

 

Society – The kind of  food we eat in social situations can be different than the food eaten when a person is alone.  At a social gathering, people tend to eat more, or less, than when they’re alone. Studies have found that when we eat with others, we tend to eat foods that contain more carbohydrates, fat, protein, and total calories.

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Culture – Eating trends are pushed by advertisements. Many people, especially young adults, are susceptible to how the media portrays the “perfect body” that in turn, encourage unhealthy habits and causes eating disorders.

 

What can you do to make healthier eating choices?

Plan your diet based on the nourishment your body needs to maintain perspective &  make the right eating choices. Keep the following checklist to stay on track:

 

  • Make home-made meals
  • Store healthy treats at home
  • Have fast foods and treats for special occasions
  • Choose real foods over highly processed foods
  • Practice mindful eating

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Can you think of a way society or culture has influenced the way you eat? Have you overcome any trends you weren’t even aware you were following? Share your thoughts below!

 

References:

http://www.sloanmagazine.com/healthy-living-modern-society/

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/world-health-day-2018-healthy-india-health-index-haffordable-healthcare-vaccination-5126781/

A Few Ways to Use Ginger (& Get Its Amazing Benefits)

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Ginger root: One of the most ancient and most popular natural remedies for almost every problem. Isn’t it?

Ginger root is very easy to find in most places, and is highly beneficial for health in both its raw and dry form. It can be used as a natural remedy for upset stomachs, respiratory issues, and even skin problems!

Why is everyone such a fan of this particular root? Let’s find out!

 

Health Benefits of Ginger Root

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  • Improves your digestion naturally
  • Reduces nausea especially during  pregnancy
  • Reduces fever
  • Treats menstrual pain
  • Eases respiratory troubles
  • Stimulates the circulatory system
  • Relieves muscle aches and pain
  • Helps get rid of dandruff
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Lowers blood pressure and cancer risk
  • Can help fight bacterial and viral infections
  • Gives glowing skin

 

In the Kitchen – Ginger Recipes

 

  • Ginger Root Tea – Add 3/4 teaspoon (0.5 to 1.0 grams) of chopped fresh ginger in a cup of hot water for five minutes. Strain and serve.

 

  • Golden Milk – Add ¼ tsp of ginger powder to milk with turmeric, cinnamon and enjoy its health benefits

 

  • Soups – Add chopped ginger to your soup to enjoy its glorious benefits.

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What is your favourite health benefit of ginger?

How do you use it? Let us know!

 

References-

https://wellnessmama.com/7958/ginger-root/

Diabetes Diet – Best and Worst foods

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You need to pick right foods when you are diabetic to help keep your blood sugar low and stable. Read this article to find out what to put on the menu when planning your diabetes diet.

Following a diabetes diet doesn’t mean that you will have to give up the foods you love. While on a diabetes diet, nothing is off limits, but some food choices are better than others.

Hand holding a blood glucose meter measuring blood sugar, the background is a stethoscope and chart file

Creating a diet for diabetes is a balancing act as it will include a variety of healthy foods to cater to your daily requirement of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. The trick is ultimately to choose a combination of foods that will help keep your blood sugar level in your target range.

Here is your helpful guideline to keep in mind!

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The best and worst diabetes choices by food group

 

Protein

Best options:-

  • Plant-based proteins like beans, nuts, seeds and  tofu
  • Fish and seafood
  • Chicken and other poultry (Choose the breast meat if possible.)
  • Eggs and low-fat dairy

 

Worst options :-

  • Regular cheeses
  • Fried meats
  • Poultry with skin
  • Higher-fat cuts of meat
  • Bacon

      

       Drinks

 

Best options:-

  • Water, unflavored or flavored sparkling water
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Small amounts of wine, or non-fruity mixed drinks

 

Worst Options:-

  • Regular sodas or energy drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Sweetened tea or coffee
  • Flavored coffees and chocolate drinks

 

Starch

Best options:-

  • Whole grains, such as brown rice, millets or oatmeals
  • Baked sweet potato
  • Items made with whole grains and no (or very little) added sugar

 

Vegetables

Best choices:-

 

  • Cruciferous veggies, like broccoli and cauliflower
  • Cucumbers
  • Jicama
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Onions
  • Artichoke hearts
  • PeppersCan be consumed in moderation:-
  • Corn
  • White potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yams
  • Peas
  • Beets

Fruits

Best choices:-

  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Oranges
  • Kiwi
  • Cherries
  • Banana
  • Apricot
  • Grapes

 

Worst Choices:-

  • Canned fruits
  • Fruit Punch
  • Sweetened sauce
  • Jelly, jams

 

The Bottom line-

Knowing which foods to avoid when can make things for you a lot more easier. Just remember that your main goals should include staying away from unhealthy fats, liquid sugars, processed grains and other foods that contain refined carbs.

 

References:

https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetic-food-list-best-worst-foods

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-to-avoid-with-diabetes#section13

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