Nutrition

The Safe Munchies: 5 Healthy Indian Snacks

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‘Keep your friends close and your snacks closer’, these types of quotes are often found in popular search engines and social media sites. Irrespective of the threat of packing few pounds of fat, snacks have always found to be an indispensable meal of one`s diet.

 

In a world with large proportions of workaholics, the need for health concern has been ever increasing. As most people say, ‘healthy life is an offshoot of good eating habits’, it is time to enrich our snack times with healthy and nutritious snacks.

 

Here are 5 indian snacks that are nutritious and delicious to munch:

 

#1 Bread Poha:

 

It is one of the easiest  snacks to make. It enriches us with energy, iron, carbohydrates and has a low gluten level. Add some lemon juice to add flavour and taste to the poha.


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#2 Rava Idlis:

 

This south Indian food is rich in carbohydrates and proteins and low in fat. Enjoy it with traditional side dishes like sambar and vegetable chutney.

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#3 Dhoklas:

 

Dhoklas are made from fermented flour.  Since it is steamed and not fried, it is very low in fat. Add some green chillies to spice it up!

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#4  Sprouts Chaat:

 

No one can deny the health benefits of the sprouts. Add a pinch of a salt and pepper, chaat masala, finely chopped tomatoes and onions to enjoy a delicious snack.

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And not to forget,

 

#5 Steamed Corn:

 

Corn is generally associated with having the essentials for eye and skin care. It is also a rich source of proteins and carbohydrates. Steamed corn has low calorie content and can make you feel full even with small quantities. Add chat masala to it to add flavour.

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You can’t control everything in your life, but you can control what you put in your body. And your body deserves that attention to detail. Don’t compromise on quality for quantity. Eat healthy, stay healthy!!

TIMING YOUR MEALS TO LOSE WEIGHT

Everyone knows what to eat to lose weight. Everyone whose address doesn’t read “under a large rock”, anyway. However, did you know that when you eat matters as much?

A number of us have fitness goals to achieve or at least dream of looking or getting fitter. Working on meal timings doesn’t require a lot of effort, plus you’ll see your fitness and/or weight loss goals get closer.

Without much further ado, here’s a simple how-to guide on timing your meals to lose those kilos.

Eating 3 Square Meals A Day Vs. Eating 4 or 5 Smaller Ones

The traditional ‘3 meals a day’ routine is your only option if you have a strict daily schedule that only allows for 3 meal times a day. Make sure you get that recommended minimum of 30g of protein at each meal, though.

The 5-meal routine works a little more effectively at shedding kilos, allowing you a “between meals” snack twice a day. Calorie counting is a little easier here.

Bonus format: You can also plan your meals around workouts. If you have an established workout routine, you can load up on your entire carb supply for the day before/after hitting the gym.

The ‘Meal-By-Meal’ Breakdown

Breakfast

No skipping this one. One study reported that 80% of people who lost 15kg of weight and kept it off invariably ate breakfast.

As for what to have, have a healthy, satisfying breakfast loaded with hunger-beating proteins and healthy carbs. When? One hour after you wake up, according to experts. Preferably before the clock strikes ten (AM).

(Optional Mid-Morning Snack)

Have one if, and advisable only if, you feel hungry before lunch. 2-4 hours after breakfast. Maybe a handful of healthy almonds.

Lunch

Earlier lunches = More effective weight loss. To this end, try and get lunch done by 3 PM.

Post-Lunch Snack

An afternoon snack can keep blood sugar levels at manageable levels. You won’t feel like overeating at dinnertime, which is (obviously) great for weight loss!

Dinner

Two simple rules to follow here:

Rule 1: No heavy meals at dinnertime. Learn from the healthy Mediterraneans, and leave that for breakfast and lunch.

Rule 2: Do not give in the dark desire that is the midnight snack. You’ll feel good for a few seconds, but this defeats the purpose of even dieting in the first place.

Well, that’s about it. Keep an eye on your watch, and you’ll be able to keep an eye on that waistline!

References:

http://www.healthline.com/health/how-time-your-meals-optimal-weight-losshttp://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/best-time-to-eat-for-weight-loss

 

Coffee, Tea And Your Waistline

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Are coffee and tea great weight loss tools that have been hiding in plain sight? Can they actually help you lose weight and reduce your pants size?

First off, let’s establish something: coffee and tea are not miracle substances that can magically make those love handles disappear. So why are we talking about them in relation to weight loss and embarrassing waist sizes?

Here’s the secret.

Drinking Coffee, And Weight Loss

You probably know already about the other health benefits of coffee. A steaming morning cuppa offers you antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and type-2 diabetes-beating abilities. It can even help coffee lovers beat diseases like Parkinson’s.

While weight loss involves exercise and a careful diet, coffee can play a role as well.

Its main role is to curb your appetite. Weight loss is, for the most part, a calorie counting game. A cup of plain coffee is literally 2 calories, and no fat. With a piping hot cup before a meal, you can help yourself postpone a meal, or eat less during the meal. There’s a lot of noise about coffee being a diuretic, but coffee with water means that you won’t get dehydrated. You can simply curb your appetite and watch that waistline.

An added bonus is the mood boost coffee offers.

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Note: Always exercise caution when using coffee for weight loss. No more than 400mg per day, especially considering you’re using it for health! That’s four cups of coffee, or two high energy drinks. And obviously, sugar is a big no-no!

On The Other Hand… Tea

Tea contains chemicals that discourage your gut from absorbing fat in food, and reducing cholesterol levels. Both these functions help keep those pesky inches off your waistline.

Compounds like theaflavins and thearubigins, also present in tea, have been proven to combat obesity. A warning though: these two chemicals, also called polyphenols, are less effective when you take your tea with milk.

Black tea is what the doctor ordered, then. Or, you could go one better and drink green tea. Often touted as ‘the healthiest beverage on the planet’, green tea can do wonders for your weight loss. It also offers considerable health boosts: it can increase your metabolic rate, increase insulin production and even spur fat oxidation. As little as two and a half cups a day can give you these benefits.

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Of course, tea and coffee can’t help you shed those kilos and fit into smaller pants by themselves. You’ll have to use them to supplement a careful dietary plan and exercise routine. They help by boosting the effects of a proper diet-and-exercise routine.

References:

http://www.wikihow.com/Lose-Weight-with-Coffee

http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coffee-increase-metabolism

Foods That Cure Insomnia

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In the age of gadgets and technology and work-stress, sleep has become a luxury for most of us. We want to make the most of now and spend all the time after work doing things we believe we are missing out on – it could be a movie marathon or chatting late night with friends, these are all things that take away precious sleep time.

Eventually for a lot of people this gets to a point where they cannot sleep even if they want to.

Days and weeks of staying awake into the wee hours of morning, people believe that the fight against insomnia is a battle they have to lose. This is not necessarily true!

Here are a few foods that you can include in your diet that will help you sleep better.

  1. Honey

Not only is honey tasty and a fairly healthy substitute for sugar – it also has some excellent soothing properties that will help you sleep! Add some honey to a warm cup of milk before you sleep and apart from helping you sleep better, it is also an excellent addition to your diet.

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  1. Milk

A glass of milk takes most of us back to our childhood days when it was mandatory to drink it because it gave us calcium. However, this calcium rich food increases the levels of serotonin in your brains and helps you enjoy a good night’s sleep.

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  1. Bananas

An apple a day might keep the doctor away but it looks like having a banana can actually keep you away from all the stress and distractions! Vitamin B6 found in bananas help produce serotonin in the body that helps you keep calm and sleep better.

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  1. Oat Meal

Not just good for diet food, oat meal is also known as the “feel-good” food! These kind of complex carbohydrates are good for the body to produce those hormones that are essential for sleep and a calming effect. What better than a food that keeps you both fit and helps you get quality sleep?

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References

http://www.mensxp.com/health/live-healthy/9160-10-foods-to-cure-insomnia-p5.html

 

5 fruits that are beneficial to health

Ask anyone who wants to eat healthy and they will tell you to stay away from fruits – too much sugar, not a great diet food etc. However, there are some fruits that have health benefits that you should take advantage of. They make for great snacks and are the perfect addition to your diet.

Here are 5 such fruits you can indulge in.

Apples

The age old saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away is not too far from the truth. Loaded with vitamin C and excellent for controlling your blood sugar levels, apples can make the perfect snack for your midday craving. What’s even better? They are so easy to pack!

 

Grapes

Not only are they tasty and handy – grapes are also what you would call a “high-glycemic” fruit. In other words, these are your best bet to replenish your energy levels after a difficult workout. Grapes are loaded with vitamins and are very healthy for a post-workout snack.

 

Lemon

Citrus fruits are known for their cleansing property. Lemons are not just good for your body but they also have proven good effects on your mind. This fruit is known to mitigate anxiety, nervousness and give you that extra boost you need to be alert. Lemon juice with some water might be a great idea before an important meeting!

 

Papaya

Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, papaya is also a great fruit for any stomach related problems. It is known to help with indigestion and gas and is also a high source of good vitamin C. Fresh, ripe papaya can be the best snack when in doubt.

 

Pomegranate

Three times the antioxidant that is present in your green tea, pomegranates are a powerhouse of nutrients. With anti-inflammatory properties and other health benefits, they are one of the healthiest fruits that are available.

 

References

http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/the-best-8-fruits-for-better-health/slideshow

The Migraine Diet

Migraines are painful experiences and for a lot of people, they have no idea why they have a migraine. Not everyone’s trigger is as clear as the other’s and suffering from a migraine can be a frustrating and confusing experience for most.

However, small lifestyle changes can go a long way in how you make your body feel. Diets are in fact a major cause of a migraine – Are you eating enough? Are you eating the right foods? Are you eating something that is triggering your migraine?

Here are 5 foods that you can include in your diet to reduce the chances of getting another migraine.

1.Fish

It is not fish as much as the omega-3 fatty acids that it contains that help prevent migraines and keep you healthy in general. In case you are a vegetarian, there is no need to panic about this. You can simply take omega 3 capsules or include nuts in your diet. If you are open to eating fish, they are one of your best bets to keep a headache away.

2.Ginger

There is some research to prove that ginger has some great anti-inflammatory properties that can help heal your headaches. While there is no concrete proof to say that this will cure your headache completely, it does do a world of good for other side effects that often accompany migraines, like nausea.

3.Magnesium

Foods rich in magnesium – whole grains, dark green vegetables or even the common green beans that we dread sometimes. It is said that very low magnesium in your body can be a trigger for a migraine. Keeping magnesium levels in the body stable and monitoring it regularly can help prevent the frequency of your migraines.

4.Water

Being dehydrated is a definite cause of headaches and migraines – ask yourself if you are drinking enough water and if the answer is NO, then that is the first thing you need to fix!

5.Eggs

Not only are they great breakfast foods but they are also very effective when it comes to preventing migraines. The vitamin B and the great quality protein present in fresh eggs are known to be very effective in reducing the frequency of headaches, the intensity and duration.

References

http://www.readersdigest.ca/food/healthy-food/5-foods-control-migraines/5/ http://www.prevention.com/food/7-foods-that-can-help-prevent-migraines/slide/5

Nutrition For Breastfeeding Women

When you are pregnant, they ask you to eat for two. While that is a myth we would not recommend you follow, what about nutrition for breastfeeding women?

A breastfeeding mother is in one of the most crucial stages of her motherhood when what she eats is directly impacting her baby. It is important that she takes good care of herself and ensures that she is fit and strong for herself as well as the well-being of the baby.

On world breast feeding week, here are a few things that a nursing mother can eat to keep herself healthy during this phase.

Low-fat dairy

Depending on your preference – choose from skim milk, fresh cheese, yogurt or paneer! Low-fat dairy needs to be an integral part of a nursing mother’s diet because this is a great source of calcium.

Oranges

Did you know that breastfeeding women need more citrus and vitamin C than pregnant women? Make sure you get your daily dose with a couple of oranges! Not just vitamin C but oranges are also rich in calcium.

Water

There is no way you can ignore water. The best way to stay well-hydrated and fresh is to drink as much water as you can. This keeps both your energy levels and milk production up.

Oatmeal

Rich in calcium and fiber, oatmeal brings a host of benefits to the nursing mother. Apart from providing you with nutrients, it also helps in milk production.

Carrots

The best way to get your vitamin A is carrots – providing you with energy and nutrients, this wonder vegetable is also great for increasing lactation.

Fenugreek seeds

A great source of vitamins, protein, and iron, these seeds are also good for increasing lactation. It is great to have with some rice or when tossed amidst your daily portion of vegetables.

 

 

References

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/breast-feeding-diet#3

 

 

5 THINGS YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT CONSUMING DAIRY

Dairy is an important component of everyone’s diets. Paneer is recommended as a great source of protein, milk has become an everyday thing and cheese is found in almost every other dish we come across. If you are vegetarian, you are probably consuming a lot of dairy in the form of milk, curd, paneer, cheese and so on. However, it is surprising how little people know about something that is such an integral part of their diets.

Here are 5 things you probably did not know about consuming dairy foods.

1.Milk is not your only source of calcium

We all grew up believing that only milk is THE way to getting stronger bones and healthier teeth – while it is true that milk is a great source of calcium, there are other more efficient ways in which you can get your daily dose of calcium. For instance, a glass of calcium enriched orange juice can give you the right amount of calcium.

 

2. All dairy products are not equally healthy

Many people believe that dairy is healthy when it is consumed in any form and this is far from true. A glass of milk or a cup of curd is definitely much healthier than cream and cheese. This is because some of the nutrients in certain forms of dairy are diluted by the fat they contain! Ensure that you choose the healthiest form of dairy.

 

 

3.Too much dairy can cause breakouts

If you are wondering why you are seeing acne or why your skin is becoming progressively oilier – dairy is probably the culprit! Consuming way more dairy than what your body requires can lead your skin to become oily and cause acne.

 

4.Dairy is full of calories

There is a myth that dairy foods are very healthy and hence you can consume them in abundance. People don’t account for the multiple glasses of milk they indulge in on a daily basis! However, most dairy products are rich in calories and if you are on a diet, you might want to watch out for the calories.

 

5.Not all dairy products are good

When it comes to dairy products, you are better off not eating the processed versions. Try and pick healthy, fresh, local dairy products as much as possible to get the best possible health benefits from it.

 

References

http://www.rd.com/health/healthy-eating/dairy-myths/http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/06/24/dairy-6-reasons-you-should-avoid-it-at-all-costs-2

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

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