Foods that heal: Bottle Gourd

This vegetable and its juice are extremely beneficial for health. It is low in calorie, high in water content, high in fibre, very low in fat and cholesterol. It has iron and vitamin C.
It is suitable for hypertensive patients because of its high potassium content. Per 100 gram of it contains 85 mg of potassium.

 
 
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Bottle gourd, being alkaline in nature, helps in reducing the acidity of urine and has a cooling effect in summers. Its water content keeps the body hydrated. No doubt its a favourite vegetable in the summer season. Consuming its juice has lots of health benefits. If the liver is inflamed due to any condition, it helps the liver to come back to its normal condition. The juice is very healthy for the heart and high blood pressure, thus a cardio tonic. Nothing like an organic bottle gourd.

FEW FACTS ABOUT THE POTATOES

Yes they are high in starch, means they get digested quickly and can raise blood glucose levels, so why skip the potatoes and its nutrients for the same reason.

A good idea is to combine it with fiber so their digestion gets slowed down and there is no spike in blood glucose levels hence becomes diabetic friendly. So add all kind of vegetables to it in good amount . To make it an ideal balanced meal add a portion of protein like chicken, meat, fish or eggs.

Another myth is that potatoes are high in calories. No, not really. An average potato has around 150 calories, which is normal. In fact the calories are added the way it is cooked. As the most popular way is french fries and deep frying of potato chips.

Potatoes contain acrylamide. This is a toxic substance found in starchy foods only when they are cooked and processed in very high temperature. It is supposed to cause cancer in lab animals. But nothing has been proved in humans yet. Frying potatoes for long time can result in more acrylamide.

Potatoes are not a no no food for diabetics or obese people. What matters here is the amount consumed and its  cooking method.

So enjoy your share of potatoe in right amounts and correct cooking methods

THE MYTHS AND FACTS OF POTATOES

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For years potatoes have been living a love hate relationship with health and diet.
This root vegetable has always in controversy for its so satisfying taste and its connection with obesity. Let us know about its factual detail.

Potatoes are high in starch. The myth that soaking or rinsing them removes their starch is not true.  A typical potato is 20 % starch and the remaining part is water with some minerals, protein, vitamins, some amino acids and organic acids which give potato its typical flavor.

Potatoes are high in potassium and vitamin C. The skin adds to the fiber. Not all potatoes are same, white potatoes are highest in starch. In fact they have a very smooth texture and are highly used for baking dishes. Yellow and red potatoes have little less starch comparatively.

Potatoes are carb rich, energy providing and have little fat. It is low in protein, high in vitamin C and rich in several B vitamins. Calorie in boiled potato is 80 to 90. Being high in potassium they help in lowering the blood pressure. They also benefit in muscle and nerve function.

Sweet potatoes have a lot of benefit. They are high in vitamin B6, C and E, keeps the heart healthy, high in fiber so regulates blood sugar, has antioxidant and is good for hair and skin, helps in weight loss and boosts immunity.

Green tea and its benefits

An interesting fact which is not commonly known is that all teas come from the same plant known as Camellia Sinensis. The way a tea is processed makes it green or black.

Caffeine content is in different proportion in both the teas. Green tea is low in caffeine, so if you want to feel fresh and energetic in the morning then choose black over green. Where as during the day if you want to relax over a cup of health drink then green tea is perfect. Remember if you add milk to any of the teas, then the effect is not the same. Milk reduces the effect of caffeine to a great extent.

When it comes to antioxidants then both the teas are winners. This quality helps in preventing cancer, though green tea is still higher in antioxidants. The absorption of antioxidant is affected by the milk present in it. EGCG is a type of flavonoid present in green tea which regulates the gene activity in cancer cells and can even halt the growth of cancer cells.

 

The fluoride content of these teas is good for the bone and teeth health. Black tea if made with tap water gives high fluoride. Again here if milk is added the fluoride value weakens.

This drink is heart friendly as the ECGC content creates a lining along the blood vessel to reduce the stress. Black tea improves the working of blood vessels making the cardiovascular system work more smoothly. Both the teas are helpful in reducing the bad cholesterol from the blood, though milk tea does not support the same.

So enjoy the tea that suits your personally.
Green tea not more than 6 cups and black tea not more than 3 cups. To enjoy the full health benefits, add to them a dash of cinnamon and ginger.

Brewing the tea correctly requires 2 gram of tea per 100 ml of water or 1 teaspoonful of tea leaves per 150 ml water. Brewing the tea too hot and too long will result in bitter taste due to the release of extensive amounts of tannins.

hot green tea 
A cup of green tea contains one calorie with a caffeine content of 12mg.
Black Tea with lemon and cinnamon

One can keep adding water to green tea leaves
until the flavour degrades.

One cup of green tea contains just one calorie
with a caffeine content of `12 mg.

Enjoy this health drink by adding honey and lemon
for a refreshing flavour.

"So enjoy the tea that suits your personally!"

 

FRUITS FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND BEAUTY

Fruits are extremely beneficial for good health. Few body conditions allows one to eat them in less quantity, otherwise fruits never overload the body with extra digestion work, keeping the body less stressed.

Fruits are packed with nutrients, antioxidants, fibre and potassium and all these are very useful to the body compared to many foods overloaded with calories. Fruits are low in calories, help in weight-loss and at the same time filling. But at the same time it wont be correct to live only on fruits and miss out other important foods to give our body the right balance.

Let's discuss few fruits and their benefits.

Banana

BANANAS

There is a myth pertaining to this fruit that it is fattening. Infact bananas are full of vitamin B6, Potassium and Fibre thus help in reducing the risk of heart disease. If we consume one banana a day, we need not worry about weight gain.

POMEGRANATE

POMEGRANATE

Its red juice is full of polyphenol antioxidant. It reduces the LDL in the blood thus is heart healthy. It removes toxins from the body and improves the blood flow.


PAPAYA

This is one fruit which is full of health benefits. It has an enzyme called papain which helps in digestion. It has fibre, vitamin C and carotenes.

BLUEBERRIES N STRAWBERRIES

BLUEBERRIES & STRAWBERRIES

High in antioxidant, consuming blueberries keeps the fat cells from accumulating in the body thus aiding weight loss. 

Eating strawberries produces a hormone known as adiponectin and leptin which increase metabolic rate helping in fat burning property. They are also anti inflammatory healing internal injuries.


GRAPEFRUITS

GRAPEFRUITS

This highly fibreous fruit is helpful in fat burning. Consume it during breakfast for full benefits.

KIWI

KIWI

This fruit with sweet and sour flavour is full of vitamin C and antioxidants. The black seeds within are insoluble fibres aiding to no constipation.


APPLE

APPLE

This fruit is low in calorie and high in fibre. It contains vitamin, minerals and iron, also helps in slimming down the body.

PEAR

PEAR

It is one of the most fibre rich food. It lowers cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, is an energy booster, prevents aging, boosts immunity, balances hormones, improves bone health, regulates bowel movement and reduces constipation.


So if you want to look healthier, lose weight, feel fresh then incorporate fruits in our daily diet.

Protein Content of Chicken versus Egg

This has been a common question to body builders and health freaks as to eat what between the two. As both these options are popular for high protein content. Well the fact is that both are health friendly, also they are low in calorie and high in protein contents compared to other common foods eaten on a daily basis. Protein, is known as the building block for the body is used in cells, organs and skin. So for a healthy body the requirement of protein is ample. From 0.8 grams/ per kg body weightto 1.8 gram/ per kg body weight for body builders. For vegetarians the protein rich foods are soya, legumes, milk and milk products, different nuts. For non vegetarians the options other than the above options are all meats and eggs. Let us compare the two most common foods , which is eggs andchicken.

100 grams of egg contains 14 grams of protein, 10 grams of fats, 120 milligrams of sodium, 369 milligrams of cholesterol, where as 100grams of chicken contains 26 grams of protein, 4 grams of fats, 50 milligrams of sodium, 73 milligrams of cholesterol. Doubtless chicken is a healthier option compared to egg, but we cannot ignore the health benefits of an egg which contains vitamin B2, B6, B12, and vitamin D. Egg also contains minerals like zinc, iron and copper which are important for good body functions. 100 grams of chicken contains 153 where as 100grams of eggs contains 155 calories.

Both are almost equally healthy, still the key to good health is eat everything moderately.

Tofu versus Paneer

These two high protein vegetarian foods come with a lot of benefit.
Tofu is prepared from soya beans and paneer is made from curdled milk.
Paneer or cottage cheese is high in calcium. Around 100 grams of paneer contains 203 milligrams of calcium, so eating paneer is helpful in building strong bones and teeth. But paneer is high in calories too. 100 grams of paneer has 260 calories where as 100 grams tofu has only 60 calories. So if one wants to lose weight then tofu wins over paneer. Though paneer is made from milk but still it is low in carbohydrates so it is considered as diabetic friendly.

Tofu is made from soya beans

Tofu is made from soya beans

Paneer is a fresh cottage cheese

Paneer is a fresh cottage cheese

Iron content in tofu is much higher compared to paneer. 100 grams tofu has 5.4 milligrams of iron where as paneer contains 0.2 miligrams making tofu a winner food for anemic patients.

Paneer is a winner over tofu when it comes to protein content. 100grams of paneer has 18 milligrams of protein where as tofu has only 7. So for weight lifters and body builders paneer is recommended. Though for vegetarians both these foods are considered high protein. Not to forget that protein aids in muscle building as well it reduces muscle damage caused by daily wear and tear. 

But if you are looking for weight loss then tofu wins over paneer .100 grams of paneer has 20 grams of fat where as tofu has only 3 grams.

Though both these similar looking foods come with great health benefits, decide which one is preferred for you . If you are looking for body building then paneer is the food and if you are looking for weight loss then tofu is recommended. With paneer moderation is the key to good health but tofu can be eaten bigger servings.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance means the body cannot easily digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products. This is not the same thing as food allergy to milk. Ideally when the natural sugar of milk moves through the intestine not getting digested then it creates discomfort like pain, gas and bloating. All this is due to the lack of enzyme called lactase, which digests the milk sugar lactose. The above symptoms can be mild or severe depends on how much lactase the body is making. If it makes little lactase then one can ingest some milk or its products.

This condition can be by birth or developed later in life, and every lactose intolerant person is different from the other. One may digest a little milk and the other may not at all digest. Some people can digest some milk with out any symptoms and other might develop symptoms like throwing up, flatulence, and uneasiness. Some people tolerate curd and cheese though they have same amount of lactose as milk. One can keep trying eating some milk products in small amount to check if it is getting digested. One special care has to be taken in lactose intolerant people and that is that should be able to get enough calcium and vitamin D from other food products. The foods they should eat are soya and its products, spinach, different fishes, broccoli, oranges, lettuce, dark green vegetables, calcium fortified breakfast cereals, fruit juices, chicken eggs and liver.

Remember lactose can be in small portions in commercial food products. So recognize them to avoid them. For example they are breads, bakery product, pancakes, biscuits, salad dressings, protein powder and bars, doughnuts, instant foods and soups, powdered coffee creamers.

So be aware and enjoy life as much. Be it lactose intolerant


Gluten Intolerance

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Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder which affects the small intestine and gluten sensitivity is a condition where the lining of small intestine gets inflamed and damaged, becomes hard enough for the nutrients to get absorbed thus leaving the body under nourished.

Non celiac gluten sensitivity or also called as glucose intolerance is a disorder where the intestine is irritated with gluten rich foods and one can suffer from abdominal pain, bloating, irregular bowel movements, nausea.

Wheat allergy causes the immune system to respond to a food protein because it considers it dangerous to the body when it actually isn’t. This immune response is often time-limited and does not cause lasting harm to body tissues.

The best way to remain healthy in above condition is to remain gluten-free through out. Avoid wheat, rye, barley and its by products. Avoid all the commercial foods available in the market which contains the above grains. This can be breads, cakes, biscuits, breakfast cereals. Always read the ingredients before buying these products. Even if these grains are in small quantity , avoid buying them as they can irritate the gut.

In this condition one can eat all corn and corn products, rice and rice products, amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat (kasha), cassava, flax, millet, quinoa, sorghum, soy, tapioca, all foods made from gluten-free grain, nuts, beans and coconut.

Healthy Winter

As winters approach, the seasonal change brings in breathing difficulty, cold, coughs, sore throat, sinusitis, specially when the body's immunity is not high, all of these keep bothering through out the winter season. Some diet changes really help increasing the immunity. Like  a high intake of vitamin C really helps. So, do not forget to take Amla in this season. A mixture of honey and ginger helps the respiratory disorders to be at bay.

Another problem commonly seen is blocked nose . Take steam regularly, add eucalyptus oil and mint leaves in the water used for steam. Make a habit of gargling regularly with warm salty water to keep the throat clean.

Take warm lemon water once a day as it is high in vitamin C which again increases immunity. Use black pepper in foods and seasonings. Usage of cloves , cumin seeds, kesar/ saffron, cardamom is also beneficial in this season.

Some weight gain is expected in this season. Since our aim is to increase the immunity, it is fine as we want a healthy body which does not fall sick again and again