Friday, March 30, 2012

Seeding Health!!

Seeds are a healthy and nutritious way to get much needed vitamins, minerals, fiber, and omega 3 and omega (essential fatty acids) in diet.

Being quick and easy snack the benefits of seeds can be taken through as a snack or can be added to the meals. Here’s a list of few seeds that are not just delicious but healthy.

Pumpkin Seeds: are rich in protein, fiber, potassium, zinc and vitamin K. Being a   rich source of phytosterols (plant steroids) these seeds help fight inflammation and decreases incidences of disease conditions like skin cancer, prostrate cancer. Also helps in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol

Chia Seeds: A power filled snack rich in protein, fiber, calcium and essentially fatty acids (omega-3 and 6).Being a rich source of antioxidant chia seeds helps stabilize blood glucose levels and thereby preventing from heart diseases.

Sunflower Seeds: Added with vitamin E, selenium and copper , sunflower seeds are ‘a capsule’ of antioxidants.  Regular intake of  these seeds protect against cell damage and inflammation leading to healthier and younger you! Besides benefits on skin and internal health these seeds aids digestion, helps provide satiety due to presence of fiber.

Flax Seeds: or linseeds as they are sometimes known as are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids for vegetarians specially. The presence of this essential fat in flax seeds helps lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease, diabetes and cancer. 1 Tbsp (15 g) of flax seed contain approx 2g of fiber making it a seed that aids weight loss, reduce blood pressure and promote digestion.

Now that we know how these seeds are valuable here are some of the ways whereby you can incorporate them to your daily diet:
-    Sprinkle of cereals and oat meal
-    Toss seeds in oven and add them to fresh salads
-    Crush and add it to fruit smoothies
-    Grind flax seeds and add to curries or dough
-    Germinate (by soaking at room temperature till it sprouts) and add to salad or fruit chats
-    Add roasted seeds to murmura and raosted channa to make healthy namkeen.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Reaching for Snack: Are you really hungry or could you just be thirsty?

“I’m hungry” and the next thing even without thinking is we open the fridge to look for ready-to-eat foods (sausages,chocolates) at home or we happen to buy per-packaged snacks- read chips, biscuits, namkeen if still in office.

Are you really hungry or could you just be thirsty?

As a matter of fact most of us tend to confuse thirst and hunger, often mistaking thirst to 'be hungry'.This confusion exist as  symptoms of dehydration feeling weak, cranky and dizziness mimic those of hunger. Body's thirst mechanism is stimulated  even when a person is around 1-2 percent dehydrated. The hydration status is measured by change in body weight due to loss of water due to sweat. 

Feeling "hungry" to stay fit: Before you reach out for readily available snack do identify the signals your body is giving you.

Tip:  Upon the very first time you think your brain signalling hunger drink 250 ml (one glass) of plain water to distinguish thirst from hunger. Take 15 minutes before you decide. If you were actually thirsty and your brain was bluffing you, then you’ll feel satisfied.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bursting some Weight Loss Myths!

Being from a nation obsessed with diet and dieting, we are also surrounded by various myths, unhealthy misconceptions and gimmicks.
In reality there seems to be no magical food or ways to combine foods that help you melt that extra fat. So, it becomes even more important to know the truth and science behind some of the weight loss myths.

1. Being on weight loss plan means no eating out or no socializing.
False. If you simply manage the calorie consumed you can still relish your favourite foods in moderation even on a weight loss trip.
 Tip: Simple modifications like ordering small/medium serving, not opting for extra cheese or mayo, selecting salads and sandwiches with low fat dressings like mustard, substituting soft drinks with water, coffee or fruit juice
2. High protein and low carb diet helps in losing weight.
False. A diet that focuses on high-protein foods and strictly reduces the number of cereals provides unbalanced nutrition that may yield results in the short-term only because of restricted calories, but may end up contributing to a number of health conditions. Infact carbohydrates do keep you filled and less hungry by providing valuable fiber to your digestive system.
Tip: Manage calories and not carbohydrate or cereals to lose weight. Balance protein and not exceed beyond 60-70 g of protein per day.
3. All weight loss herbal pills or supplements are safe as they are natural.
False. There is no ‘Quick Fix’ to weight loss. You might lose weight for a while after taking pills, but once you go off pills you quickly regain the lost weight. Also, caffeine and Ephedrine (banned in some countries) leads to increased metabolism but are addicted stimulants which are bad for health.
Tip: No magical pill can replace healthy eating and exercise. Follow a balanced diet as no diet pill will be effective if you shoot up the calories per day.
4. Eat once a day to lose weight.
False. Skipping meals, particularly breakfast and eating fewer meals in the day is linked to heavier weight than people who eat small meals four or five times a day, including breakfast. Initially for a week you might lose weight due to lower calorie consumption but then you would stop losing weight as body is put into starvation mode (saving calories and not consuming them).
Tip: Simply eating the same amount of calories breaking into small meals throughout the day will boost metabolism and help in weight loss.
5. More protein means more muscles.
False. Body needs a limited amount of protein for muscle building and wear-tear of tissues. And if you eat more protein than body needs, extra protein will be used to provide energy.
Tip: There is no point eating more protein diet. Body needs 1 gram of protein per kg body weight.

The best way to lose weight is by making small achievable goals in your diet and lifestyle.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sugar-Free your Thirst for Weight Loss

With summers heat being on head , its a time that everyone grabs a two or more diet sodas, lemonade and even sweetened juices
Lets do a simple math—each 320 ml can of diet soda, colas or juice typically has 10 to 12 teaspoons of sugar , amounting to 200- 250 calories. With 3 drinks a day you typically add 600 calories.It's now a no surprise that summer's rising thirst has paralleled the epidemic rise of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Water, of course, is a best beverage option to quench thirst with zero-calorie addition to your diet. But plain water is just plain and its difficult for some to eliminate sugary beverage compltetly form the diet.For them these are few healthier beverage options:

- Flavored Waters
Infused water has been flavored with herbs or fruits. If you do not like plain water, add a jist of fruits with Sliced citrus fruits or zest (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit) , Crushed fresh mint or Peeled, sliced fresh ginger/cucumber. A treat for your taste buds without calories.

Caffeinated or decaf, Black or green, hot or cold, tea is an excellent choice for a calorie free beverage.
By this add extra flavinoids and anti-oxidants.Cathechin- a natural fat fighter which can stimulate the metabolism to burn fat faster.

- Fresh fruit cooler 
Fruit juice with lots of ice and without soda or added sugar.This drink is about 70-100 calories per glass.

Enjoy summer heat without adding extra calories to your daily diet. Stay hydrated, stay fit!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Brain- Gain: Superfoods

Do you often forget where you kept the car keys, name of the person you met last evening or perhabs even have locked car with keys in. Then, you really need to make sure you are getting recommended seven hours of sleep, one hour of exercise and not to forget good nutrition.

Sharpen your memory with foods that sometimes didn't get noticed during the monthly grocery visit.

- Almonds: When your grandmother asked you to pop-in 5 almonds early morning little did you know it has phenylalanine- a chemical that can pass blood-brain barrier. Phenylalanine generate natural mood-boosting neurotransmitters-adrenaline and noradrenaline. Being rich in zinc and riboflavin it is known to boost memory.

- Green Tea: Catechine present in green tea along with polyphenols help you relax mentally and can boost the availability of dopamine that signals brain circuits.Antioxidant property fights against many brain disorders.

- Chocolate: Jump start your thinking with a piece of chocolate? Yes, its possible due to presence of flavanols facilitating blood supply to the brain. Caffeine and flavinols enhance focus, concentration there by increase cognitive skills.
 Icing on the cake is chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins- mood ehancing chemical.

- Fish and Flax Seeds: Omega-3 fatty acid present in these are neuro-protective and release seritonin. Seritonin is a neuro-transmitter that helps you thinker faster,sharper and smarter.

Thinking what you missed buying during this grocery visit. Include any 3 of above food to think smarter.